A licking branch is to a deer, what catnip is to a kitten.
Simply put, a licking branch is a whitetail buck's calling card. Often found directly over a scrape, these low-hanging branches are used as a communication tool to advise other bucks of their presence.
In order for a buck to deposit scent, he will vigorously work the branch over with his pre-orbital gland (which is located in front of his eye.) However, in order to pick up previous scents left by other bucks, he will lick or bite the end of the branch as a means of analyzing it.
Being a big fan of trail cameras, I will often position units directly in front of active licking branch locations to capture bucks 'making the rounds.' Each buck is different in their style of working the branch, and the little guy captured in the following clip is the most animated and eager from all of the footage I've gathered this fall.
He literally seems to love working this branch.
Here's the cool clip taken with my Stealth Cam unit on Nov. 14:
He certainly didn't hold back with that branch, did he? Being the little guy on the block, he gets full credit when it comes to leaving his sub-standard calling card.
To give you an idea of his competition, this mature nine-pointer is also a frequent visitor to this branch and scrape. We doubt that he's the least bit concerned about the newcomer.
Whitetail deer behavior... complex and fascinating stuff all rolled up into one.
To view a library of other cool trail camera captures, visit my YouTube channel HERE.
Did you enjoy this post? CLICK HERE to view more articles by Justin Hoffman. You can also check out his Photography Site Justin Hoffman Outdoors, as well as follow him on Facebook Justin Hoffman Outdoors, Instagram hoffmanoutdoors, Twitter @HoffmanOutdoors, or subscribe to his YouTube channel Justin Hoffman.