The Season: Mock Scrapes Are A Waiting Game

Creating mock scrapes and then waiting to see what happens – or if anything happens – is kind of like torture, isn’t it?

By Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor

I mean, you’re kind of confident about deer being in the area. You’re just hoping to make one get more interested. Maybe alter his route a bit. Possibly get fired up enough to destroy your fake scape and leave his calling card to show you who’s the man.

Sunday afternoon (eight days ago) I decided to do a little maintenance on a 100-acre tract I play around with. The landowner doesn’t want me to hunt deer there, so I don’t. I accept that. There aren’t many deer there anyway so I’m content to be able to fish, take the kids or wife to hang out, and use the property like my personal testing ground for hunting and fishing stuff.

Earlier this year I put out a Mineral Mizer mineral bag to start a rain-enhanced mineral lick. I have a few Trophy Rock mineral blocks scattered around and have doused them with vanilla extract. Figured a little sweetness couldn’t hurt. They’re positioned where I can watch from a distance, too, without having to go in too often.

Need some good binoculars for the truck?

Sunday, I figured a couple of mock scrapes would be fun to watch. This tract has some open land and hardwoods. Figuring where a deer would travel isn’t difficult. I created three mock scrapes by raking back the dead leaves with a garden pitchfork, then turned and loosened the soil. All three were created below a sturdy licking branch.

I dribbled a few drops of Smokey’s Buck Interdigital Gland Lure around the soil, maybe eight to 10 drops. It doesn’t take much. Use an eyedropper to keep from dumping in too much. I seal the bottle and dropper in a resealable freezer bag that is put into a second bag, and then a third. I don’t want that bottle to leak in my truck or on me!

Then, on the licking branch I added some Smokey’s Pre-Orbital Gland Lure. Hanging just above the scrape, the orbital and interdigital combo mimics a buck’s efforts to leave his scent for other deer. Hopefully, a buck or two in the area will come by my mock scrapes and go haywire.

Less than 24 hours after making these mock scrapes, we had our first significant rain in the area in a few weeks. To say I was irritated is an understatement. I know the rain doesn’t eliminate the scent from a buck – real or from a bottle – but now I’m itching to ease back in to freshen the mocks again.

I dropped by Friday to check the scrapes. One looked like it had been pawed a big, but wasn’t torn up hard. The other two didn’t look any different. I figure I need to make them a little bigger and more “fluffy” with the rake or shovel, and add some more Smokey’s. That’s on the agenda this week.

I’ll keep you posted.