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Learn The White-Tailed Deer Sign

By Ethan O. Tanner

White-tailed deer leave several recognizable evidences of the existence. To search for deer, try to find sign. Some sign is dramatic, some other subtle. Deer suggest stories using the sign they leave. By understanding sign, you obtain information of their activities which enable you to organize your hunting tactics.

Fresh scrapes can be located almost year-round, although the largest percentage of scrapes come out when breeding season starts. As the bachelor groups formed in summer split and bucks become solo travelers, scraping activity raises largely. This occurs a few weeks ahead of the initial females breed.

Virtually all active scrapes will have an overhanging branch. White-tailed bucks, nibble, chew, lick, sniff and thrash the overhanging branch above the scrape. They grasp it with their teeth and pull it down. They twist it and rake their antlers through it and rub their forehead scent glands on it. The procedure is careful and deliberate – bordering on absolute euphoria. Does that visit scrapes likewise smell and lick the overhanging branch.

Buck rubs are an important part of the communication system of deer. We detect rubs – the white scars of the forest – by sight. More often than not deer identify them by smell. A buck rubs agree through the base of his antlers, not the tines. In the act, he deposits fragrance from glands in the forehead. Usually, the bigger the tree rubbed, the larger the buck responsible for the rub.

Deer hunters to often make use of the terms ‘runway’, ‘trail’ and ‘crossing’ interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. Deer paths usually are distinct and obvious paths, or runways, in the low-lying vegetation as a result of repeated use. A crossing is a limited place which deer will likely pass through. Within areas of substantial grass or ferns, seek out body-width paths where deer have broken down foliage.

Deer droppings frequently signify the only or principal indication we have of the presence of deer. Droppings can vary considerably in shape, color and form at different times of the year. During the winter months, when deer feed on browse, the pellets are hard and become harder as the winter season progresses; they are numerous tones of brown and about three-quarters of an inch long. In the summer, when deer nourish themselves on soft vegetation, the droppings consist of clusters of soft, green pellets that are more or less stuck together in a single mass.

Deer beds are oval-shaped depressions in leaves, grass, dirt or snow where deer rested to conserve energy, or chew the cud. Deer bed down for as long as an hour and a half at a time. It is not known how much actual sleeping is done by a deer in its bed, or whether deer sleep at all. Deer sometimes will lay their heads back on a flank or hind leg, their eyelids will droop, and total alertness will be lost. For practical purposes, this can be considered sleep.

Many whitetails have easy access to salt put out for cattle and horses. In addition, deer use natural mineral deposits in the woods. Natural licks are often found in poorly drained soil in bottom lands. Water collects in these areas and stands until dissipated by evaporation, leaving its dissolved minerals.

When deer run, they leave prints with their hooves and dewclaws. Dewclaws also show up in the tracks of heavy deer when walking on soft ground or snow. Generally, the more toe spread and the deeper the impression, the larger the deer.

Can you distinguish the difference among a buck track and a doe track by shape and size of the track? Some hunters and scientists believe they can; others say the only sure way is to see the deer that made the track. If you find prints that are prominently longer and deeper than other tracks in an area, the maker could by an exceptional buck-or a very large doe.

As a buck’s supply of testosterone decreases in winter, a separation layer forms at the pedicel of the antlers and thy fall off. In the north, this casting of antlers occurs from mid December to late January. Farther south, some bucks retain their antlers until March or April. Latitude itself, however is not the main cause for this difference in timing.

Whitetail deer hunter expert and Author Ethan O. Tanner explains the different types of how to whitetail deer hunting tips the checklist for whitetail hunting for whitetail deer hunting techniques.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Tanner, Ethan O. "Learn The White-Tailed Deer Sign." Learn The White-Tailed Deer Sign. 22 Aug. 2010. uberarticles.com. 19 Aug 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/hobbies/learn-the-white-tailed-deer-sign/>.

APA Style Citation:
Tanner, E (2010, August 22). Learn The White-Tailed Deer Sign. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/hobbies/learn-the-white-tailed-deer-sign/

Chicago Style Citation:
Tanner, Ethan O. "Learn The White-Tailed Deer Sign" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/hobbies/learn-the-white-tailed-deer-sign/

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