MT. PLEASANT, Iowa -- Lee Lakosky remembers sitting in his deer stand on the edge of a green field, watching deer after deer enter the field and stay out of bow range. The only consistent part of the day was a small tree in the middle, and well out of bow range.
“Every buck that entered that field would stop at that tree, rub it a little, lick the branches and then move on,’’ Lakosky said. “All I could do was sit there and wish I had that tree near my stand.”
Lakosky, known for his obsession for hunting whitetails, got his wish. Instead of moving his deer stand and upsetting the whole area, he brought the tree to him.
Click the image to see photos of Lee Lakosky's rubbing post
Lakosky calls it his rubbing post and it’s become a big part of how he hunts green fields around his farm in Iowa. He basically sinks his own tree and licking branches where he wants the deer to be.
“The tree usually becomes an immediate signpost rub; that is, a scent-marking tree,’’ Lakosky said.
It works so well he recently replaced a post in one his plots. The deer had rubbed the original to a nub.
It’s as simple as it is creative. Deer, like all animals, are creatures of habit. A buck can smell another buck’s activity around a rub and/or licking branch. In most cases, a buck will deposit his own scent in the area, much like a line of dogs on a fire hydrant.
When it’s in a well-used food plot, you can almost dictate where the deer will be, giving you the shot you desire.
Lakosky’s rubbing trees are nothing more than a young tree, with the branches cut off.
“Basically, my rubbing posts are roughly 8-foot cedar or hardwood posts 5 or 6 inches in diameter and placed about 2 feet in the ground,’’ Lakosky said.
He sinks those posts within 30 yards of his deer stand located on the woods’ edge. Once stuck in the ground he drills two holes near the top and sticks a branch in each of them. A quick set screw to the branches, to keep them from being drug off, and Lakosky has everything he needs to attract a deer to a specific spot in a large field.
“These rubbing posts serve as a community signpost, so every buck coming through the area will come by and check them out,’’ Lakosky said.
Getting the deer within range is the first step toward success, but the rubbing post has even more uses. Lakosky said it acts like a decoy by keeping the deer distracted, giving the hunter an opportunity to assess the deer and get off a shot.
Because of the latter, the biggest key to success Lakosky said was to make certain to place the branches in the post where they are angled toward or sticking out in the direction of the stand. That way when a desired buck does stop to hit the post or lick the branch, it’s facing away from the hunter.
“Having a post like this is a great way to get deer within bow range, especially if they are across the field or just entering the field from the woods,’’ Lakosky said. “It sure beats sitting on a green field and watching deer all day well out of bow range.”
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