Sitka Mountain Gear
Scrape hunting tactics
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Mike Ukrainetz 17-Oct-20
Scrappy 18-Oct-20
rattling_junkie 18-Oct-20
greg simon 18-Oct-20
Sand man 18-Oct-20
Mike Ukrainetz 18-Oct-20
Scrappy 18-Oct-20
Mike Ukrainetz 18-Oct-20
buc i 313 18-Oct-20
Rackmastr 18-Oct-20
Stoneman 18-Oct-20
t-roy 18-Oct-20
bowlife88 18-Oct-20
xtroutx 18-Oct-20
lv2bohunt 18-Oct-20
bowlife88 18-Oct-20
BC173 18-Oct-20
greg simon 18-Oct-20
Native Okie 18-Oct-20
EDUDA 18-Oct-20
Mike Ukrainetz 19-Oct-20
Kodiak 19-Oct-20
GhostBird 19-Oct-20
DonVathome 19-Oct-20
Nocturnal II 19-Oct-20
Mike Ukrainetz 19-Oct-20
Huntiam 19-Oct-20
Huntiam 19-Oct-20
Shuteye 20-Oct-20
Mike Ukrainetz 20-Oct-20
Huntiam 20-Oct-20
Tonybear61 20-Oct-20
Huntiam 20-Oct-20
t-roy 20-Oct-20
RIT 20-Oct-20
Shawn 21-Oct-20
17-Oct-20
Anyone here hunt purely over scrapes in non-agricultural areas? I’ve been listening to Troy Pottenger podcasts on his tactics hunting scrapes in the mountains of Idaho. The guy is very successful hunting scrapes from Sept 1 on into December. Wondering if anyone else has some great tips or tactics on this hunting method?

From: Scrappy
18-Oct-20
Its pretty simple really, just hunt edges. You will find the majority of your scrapes in some type of edge cover. Some edges are well defined others are subtle and more difficult to figure out. If you haven't scouted an area and are hunting run and gun style just set up on the easy to find edge and observe the deer movement.

This is what I do when hunting a new spot. Follow an edge(be it on Google or walking in) until I find some kind of pinch point,connecting edge, or creek crossing. Bam I've just found a good spot to set up on which usually will have scrapes around. I don't ever really go looking for scrapes to hunt. I just hunt were the deer like to travel through.

Sorry that got long winded.

18-Oct-20
Following along

From: greg simon
18-Oct-20
I agree with Scrappy. Travel routes are good places to hunt. Deer tend to make scrapes where they travel.

So yes I guess I hunt near scrapes but I’m not looking for a buck to come work a scrape so I can shoot him.

From: Sand man
18-Oct-20
After a rain is when I take scrape location into consideration the most.

I’ve seen a fair share of Bucks hit them right after the weather breaks.

Around the 4th of November I switch more to focusing on pinch points on the property edges where I can get open ground or some barrier down wind.

18-Oct-20
Scrappy and Greg, if scrapes are on the edges why would you not hunt right over the scrape where a deer will stop to work the scrape and presumably give a better shot opportunity than a buck passing by? And wouldn’t some bucks just come directly to the scrape maybe not by your stand, work the scrape and then leave, again not by your stand? Not trying to put anyone on the spot, I’m really curious if the expert scrape hunters here on bowsite can share insight on it, especially in a non agricultural area where feeding, bedding and travel areas are not clearly defined?

From: Scrappy
18-Oct-20
Why would you hunt a scrape with only one trail going by it? Hunt a pinch point were multiple trails go by your stand. Just a game of odds. May the odds be forever in your favor.

18-Oct-20
Pinch points don’t really exist in many big woods areas, even trails are hard to distinguish and they can be meaningless anyway because they mainly show doe group travel routes. We do have edge habitat like you stated where I focus my efforts but in my area it’s also very flat so ridges don’t even exist. It’s a sea of big timber and a deer can easily walk by just out of sight. That’s why I’m interested in hearing from hunters who have had the best luck purposely hunting over scrapes.

From: buc i 313
18-Oct-20
IMHO,

Not all scrapes are equal.

If you can locate a "prime scrape" this is the one you want.

Big Warning, be very careful of your presence in this area. Be sure to hunt a respectable distance from it / scrape. This type of scrapes are made by the dominant buck but will also be visited by lesser bucks. If he feels your pressure or you contaminate it/site he will quit it !

A community scrape will give you more opportunities to shoot a doe or buck.

