Sapling Mystery Solved
So, you’re walking through the woods in early autumn. You might be doing some last minute deer scouting for bow season. Maybe you’re trying to bag a few squirrels to go with your biscuits and gravy. As you quietly walk across the head of a sizable and steep sided draw you notice a sapling that’s been snapped off. It wasn’t broken by high winds or a large limb from another tree falling on it. Something physically took hold of the sapling and broke it. “What the heck did that?” you exclaim. Could it be another hunter snapping off little trees for fun? Could it be some trail marking done by a Bigfoot? Nope, it’s actually something that you need to pay attention to if you’re a deer hunter, it’s a type of rub.
While the “traditional” rubs that you find look like they’ve been been whittled on, with the light colored inner bark shining in the woods, these snapped saplings may be more valuable sign. What happened here was that a buck was able to weave the sapling in between his tines and then snap it off as he twisted his head. That means that the buck likely had sizable tines. This isn’t something that a spike can do very easily.
Snapped saplings are typically early season sign. It’s one of the first types of rubs that bucks make after velvet loss. If you happen to find sign like this be sure to look closely at the lay of the land for a good ambush site. The odds are that a nice buck is making rounds through the area.