The camera traps on the hill above the house have gotten photos of several white-tail bucks in late summer and fall, some were young (18 months old), and their antlers are mere spikes this year –
Other were more impressive older bucks–
The bucks’ antlers are now free of the “velvet” that covers them as they’re growing. The bucks rub their antlers on small trees and shrubs to remove the velvet and strengthen their neck muscles for breeding season battles. Thus are “buck rubs” created, those signs that everyone who spends much time outdoors has seen –
Before the breeding season begins, the bucks create scrapes where they leave scent to advertise their status. Scrapes are less familiar to most people than the rubs, but more important to deer. They create the scrapes by pawing away the leaves, then urinating on the bare ground and often their rear legs; at the same time they rub their forehead glands and preorbital glands on a low overhead branch.
One of my camera traps just happened to be facing toward a spot where a buck created a scrape –
Now it's November and the rut is in full swing; the bucks are searching for does and competing to father next spring’s fawns.