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Fairly new to whitetail hunting. We have a decent herd down on our river bottom here on the front range of CO. My question is how many of you use mock scrapes and licking branch set ups to position and attract deer to your locations? I have several rubs already in the area and trails. My tree stand is in a transition zone on the river from feeding and bedding areas. I've taken 3 deer with a rifle from there during the rut by grunting and rattling and now I want to transition to archery hunting them. Thanks!
I shot my first buck over a mock scrape...it's pretty thrilling.
I've used them on and off for many years with mixed results. The last couple of years I have been having better response (as documented by trail cameras). The thing I am doing differently is I lowered the licking branch to about waste level. I think I was too high before. Also I switched from a dripper to using a bottle buried so the top is about an inch below the surface. I cut the hanging loops off of two scent wicks so they can be inserted into a one ounce narrow mouth bottle all the way to the bottom. I pour about half of it into another bottle to make room for the wicks. The other thing to remember is that not all deer work the scrape. In fact it only happens a few time a year. But according to my camera almost every deer that comes by goes over and check out the scent. I dust the branch with wind pro "now called scrape fix".
Any particular brand of scent? Tinks, Code Blue, WT research, Black Widow?
I'm actually starting to think that the brand of scent does not matter as much as the location. This year I am trying my home made tarsal gland tincture. I do think the licking branch needs something. I've use the wind pro or James valley gel just cause they stick.
I have used them for a many years and hang a camera at each site. Some I have had within site of my stands, others I locate further away on travel corridors that pass my stands. Licking branch is key and I always just pee in the scrape...it's free and honestly attracts just as many deer (I believe) than store scent.
Please dont waste your money on deer scents. Just scratch the ground under a licking branch and piss in it. I promise you you'll get the exact same results for free. Been doing it for years.
Thank you for the recommendations! I'll set up two with cameras on them and keep all of the variables that I can control the same (as much as I can). I'll piss in one and use some store bought scent in the other to see if it makes any difference (already purchased scent from amazon). I'll update the progress through the season.
I also agree with scrappy.
Your piss will be fine.
Your piss will be fine. And you can afford to leave it by the pint not the drop
You guys got me thinking....What about using the wife's urine during the rut? I'm sure this will go over real well with her....
Pretty sure I couldn't get my wife to come out to the scrape let alone pee in the woods and im not carrying her pee around! LOL
Al - when she's on the rag?
If you pee in front of the camera PLEASE DO NOT POST PICS !!! :-)
Collection might be interesting....
Once you get her to pee in that tiny little 4 oz. bottle you'll see why they can charge so much for the stuff!
I have experimented with mock scrapes, licking branches and mock rubs, off and on for 20-years. The success you will have in terms of attracting mature bucks will vary greatly depending on herd density, sex ratio and age ratio. Overall, although it may be relatively simple to kill a young buck at a scrape-mock or real-killing a mature buck, one 3.5 or older is fairly rare. Probably, the prime consideration is location. As for scent, I have used nothing but my own urine for many years and found nothing any better. That is now, pretty common knowledge. Just don't eat oysters. (That's a joke.) Bottom line-for you to be successful, you are going to have to do a lot of experimenting or get real lucky.
Bowriter, I'm a firm believer that you make your own "luck" through hard work, knowledge, effort, persistence, and skill. The good news is that I only have to walk about 5 acres away to access my stand (pretty spoiled). Bad news is that I have to wait for a wind out of the east (upslope flow here in CO) to get the right wind. I'll set it all up and let you know how lucky I get. I think a lot of guys like to make stuff a lot harder than it really is. Maybe i'm wrong?
I agree- Luck is when you don't do the hard work. I do believe, with just one mock scrape, you may be in for a whole lot of hard work. Over the years, I found that only between 10-15% of mock scrapes are "picked up" and of that number, less than 10% are maintained. I hope you understand there are three basic kinds of scrapes and only one is of value.
I found a scrape one time and set up a stand over it. The darn buck was nocturnal. I cleared the tracks with a branch in the scrape every day before I left the area. finally i decided to mock over his scrape so Id claw it with a branch and pee in it. 3 days later he finally shows himself with about 15 minutes of shooting daylight left. Killed him coming straight to his scrape. 140" eastern 10 point likely a 4.5 year old. That told me right there they cant distinguish where the pee comes from. They just know someone/something is peeing in there scrape.
I also agree with Scrappy. Here`s a interesting thing I did when I was younger. A friend had a family farm, when the cows came into estrous we would collect the piss and collect the mucous like substance around the vagaga. The deer and the cow are both rudiment animals and they consume the same food source. We had great success and we had TONS of it.
Was a time when some of the deer scent manus were also in the dairy business. :)
Taken over mock scrape, but used fresh urine from a deer farm ran by good people who did not alter anything to increase their urine production. Literally shot him standing over the scrape.
This deer and I crossed paths as I was exiting the woods and he was on a trai to his scrape I had freshened up with the same urine. 14.5” wide 176 gross.
Very nice deer, Ohio! I made two scrapes this weekend complete with a licking limb and deer urine in one and mine in another. I also hinge-cut some trees to direct the paths to the scrapes a little more. I have a camera on one of them and will put another cam up soon.
