A couple years back, I got permission on a property that has the habitat I really like hunting. I ended up shooting a buck that year pretty early in the AM. Shortly after I noticed a scrape under a small tree that was worn out and got better through November.
Fast forward, I sat that spot one time last year, and shot another buck right at first light this time he was standing in the scape when I got him. I came back at the end of November and the scape/scrapes and branches above it were absolutely crushed.
So, I took the plunge and picked up a trail camera ( Crossed over to the dark side) and placed it there early October as the scrapes were already opened. What I'm seeing is simply incredible, I have multiple bucks on the scape at the same time. The most has been 4 bucks at a time, and many times 2-3 bucks are standing around sparring etc. The amount of time deer are spending around these scrapes and tree is simply amazing.
Another interesting point is some of these bucks are on the scrape for over 30-45 minutes or more. Then you will see doe after doe hanging out as well. As mentioned, this is the first year I have ever used a camera, but the scrapes have been huge the last couple years so I'm starting to believe the same thing was going on the previous years.
Yesterday I was in the stand taking advantage of this nice little cold snap. I was looking to get a doe on my list B tag. The big, old doe I shot checked a licking branch 15 yards away. There was no scrape yet, just the branch. After this rifle split is done I hope to see some scrape activity under that branch. Fun stuff.
Same results here as sitO, we put multiple trail cams on scrapes every year beginning early October through the rut. May get a couple yearlings visiting the scrapes at the same time, but even that's not common. Last year, we had five shooter bucks visit the same scrape during an eight hour period ( second week of November), but none of the five were there at the same time...at least not that we could see. Obviously, there was a hot doe in the area. Strange thing was...four of the five bucks had not been caught on our cameras previously.
@ M. Pauls, the does, yes, a ton. The AM I sat it this year I had two small bucks come through who have been on the scrape with the bigger ones but they didn't show. A lot of the action right now is up until 5am or so. Gets light enough to shoot at 6:45.
In saying that, I had a pretty nice buck come though on it in the afternoon, 2 hours before dark and those smaller bucks above but the does all AM as well as afternoon.
Also, the stand wasn't set there to cover the scape, it has better features but being it's only 20 yds away and last years buck was standing right in it when I shot him, I can't say it's a negative. But if we're speaking of negatives, I won't be able to hunt until the 10th of November.
In my area, the Mule deer bucks travel in bachelor groups right up until pre-rut, which is about now. I often see multiple bucks in the same "gathering" spots. For whatever reason, those spots are like their local bar and grill. They do a bunch of rubbing and sparring in those spots. They do leave scrapes, too, but not as commonly as whitetails.
My opinion seems If a scrape is in the right place, say at the corner of a field just outside cover, doesn't matter what buck first opens it, it'll likely turn into a community scrape most or all bucks in the area will hit if in the right place, it's those hub scrapes found in cover of a rutting area that trails are made to the scrape like spokes on a wheel that are hard to come by, and some of the ones I found are hit anytime of day pretty much all day during peak rut...