Contributors to this thread:
Do you work scrapes?
Time to tap in to bowsite's infinite pool of knowledge.
Though I am probably young enough to be considered the "new breed" of whitetail hunters; with the exception of a few trail cams I consider myself to be of the "old school" mindset when it comes to all things whitetail. I have holes in my button down huntin shirt and smoke out my clothes before I carry my Longbow to the tree.
Here in Maine, gun season opens up before the rut (10/28) for a month. With that being said, I have a couple mature bucks living in the same general vicinity of each other and the scrapes have started popping up. My question for you guys and gals is, have you had success working scrapes with scent? In my mind, I can paint a picture of intrusion on these mature deer with buck urine in their scrapes. As the month progresses some estrous could potentially work as well. These ideas are part of a strategy aimed at killing prior to November by getting these deer out of bed early in the evening. These deer are highly pressured northeast deer and keeping human scent off of trails and scrapes remains my number one priority. Have any of you had success with scents on scrapes? Methods such as scent drippers?
Here are a couple pics from 2016, my best year yet. Good luck, have fun, and be safe this year.
In my earlier days I tried this without any success. I prefer to hunt a path leading to or from a scrape with the hope of catching a buck off guard. I often think that I just let the buck know that I am there if I work a scrape.
I tried all that stuff and finally just started using my OWN "buck scent" in scrapes. Much of the time after I do this they tear them up. My theory is that by the time the rut starts all the bucks in a given area know the scent signature of the other bucks, and the "pecking order" for that area has been established. When a newcomer shows up that get's their attention. The hormones in your urine are the same as a bucks (if you're male). A buck will smell your urine and maybe think.........
"Now wait a minute! Who in hell is THIS SOB, and what's HE doing in MY territory???"
I have a lot of success treating scrapes and use whatever scent I have available. My own pee, doe pee from does I shoot early in the year, Tinks, whatever. I usually do not start treating them until around Oct 23rd or so but where you are, quite a bit north of me in NY, you may have success a bit earlier. Shawn
I'm in northern Illinois and I saw a scrape today along a trail under a licking branch. It's starting to warm up!!!
I agree 100% with woods walker I use buck scent to treat existing scrapes and make new ones Seems to really tick a mature deer off
One of the most important aspects of "scrape hunting", is to understand just what a scrape is to a deer. To start with, it is not a sexual signpost. Does in heat to not come them, pee in them and them get followed by the buck. A scrape is simply a way of communicating and it is not sex specific. Does and bucks, both make scrapes and to some extent, do so all year. The only scrapes worth note, are the ones with licking ranches. If there is no "worked" branch with the scrape, I suggest you ignore it. If you want to freshen a scrape, Ihave found nothing better than my own urine. For over 20-years, that is all I have used to start mock scrapes or freshen ones made by deer. No matter the buck population or sex ratio where you hunt. Mature bucks, those 3.5 or older, visit scrapes 85% of the time at night and usually from some distance downwind. However, a scrape is a good tool in terms of deciphering the stage(s) of the rut. You might want to try this. When you have found a spot where a scrape appears annually and is often worked. Put up a horizontal rubbing post somewhere in the general area. See what happens. I put mine out in mid-Sept.
Bowriter, are you saying the orbital gland scent on licking branch is more important than the tarsal gland scent in the scrape itself? and you said ignore scrape without licking branch, so could you add your own licking branch by cutting a saplings and driving into ground to over hang scrape/mock scrape and spray it with orbital gland scent?
Indiansnapshooter- Yes to both questions. It is the licking branch that attracts and holds the deer. That is their best communication device, used by deer of both sexes and varied ages. It has zero to do with the rut. Licking branches are "used" all year, to some degree. And yes, you can create a mock licking branch. I use nothing but a folding saw and I use no scent, simply because I cannot be sure of the product. The visibility of the branch is important. For that reason, I peel and break the branch in such a way that freshly peeled, white portion is visible from some distance. Field and old road edges are ideal. I often make them with no scrape. But I always use an existing branch, not one I have driven into the ground. And, I use no scent other than my own urine. I have found nothing any more effective. I have no way of knowing if a commercial orbital gland scent is actually that. Probably, it doesn't matter. Once one deer "picks up" the licking branch, that is all that is needed. But...I have to ask, unless you are doing research, what do you hope to accomplish?
Be easier to move your stand.
Sometimes there isn't a good tree
Adapt, overcome, get a ghillie suit.
Or like you said " the only scrapes worth note have licking branches" so if you add one to a existing scrape with none or making a mock scrape and adding a licking branch won't that help. I'm just throwing ideas out there to see if anyone has had experience and some form of success doing so.
Bo writer do you have a picture of a horizontal rubbing post ? Thanks bob
Bob- I do but it is being used with an article and I cannot use it until the article runs. But you don't need one. It is simple. Once you have selected the location-I look for an area that has large rubs every year. Take note of what kind and size tree they are rubbing. Then, from another area, cut a tree of that kind and size, long enough to reach between two larger trees. Trim all the branches and wire the "post" between two trees between knee and wait high. Using a wood rasp or whatever, "brighten it" as a deer rub would do. Add a pre-orbital scent, if you like. Keep it bright but stay out of the area as much as possible. Once it is "picked up", look for a stand tree and stay completely out of the area until you are ready to kill. DO NOT put a mock scrape in the area. Reason being, I want this to be a buck specific mock attractant. However, quite often, a scrape will show up, don't worry about it. This is just my second year trying this so I don't have enough data to make any serious observations. Hopefully by the end of this season, I will. I had three out last year and all three got picked up in mid-Oct and worked until late Dec. Since I do not and will not use cameras, I cannot be sure of what all sizes worked them.
I have poured Tink's #69 directly in a scrape, waited patiently, and killed a buck. I waited from early morning till 4pm, but he did his last visit as he was starting his evening rounds during the rut.
I also believe Buck Bomb sprayed in a scrape will attract a buck. I have witnessed buck responding to Buck Bomb when used in that fashion.
I believe like Bowriter, one must experiment and see what may or may not work.
I work scrapes up a bit with a stick and then pee in them. Ive got lots of pics of bucks working a scrape that same night after I peed in it. Perhaps buck urine or estrous doe may work better but I don't believe human urine scares them and he still works the scrape and poses for some great pics!!!!!
I have many, many pages of notes on deer behavior at scrapes. Suffice it to say, If I want to kill a MATURE buck, I don't scrape hunt. It can be done, but the odds are stacked against you. Again, emphasis on the word MATURE. You will get pictures, but legally killing a mature buck, odds 88:12 against you.
Forget the wind, just hunt!