Hunters from all across the South are reporting that the whitetail woods are quickly filling up with rubs and scrapes. If bucks are in your area, you’ll likely find rubbed saplings and pawed-out spots on the ground under overhanging branches.

Dylan Davis saw just that in his new hunting spot in Newton County, Georgia. Not only was the area littered with scrapes, Davis also had trail camera pictures of a really good buck. His hunt didn’t start out well, but perseverance paid off. Davis recalls his hunt:

“I came out of the woods discouraged after not seeing a deer Thursday (Oct.16) in my new hunting spot. I went home and decided to wake up bright and early Friday. I got in the woods and still hadn’t seen anything when 9 o’clock rolled around. A few minutes after, I caught movement in front of me–a beautiful 9 pointer easing down the sprinkler line.”

“I stood up with my new Mathews Monster Chill and prepared to make a shot when the opportunity presented itself. He turned and came right toward me, crossed over to my sprinkler line and gave me a 20-yard quartering away shot. I sent a Rage Hypodermic through both lungs and watched him pile up 20 yards from where I shot him,” Davis recounts. “My biggest buck to date. He seemed to be out cruising.”

Davis’ 135-inch nine-pointer (pictured here) weighed 230 pounds on the hoof and shows how your hunting fortunes can quickly change. He went from one hunt seeing absolutely nothing, and then the next morning seeing no deer until nine o’clock before it all changed when the big buck showed up.

Davis had the incentive of scrapes and trail camera pictures of a good buck to keep him there hunting. You just never know what will happen when you’re in the deer woods, but nothing will happen if you’re not out there.

With bucks tearing up the woods with rut sign now, your best strategy is to put in your scouting time and look for rub lines and scrapes. After scouting many of my hunting areas and finding little sign, I finally found an acorn-covered hill with droppings, churned-up leaves, and several good-sized rubs. I placed a trail camera there and will check it soon.