University Studies versus The Experienced Hunter

You can do all the research and studies you want and even send researchers to the field, but if you really want to know what happens out there then ask a Outdoors-men (hunter) who has spent most of their life in the woods seeing and learning what really goes on.

Whitetail Scrapes

Deer scrapes are just one example of Researchers getting it all wrong. Now what does real experience tells us about Scrapes.

What Scrapes Tell Us

Scrapes are a sign of dominant rights to breeding. However the scrapes made early (Oct) are young bucks thinking they are ready to be Mr Dominant. Once the older bucks start breeding they use these scrapes to leave their scent as the dominant buck. Other bucks will visit these scrapes, pick up on the scent, and each will determine if there is a more dominant buck in the area. If there is, this buck will most likely back off allowing the more mature buck to keep control. If he is not suppressed by the scent then there will be a fight for dominance and the breeding rights. The most valuable thing scrapes can tell you is which way your buck is traveling and where he is heading, it will not tell you how big his rack is.

What Do Early Scrapes Mean

Early scrapes made in mid October are made by your young bucks (spikes and forks) 1 to 2 years old and are very vulnerable. What I mean is, you can hunt these and within a day or two the buck will be back, however these are the bucks we want to be passing until they are mature (5-7 years old). So if you are hunting early bow and find scrapes in mid October then it will not take long before you will see one of these young bucks. If you are interested in shooting one of these, as they are better to eat then a mature buck, then hunt these stands. But I recommend you get an extra Doe tag and take a Doe as these are good eating also. This will also help promote the Buck to Doe rational you want for Deer Management.

When Do Bucks Scrape

Scrapes are mostly made during the night hours and have no pattern to when they will be hit. However, during the rut mature bucks will become more active and consistent on making and checking their scrapes. Once the Doe(s) are breed scraping will slow and not pick-up again until the second rut. Mature bucks will start to scrape the last week of October and become more aggressive right before Rut.

Is It Better To Hunt Scrapes

No you will not see great success hunting over scrapes since scrapes are mostly made and visited during the night hours. If you want a chance at a mature buck here you will need to find the scrape line and set up on the travel corridors near the bedding or feeding areas. You will also want to focus on the early and late hours as they will limit their day traveling, of course during the RUT when the hormones take over anything goes.

Do Multiple Bucks Use The Same Scrapes

Yes, bucks will use the same scrapes and these are called community scrapes. The bucks using these scrapes are your mid year bucks 3 – 5 years old. Your Dominant Bucks will not be using these scrapes.

When Do Bucks Return To Their Scrapes

If you are planning to hunt scrapes you will most likely be disappointed. Except for early season scrapes created by spikes and forks scrapes are unpredictable. Again, scrapes are not typically made or used during the day light hours.