whitetail deer buckPhenomena

Antler Rubs

tree rubbed by Whitetail Deer buckWhile in the woods this winter, look for trees with patches of bark stripped away, made by male whitetailed deer rubbing their antlers on trees. Young red cedars seem to be their favorite target of aggression. Rubs are made during mating season, from September to December. Early in the season, deer make rubs to peel the velvet or soft skin from their antlers. Deer use late-season rubs to advertise their presence to rivals and potential mates. Bucks also use glands in their foreheads to make scent markers on trees.

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Deer photo by Ken Taylor © NC Wildlife Resources Commission