Mature bucks feeling the rut not only thrash trees with their antlers in November, they also see and veer over to smell, lick and rack other rubs that rival males have made.
In Iowa one November day, Brian LaRue looked up and saw a monster coming. Sixty yards out the 22-pointer stopped and mauled a sapling, then looked toward Brian’s tree and lugged on in. The hunter drilled the 222-inch non-typical with an arrow. “I’m convinced he saw the big rub on the other side of my stand and was making a straight line for it,” Brian says.
That’s the rub behind Brian and his beast in the picture above.
My buddy Luke Strommen read that post and got to thinking: What if I fake a similar scenario and see what happens?
Luke went out and dug up an aromatic cedar post that literally hundreds of different bucks had rubbed for 60 years on his Montana ranch. He moved the post a mile to an alfalfa field by the Milk River, and sunk it in the ground near where two big trails snaked out of the brush. He the hung a tree stand 20 yards downwind of the manufactured rub. He would rest the spot awhile, then come back to hunt it around November 12, prime time for bucks to be on their feet, moving and rubbing.
A week later, Luke sneaked along the river bank in the dark, and climbed up into the stand. When the sun came up, he would watch for a buck sneaking back to bed from a long night of feeding and checking does out in the nearby alfalfa.
When the sun rose, look what he found. Sometime during the week that Luke had rested the stand, a buck(s) had come along and rubbed on the cedar post until it snapped in half! “When I got down and investigated, there were several sets of big tracks in the mud around the post, so different bucks had come to check it.”
Deer hunting is all about being in the right place at the right time. Had Luke been in the stand, and had it been daylight, when a buck came in to smell, lick and rub the post, he would have gotten a bow shot.
So you might want to hunt near a fresh rub, or make or move one and hunt it this November.