A white-tailed deer creates a scrape to let the ladies in the neighborhood know where he hangs out and that he is available throughout the rut. There are many biological theories about scrapes, including one that bucks can actually provide information on their size, health, and dominance. Scrapes come in many sizes and the biggest will usually generate regular action from all the deer in the area. Mock scrapes can be a year-round communication center for whitetails and are usually found in the same place from year to year.
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Where to Set Up
If you pay attention to scrapes you find in the field, you’ll quickly realize they are always on the upwind side of active deer trails, especially in high traffic areas, where trails intersect. A buck will usually lay down a series of scrapes to cover a large travel area and you can often follow his scrape line along field edges, trails, and right into bedding areas.
When setting up a mock scrape I like to look around for a nearby tree and licking branch where I can set up a Magnum Scrape-Dripper. Create the mock scrape so any buck in the area can visually see and smell it. Make sure to use rubber gloves when setting up the Magnum Scrape-Dripper just for added precaution, as deer have an incredible sense of smell and you don’t want them to associate the spot with humans. Hang the dripper about six feet, or higher, off the ground. Use a heavy branch or rack treated with Scent Killer Gold to create the mock scrape on the ground. Picture where a deer would walk into the scrape and paw the vegetation and ground back and away from the surrounding cover. Your dripper should be situated directly above the disturbance you are creating on the ground. Deer make scrapes and urinate down their legs to pick up scent from their tarsal glands, which runs into the scrape itself. It becomes a hotbed of smells and information for all deer to check out. Not only will the sight and smell of the mock scrape draw bucks in, but I love the way it works.
I’ve had a real issue with big bucks coming to check scrapes, but often times only in the middle of the night. Nocturnal bucks can be very frustrating. You know they’re on your property but can’t get them to come out during daylight hours. With the Magnum Scape-Dripper you can actually pique a buck’s curiosity and increase the chances of him checking the scrape during daylight hours. The dripper is an 8oz container that you add 4oz of scent to. The additional air pocket in the container is designed to expand and contract with the temperature change causing it to drip during daytime hours only. It also gradually intensifies the scent output to get the bucks even more riled up and curious. When those same bucks come to check the scrape at night, they realize another buck was present during the day and this often causes them to get irritated and territorial, so they start showing up at a variety of times hoping to catch the intruder.
Be Prepared from Day One
When you set up your mock scrape set up a trail camera at the same time. Documenting activity in the area and identifying dominant bucks will help you be successful with a trophy you’ve worked hard to attract. Pick a stand location in advance and set up early. If you’ve chosen a prime spot for your mock scrape you will see results, and the less disturbance you create when deer are actively using the area, the better.
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