Every successful whitetail bowhunter knows bowshots are more accurate within a certain range, usually within 40 yards or so. That being said, really good bowhunters look for every conceivable sign that could put them within range. Rubs, scrapes, tracks, trails, bedding areas, feeding areas, old logging roads, deer sightings, and everything in-between will serve as sign posts.
Research shows that rubs and scrapes are genrally found along edges. These edges include hard edges such as where the forest meets a field, or where a road intersects the forest. There are soft edges that include changes in habitat such as where pines become hard woods, and cane thickets or cut-overs become open forest.
Bowhunters need every advantage. Smart successful bowhunters are constantly hunting, even when they are not “up a tree”. They look for deer sign when they are driving along a road, walking through the woods, cutting across a field, or floating a creek.
Our camp has a Big Buck Contest every year. The competition is stiff and friendly. You know how competitive bowhunters are. The winner one year ago harvested his brut after watching him cross a logging road several hundred yards away. This bowhunter waited until the deer had entered the woods and then discovered a trail the big boy was using quite often. He set up along that trail for the next morning’s hunt and you know the rest of the story.
We can become better bowhunters by becoming more aware, more observant of signs whitetails are leaving behind. Great hunters are “sign hunters”. Mark Kenyon’s buck rub article is worth the read. Give it a click and see what I mean.
Bill Spears, PhD
Mark Kenyon’s article on Buck Rubs is worth the read. Give it a click and see what I mean.