Mock Scrapes

On Target With Nature Podcast

Episode 03 | 2023 | John Stoltzfus |
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Mock Scrapes

This is the recording on mock scrapes. So if you haven't tried mock scrapes yet, it was a great time to try it and to see some of the benefits I will mention here. It has become very popular in the last several years using glandular scents and mock scrapes. So, a deer's communication is through the different glands it has that give off scent, and that is how they communicate. You could look at the mock scrap as a social hub. It is an update of what's happening, and that is how they communicate - through that social hub of mock scrapes.

So I find it interesting to see nature and observe nature and to see how they are social beings; they communicate through licking the branches, through putting their pre-orbital scents on there, their forehead glands on rubs, they'll have the interdigital on the foot that they will put down, and then they'll put their tarsal glands as a working scrape - the scent from their tarsal glands will go down in that scrape - and it is just very interesting to observe that, so if you haven't tried mock scrapes yet, it could be a great way to just learn more of the communications of whitetail deer.

And I have found that they use these scrapes year round. Now, they won't use them as much until the rut - the pre rut, I should say pre rut - and after the antlers get hard, they will then - their testosterone goes up - and they will be working out their dominance and marking the territories and letting the other deer know where their territories are.

So I like using mock scrapes as an inventory to keep track of what bucks are in the area, so it's a great inventory tool. Put a trail camera on the mock scrape, and you can see what bucks are using that, and the does will use 'em as well. The doe will let the bucks know when they're ready, and they will also communicate through the mock scrapes and leaving their scent. I've had fawns in 'em and it's just really interesting what can all show up on a mock scrap.

So in the past couple years, we just started with the hemp ropes and realizing that that is a great tool to be able to put one where you might not have natural branches available. We have about a 30-inch rope with a wire tie on the end of it. You can just tie that around an overhanging branch that's not low enough to make a natural one. So you can use that, and I have found that they love to use that hemp rope. It's a one inch rope; it gives 'em enough of resistance when they rub on that, that can leave their scent there, and it seems with the hemp oil in there, it will hold on to their glandular scents longer.

And then we like putting a pre-orbital scent on there. We use Wicked Wicks, it's a pre-orbital scent that has four different bucks pre-orbital glands scent in that bottle. So we use that to get 'em started, and once they start on 'em, then you really don't need to do anything. It was interesting, we had two scrape ropes that we changed location from last year and moved them and they instantly were using those ropes, so there was enough of scent or something on those ropes yet that got them using it, and that was all the way back in June. So we set 'em up in preparation for the field day, and apparently it drew enough of attention.

So we'll go through on how to set 'em up. I would set the bottom of the rope, the frayed out end, I want about between 40 to 48 inches high off the ground, and then I'll rake about a two foot, three foot circle - rake it out down to dirt. Just the smell of dirt sometimes can get 'em curious and bring 'em in as well. So I'll rake a two, three foot circumference circle right underneath the rope, and I'll place these about 20 yards on the downwind side of tree stand locations as another way to just hopefully pull that buck cruising through there, and he comes up and checks just to make sure what bucks are in the area, or to communicate with the other deer. So I find it interesting and we have had success with keeping and monitoring what deer are on the property by using this the past couple years.

And then you can also use - there's a vine. ScrapeFix makes a vine - an artificial vine that you can use - and they have a powder that you can puff on it, just a couple puffs of that to get 'em started again, and then once they get started, that works great. Last year I had an observation of a young 8-point that came in 20 yards and worked the scrap while I was in the stand, and that was just neat to see. I chose not to shoot him, but hopefully he'll be back this year and be a shooter this year. But, anyway, I just encourage anybody that hasn't tried mock scrapes to give it a try and just learn more of how deer communicate.

So I appreciate all the listeners and feedback that you have given. We will add more to the library here in the future.

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