Scrapes serve as deer communication hubs and can be an effective part of your hunting strategy. If legal, using buck urine in a scrape may also aid.
However, for any mock scrape to be successful it must satisfy some basic criteria. First and foremost it should attract bucks by being visible. Next it should serve to distract them while taking advantage of their testosterone-driven impulsivity.
Find the Right Tree
A mock scrape needs to be strategically located for it to work effectively; that is, near an ideal feeding area or deer travel route used by bucks, as well as being easily accessible without disturbing its environment – for instance near a trail with an existing shooting lane that opens at roughly the height where hunters will stand when hunting.
The hunter should place the mock scrape near one or more rubs so as to create more realistic-looking evidence of deer activity. Furthermore, place it near a tree where wind blows in the direction that deer are likely to approach from, so they will smell any urine used on it as they approach. This ensures they can detect it through its scent trail.
Timing wise, the optimal time to perform a mock scrape is during peak rutting season – this may range anywhere from second week of October into first week of November depending on your region.
Be mindful that a scrape does not have to be large and communal in order to be effective; oftentimes deer utilize smaller and more intimate scrapes during rutting season.
Mock scrapes can be equally effective if located near bedding areas, food sources and water sources. Furthermore, they can serve to draw deer into hunting areas for both bow hunters and gun hunters.
If you are serious about using mock scrapes on your property, then taking the time to carefully plan and implement your setup is essential. Doing this will increase the chance of catching an older buck during the rut – giving you an edge against competition this season! Don’t forget your Bushnell trail cameras too – happy hunting!
Work the Soil
If you spend much time hunting or hiking in the woods, chances are you’ve come across plenty of deer sign. Trails, rubs, beds and scrapes all serve as important indicators when it comes to patterning deer and finding hunting areas or trail camera spots. Sometimes though these signs don’t lie where they should for a hunt or are situated inconveniently far from stands or blinds – this is when making mock scrapes can make all the difference!
To maximize a mock scrape’s effectiveness, it’s key to find a location where deer travel regularly. Look for natural edges between two different types of cover (for instance, at creek crossings or between bedding areas and feeding zones) where two deer types meet, such as creek crossings or bedding areas and feeding zones or doe and buck bedding areas – this will ensure deer notice your mock scrape and utilize it by the herd.
Once you’ve located a suitable spot, it’s time to begin prepping the soil. Dig out a circle about as large as your truck hood before using a heavy rake or similar tool to break up and flatten the ground in that area – creating a flat bare patch about equal in size to your hole. Finally, dig up and remove any remaining sticks or debris from the site.
Making sure the mock scrape is located under a tree with at least one branch drooping low enough to serve as a “licking branch” is also crucial, since such branches play an integral part of real scrapes that attract bucks during breeding season.
To make sure that your mock scrape operates at its optimal levels, using buck urine or doe estrous scent can be very effective in drawing attention from mature bucks and drawing them closer. Providing this is legal in your state, this strategy may prove very successful at drawing them in closer.
Step four is to update the mock scrape on a regular basis by adding Grave Digger Scrape Mate or buck urine (if legal in your state). Natural urine may also work effectively – as long as its scent doesn’t overpower.
Place the Dripper
A deer scrape is a unique sign for deer that helps them identify a location as belonging to them. A scrape is formed when a buck walks over the ground with his front hooves, clearing away leaves and dirt to expose bare soil beneath. He then secretes urine over his tarsal glands and into the scrape to mark his territory with an identifiable scent trail which shows other bucks they have claimed it as theirs.
Building your own mock scrape can be an extremely effective strategy to draw mature bucks to your stand locations during the rut. For maximum impact, these scrapes should be located along heavily used trails connecting bedding areas with food sources and staging zones – trails which tend to be visited frequently by both does and yearlings, as well as mature bucks during this season.
Make the scrape as natural-looking as possible so it will be accepted and utilized by deer, ideally near existing deer sign rather than deep cover. Doing this increases the odds that traveling bucks will stop and investigate it further.
At the outset of my scrape preparation process, I like to use a heavy three-tine rake to tear apart and mix up the soil deeply – this creates an inviting fresh earth scent which whitetails find very appealing. Also spray down an area with some buck urine in order to increase attraction of bucks to this location.
As soon as it comes time to set up your scrape, it is imperative that you approach this project with extreme care and caution. Do not touch the actual scrape directly with bare hands as this could introduce human scent and potentially spook deer away. Instead, use a plastic bag to collect its contents and transfer them to an area with clean soil; always wear gloves and rubber boots when working around deer sign, such as scrapes.
As part of a mock scrape setup, it’s beneficial to hang a long-lasting scent diffuser above it such as the Wildlife Research Center Magnum Scrape-Dripper filled with golden scrape scent. This device emits scent throughout the day and draws bucks into inspecting it more closely; they may then end up bedding near it or coming back regularly for estrus doe signs.
As part of their mating rituals during the rut, bucks often leave scent-bearing scrapes to attract does. To replicate this behavior, it requires an assortment of suitable scents in an ideal location that’s free from dense brush or vegetation that might inhibit scent flow; additionally, placing the scrape within a travel path that bucks would use is ideal to ensure deer encounter it and smell it before passing by.
Mock scrapes should be located where the soil is loose enough to create an easily accessible cavity, close to an important trail used by deer or with existing scrapes nearby. Their purpose should be to draw bucks into your hunting area without creating unnecessary disturbance and scaring him away from his breeding grounds.
Add another level of authenticity to your scrape by applying some buck urine. This will convince a buck that a doe in heat has emerged nearby and might encourage him to come visit it. Furthermore, applying preorbital gland scent will add another level of authenticity.
Once a buck has come to the scrape, use mock doe urine to further tempt him by simulating doe in heat symptoms and convince the animal that there’s one near. This method will work great at drawing them into your shooting zone and increasing trail camera interactions.
Mock scrapes can be an extremely effective tool during the rut, but you should consider their place within your overall strategy. It is crucial that you devise a comprehensive plan for your property that takes into account food sources, bedding areas, travel routes and scrape locations; taking this time-consuming process into consideration can create irresistible scrape setups that entice mature bucks to come into shooting range and become trophy hunters.