Ohiohunter don’t you know that they only visit scrapes at night! ( I heard it right here on bowsite)
I always get a kick out of the guys who say, just piss on the spot.... I would like to ask all of you, who have stated that, please tell me where you hunt, is it suburbia, or what.... I can tell you I seriously trap, do you think I would piss on my trap set ups..... hmmm
lots of bs on this site....... on mock scrapes, coming from a "trappers" perspective, I would stay clean and keep the area clean..... no need to add scent, in the early stage, just clean out a scrape, with a trowel tool, (that is clean), and handle a licking branch with gloves, (clean),,,,,, once a buck hits it, the scent is in
now I will go back to getting my sets ready,,,, sure wish I could just piss on my coyote sets, sure would be easy,,,,,, what a joke
My biggest harvest to date wasn't on a mock scrape but followed a scent trail I laid out. However there were two other bucks in the area chasing a hot doe so the timing was just perfect for the set-up to position him where I wanted him, under my stand.
Ohio, how did you find the time to hunt between all of your backstreet boys concerts?
It wasn’t easy, but many thanks to my agent for making dreams come true.
I’ve never made a licking branch. I don’t carry rubber gloves and not a chance in heck I’d touch anything in my “set”...... my old man was a big trapper.
Ask Diane Feinstein about mock sc rapes
Ground hunter, to be clear I was hunting in Iowa on a huge farm miles away from any town. Hope that answers your question. The next thing Id like you to think about is we are not hunting predators, we are hunting have crazed deer in the rut, HUGE difference! I also had a mature buck follow my boot tracks sprayed with nose jammer on it to my stand and lick the stand i just put my bare hands on. Got a picture, want to see it? Ever see a yote or any preditor do that. Your comparing apples to oranges. Mr joke!
Theres a reason big bucks get big, and it ain't by being a rut crazed idiot.... they lay low and let the peckerheads do that. Seent it too many times.
I just put my dripper out Friday evening I will stick to my scent I have Confidence in no pissing on scarpes for me yet. Note dripper above right antler
GotBowAz has some valid points. Big difference between yotes or any animal being trapped and deer hunting..
Weird, some of the best deer hunters I've known were also some of the best trappers...
I used to think pissing in a mock scrape (or any scrape) was a big joke....until I tried it. Came back two days later and the mock scrape was blown up, and a 150 class buck was standing 75 yards away watching it.
I used to think Nose Jammer was a joke too, until I started using it around my natural ground blind setups. I've since lost count of the number of bucks called and deked in that crossed my wind at close range and did nothing more than sniff the air before continuing on.
Sometimes we learn that what we've believed for decades ain't necessarily so..
I’ve peed in a lot of scrapes. Haven’t ever seen it hurt anything.
I actually would pee on a coyote post type set if I could figure out how to just pee a little dab on the post.
Frankly I think that might be killer on a coyote. And yes, I’ve trapped in the past
I've trapped before, but I'd never call myself a trapper. World of difference. I'm just not a fan of introducing any human or foreign scent to any scenario. About the only true otc/commercial lures I'll use are James Valley other than that its straight from the deer farm bottled within the last 24hrs. To each their own.
Knew a fellow up in MI, used nothing but Aqua Velva to freshen scrapes. I don't know how many bucks he killed over scrapes but he sure had killed some dandies.
Ol Mitch always was quite the innovator.
This little guy stopped by my scrape.
I'll second Nose Jammer. Spray it on your boots and the bucks will follow your scent trail to your stand.
Mock scrapes are legit. As stated above
In a paper written for CIA testing.... titled “ Human scent and it’s detection”
Dogs could not distinguish human scent markers in human urine.
I’ve hunted scrapes for 31 years. During October I almost exclusively hunt scrapes and I have learned a lot about them and the differences between them in that time. There are community scrapes that are used every year by multiple deer both buck and doe. They are visited all times of day and night and can be in the exact same spot for several years in a row. Pissing in community scrapes definitely has no negative effects and seems to attract deer. Territorial scrapes are made early and may or may not get visited again. A scrape line will have both types of scrapes within the line. Bucks use scrape lines to mark territory and inventory the local neighborhood deer. They use them until the chase phase begins. Does and small bucks will visit a scrape all thru the season to an extent. Mature bucks still travel near scrapes but don’t need them and have no interest once they begin to chase. Not all scrapes are visited regularly but bucks will travel perpendicular to a scrape line checking certain scrapes right up thru early Season until they begin to chase. Peeing in a scrape will not have a negative effect on deer and will indeed attract bucks.
I’ve also had pictures of coyotes sniffing around a scrape that has been “freshened” by a human.
Lvtobowhunt is just about dead on. It is important to keep in mind, the purpose of scrapes, rubs and licking branches is primarily communication. Probably close 75% of all scrapes are useless in terms of hunting. I only disagree with the definition of "territorial" scrapes. They may appear that way but in no way define a territory since bucks have no "territory". They will go wherever they need to to find does. It is the does who are territorial. Bucks have a home range but it is not a territory.
Terrible pic quality but a really nice buck walking away from my "piss" scrape.