A deer reaches high for a licking branch in this trail camera photo. Credit: Courtesy of Doug McGinley

Back in the fall, we shared a great video of a large buck that was visiting a “mock scrape,” and leaving its scent on a licking branch.

Today, we’ve got a photo that shows just how high an ambitious buck can reach to get to one of those branches.

Doug McGinley of Alabama — you may remember him from his awesome photo of two female deer battling for dominance — sent in this cool night photo of a buck, making its rounds as mating season begins.

Back in October I reached out to Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer biologist Nathan Bieber for an explanation of the behavior we were seeing at a mock scrape. The same conduct is seen in McGinley’s shot.

“Though there is some documentation of does making scrapes, it’s mostly a buck behavior believed to show that a buck is dominant in the area (or thinks he is) and ready to breed with any receptive females,” Bieber said. “There are three parts to making a scrape: pulling down and leaving scent on a licking branch of some sort, pawing up the ground and then urinating over their tarsal glands onto the ground.”

So, there you have it: Another cool reader-submitted trail cam photo. Keep checking back, as another McGinley trail cam gem is all queued up for the coming days. A tease: I’m not sure what the deer in the next photo are doing, but they sure look like they’re having fun!

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...