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.
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BY TRACY BREEN
BY TRACY BREEN
As laws change because of CWD, more deer hunters are wondering if synthetic deer scents are a better option. For decades, the norm has been to walk into a sporting goods store, purchase a bottle of deer pee, and then pour it on the ground near a treestand. Over the years, many have noticed not all pee is created equal. In fact, some deer scents that are available on the market today are not true deer pee.
One problem with buying deer urine is that it doesn’t stay fresh for long. As the urine breaks down, it starts to give off a foul smell. This smell is unnatural and can actually spook deer. If you have ever hunted over a mock scrape, I am sure you have experienced what happens when a deer smells something in a mock scrape it doesn’t like...it typically runs off. There are many quality scents on the market today, but because of changing laws, more people are asking themselves if they should try synthetic urines. Below are three reasons deer hunters should try it.
USING DEER URINE CAN BE AGAINST THE LAW
1 ~ Hunters should try synthetic scents because some states have outlawed the use of deer urine being used as a hunting attractant. One of the biggest hunting states in the nation has outlawed deer urine. As time passes, more states will change laws, making it more difficult for hunters to use actual deer urine. Now is a great time to try synthetic deer urine.
SYNTHETIC DEER SCENT COULD LAST LONGER
2 ~ Hunters should try synthetic deer urine because it doesn’t have a short shelf life like many of the deer scents that are currently available on the market. As urine breaks down, the odor changes. Because synthetic urines are not urine-based, they don’t break down. The scent you buy today can be used months from now. Synthetic scents consistently smell the same, which means you have less chance of spooking game if used properly.
SYNTHETIC DEER SCENTS WORK
3 ~ Hunters should try synthetic scents because they work. I have used synthetic scents many times over the last 20 years. I have seen deer walk up to my mock scrapes and pee in them, sniff them, and mess around in them for several minutes. When used properly, synthetic deer scents work great.
Hunting over mock scrapes is an art, not a science. I have seen deer fall in love with mock scrapes and visit them daily and I have seen mock scrapes get ignored. Using synthetic scents this fall isn’t going to increase your odds of success ten fold, but it can help you outsmart deer.
If you are looking for a great synthetic deer scent, check out our synthetic estrus scent that was formulated to work with our Wyndscent unit, which vaporizes scent. Click this link for more information on our synthetic estrus scent. https://www.wyndscent.com/synthetic-estrus.
Here at Fourth Arrow, we know that vapor scent can carry a long way, but we wanted to find out how far away an animal could smell heated vapor scent. We asked our good friend, Tracker John to see how far away his bloodhounds could smell the vapor coming out of our Wyndscent unit.
Tracker John is considered by many to be the best tracker in the outdoor industry. He is a full-time tracker who owns multiple bloodhounds and spends his days training and tracking deer. We sent him a Wyndscent unit and let him put his bloodhounds to work to determine if vapor scent is more effective them pouring deer urine on the ground. “There is no question that the dogs could smell the vapor scent 250-300 yards away,” said Tracker John.
Weather and a variety of other factors can determine how far away animals can smell odors. We are confident that heated vapor scents travel further than scents that are simply dumped on the ground. Watch the bloodhounds put the Wyndscent unit to the test below.
This revolutionary VAPOR HUNTING SCENT applicator houses proprietary scents. WYNDSCENT™ vapors travel farther and hold together longer. WYNDSCENT™ is REUSABLE and REFILLABLE. Control the amount of scent dispersed or continuously apply scent at desired intervals—without contaminating the broadcast area. Its high efficiency RECHARGEABLE battery can last up to 40 hours on a single charge. WYNDSCENT™ is water resistant and durable in extreme conditions. WYNDSCENT™ is PORTABLE: use on the stalk, in the tree, hang from a branch, or stake in the ground. WYNDSCENT™ is the most effective and VERSATILE cover scent on the market. #WyndwithBenefits
Very few bowhunters tag as many critters as Tim Wells. Wells travels the globe every year in search of bowhunting adventure. One animal he enjoys chasingis early season whitetails. During the early season, he likes to hunt near food sources and bedding areas and he is not afraid to use deer scents. “Once a buck is hard-horned, he will begin checking out does. I like to use deer scents and hunt near deer scrapes as soon as deer season opens. This year I will be using the Wyndscent unit early in the season with the Doe in Estrus urine to help me pull in a big buck. Many hunters wait until the rut to use deer scents. I believe that is a mistake,” Wells explained.
In the early season, Wells likes hunting near a freshly cut alfalfa field. “Many bowhunters want to hunt over a bean field or some other type of food plot. I try to hunt near a freshly cut alfalfa field. The alfalfa is tender and easy for the deer to eat and is packed with protein. This time of year, patterning a big buck on these food sources can be much easier than trying to find him in November.” If you are hunting over your own food plot, Wells suggests cutting it two weeks before opening day which will attract the deer in the area because of the fresh growth.
If you don’t have private property to hunt on and hunting over food plots is out of the question, try to find oak trees that are dropping acorns can be a great option. . “I will be hunting over a food source during the early season and I will have my Wyndscent unit out. I hope a buck will come to my food source and then come check out the Wyndscent. I think the vapor estrus will pull him in”
Harvesting a buck in the early season can be difficult, but with a little extra effort and some luck, you might find yourself gripping and grinning long before the rut kicks in. Working hard during the early season offers many advantages over the rut. The weather is mild, bucks can be patterned, and they haven’t been educated by hunters yet. If you are looking to put your hit list buck on the wall this year, don’t wait until the rut. Get into the woods as soon as you can!