I live in Wisconsin, but have seen the same thing. I read about early scrapes once. What I read was that most early scrapes are usually made around food sources, and that they are generally made by very young bucks. as soon as they shed velvet, their hormones start to get flowing. being young, some of their rutting instincts kick in. they know they are supposed to scrape, but they dont know why or when. same reason young bucks will fight right away too, but not older ones. the young ones start to feel like fighting, but dont know why or what to do, where as age has told the older ones its not time to fight yet. so with the scrapes, likely what happened is a young buck started it. but once a deer leaves scent and sign around licking branches and scrapes, other deer will also stop at it even if it is early. scrapes and licking branches are a major communication tool for deer, deer use pheromones for a ton of their communication. so what im guessing you have is a young buck started it, not really knowing why, and when other deer come by they smell the fresh scent and add their own, as is what deer are programed to do. im sure you could find an archived D&DH article somewhere about the early scrape activity and what it means, and it probably explains it better than i can. but theres my two cents.