This buck, the one I’ve been “following” for 3 years, has finally reached his mature years. He’s 4-1/2 now and quite a nice buck, in fact I told Mickey Donahoo yesterday that I didn’t know if this buck was a 9, 10 or 11 pointer. Notice how small points have formed below his antlers, the one on the right is definitely over an inch in height, our State, the great State of Texas, says that anything over one inch is to be counted, maybe by the time he sheds his velvet the one on the left will be an incher too!
Now that the status of the buck is established, he’s already started making a scrape, the following “shot” shows him worrying on an overhanging branch of a cedar tree. To define his territory a dominant buck, and this one thinks he’s dominant, will worry an overhanging branch and rub the glands below the horns all over it, then urinate over his tarsal glands on the spot below, this is called “scenting” and it clearly defines his territory.
Fall’s decreasing sunlight triggers the amount of testosterone in a buck’s body. The increase in testosterone influences the buck into becoming more territorial, beginning the scrape activity. Many believe that the scent left around deer scrapes is meant for subordinate bucks to learn if a dominant buck is using this area, it’s quite likely that the sexual intensity of the lesser buck is suppressed.
The buck will worry this branch until the leaves are worn off. Notice how the cedar leaves are almost worn off of this branch, this is from the spot that the buck is worrying in the “shot” above.
It rained a half an inch yesterday, so the scrape got washed out, but the general outline is visible in the “shot” below. Several day later the buck revisited the scrape. Who knows if he went through his full routine on this trip by? If bucks are beginning their scrape activity now, tomorrow it will be September 1st maybe the rut will start early this year? It sure seems like the November 2nd opening day is way off, maybe 2 or 3 weeks, however, we’ll see what it turns out to be.