The whitetail rut was just about to begin, and I was going to throw everything at them that I had in my bag of tricks at them.  I had read articles before about hunter’s creating fake scrapes to attract mature bucks to within bow range.  I had never tried it before, but if it worked for others, it would work for me was how I thought.  I went out and created  mock scrapes the best I knew how to.

I hunted that mock scrape for days without any activity.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I thought I did everything right, but looking back I see my mistakes.  I did not consider human scent I left behind, I did not use whitetail scents correctly, I did not create a licking branch, and I definitely overhunted the stand.  This was more than 20 years ago.  Since then, I have learnt a lot more about creating and using mock scrapes to my advantage, and have been able to harvest bucks I otherwise would not have been able to without the benefit of a mock scrape.

All deer hunters know that scrape hunting is often productive when it comes to killing big bucks.  Many hunters have taken scrape hunting a step further by creating mock scrapes.  Mock scrapes are best in pre-rut hunts, and work throughout the rut as bucks search out “hot” does.

When deciding if it is worth the effort to make mock scrapes is to know if the area already has big bucks.  Scrape hunting is most productive when there are older bucks in the area.  When a buck makes a scrape, he is telling other deer that this is his neck of the woods and to stay out.

Photo: Howard Communications





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Jason Houser
Jason Houser is an avid traditional bowhunter from Central Illinois who killed his first deer when he was nine years old. A full-time freelance writer since 2008, he has written for numerous national hunting magazines. Jason has hunted big game in 12 states with his bow, but his love will always be white-tailed deer and turkeys. He considers himself lucky to have a job he loves and a family who shares his passion for the outdoors. Jason writes full time and is on the pro staff of two archery companies; in his free time, he fishes and traps as much as possible.