How to Read a Whitetail Buck Antler Rub

   10.09.19

How to Read a Whitetail Buck Antler Rub

Here’s another informative video from Whitetail Habitat Solutions for deer hunters, this time talking about antler rubs and how to read them. Did you know you could guesstimate the age of a buck from his rub? Pretty cool, and there’s always something new for any hunter to learn, no matter how long we’ve been chasing critters.

From the video description:

Learning to read a whitetail buck rub can help you understand the seasonal timing, antler size, and even the approximate age of a buck. From historical buck rubs to fresh, giant buck rubs, here is how to make sure that you are reading the clues that an old giant has left behind.

Although the video was made in January after hunting season, it’s worth a look right now as we head into the fall season for whitetails across most of the USA.

If you want to get right to the rub data, skip the first minute, although you will miss some other useful info if you do.

Some high points include:

  • Rubs are not habitually visited by bucks in the way rut scrapes are.
  • Older “historical” rubs that have been used over a few years can indicate when big bucks are on a property.
  • You can tell which way the deer was facing as it rubbed.
  • Always check the back side of the rub to look for tine marks and gouges from sticker points.
  • Wood shavings on the ground can help you determine when the rub was made.

I’m looking forward to my first deer hunt of the year, and this is great info to have fresh in my mind as I slip out into the woods and decide where to hang my stand.

Happy hunting!

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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