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Location: Missouri
Joined: 06/26/2006
Posts: 25
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Is hunting a rub line or scrape line a waste of time ? Here in the eastern ozatrks i's not too difficult to find rub lines scrapes are few and far between don't seem to be any connection.
I've hunted rub lines but no success, any tip's that might help ? Thanks Think

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Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Hardluck,
Rubs have so many different meanings that depend on the time of year and the number of Bucks in the area. They mostly just mean that a Buck has been there at some point and are usually just territory markings.
Rubs that accompany scrapes usually mean that the scrape is NOT active but just a territory marking that usually is in an area with does.
Scrapes CAN be a good place to set up on but there again there are numerous factors that determine whether a particular scrape is worth a hunt. What I look for is the amount of fresh doe activity in the area, if it is near a bedding area for does, or near a primary feeding area. You will find scrapes all along trails but the the areas near bedding and feeding is where the doe will spend most of their time and the buck will know this and is more inclined to frequent those scrapes. Another thing to look for is if the scrape is being maintained ie: freshened up, cleaned, and most importantly, made larger with some serious sappling thrashing nearby, not rubs but almost total destruction of nearby saplings. Find a truck hood size scrape that you can smell from 50 yards away with some ripped up saplings and you will have yourself a good scrape to hunt over. However...and there is ALWAYS a however, most scrapes are checked at night and the buck may have already found the doe. You will increase your chances of seeing a buck only slightly when you hunt a scrape but stay on stand from sun up to sunset. If you can only hunt part of the day I would chose to be on stand during midday.
This is just an overview with tons of other factors to consider and most will only come from experience, but thats why we call it hunting.
I am sure others on this forum will have their favorite scrape tactics and will share them with you so you'll have a good base of info to work with.
Good luck

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Location: sw missouri
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 196
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

The best way to hunt scrapes is to figure out which way they are coming into / or out of it....as a fellow missouri hunter I know that most scrapes here are created in non-daylight hours. Thus, if you can figure which way they are coming into it (evening hunt) or leaving (morning hunt) this will help.

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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

I always love hunting when there are rubs and scrapes in the area I hunt, but I don't hunt over scrapes or rub lines. I tend to put more stock in hunting heavily used trails between feeding and bedding areas. Having the scrapes and rubs is just a great sign that they are using the area you are in. Like it's been said, more often than not these scrapes and rubs are checked at night.
It's been my experience also, to find a good scrape to be used only for a short peiod of time. I usually get to do most of my hunting on weekends and it seems like every time I find a well used scrape the next time I could hunt it , it has gone dry. Unless you can go out often and check for fresh scrapes everyday I choose to be more than satisfied they are in the area. Also, if you are out searching for scrapes everyday you are also taking the chance of "smelling" up your favorite hunting area. Just my opinion from my experience Big smile

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Location: Missouri
Joined: 06/26/2006
Posts: 25
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

You guys mentioned bedding and feeding areas. Thats one of the big problems, there are no such well defined areas in the thick ozark hills ,

Every ridge seems to be full of acorns , it's impossible to check then all ! So which one do you hunt ? As yo bedding there are no paticular areas, the deer bed in random spots very seldom will these deer in the same general. As to trails and tracks non-existant due to the leafy, rocky forest floor. But, I'm still trying to figure it out. Think

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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

I could never figure them out with any amount of certainty, as redrider said, knowing that they are in the area is about as good as it gets, some of the time

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Location: NE Kansas
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Hard Luck - Are there any creeks or small streams that you can walk to find well established crossings? If so back track these trails and see what you find Thumbs up

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Location: novascotia
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 682
hunting rubs and scrapes

There is no certainty as to where the deer bed , but it's not usually far from the food source . Hammer's right ,that's as good as it gets . Although the bucks like to bed in the jungle areas that are so thick a rabbit would have a hard time getting around in it . As far as looking for . sign to see where the deer are traveling . We have alot of wooded areas that have been cut over and roads everywhere through these areas so all we have to do Is look out the window of our vehicle and we'll see deer sign , or take a walk across a chopins you'll see where the deer are feeding . Personally I love to hunt the big woods that weren't cut yet . Oh! ,Redrider, that is the best place to try that rubber band deer call . works best in the big woods I like to find an open spot where I can see for a little distance

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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Thumbs up

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Joined: 08/25/2006
Posts: 6
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Check out the old classic book "Greg Miller's Rubline Secrets"

I love to hunt the rub lines and Im on a great one now....

the wind is supposed to be just right on Thursday for me to sneak in on him and bust him going from bed to food + its gonna snow on Thur in Michigan.

