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redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

I just learned a whole lot Yes Thanks for the lesson Thumbs up
Think I'll look into that book.

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Joined: 07/03/2006
Posts: 232
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Greg Miller is definately very sharp. I have read the majority of his books and cant say as I can ever remember reading something and saying thats flat out BS. I cant say the same for most of the other whitetail books i have read. The man definately knows rubline hunting and has proven his case many times on hard pressured public land deer long before he ever became a deer hunting celebrity. In my opinion he ias one of the guys out there as a hunting professional that really earned his position with true to average man hunting scenarios and opportunities. I have a lot of respect for the man as a hunter and professional. That doesnt come easy out of me.

I will tell you what nothing gets me more pumped up than to find that area of a thicket that smells like a goat pen. When I hit that area of any woodland I know i am all over the deer and chances are if I time my hunts right, not only am I going to see solid whitetail rutting action, but very likely the largest bucks in that particular area as they are the bucks that the does are in there making all that stink over.

I belive theres alot of misconception about how deer interact and how it is that a buck comes to breed a particular doe. I have watched does being dogged by bucks all day only to see them enter a thicket and come out with an obviously older mature buck that hasnt spent an ounce of energy chasing any doe all day. They arent running from these bucks they are going to them. the only running they seem to do is when theres a buck that they dont want to breed with harrassing them.

What I have seen over and over again is wherever these rutted up smelly thickets are found, is typically dead in the middle of the oldest bucks core bedding areas. You'll know when you find it, it will be littered with scrapes and rubs and stink like doe esterous and tarsal scent. This is rut central and these are the scrapes you want to be hunting while the rut is in full swing.

Pre rut and post rut those field edge scrapes arent bad areas to get downwind of and look for transient bucks that are off their usual haunts and looking for that first/last chance doe. However it still doesnt beat the goat pen.

That brings me back to those travel scrapelines and rub lines connecting two sections of woodlands . These same low percentage areas can become super productive during the peak chasing phase as does are flushed from one head by pesty bucks and move to others. Invariably you get bucks traveling back and forth on these scent trails . It doesnt last for long but a gun hunter with a good dose of patience can score big on these travel scrape and rub lines.For a guy with limited scouting time or possibly limited access with no way into the primary breeding thickets, this becomes the "high percentage spot". I think most of your rifle and shotgun killed ruttting bucks are killed on these transitional scrape and rub lines. For a few days each fall they are bucks all over them then they say its over. No it isnt over, just the hard chase ids over. Now all that activity is going on in the goat pen.

As a bowhunter myself I tend to lean towards far more predictable visits and more localized moveement. that makes the "goat pen" the most likely spot most anytime for me. its not always pssible to get in there or even find it but whenever I can thats where I will hanging my hat.

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Ordered the book, can't wait to get it.
Smelled that smell before Thumbs up Love hearing all this good advice, maybe you should write a book Think

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Location: Pennsylvania
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Thanks for that! I have been in the goat pen a few times. The action can happen all day long. Your post reminds me of my favorite thicket to hunt. I can't say that I have killed a lot of bucks in there but there is plenty of action and I have taken a few there. I think the toughest thing about hunting there is getting in and out undetected because the deer are always there.

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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Funny you say that, I have contended for years that the hardest part about killing a good buck is making an approach that doesnt blow you in before you even get started.I think an undetected approach is 90% of the battle once you know where you need to be.

Hunting these thickets is a matter of being willing to go to the extreme in out of the way approaches and being willing to say today I cant get there the wind is wrong or the deer have already moved back there I am too late. Keep in mind, it doesnt take repeated intrusions to screw up what is a perfect opportunity to kill a mature buck. Two or three bumpings of his does or him and likely your back to square one, on every deer in that woodland short of transient bucks which will wander through. Getting back to previous comments I made on wanderers, these typically are bucks that are not the biggest in the woods. These are the deer having to seek out breeding partners more often than not. While not scrub bucks by anymeans these arent the grandaddies you started out to hunt.

I have four bow stands up here in SC right now. Three of the four are located just outside goat pens. I really wanted to hunt last evening but a quick check in my backyard for wind current told me to turn around and go back to the house. When you find one of these spots PRESERVE its sanctuary type nature. Do not hunt them when conditions and deer position isnt favorable to you getting in.

I typically try to get into these areas well before daylight while the deer are off their beds. I try not to hunt directly over their beds and give them a little room and me a slight cushion. In the past couple years I have been working a creekbottom / bedding area pattern that when I can find its duplicate seems to really be a hot hunting spot anytime I can put these ingredients all in one small package of landscape.

You might look for something along these lines. High ground doe bedding area with a downwind creekbottom as a border. Look for rub and scrapelines running crosswind on the downwind side of the doe bedding areas. By hunting here instead of up in the goat pen you catch all the same action as each time they get up and move during the day when they return to the thicket they swing downwind and back into the thicket. Meanwhile any buck that has been on the move will very likely use these crosswinding trails. Access is much easier at this point and its far easier to preserve an area.

I have been able to recognize this pattern a few times in three different states and each one was dead on hot! The first situation like this I discovered treated me to 54 individual buck sightings at 45 yards or less in four days of hunting the chase. I shot one of my best 8 pointers on the last day 5 minutes of legal light left after playing cat and mouse with a 170 class 12 pointer for two days and several 150 class bucks.

Dang it I love talking and strategizing hunting whitetails. i am so glad the season is finally back in and theres questions and commentary to spark the mind on these internet boards.make visiting so much more fun. Especially when you come back and somewone says , "hey I tried that and dang it I saw a monster. Tell me more".

I'll be heading north to my avorite east coast honey hole Maryland in the next two weeks. Then I am going to guide in Nebraska which will be a first. major bucks there I cant wait to take part in unraveling some of the secrets of those bruisers. End of the trip will land me in OK with a possible stop to meet the red rider here. Still havent figured out my intinerary exactly but if I can swing it I definately would like to take the opportunity to stop and meet you.

Good luck to you guys hope this has at the very least sparked some thoughts about how you might get the one up on Mr big this season.

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
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Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Looking forward to having you stop in and give some of your thoughts about some of my hunting spots. I've always been a self teacher when coming to hunting and fishing, so it's always nice to be able to absorb so much info from you and other guys that have so much WT knowledge. I've had pretty good luck in the past from reading and applying what I have learned. Always room for learning more. I'm trying to get to a different plateau as far as unraveling the realm of Big Buck secrets. One reason why I have invited you guys to come and hunt here, so I can pick apart your brain lol
Keep the info coming Thumbs up

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Location: North Ga
Joined: 08/15/2006
Posts: 30
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

Very interesting!

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Location: North Ga
Joined: 08/15/2006
Posts: 30
Hunting rubs and scrapes ?

After reading these posts I have now ordered the book! lol

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