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impressive rub

tahtah

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Oct 26, 2017
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I did a little late season scouting today. I was just thinking I hadn't seen any rubs when I noticed this one. I had been looking at the wrong size trees.

Any speculation on what age/size buck would rub on a tree this large?
 
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Shed Hunter

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Oct 11, 2011
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3,812
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Henderson County
Deer. I’ve seen a few rubs that size in diameter

I’m not sure why a deer decides what size tree it wants to rub, and would speculate even some massive oak trees are “rubbed” but too strong barked to ever tell. With all of that said a key think to realize it could easily even be a smaller deer that was hyping himself up.. or whatever he was trying to prove
 

JCDEERMAN

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Jul 19, 2008
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NASHVILLE, TN
I’ve seen several that size over the years. The first one I saw, I thought bobcat, like a scratching post. But I could not find evenly spaced “claws” and concluded a deer to me. Couple years later, I saw a big buck at LBL “tickle” a tree that size and made those exact markings. Unfortunately for me, my muzzleloader wouldn’t fire at him.
 

Ski

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Nov 18, 2019
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Coffee County
Weird. Some of those scratches are way above the rifle muzzle, so 4ft up? Thats really high for buck rub. I have no idea what else it could be, or what it is or isn't. Just weird. The scratches look deep.
 

tahtah

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Oct 26, 2017
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Location
Mid-TN
The scratches are wide enough that I could put my fingertip into them and about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Whatever did it (I'm assuming a large buck) was working off some frustration. As far as the height, I obviously added the rifle for perspective. The highest point of the scratches is not too high for a typical buck rub. It could be the angle that makes it look that way.

Like Boone25/06 noted, I also noticed no scratching along the outside of the tree. Maybe he was rubbing it straight on with his brow tines. Don't know, but I'd sure love lay eyes on whatever it was.
 

BSK

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Mar 11, 1999
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68,148
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Nashville, TN
I've seen quite a few rubs that size, and they are always on pine, cedar or beech trees.

Although once created, every buck that comes along will rework a large rub, only mature bucks initiate them.
 

LY

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Dec 9, 2002
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Ringgold, GA
I used to have pics of over a dozen Beech trees that were a lot bigger than that one marked up just like and more. They were all in one area and in a drain leading up between two cutovers.
 

Rakkin6

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Dec 1, 2013
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1,072
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Clarksville, TN
Honestly I have never seen one like that. I was thinking bear at first but since so many have said they have seen that before I will go with that.
 

backyardtndeer

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Jul 29, 2015
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Seen similar. Never was for certain it was a deer, but assumed it was. Put a camera on the line after finding these, but never had a big deer pass by and no deer rubbed these again
20170112_105522.jpg
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BSK

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Mar 11, 1999
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Nashville, TN
Back when I did my decade-long rub research program, I found it interesting that as the size of the rubbed tree increased, the list of species bucks used decreased. Rubs on finger sized trees were pretty representative of the species available, but once rubbed trees increased to a couple of inches in diameter, the list of species used dropped to six. For 9+ inch trees, the list was down to just 3 species.
 

redblood

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Jan 22, 2006
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Lewisburg
Back when I did my decade-long rub research program, I found it interesting that as the size of the rubbed tree increased, the list of species bucks used decreased. Rubs on finger sized trees were pretty representative of the species available, but once rubbed trees increased to a couple of inches in diameter, the list of species used dropped to six. For 9+ inch trees, the list was down to just 3 species.
What were the species?

i know cedar, maybe maple?
 

Ski

Active Member
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Nov 18, 2019
Messages
430
Location
Coffee County
Back when I did my decade-long rub research program, I found it interesting that as the size of the rubbed tree increased, the list of species bucks used decreased. Rubs on finger sized trees were pretty representative of the species available, but once rubbed trees increased to a couple of inches in diameter, the list of species used dropped to six. For 9+ inch trees, the list was down to just 3 species.

That would seem to indicate that they're rubbing for show, creating something they want to be seen. I've heard a lot of arguments over reasons bucks rub, with some pretty crazy ones from bucks rubbing tree scent on their head & antlers so they smell good for the ladies, to using the trees as a piece of gym equipment so they can work their neck muscles. The most logical I've heard was that they are polishing antlers, or they're leaving forehead gland scent to mark territory.

One thing I do know for certain is that some of those gouges are quite deep. I have a sawmill and know exactly how resilient that bark is. It takes some determination to work it up like that. Logs don't get that tore up from me rolling them around with a hook to position them n the mill.
 

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