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Thread: Antler Rubbings and Wallows

  1. #1
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    Antler Rubbings and Wallows

    Just last week when hunting in the Kaimais (see the other thread 'Kaimai hunt this week') I came across an antler rub. At this point I realised how ignorant I was about them haha At the time I guessed something along the lines of "must be pretty old, stags probably only rub in the months coming up to the roar when they want to get rid of the velvet to have their antlers reading to fight with". So I'm posting on here to ask about antler rubbings in general. When do stags rub? How can you tell how old an antler rubbing is? Does finding an antler rub mean different things at different times of the year?

    I found some hoof prints and fairly fresh droppings (moist/mucous layer still somewhat in tact, not very green, not warm, fairly soft) in a muddy patch just down from it that was about 3m in diametre. Would this we a wallow? Do stags have wallows year round or only at specific times? I spent awhile stalking around there hoping to find a stag but didn't. Probably spooked it, still getting the hang of stalking slowly and quietly. I must admit though, I got pretty bloody excited when I saw the antler rub, it is the first I've ever seen. Not surprising because that hunting was my first proper crack at reds.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Stags will rub trees while they have hard antlers only obviously, so expect it any time of year. Although during the roar/rut rubbing will appear all over a stags territory. If you find rubbings, check for fresh sap, and hairs or mud on the trees, that'll give you a good indication on freshness.

    Deer in general will wallow all year round. But again, more so during the roar/rut. If the shit was cold, I doubt you spoooked it. But there's obviously deer in there, so worth a look again. Keeping in mind 99% of red stags will have dropped their antlers and will be in the early stages of growing velvet.

  3. #3
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Hi Phillip, the stags will be in soft velvet at the moment and will not start rubbing in earnest until the antlers are fully grown out and start hardening. At that stage they will rub to aid the velvet stripping. The stags and hinds on my farm are wallowing a lot at the moment in an attempt to get rid of / shed their winter coat. The area you found is definitely worth an optic late March (if you can wait that long) and even before then as it is clearly holding deer. The problem that you will likely encounter at this time of the year is that the hinds will have just started birthing so there will be a lot of nervous mums around (to bark at you).
    veitnamcam likes this.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipgr View Post

    I found some hoof prints and fairly fresh droppings (moist/mucous layer still somewhat in tact, not very green, not warm, fairly soft) Cheers
    Did you taste it? You cant tell if its really fresh sign until you actually taste it aye..

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    Cheers for the info JoshC. And that is a good tip about checking for sap, I didn't think of that. That rubbing was very dry, no sap. Yeah you are right, he was probably gone awhile, considering the state of the shit. Yup I'll definitely give it another crack in the coming weeks. Cheers

    Ah I see Rushy, that makes sense that they will wallow to get rid of their winter coat. I'd love to head up there in march but I'm a bit reluctant, it is a very accessible place and a common hunting area; long story short, there will be a hell of a lot of itchy trigger fingers up there in the roar. What do you reckon, am I worrying too much, or doing the right thing? Hopefully the amount of nervous mums will be evened out by some foolhardy teenagers just kicked out of home haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Towely View Post
    Did you taste it? You cant tell if its really fresh sign until you actually taste it aye..
    Oh mate, without a doubt. I spend 2 thirds of my hunting time just eating shit - works a treat.

  7. #7
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipgr View Post
    Hopefully the amount of nervous mums will be evened out by some foolhardy teenagers just kicked out of home haha
    Now is definitely the time to be heading out for the foolish teenagers! They will have just been booted out of home and will not be wise to the ways of the world.
    phillipgr likes this.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
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    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

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    Hi Phillip...when you do get to ping one over, slash the gutbag before you leave the scene and take note of what they are foraging on...take note of all water holes and springs in the area as I believe we are in for a long dry summer and water is already getting short in the Kaimais and springs and wet areas are where they will be at least once a day. I live on the other side of the Kaimais and further north too where you hunted and our streams are running low already. There are a good number of deer in the Kaimais from reports I have had. I believe there were a lot less hunters in the Kaimais during the last roar than previous ones...for whatever reason. I know of a couple of young guys who are putting in the effort and going further back than most and are getting a good number of animals for their trouble.
    Which is worse, ignorance or apathy...I don't know and don't care.

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    Cheers for the tips spook, I'll definitely put them to practice. I was thinking about doing that too, following the Ngamuwahine westward further past where I was onto some less hunted territory, hopefully it works out like it has been for those young guys you talk of.

 

 

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