Contributors to this thread:
Never tried a mock scape seems like a simple idea. Find a good area, play the wind, give a good presentation, has to be more to it than that. Would like to hear your guys opinion and tips.
No need to spend money on scents. I start then every year by just peeing in them and the deer start using them quickly if they are in a good area.
You’re essentially right on the money, however I personally wouldn’t go straight to hunting it. You could end up with some long dry sits. I personally have had a low success rate on either deer coming at all or when they do not always hitting my mock scrapes super hard. I think of scrapes as excellent places to hang cams, especially late October. If one proves to be exceptionally hot and everything’s right I’ll go in with a lone wolf for a surprise attack.
I will scrape to the dirt a big 6 foot circle in front of my trail camera or stand. Every Deer will stop and investigate. I don't put scent in them, just the black dirt. It seems every Deer will investigate, probably more curiosity than anything.
Little more to it than that, Swampdonkey. Putting the scrape in a high-traffic area, is step one. The next and most important step is picking the right, exact spot. I start 90% of my mock scrapes during spring turkey season. But early bow season-about 45-days before the rut-is fine. But you need a licking branch to make it effective. Most of the time, it is the branch that attracts and holds deer usage, not the scrape. I use a simple, folding saw to both create the scrape and the licking branch. Then, I use nothing but my own urine in the scrape. I put nothing on the freshly peeled and broken branch. About 15-20% of my mock scrapes get "freshened". Closer to 20-25% of my mock licking branches get "picked up". A scrape need be nothing more than a circle of cleared ground that has been worked up. The urine helps but is not critical. However, without a licking branch, virtually none of the scrapes will become active. To really go all out, you would also have a rub in close proximity to the scrape and branch. That too, can be done with a folding saw or wood rasp. There is a lot that can be done with mock scrapes, rubs and especially licking branches. It takes a lot of experimenting and note taking. But here is my question, What do you expect to gain from any of them?
What do you expect to gain from any of them?
Inventory! When I put in a mock scrape, or freshen a natural one, I place a camera to see what shows, not to hunt over it. Just knowing there is a bruiser buck in the area helps to pass up on the mediocre ones, even if I never see said buck while hunting.
Killed my biggest buck off a mock scrape w/out a licking branch. Started the scrape w/ fresh pure buck urine direct from a small deer farm for the first couple days, then started using doe urine from the same farm. I assume that buck kept his eye/nose on that scrape then when the doe showed up he pounced. I only freshened the scrape in the AM before sitting my stand and hunted the spot for several days in a row during what I predicted as the rut. I hunted this spot sparingly prior to the rut. He grossed 204" typical.
In my experience mature bucks are less curious, give them a real reason to investigate not just turned up dirt. Cameras are fun, but even more fun when they're used to take pics of you and your harvest. The less I leave in the woods the better.
I use scrapes both mock and real 90% for inventory with a camera purposes, limited hunting in the area. Generally a scrape pops up in a high traffic area that I would have hunted even if there was no scrape there. But then again, that's why the deer are making a scrape there; because it is a high traffic area. One of those chicken and the egg scenarios.
Scrapes can and do pop up anywhere, likewise you could do the same, but as bowriter says, it's only useful if it's in a high traffic area. Also helpful for staging a shot in a high traffic area you were going to hunt anyways. The licking branch is everything.
Oct 1 there was a small scrape 15 yds from one of my stands. I enlarged it somewhat but was not able to "freshen" it up. Yesterday I went back by it and was able to "freshen" it up. This am I went to check on it and it had been enlarged by the wiley whitetail. If I could only dispense my urine like my neighbor's dog, I would be able to freshen a whole bunch of scrapes that are showing up.
KC-just wait till you are my age.
I am probably already there. I will be 66 shortly.