BY TRACY BREEN
Most deer hunters don’t think about building mock scrapes until just before the rut, but summer is a great time to put down a mock scrape or two. Below we will give you several reasons serious hunters should build mock scrapes now instead of waiting until October or November.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY SCRAPE
Most hunters think of scrapes only as something bucks use to mark their territory during the fall. Although bucks make a lot of scrapes in the fall, it isn’t the only time of year scrapes are used. In fact, does and fawns use scrapes throughout the year. Deer often communicate with each other via a scrape. These scrapes are often called a community scrape and are used all year. This type of scrape is often in a major travel corridor where many deer pass by on a daily basis. A community scrape usually has a licking branch. As a hunter, the goal this time of year is to create a scrape that lots of deer will use.
BUILD SEVERAL SCRAPES
If you build a scrape this time of year, make sure it has a licking branch. If you are building the scrape in an area without a lot of trees, don’t be afraid to bring in a small tree and build a scrape under it. The goal during the summer should be to build several of these scrapes in key areas. Some will likely get used regularly and others won’t. Hanging a camera over the scrapes will allow you to take inventory of the deer in your area as well as teach you where deer movement is concentrated. Over the years, I have often been surprised by which new scrapes receive the most activity and which ones never get used at all.
USING SCRAPES AS A SCOUTING TOOL
One major reason to build scrapes this time of year is to get deer used to using your strategically placed scrapes. Build scrapes near bedding areas, food plots and travel corridors. Build them in places where you can hang a treestand nearby. By building a scrape months in advance, the scrape may become a place they frequent all summer and fall. When hunting season arrives, you can hunt the scrapes that are seeing the most action. Summer time scrape building is a great scouting tool to truly figure out deer activity.
BUILD SCRAPES IN THE SUMMER...KILL OVER THEM IN THE FALL
By building your scrapes months in advance and leaving the scrape alone for the majority of summer, there won’t be human odor or hunting pressure. When the timing is right during the rut, hunting over these scrapes or near them can be a great way to fill a tag.
Last but not least, use very little deer urine when building these scrapes. Tear up the ground and make sure a licking branch is over the scrape. When the rut arrives, put a Wyndscent vapor unit near the scrape when you hunt. The fresh smell of doe in estrus will help pull the bucks into the area where they know a regularly used scrape already exists.
Building mock scrapes during the summer is inexpensive, easy to do, and can help you increase your odds of success this fall.