This majestic buck was marking his scrape with a splayed-hoof imprint. That’s the signature of the most Dominant Buck in the herd territory. This action informs all deer that can see his tracks, or smell his scent, that he owns that particular breeding scrape, and that he will be bedding downwind of it during daylight for the next few days (usually 2-9 days).
A 14-Pt Dominant Whitetail Buck known to all the deer living inside his herd territory boundaries as King. He had the earned right to breed. He owned the lands he walked on. He walked year-round displaying dominance by splaying his two front-hoof tracks, while he walked, trotted, galloped and stood still. The splayed-hoof tracks of a herd king are unmistakable to every deer that encounters them, and to every deer hunter who knew this already, and to DBS (our) customers.
“The Beast” was photographed while marking his territory. He was placing his right-front-splayed-hoof into the mud at one of his primary breeding scrapes on October 29, 2019, at 3:26 pm.
To us, as deer hunters, this could be looked at as a missed opportunity to harvest a king in daylight during the peak rut.
To the king, it is just another day being king. Doing his job, avoiding humans and other predators, while taking a proactive part in letting all the deer in his herd know that he is alive and well, and he will be bedding downwind of that scrape during the day, when the wind blows over it, from a direction that to us would be from his nose to his tail. The direction his dew-points in his tracks point tell deer where his bed will be. This king and all other kings bed in the direction that their butt is facing while they make splayed-hoof tracks in a scrape. TAKE NOTES
[SEE PHOTO TO RIGHT]
In this case the king would bed down with his back facing the scrape, and he would go downwind of it to do so. If his track hoof-tips pointed NE, then this king would bed SW of this scrape, and wait for a doe-in-heat or doe-in-estrus to come to it.
Does that urinate in scrapes need to get bred either that day or within 4 days of that day. Dominant Bucks and all bucks older than 2 years of age know this, as do all does older than 1 year. Now you know it too.
Maintaining a scrape for 2-5 days, is the easiest way for mature breeder bucks to meet mates in safe places.
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I am Bob J Mercier. I am a rare individual. A Whitetail Deer Behavior Expert who learned all I teach and know, from my experiences in the wild observing and documenting deer behavior, deer sign, and deer mannerisms. I want every person who ever wondered what a buck rub means, or why a deer is doing a certain thing to know that I figured much of it out. You should know the facts I have discovered about nearly everything Whitetail deer do. I welcome you to learn from me. Ask me questions through my E-Newsletter “Tracks to Racks” and I will answer your questions by blogging the Q & A so all our customers can learn from it. Thanks in advance for being interested in my blog.
I am not a deer biologist, and I have not studied anyone else’s deer hunting methods. I have my own way of doing things, my own tactics, that I learned from observing deer throughout the four seasons, in the wild, that allows me to get within 35-yards of any deer in daylight, and I am going to make an effort starting today 11/12/2019 to share my knowledge with you. Come to www.DeerBehavior.com if you want to learn the more than 700 facts about deer behavior that I discovered that no one else ever talks about publicly as being facts.
My goal is to help deer hunters succeed at getting closer than 35 yards of the deer they wish to harvest, in the shortest period of time, by using tactics that make sense to the deer. Deer hunting is not about the hunter, it is all about the hunted. I have learned to make myself invisible to deer, and to send signals to the herd, and the herd king so mature bucks and does seek me out. When they cannot find me (as a deer), they send the herd king to find me, and that is when I make the decision to shoot the king or to let him pass.
I teach you how deer respond to the actions of people who use our tactics. We are invisible to deer. We are humans but no deer know it. We are not representing humans in the deer world. We represent either a breeding pair of deer from another herd or one or the other, a breeder buck, or a “hot” doe. If the rut is not on yet (in September and early October) we turn the rut on, by imitating a ‘hot’ doe that needs a mate. We have received Testimonials from more than 500 people who have had 99% success with my teachings.
I will teach you to change your mindset from that of a hunter, to that of a mature buck or doe that is looking to meet the king today. We do not hunt deer. We role-play with mature bucks and does, and they come in close (hunt us). My tactics work so well because all breeder bucks compete on a daily basis for the rights to breed. Even kings of herds have competitors, and kings come to fight to stay king when we convince them we are a king from another herd. DOMINANCE IS EVERYTHING…To A Monster Whitetail Buck! is not only a fact, it is the most important fact I have ever discovered.
If you learn to compete with deer for their rights to breed, by leaving deer signs telling them you are a deer that is breeding inside their territory, then the biggest-racked bucks in the herd will be the first to show up. It is because they are not afraid of getting into battle with other bucks. They will win at least some of the time, and that gives them the rewards of winning a buck fight. One reward is they get the right to breed that the losing buck used to have. If he was king and he lost, then the winner is now king and he has the earned right to breed with any doe he wants in the entire herd territory and that is more than 600 acres in most cases. Bucks have got to show up to fight to keep their rights to breed in the ranks of the pecking order. I learned that from deer in 1992 in the late rut, and I was able to keep that in my head all of these years. I formulated the D.I.E. Scrape and made it flawless by using that knowledge to persuade all breeder bucks into believing the maker of the scrape is king of another herd territory that is roaming out of his own territory looking for mates elsewhere. Doing that makes the pecking order avoid working the dirt in the D.I.E. Scrape until the king walks within 35 yards of it in daylight. That behavior tells the herd they now have a right to follow their king through the 35-yard invisible bubble that exists around all active scrapes, including that one.
