Make a Rub Line for The Rut

Creating whitetail rub marks in early season
Creating whitetail rub marks in early seasonOutdoor Life Online Editors

If you haven't started making your mock scrapes, don't wait. Whitetails begin scraping soon after the velvet comes off and most velvet is disappearing as you read this blog. Mock scrapes create interest in an area and can even alter a whitetail's routine by forcing it to visit an area to maintain a scrape.

It's too bad you can't make a rub line and add it into the mock scrape mix, or can you? Yes, it takes a bit of sweat equity, but you can build a rub line. First, you need to consider what trees whitetail like to rub on the most. Studies have been done on this phenomena and it clearly shows that the more aromatic the tree, the higher likelihood a whitetail will rub on it. Apparently, like appealing cologne, whitetails like to carry the scent of forest on their body.

Dr. Grant Woods, one of the most respected wildlife biologists in the country, did a study in South Carolina on deer rubs. In short, he discovered that deer prefer to rub on aromatic species of trees, even if they were in short supply over rubbing randomly on any old tree.

So how do you mimic that detail? Head to Home Depot and shop for cedar fence posts. Cedar is one of the most aromatic timbers readily available to consumers. Purchase several posts and then head to a whitetail hotspot where you have a stand in place or envision a future ambush site.

Look for areas that traditionally support lots of rubbing activity before you place the posts. Edge corridors, heavily traveled trails to food and bedding cover, and interior bedding zones all sport lots of rubbing activity.

Finally, plant the posts in a row. You can space them in a line along a trail to create the illusion of buck activity or you can group them together and place a mock scrape or two in the mix for a party scene. Take into consideration your stand site and prevailing winds to ensure your invisibility at the site.

Regardless of your strategy, consider making a rub line this fall. The effort could just sucker another whitetail into your trap this season.