From: Rackmastr
18-Oct-20
I'm headed up to northern AB this year and hoping to try some mock scrapes and work on scrape line or locating an active scrape line. We used to do a lot of treestand/blind sitting all day in northern bush country but cant say I ever played with the 'mock scrape' idea much at all.

Going to look up the podcast you mentioned and see what else I can learn!

From: Stoneman
18-Oct-20
Very seldom is there just one scrape being used. Determine the travel direction(s) and set your stand according to the prevailing wind direction between active scrapes.

From: t-roy
18-Oct-20
It might possibly be getting a little late in the game for making mock scrapes (maybe not though, too), like Rackmastr alluded to, but couldn’t hurt to try it. The majority of the mature bucks in ag country seem to check the scrapes at night, but not always. Might be totally different in the big woods areas.

Might be something to look into trying next year, but, hopefully you will be too busy guiding clients, Mike! Good luck to you!

From: bowlife88
18-Oct-20
Find a travel route and you will find a scrape. Freshen it up and get ready. Scrapes are a deadly way to find a good buck.

From: xtroutx
18-Oct-20
Go to the Wisconsin site, and look under "mock scrapes". Lots of good info in that thead.

From: lv2bohunt
18-Oct-20
I hunt scrapes much of the time. I look for them and try to find community scrapes. Lots of bucks use community scrapes and does use them as well. They are typically larger and in an area where multiple trails meet but not always. I look for big scrapes with multiple branches hanging over, I want multiple branches broken and chewed on. I never hunt scrape lines. Most scrapes lines are made early and only a few are used frequently but a community scrape will be used long into the season. Last year I killed a buck using a community scrape after Thanksgiving. He was 5 1/2 years old as best I could tell by his teeth.

From: bowlife88
18-Oct-20
I am a big believer in freshening up a scrape. I’ve used conquest scents in them and had great results. The stuff flat out works.

From: BC173
18-Oct-20
Hunting primary scrapes can be tricky business. Often times they are located in an area that is more conducive for the deer but not the hunter. ( wind/ access etc. ). I always try to hunt the approach to the scrape or the exit from the scrape. The distance I’m away from the scrape varies in accordance with terrain/wind, and my ability to get to my stand undetected.

From: greg simon
18-Oct-20
I agree not all scrapes are equal. Those big ones are worth hunting especially this time of year but when bucks really start cruising I want to be in a pinch point and or downwind of known doe bedding areas.

From: Native Okie
18-Oct-20
Agree with Troy. Getting late to hunt scrapes. After the next few days they won’t matter at all.

From: EDUDA
18-Oct-20

EDUDA's embedded Photo
Scrape Buck
EDUDA's embedded Photo
Scrape Buck
A few yesrs ago I found 3 scrapes in mid October. All three within 40yard radius, way back in a swampy area of my property. I setup a stand over looking the area. I didn’t hunt the scrapes for 2 days and waited for the perfect wind. On the third day an evening hunt I shot this buck making a 4th scrape 25 yards from my stand.

19-Oct-20
Great stuff guys! I love the intricate details of this kind of thing, especially from hunters who specialize in killing deer right over or near scrapes in non agricultural areas. Agriculture areas can be very different to hunt than non ag areas where I believe scrapes carry a much greater importance. Our scraping period, where they paw out the ground, is about Oct 25 to Dec 5, we are just getting into it in Alberta, so why would it be too late to make a mock scrape?

From: Kodiak
19-Oct-20
It's not too late, now until Halloween is the perfect time to be hunting scrapes.

From: GhostBird
19-Oct-20
… around here, now until just before Thanksgiving is a good time to hunt scrapes.

From: DonVathome
19-Oct-20
I have done a LOT of hunting in Ohio around scrapes and had zero luck. I have taken a lot of good bucks, and seen many more. I have times where a buck worked a scrape but he was there anyway (for another reason) so it made no difference. I knew a guy who would take worked over licking branches from scrapes miles away from where he hunted. He hung them over an active mature buck scrape and swore it drove the mature bucks mad and brought them around.

I have found it really easy to make mock scrapes. Kick dirt, apply ANY scent, even your own pee and bucks start using it. But this has never brought in a mature buck.

