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The making of the rubbing post: how do you get bucks to come into bow range? Make them a sign.

IT WAS THE FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER, and I had a trail cam picture of a 160-inch buck with split G-2's. Because I had a landowner/tenant tag, I had only a 52-acre parcel on which to try and kill the buck. There were seven acres of food plots to draw the buck in, but that didn't guarantee me that I'd have a shot within bow range. I had to hope that a tactic I've used since 2001 would work again for me--my "rubbing post."

Right on cue on the third night of the season, the buck came out of the timber and headed straight to the rubbing post I had placed 18 yards from my blind. My shot was true and the buck fell 80 yards from my blind.

Since 2001, I've had literally hundreds of bucks hit my homemade rubbing post/scrape trees. My idea came from seeing many pine fenceposts shaped like an hourglass because they'd been rubbed over and over by bucks. I need to have something like that right in front of my treestands, I thought to myself. So I decided to cut down a four-inch-diameter pine tree and then trimmed all the branches off of it. I put it in front of my treestand, added some oak branches to give the tree/post a real look, and the deer loved it.

Over the years I have used this tactic in Kansas, Iowa and Michigan, all with the same great results. I've also had friends use it in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio, again with great success.

I've tried different types of trees over the years--red cedar, white cedar, white pine, red pine, poplar, blue spruce and white spruce--all with good success, but I always ended up going back to the white pine. You definitely don't need to use trees native to your area. In fact, the white pine drives deer even crazier when it is the only pine in the area. White pine seems to have the perfect scent, texture and sap, and I've seen five-inch-diameter white pines rubbed in two if left for two seasons.

The size of the tree/post used depends on the age and size of the bucks you're hunting. In areas where you're hunting 2 1/2 and 3 1/2-year-old bucks, I prefer to use trees two to four inches in diameter (sometimes a branch off a mature pine is big enough to work fine). In area's where you're hunting bucks older than 3 1/2 years, I prefer to use four to five-inch diameter trees.

The first thing I do is cut the tree or branch to a length of 11 feet to allow for three feet of it to be buried in the ground (photo 1). This also allows for ample height to attach two licking branches to it. Licking branches should be cut from leafy trees (photo 2)--no conifers or thorny branches. I have found that oak branches 1-1 1/4 inches in diameter seem to hold up the best to the workout bucks give them with their antlers.

The best way to attach your two licking branches is to drill two 1 to 1 1/4-inch holes (photo 1) through the post near the top (do this before you bury your post). I usually drill one hole straight through the post about four inches down from the top, and another one running perpendicular to the first and about four inches below it.

Slide your two branches into the post (photo 3) to create a V-shape, with the open end of the "V" facing toward your treestand (a little whittling on the branch ends may be necessary to snuggly fit them in the holes). Once you've slid the branches into the post, adjust them so that the leafy ends of the branches are approximately five feet off the ground. Secure the branches by running a couple 3 1/2-inch deck screws through the posts (photo 4) and the branch ends.

Decide where you want to position your post (photo 5). When burying your post, be sure to get it in the ground at least three feet (photo 6) and pack the dirt very well around the post (photo 7) when filling back up the hole. This allows the post to remain solid when the bucks are rubbing it. Under the branch ends, open up the ground to simulate a scrape (photo 8). If possible, put a trail camera pointing toward your post and you'll be amazed at the photos you'll get!

When setting up a treestand or blind in a food plot, CRP field or even in the timber, adding a "rubbing post" just might be your ticket to drawing a buck of a lifetime into bow range.

AUTHOR'S PHOTOS By David Vroman

The author is an ingenious bowhunter from Mayville, Michigan.
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Author:Vroman, David
Publication:Bowhunter
Date:Jul 1, 2013
Words:807
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