Mike McCabe is Vice President and host of Sportsmen of North America and a diehard hunter who, like most deer hunters, loves running game cameras to keep tabs on bucks.
The great thing about game cameras is you get super photos all year, or however long you keep them out. Some hunters keep them going all year. During the season or just before when bucks are getting more active, they’re checking scrapes to see what other bucks are doing in the area. It’s a way for them to put out their scent and communicate.
McCabe captured these cool images with his cameras and sent them to Smokey McNicholas, a longtime trapper, hunter and the founder of Smokey’s Deer Lures. McNicholas is a longtime friend and forwards us great images of hunters with their bucks or camera photos like the ones McCabe captured.
If you’re using mock scrapes or freshening existing scrapes, you absolutely can’t forget about the licking branch. Deer chew on the branch to leave saliva and rub their faces on it to leave scent from the preorbital gland near their eyes. This identifying combo of scents is the buck’s calling card and identifies it from other bucks. In layman’s terms, it allows deer to understand their rank in the pecking order.
Before bucks ever scrape the leaves away under a licking branch they are watching, testing, and paying close attention to one another by depositing scent from their pre-orbital gland to licking branches. Bucks regularly visit licking branches and become aware when a new rival shows up — the licking branch has the scent of a buck they don’t know.
The ingredients of Smokey’s gland lures are proprietary, but are extracted from the pre-orbital, tarsal interdigital, and forehead glands taken from harvested deer, and processed to enhance and retain the properties of the scent. This is the only lure on the market that has a patent pending on its process. Smokey only uses glass bottles, because plastic tends to leach out the scent and degrade over time. Diluting shortens the shelf-life of the scent, and all of Smokey’s gland lures will only get better with age – they will not lose their potency, and will be as fresh as the day they were bottled. Store in a cool and dark area, and out of direct sunlight.
Check it out here along with five great tips to make your mock scrapes even better!
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