From: Nocturnal II
19-Oct-20
Been hunting scrapes in the big woods all my life. Not all scrapes are created equal but I have been able to look at thousands and figure out why some get hit the most, and the ones that get hit in daylight . Most scrapes are hit at night and most are made and never touched again. If you think about your best scrapes. You will realize the scrapes that get hit the most in daylight are 100% closest to bedding! If its a primary bedding area there will be a scrape all year long. The fresh earth wont be exposed all the time but the licking branch will be used daily. Some of the best scrapes may not even show ground sign most times. Some scrapes that are daylight will die off when the bedding dies off. Some deer will bed in spots during specific times of the year and leave for other purposes. Whether it be foliage loss, food in or food gone, pressure, rut, whatever the case may be. You have to identify why and when they are being used and alot of scrapes will be hit every year to almost the very same day. I have talked to more hunters about that than I can count. Some bucks will even visit that very same scrape to the very same day, 1 year apart. Its incredible.. The best rut scrapes I find are in between two or more doe or buck bedding areas. These scrapes get hit at all times of the day and are awesome to hunt over for cruising bucks going from bedding area to bedding area. If you live in the northern tier, scrapes really start picking up now, and peak the end of october- Nov 5th. After that bucks are really cruising this time and it begins to be a crap shoot and i see scrape activities drop drastically. Scraping activity picks back up around December 4th. If you live in areas with higher deer population. Thats a pretty accurate date. In the bigwoods mating season is over and rare for a doe to be missed. Scrapes are almost impossible to find but I find scrapes pop up in cedar/ tamarack thickets in close proximity to clear cuts. I have never killed a buck over a scrape in the bigwoods late season but have in farm country late season.

19-Oct-20
Thanks nocturnal 11 for the details!

From: Huntiam
19-Oct-20
Nocturnal I’ve hunted scrapes in the mts of Virginia my whole life, my favorite along with most successful way of consistently killing bucks ...and your spot on great post!!

From: Huntiam
19-Oct-20
Nocturnal I’ve hunted scrapes in the mts of Virginia my whole life, my favorite along with most successful way of consistently killing bucks ...and your spot on great post!!

From: Shuteye
20-Oct-20
I hunt scrapes from time to time and have had good luck. Most of you will think I'm nuts but I take a leak in the scrape and it sure doesn't hurt. I have done that and have bucks come in and tear the scrape, take a leak in it and reach up the the overhanging branch and give it hell. In my area human urine doesn't spook deer, it attracts them.

20-Oct-20
I agree shuteye on the human urine, trail cam use shows it interests them more than anything

From: Huntiam
20-Oct-20
Shuteye it’s not only your area .. I’ve had great trail camera success pissing in scrapes from va to Nebraska and almost every state in between

From: Tonybear61
20-Oct-20
I hunt a friends small hobby farm about 100-120 acres out of 200 are soy beans or alfalpha depending on the year (this year is alphalfa). Spot 3-4 scrapes on the same ATV and deer trails every year. This year someone is making a scrape about every 6-10 ft. I found a nice shed this spring and we have seen 3 smaller bucks so far. What are your thoughts about this big increase in number of scrapes?? (P.S. the party usually takes 4-5 smaller bucks and one bigger one of this land every year). The spot is about 1/2 mile from the St. Croix River, mixed ag and forest in the area, a lot of smaller hobby farms.

From: Huntiam
20-Oct-20
Prob a bunch of youngins getting a little exited

From: t-roy
20-Oct-20
I’ve been peeing in my mock scrapes for several years. It just seems to take me longer these days. Plus, I’ve got to stand a bit closer as well :-(

From: RIT
20-Oct-20
I have a mock scrape at almost every stand that I have. I use grapevine they are native and last years. I put them in natural travel corridors and transition areas between bedding and food. There isn’t a deer that walks buy that doesn’t sniff and play with the vine. They don’t always scrape but I get thousands of pictures throughout the year. I get sparring, fighting, and some deer even bed down. Even the bucks will lay in them and wait for the does. Most of them are used to some degree year round but in the next week or so I notice the bucks start to ignore them. The does and fawns however will continue to rub and lick them. The ones I have near doe bedding seem to get hit in the morning or at least pick up buck traffic almost always after 9:00 am when they start really looking for does.

From: Shawn
21-Oct-20
I'd you can find a community scrape than hunt it. I know of several that every deer that goes through an area work it. Don't matter, young, old, doe, buck or fawn they all work it. Otherwise scrape hunting can be iffy as once opened up and worked most bigger bucks just scent check them from a distance thus making it tough to shoot one over a scrape. My advice is gift it a go and see what comes of it. Shawn

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