View Full Version : Rubs & Scrapes in OK - which of these 3 dates for scouting run?

August 1, 2006, 09:19 PM
OK, planning ahead, there are three Saturdays to choose from prior to deer archery season, on which I can do my last scouting run, for rubs/scrapes, and still give the area time to "settle" down with no activity. They are:

Sept. 9th
Sept. 16th
Sept. 23rd

Now, I will doubtless do scouting *while* I am hunting, and at other times later, but I must pick just *one* of these 3 weekends to scout for rubs & scrapes, because I'm going to be busy doing other stuff the other weekends not set aside for the scouting trip.

In choosing between them, I want to choose the *earliest* among them, but yet that will actually be late enough to where the deer have begun to make scrapes, so that I can find them. So I want to choose Sept 9th if possible, to give the area maximum time to settle before going back on Oct 1 for archery. BUT, maybe there will be no scrapes yet that early on in the south?? (rubs but no scrapes yet?). Can anyone say for sure that there will or will not definitely be scrape activity by Sep 9, or Sep 16, or Sep 23, based on the natural pre-rut cycle of things? Which is the earliest I can go and still have luck finding good sign? Or is it even fruitless to search for scrapes until October, given that peak rut is not until early to mid-November, in which case none of these dates will work? Thanks.

Anthony Terry
August 1, 2006, 10:46 PM
It depends on when the rut is in swing there. Scrapes will generally start about 1-2weeks before the rut. Rut here is mid novemder and I start seeing good scrapes around the first nov. week. So when is your rut, and I'll be able to help you out.

August 2, 2006, 09:35 AM
OK, thanks - nevermind then - none of these will work - I didn't realize (or had forgotten) that they don't start the scrapes until closer to the rut, so I seriously doubt there would be any in September - probably not until mid to late October, if that early. I usually see the deer in the "chase phase" of the rut that last week of October, and into the first week of November - ya know, whenever you see a doe, there's almost always a buck right behind. Supposedly, though I don't really believe it, the "peak of the rut" is supposed to coincide with opening of rifle season, at least in MOST years (though the rut varies widely from year to year), and rifle season starts for example this year, Nov 18-19th weekend. My belief is that the peak of rut *activity*, like chasing/fighting, etc. (not actual mating) is much earlier, around the first of Nov., however.

Surely though the rubs will have started by Sept, correct?

Wild Bill Bucks
August 2, 2006, 12:22 PM
Going to take a stab at this, but let me say right up front, I have no real proof of this, just observation.

When velvet begins to crack and start coming off, is before bow season, or late September here in Oklahoma. Thats when I see the bucks start doing, what I call, SOFT SCRUBS, meaning they will rub small bushes and low hanging tree limbs, to get the already loosened velvet off of their horns.

Most of the velvet is rubbed off by doing this, and is why you shoot deer during bow season that already have the velvet off of their horns. I think as the month of October progresses, they get closer to the rut, and begin to make HARD RUBS.. These are the rubs that are the most noticeable, on small trees and larger branches. Since the velvet is already gone from their horns, I beleive they do this to help strengthen their neck muscles, and marking territory, for the pre rut dueling that goes on between bucks.

I have noticed from bucks that I have raised, that when the velvet is on their horns, the ticks eat away at the base of the horns, up about 5 to 6 inches, and I think that is what causes the base of the horns to get the rough shape they get. I have noticed that some deer have slick bases on their horns, and don't have very much rough on them, and I think these deer come from areas that are not as heavily populated with ticks.
Seems like when I shoot one that has slick horns,I don't have very much trouble with ticks myself. When I am in areas, where I can't sit down without getting covered up, is when I will shoot bucks with the roughest horns.

This is just what I have noticed. Does that make any sense to the rest of you?

Anthony Terry
August 2, 2006, 02:19 PM
These deeer go through a few different phases during the fall. I feel that these changes are triggered by the changes in day length. You're scrapes should start showing around 2-3rd week of oct. Then rut starting at first part of november as you said. You should find soft rubs the first half of sept.

I've never heard the tick thing, but it does seem logical.
Basically, find out when the rut hits in your area, plan on scrapes showing 1-2 weeks before rut, first soft rubs about a 1-2 months before scrapes. or just ride up and down the road till you see a buck, if his antlers are hard and clean, they're rubbin.

August 2, 2006, 11:06 PM
The full moon this October will be around the 7th. I just got in from watching a few deer and two bucks. Both in velvet. Last year, one of these bucks lost his velvet in mid September. He was rubbing (soft scrub) on little cedars gingerly until later in September. I observed him 3 times in late Sept. I saw him again from the stand in October while bow hunting and he had seperated from his buck buddy that was an 8 point. That was bow season here in Eastern Oklahoma and he was agressive on the same cedars he had soft scrubed a month earlier. No scrapes by the rub line yet, but he was rubbing none the less. I harvested his buddy two days later on the same trail at 8 am.
He was ignoring the rubs but was already sniffing the ground.
The "rut" here should start between Muzzleloader season and rifle. The November full moon will be around the 5th. Most of the does will likely come into estrous cycle the following week. I would choose this time to archery hunt for that buck if archery season doesn't produce what you want.
This is just my 2 cents. I hunt a creek crossing with high banks to one side and an easy crossing with timber. Down the trail is a oak flat and a fence row that they keep mowed.The other way is a thicket that has bedding sign year round. That is LaFlore county.
P.S. The antlers here are rough based and there are loads of ticks. Hmmm.

Anthony Terry
August 3, 2006, 12:59 AM
Good advise lso. The full moon has a way of pulling the rut toward it. If it falls in before the usual rut time, it'll actually help to kick it in early, If it falls near the end or at the end of the usual window, it will water the rut down a bit and prolong it. The moon falling right at the beginning of the rut makes for an awesome time around here.