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Posts: 232
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Few things come to mind immediately when I hear people ask these questions. What time of year is it and what types of rubs and scrapes are you considering hunting? There are boundry scrapes rubs. Travel corridor rub and lines. Staging rubs and scapes. In other word not all buck sign is created equal. Time of year and location are the two biggest factors I can use to narrow down the low percentage sign and stay with the hot sign that gives the fuel to the fire of books articles and scents we saee on the sporting goods shelves and tv.

Greg Millers book is excellent, I highly reccomend any of his books. If you want an in depth look at rub lines this man has taken one and its well worth reading if your going to play a season on the rub line gamble. I wont even attempt to better his info on hunting rub line if you want to know go on over to Amazon and orde rhis book. its well worth the cost of admission.

I can tell you this much I look for two types of rubs cluster rubs and rubs that have many other rubs around the area. I then look around at the location. Is this a staging area or is this a bedding area? Staging area puts me to hunting that area in the eves as its typically a hold over spot while bucks are watching does in a feed source from cover. Bedding areas get an all day every day approach these are just plum high percentage high travel areas. When I find an obvious bedding thicket smack full of forearm sized rubs, I know its highly likely that buck spends the majority of his time in that area and I should start trying to figure out how to approach the area before daylight for a morning hunt..

How bout scrapes? Same thing you can find scrape lines on field edge olf logging road and along contour ridges in just about any whitetail woods. Much like the meandering rub line that connects one piece of woods to an other, much of this buck sign is travel sign. While definately not worthless sign, its not high percentage sign. However there are times when this is about the best sign you can hunt. Particularly early season when the deer are still on a standard travel and feeding pattern. Seeing early rubs and scrapes can absolutely let you know deer are traveling here, and they are buck deer at that. I have killed several early season bucks hunting the first scrapes and rubs of the season. its not a classic rubline hunt by any means but fact is they tipped me off to a bucks travel habits and i was able to kill him as a result.

What about this time of year when the actual breeding cycle of the whitetail is about to kick in and these scrapes serve a real purpose? Let me tell you something, without fail the biggest bucks I have ever seen in the woods were hunting a scrapeline pattern. Now I didnt say hunting the scrape i said the scrpaeline pattern. Whats that mean ? First lets look at what a scrape really is and how whitetails utilize it.

A scrape is a meeting area for deer where they check in and state their presence. The go in and sign the book so to speak. After reading years of studies and talking with many successfull scrape line hunters I have come to two conclusion. Most bucks only visit a scrape one time. They leave their mark and from then on out their relation to this scrape changes. I also agree that most of this scrape tending activity occurs at night. Several thourough reports have proven both of these thoughts fairly solidly, that scrapes are mainly a nocturnal activity, and bucks dont repeatedly freshen a scrape, new deer come along and freshen it leaving their signature at the site.

So hunting scrapes would seem worthless unless your a jacklighter. Not at all its how you hunt these scraqpe and position yourself in relation to them that most folks make the big blunder. They hunt right over the top of them. getting back to how a deer utilizes a scrape , lets think about scent and a whitetails nose. We all know he has a superior sniffer. Why bother walking to a scrape to sniff it when you can cruise downwind in cover and get the same results? Herein lies the secret to scrapeline hunting. Once a buck has decided a particular group of does is worth hanging around scrapes start popping up on the edges of cover where does regularly congregate at night. Throughout the rutting season bucks will cruise downwind of these scrapes scenting for new doe activity in the scrapes. If they smell esterous, they cut the trail and take up the follow. rarely will they stick their head back out over the scrape in my observation.

So in other word the place to be is downwind 40-80 yards just below that land contour that is acting as the inner edge of the woods your hunting. A quick dechiphering job is to stand by the scrape and look into the woods. Where does you vision run out and woods take over? 9 times out of ten thats going to be the edge that you need to be downwind of to see the real activity behind a whitetail breeding scrape.

Whats the best case scenario to me? Bedding thickets with cluster rubs and communal scrapes surrounded by multiple smaller satelite scrapes. This tells me this is the goat pen and come rut time this is where the deer will be moving in out and around most often during the rut.

Bottom line these are indicators of a great spot to be hunting and its up to the hunter to determine what type of sign this uis and how best to hunt it. Understand how they are relating to the deers typical movements and try to pick buck sign that stays within the realms on high percentage daylight activity. That means field edge scrapes are about worthless, unless your downwind of them hunting for wandering bucks which can also be very effective in my experience but only for a few short days during the hard chase phase of the rut and a few days at the tail end when the wanderers come out seeking those last few available does.

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