Landers: Scrapes and Rubs Showing Up Overnight

Nov. 8: Remote cameras help hunters keep the faith in this transitional period. Colville, Wash., hunter Kevin Scheib could have been discouraged after scouting Friday for the Saturday's opening of Washington's late whitetail buck hunt. After five hours, he saw 10 does and 10 fawns, "but not a one had any dudes hanging around," he said.

But his remote camera showed two bucks in the area the previous night, including the one here (with trees in background). Even if the camera had not found its mark, traditional scouting methods were leaving little doubt that bucks were gearing up.

Four scrapes and two rubs showed up overnight on a single old logging road, he said. Jim Ebel and others who hunt northeastern Washington also were finding fresh scrapes. Chris van Kempen was able to get two Stevens County bucks to come in and check out a mock scrape in front of his remote cam. One of those bucks is pictured here (with grass in background).

Idaho Panhandle: John Mace of Sandpoint was still seeing bachelor groups at the end of last week, "but the bigger bucks are showing dominance by keeping a little bit of distance from the rest of the bucks. When the smaller bucks get to close the more dominate bucks will chase them back to a distance."

Does and fawns were still in stable groups, with occasional does seen by themselves.

"The biggest buck I have seen so far is a 130-inch 4x4," he said by e-mail. Other than that, the mature bucks were still nocturnal. "They're just waiting for the switch to be flipped and bucks will be cruising all times of the day."

Northwestern Montana: Small bucks are still sparing, but the bachelor groups have started breaking up noticeably, said Ron Nail of Kalispell. "More rubs are showing up everyday now, and some are beginning to look more aggressive," he said, noting that he's noticed only a few scrapes.

More of the small bucks are wandering around even at mid-day now. "They don't know what is going on, but they are looking for whatever it is," he said.
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X Factor:** Nail predicts the pre-rut in his area will begin this week, thanks to cooler weather and the dates on the calendar. "Rattling, grunt calls and doe bleats should begin to work," he said.