Hunt deer sign it can pay off big time when chasing that trophy buck.
You’ve heard many times before that bucks abandon rubs and scrapes once the breeding season kicks into full swing. While that is largely true, there are two key exceptions that can put a rutting bucks with crossbow range.
1. Core Area Sign
- Most of the rubs and scrapes that a buck makes in and around their core area during the pre-rut are largely ignored during the ruts peak. However, bucks will make regular return visits to his core area and he may freshen those rubs and scrapes, or make new ones.
2. Doe Area Sign
- Rutting bucks will also open new rubs and scrapes just off prime doe feeding and bedding areas. This sign may be active for only a short time but can draw visits from multiple bucks when a member of a doe family group is nearing or in estrous. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for steaming hot rubs and scrapes to tip you off that bucks are active in the area right now and to help you pinpoint that activity.This can be a great place to hand a stand or to still-hunt if the wind is right. As with the core areas, use trail cameras or speed-scout at midday to check for freshened spoor. With bucks preoccupied with does and moving unpredictably you can get away with more intrusions. So hunting that fresh sign as soon as you find it can really pay off.