Making a Mock Scrape
Canít find a scrape in your area? Found one but not in an area you can hunt? Try making a mock scrape.
Mock scrapes are easy to make and can greatly increase your chances of tagging a dominant buck. Generally mock scrapes will work on the larger bucks in an area. This is due to the fact that scrapes are like keep out signs to deer, it is the calling card of a dominant buck and is used to warn other deer that the area and does within it are taken.
When a new scrape, even a mock one (the deer shouldnít know if it is done correctly), shows up in an area, the dominant buck will take it as a challenge and will visit the scrape to cover it with his own scent. Smaller bucks and does will likely visit the mock scrape to investigate.
Place your mock scrape close to a game trail or intersection of trails, not in it, you want it to be found, but not so in your face that it seems unnatural to the deer. Keep in mind the location of different stand locations for different wind directions. You will be disturbing the environment enough by making the scrape so donít cut shooting lanes, instead locate the mock scrape so that it takes advantage of naturally occurring openings, much like placing your bait site for bear. Also, make sure that there is an overhanging branch 4-4 feet above the site of your mock scrape.
Once you have found the location for your mock scrape it is time to get busy creating it. One word of caution, this is going to disrupt your local deer herd, the same deer you are hunting, being careful with your scent is not enough, you canít leave it in the area, any scent, will spook the deer and let them know a predator is in the area. Wear rubber boots and gloves. Use the heel of your boot to disturb the soil or better yet a stick; take the stick with you when you leave. IF ANY SCENT IS LEFT BEHIND, YOU LOSE!
Actually making the mock scrape is easy, simply rough up the earth in the area of your scrape, push aside any leaves, moss or sticks and expose fresh soil. Sprinkle the scent you are using on the exposed soil and break the tips off the branches overhanging the mock scrape, 3-4 feet above it. The dominant bucks in an area make scrapes, so use buck urine, doe urine will be less effective. I have had some success with my own urine, but that may well be more of a curiosity response and not the territorial response that will bring the big boys in.
Let your new mock scrape sit for several days and go have a look, if it has been visited there will be tracks in the fresh earth and it will smell of deer urine. If a deer has visited, get in your stand and spend some time hunting over the scrape.
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