White-tailed Deer, (Odocoileus virginianus)
Deer season started yesterday. We are happy to have a couple of excellent hunters here to thin our herd. The main downside of deer season is that I don’t take as many walks. It is probably irrational, but the idea of being hit by a stray bullet keeps me inside.
As I was walking down to get the mail yesterday I found the buck rub and scrape shown above. According to Wikipedia:
“Sign-post marking (scrapes and rubs) are a very obvious way that white-tailed deer communicate. Although bucks do most of the marking, does visit these locations often. To make a rub, a buck will use its antlers to strip the bark off of small diameter trees, helping to mark his territory and polish his antlers. To mark areas they regularly pass through bucks will make scrapes. Often occurring in patterns known as scrape lines, scrapes are areas where a buck has used its front hooves to expose bare earth. They often rub-urinate into these scrapes, which are often found under twigs that have been marked with scent from the forehead glands.”