D.I.E. Scrape Users (we) usually will not see small bucks near our D.I.E. Scrape. The exception is when the user builds it inside a core-doe bedding area.
I want my friends to always think about the facts. Do not focus on getting answers to the questions you have that start with the word WHY. Asking why is a waste of your time, when you can already see the WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE. Trust me if I never knew WHY a dominant buck falls for the D.I.E. Scrape I would not lose sleep over it.
FOCUS ON WHAT WE DO KNOW, and work with the facts. Doing so will make your learning experience much easier to comprehend.
I know what deer do, where they do it on my Whitetail Deer Herd Territory Map ©2019, and when they do it, but I do not always know why? I understand that for most people wanting to know why or asking someone to explain WHY is human nature, but giving any sort of concrete answer as to why any animal does something, can get the advice giver in trouble. I try to leave the WHY out of my responses because I have to speculate to give you the WHY answer. No one knows exactly why anything they have no control over happens. We can only speculate. For me Bob J Mercier and my company Deer Behavior Specialists we will not be speculating, on your behalf. We will do so if asked but our speculation is only a guess.
On the other hand, our expertise, is our advice, and it is entirely based on the facts we can prove to you on video or with photographs. If we make any false statement, or we learn that there are reasons to believe there are variances to the way we taught you to do things, we will revise our comments when that time comes, and inform you of our latest findings. We want everyone to have the same information.
As I said WHY really doesn’t matter when it comes to hunting deer, what matters is knowing WHEN, WHAT and HOW. When does the king make these rubs? When does the king frequent this particular scrape? When does the king bed on my land? When can I hunt here and see mature bucks or mature does? In which winds do the deer want to move through my hunting land on the network of trails they have there? We at DBS (currently just me) can answer the WHEN, WHAT and HOW questions with 99% certainty.
Can you open your mind and believe the facts I am sharing with you through DBS? That is the question. I feel it is up to you (our customers) to believe in our talents (DBS), and to trust that we know deer behavior well enough to always give you the best advice any person can get from a deer behavior specialist.
I personally thank God for my abilities, and I willingly share my knowledge with every person because I know having this knowledge is a gift from God. That in itself means it was meant to be shared. It is bigger than one man. It is for everyone.
This is the track of the herd king. It is a front hoof – print. The front of the toe pads and the back of the toe pads are nearly the same depth into the ground. When I measure them they are usually within 1/8 – inch of each others depth.
SOME KING TRACK FACTS: by Bob J Mercier
- The king splays only his front hooves when walking.
- The king splays all four hooves when trotting.
- The king splays his front hooves and at times only one, and at other times both of his back hooves while galloping
I am Bob J Mercier and I have analyzed the location where “The Beast” had his photo taken. I went there and viewed the king’s tracks in the scrape. Its location on the Whitetail Deer Herd Territory Map ©2019 is North of the SW corner of Core-Doe Bedding Area #1 and it is the furthest west of all the pecking order breeding scrapes in that line of scrapes. (The core-doe-bedding areas #1, #2, and #3 are referenced in my book titled DOMINANCE IS EVERYTHING…To A Monster Whitetail Buck! ©2011 by Bob J Mercier).
At Deer Behavior Specialists LLC, we specialize in teaching deer hunters more than 700 facts that I (Bob J Mercier) discovered about Whitetail deer behavior. On Private Lessons we show you where to set your stand, which way to face it, how high to go up, and what to do to make the king that left his tracks, come back to that same spot, while you are there, sitting in a tree stand, behaving as an invisible human.
The secrets to having trained more than 240 Private Lesson Clients who have had 100% success in encountering dominant whitetail bucks from the stand choices I picked for them, will now be revealed through our Online Deer Hunter Training Videos. We will be producing dozens of videos that you may subscribe to view alone or in packages, when they become available. Until then we will do all we can to keep our customers happy with tips, and tricks, and methods, and formulas, and behaviors, and hunting tactics that we can share on Our YouTube Channel DBSbob and Our E-Newsletter “Tracks To Racks”
Do not worry if you cannot afford to have a private lesson. We can still get the information to you via our website. We know we cannot go to every deer hunter’s hunting land and show you what to do to call the king of the herd to your stand site. What we can do is teach you to see what deer see. We can teach you to understand the Territories of Kings, and you will always know where the herd king is leaving his sign (inside his herd territory on our Whitetail Deer Herd Territory Map). Our methods always bring the king to you, and the whole time you are there, he thinks you are a deer that has important business matters with him. How can any deer hunter ever want more? Our customers only seek more knowledge, and more opportunities to be hunted by kings. We have given them and will continue giving you all you ever need to be successful at encountering the Biggest-Racked Buck that walks the land.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your time in nature walking among kings unnoticed.
Bob J Mercier