• Ridge Hunter Staff

Establishing Mock Scrapes Early

Deer communicate with each other year round. One major way they do that, is through different scents that they leave at scrapes. Even well before the rut in the spring and summer months, bucks will use scrapes to determine dominance and figure out what other deer are in their area.


While you won't see as many scrapes throughout the summer as you will during the fall, the deer are still making and using them. This means mock scrapes can be just as effective during the warm months as they are during the rut.


Mock scrapes are a great tool for getting summer pictures and collecting an inventory of your deer herd. According to Matt Ross of the QDMA, "Scrapes are one of a few signpost behaviors that an individual deer may partake in to communicate with other deer in the area. Deer will leave their unique scent in the scrape (think of it like a driver’s license or ID) through depositing an elixir of smells and secretions which creates their very own individual signature. These come from their interdigital glands when pawing away the leaves, their tarsal gland when rub-urinating, and from their pre-orbital and forehead glands, as well as their saliva, if they make a licking branch."


To establish your mock scrape, find a good spot on a field edge, in a food plot or in a spot where multiple trails cross. You should also try to choose one of these locations where you can reach a low hanging branch, or where you can set a scrape tree or post.


Once you've located the perfect spot, simply clear a spot on the ground down to the dirt and add your favorite deer scent. We recommend Ridge Hunter Buck or Doe Tarsal Spray. These are all natural options that won't put the deer on alert, but will peak their curiosity. You should also spray the scent on the licking branch if you there is one.


Once you've created your scrape, set your camera over it and monitor the activity around it. If no deer have used it after your first card pull, freshen the scrape with more scent. Eventually, once the bucks find the scrape, they will keep it fresh for you. At that point, you can just sit back and collect the pictures.


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Featured Image: Winchester World of Whitetail

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