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footsore
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Sign -Rutting stags
Sep 3rd, 2017 at 7:44am
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I thought I'd add to my previous threads on deer sign with one on wallows etc as a basic guide to new hunters. It would be great if you old hands could add your knowledge.

Wallows


These are mud baths that during the roar stags use enhance their scent. Obviously they are located in hollows that collect water and the stags will urinate into the pools and then roll about and cover themselves in the strong smelling mud.Wallows are central to a stags territory although they will be visited by multiple animals.

Wallows will have a strong stag smell about them and plenty of other sign including deer prints and likely thrashed shrubs or rubbing posts - if there is no other sign then you've found yourself a puddle not a wallow!


Be alert for mud deposited on vegetation. Dried mud is left on foliage as the stag brushes past, after his bath. Mud dries to a light grey that stands out against the green leaves.



Freshness can be judged by how cloudy the wallow is. In the top photo the water is clear, but in the one below the mud has been stirred up.


Wallows are used out of season, by both stags and hinds, just to cool off or to rid themselves of infestations.


Rubbing Posts

In late summer Stags use trees and shrubs to strip the velvet off their new antlers. This antler preparation continues into autumn as the stags use tree trunks to colour and polish their racks.

With the Roar itself underway shrubs will be thrashed, look for a host of recently broken branches hanging limply from the tree or scattered about on the deck. The stags are building up their neck muscles in preparation for potential combat.

Rubbing continues on during the Roar. Look for trunks that are stripped of bark and have gouges running the length. Stag will also rub their glands on the trees and/or urinate while they are thrashing about -so again there is often a strong smell of stag about.





The photo above shows the shavings gouged out from the tree trunk.


This one is a trap for new players. You will often come across trees and branches with the bark removed by their rubbing against other trees in the wind.
Look for antler gouge marks, if there aren't any then it's not a rubbing post.


Scrapes

These are areas where the stag has cleared a patch of bare earth on the forest floor. Again the aim is scent marking, the stag pee's on the ground and then rolls in it.


A cleared scrape.

The area of mud where the stag has urinated.

  
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RuahineRowan
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #1 - Sep 3rd, 2017 at 11:27am
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Awesome, thanks for posting.
  
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mitch270
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #2 - Sep 18th, 2017 at 1:56pm
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Great post footsore, you're a wealth of knowledge. Only thing I have to say is that I haven't always found wallows to be 'central' to a stag's territory, often the beat they walk would indicate that the wallows are on the perimeter. But I stand to be corrected!  Lips Sealed
  
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #3 - Sep 18th, 2017 at 3:38pm
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I think wallows are where ever they are .
in the middle or on the edge .
Also those pads on the dry earth can be where the stag roars a great deal of the his time while  peeing and ejaculating all over themselves  being the dirty, disgusting  critters that they are.
  
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footsore
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #4 - Sep 18th, 2017 at 8:26pm
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Good points mitch270 and whereami about the wallows not necessarily being central to the stags turf. In writing about wallows being central I was thinking about a particular stag nemesis of mine. His wallow is central to his turf and is slap in the middle of a feed area that helps keep his girls around.
But I've also hunted some of his neighbors where the wallows are just seemingly in any area that holds water not otherwise particularly deer friendly -there are no major deer travel routes or feed areas.

I guess too if wallows are on the perimeter as you have found mitch270 that makes more sense of the reports that multiple stags will visit the same pools.

Its great to get others input to expand the knowledge.
  
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #5 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 11:27am
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You can gauge the age of tree rubbing by scraping your knife on the same area and seeing if you have a fresher colour underneath.   Always good to know who's still in the area.
  
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #6 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 11:36am
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You can gauge the age of tree rubbing by scraping your knife on the same area and seeing if you have a fresher colour underneath.   Always good to know who's still in the area.
  
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footsore
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Re: Sign -Rutting stags
Reply #7 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 8:15pm
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Hey, great tip Stagrinon   - cheers
  
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