Black-tailed Deer
Rutting Signs

 

 

During the rutting season, bucks rub their antlers on trees and plants. They also attack, or thrash, plants with their antlers. These signs can be found by the observant tracker. Some trees are used year after year. Others are just used because they are convenient.

Antler rubbing sign on tree. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
This tree was used the previous year as evidenced by the older scars (darker in color.) The most recent antler rubbing activity left the lighter scars in the bark.
   

Ground torn up in front of antler rubbing sign on tree. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

The tree above is seen at the top red arrow. The lower red arrow indicates the ground that was torn up in front of the tree by the hooves of the buck. These disturbances are easy to spot in forest leaf litter such at this.
   
Buck thrashing a plant with his antlers. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
This buck picked a random plant and started thrashing it with his antlers. He kept it up for about five minutes. A curious yearling buck came over to look down the hill and watch this buck.
   
Buck thrashing a plant with his antlers. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
The buck kept digging and gouging at the plant with his antlers. Some branches were broken and bark was scraped off, all leaving signs that a tracker can find. When he was finished, he simply walked away.
 

Antler rub on bark. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

A tree with fresh antler rubbing scars. This tree was not used the previous year, but the tree that had been used, which grew right next to this one, had been cut down during the summer. So the buck used this smaller remaining tree instead.
 

Antler rub and gouge marks on bark. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

Fresh scars from antler rubbing and gouging on a tree next to a deer trail. This is a small Douglas fir tree.

 
 
 

For more deer signs, see the:

Main Deer Tracks and Signs page

Deer Feeding Signs page

Deer Scats page 1

Deer Scats Page 2

 

 

Find deer posters, greeting cards, postage stamps and more in my new store.

Now available: "Animals Don't Cover Their Tracks - An Introduction to Animal Tracking" on CD! (Version 3.0) New drawings, more species, more photos, more extensive sections on tracking humans, more detailed directions for plaster casting, mystery tracks section, tracking stories section, and more. The CD features over 100 species, including special bonus sections with the tracks of some African and Australian animals. A large section on tracking lost people for search and rescue is included, with over four pages of photos showing the details of tracks and signs people leave. Easy to use format. This web site is limited by bandwidth, but the CD-ROM is not. The CD is available in my online store at: www.dirt-time.com  Works with Mac or PC. Happy tracking!!

What else can you find in the nature store? Beartracker's animal tracks coloring book, T-shirts, sweatshirts, journals, book bags, toddler and infant apparel, mouse pads, posters, postcards, coffee mugs, travel mugs, clocks, Frisbees, bumper stickers, hats, stickers, and many more items. All with tracks or paw  prints, or nature scenes. Custom products are available. If you don't see the track you want on the product you want, email me and I can probably create it. Proceeds from all sales go to pay the monthly fees for this web site. You can help support this site as well as get great tracking products! Thank you!

 

Find other tracking products: www.zazzle.com/tracker8459*

 

 

Also visit these fine stores for more products of interest:

NDN Pride shop - For Indian Pride items for all tribes. Custom items available on request.

ASL Signs of Love - For anyone who uses or is learning ASL, American Sign Language. Custom name items and more are available here.

Sales from all stores give commissions to Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den, which helps keep this site online as a free service. We are celebrating ten years online this year!

 

 

Looking for a Gift? This site lets you customize a gift card with your own photo. Commissions earned when you buy from this link help keep Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den online! Thank you!

 Gift Card Lab - Create Photo Gift Cards Online

 

 

 

If you wish to help keep this site online, donations are accepted through PayPal.
Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den is provided as a free service, but your
donations are sincerely appreciated to pay the monthly hosting fees.
If you do not wish to donate, we do have a store where you can purchase
custom tracking items.
Thank you and happy tracking!

 

 

 

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Got a deer story? E-mail me and tell me about it.

tracker777@hotmail.com

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Copyright 1997, 2008, 2010. Text, photos, and drawings by Kim A. Cabrera

Updated: November 20, 2010.

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