The Deer Hunter
Shane Mears, Trophy Deer Hunter
get one trophy buck in a lifetime is great, getting two is even better, but to consistently get trophy bucks is a skill. If
you ask Shane how he does it, he will tell you, that most of his time is spent in preperation of a hunt, scouting a
area, looking for the signs of trophy white tail deer, we will list some of the basics of hunting white tail deer on this
page, and give you some tips on getting trophy bucks.
Mrs. Shane, with a trophy of her own ...... talk about competition in the family
ArkLaTex hunter, Shane Mears, bagged this trophy buck in 2005. if your going after a record
size deer , Shanes the man to talk to. Check out the speckled nose on this buck. Thanks to Shane for sharing this trophy with
us, and hope there are many more to come. That sherrifs truck in the background, well, he hunts with Shane , and is
a member of his hunting club, so nope, he s not getting a ticket , but I bet hes asking , how do you keep getting those trophy
Another Trophy Buck
Shane bagged this one in 2006.
Above, a member of Shanes hunting club, killed this monster buck in 2005
Deer Hunting Basics What To Look For:
Deer rubs are created when a male deer rubs his forehead and antlers against the base of a tree. In late
summer and early fall rubs are usually made by bucks rubbing the velvet off their newly acquired antlers. During the rut and
late season, rubs can be made by aggresive bucks strengthing their neck muscles or bucks just marking out their home territory.
A bucks forehead gland will leave a scent to let other deer know who made the rub. Bucks sometimes use the same tree to rub
but, as often as not, rubs are made at random before and during the rut. It will be easy to tell a tree that has been visited
and rubbed multiple times from a tree thats just been rubbed once. The trees can vary in size from just a little sapling to
a mature tree 4" to 8" inches wide. Bucks usually prefer a soft tree such as a cedar or a pine. Most experienced
hunters say that the bigger the rub the bigger the deer. A spike does not have the spread between his antlers that it would
need to rub a tree that a mature deer can get his horns around. Now that does does not mean big bucks rub only big trees.
Remember big bucks can also rub thick bushes to remove velvet from its antlers.
Rubs are fairly easy to spot in the woods.
They are also a definite sign that a buck has been through the area. I look for a fresh rub line or a heavy concentration
of fresh rubs when looking for stand placement. More often than not, you can pin point a bucks home territory by the rub lines
that surround it. When scouting for rubs you should never touch them or spread to much human scent around the area. If you
find several big fresh rubs with deep gouges and pieces of bark laying around it. Hang your stand or make a mental note of
the area and get out. Chances are you have a wallhanger frequenting the area
Scrapes are areas on the ground where bucks paw the soil away with their hooves. They can
vary in size from as small as a foot and a half wide to sometimes seven or eight feet. They are most often made and mantained
prior to the rut. Deer make and mantain scrapes as a way to communicate with other deer. They leave their scent by urinating
over their back legs onto the tarsal glands. Then they rub their tarsal glands together and squeeze urine over the scrape.
This leaves a strong distinct smell of that buck in the scrape. Most scrapes also have a low hanging branch that the deer
lick and rub their head on to leave additional scent. A scrape may be used only the first time it was made or visited numerous
times by many different deer. A scrape is not always used by just one buck. I've seen numerous trail cam photos of different
aged bucks working one single scrape. From what i've observed most scrapes are mantained under the cover of darkness.
I believe when scrapes are checked in the daylight hours they are done so from a location downwind of the scrape. From a distance
a deer can smell what kind of activity the scrape has seen since it last visited. When you're hunting around the rutting
time of year you should notice scrapes in your area. Generally bucks like to make scrapes between their favorite feeding and
bedding areas. We will probably never know all the benefits a scrape can provide to whitetail deer. Research on the subject
has changed dramatically over the years. Twenty years ago research claimed that scrapes were used for bucks to be able to
find out when a doe was in estrous or getting close to estrous. Recent research that I have studied claims that this is not
the case at all. No matter what research you agree with or what your thoughts on the subject are there is one thing for certain:
if you find scrapes, you've found bucks
The rut is the mating or estrous time period for whitetail deer. This period usually last 2 to 3 weeks. Deer mate
sometime in the later portions of the year so there offspring will be born during the spring time. In the spring time new
green growth is abundant and the weather is starting to warm up. This makes survival for the young deer much easier. The rut
is triggered in the fall when the daylight hours start shortening and the nights get longer. A doe can stay in estrous up
to 72 hours. If the doe is not breed during their first estrous period she will keep coming into estrous up to 6 or 7 times
until she is breed. Though I beleive it is rare, in areas where doe populations are high, a doe may go through the entire
mating season without being breed. Depending upon what area you live in will determine what time frame you will notice rut
activity. In most northern states rut activity can began as early as late September and early October. In the southern states
and the states in the northwest of the U.S. rut activity will usually start later in the year around the months of November
During the rut deer are more active and generally less cautious than usual. It is during this time that
deer become more susceptible to deer hunters and motorists. Deer sightings and vehicle accidents involving deer are always
higher in these winter months surounding the rut.
The time period surrounding the rut is an exciting time period for
deer hunters. Those wallhangers that never move about in the daylight hours are now letting there hormones do the walking.
Its the period of time before the rut that hunters call "The Chase" that I enjoy hunting the most. A buck will constantly
be on the move searching for a doe in estrous. At times does will even play hard to get and lead bucks on a wild goose chase
before allowing them to mate. At each doe sighting you have the chance to catch that trailing buck. Stay ready and alert.
Your next mature buck may just be coming around the bend.