How to Make a Mock Scrape
A mock scrape is one of the best ways to inventory your deer herd before the deer hunting season. They are very simple to create, cheap to maintain as opposed to bait or mineral sites and can carry over into your deer hunting season.
Most hunters are aware of scrapes appearing during the rub. While they are a big part of whitetail communication while breeding, there are some scrapes that are used all year long. Sometimes they go unnoticed because they are often smaller at other times of the year, but they do remain active, including the licking branch that is often present overhead. Mimicking these types of scrapes can help you see what deer are using the area and bring them to you during the hunting season.
The first step to making effective mock scrapes is choosing the proper area to place them. In Wisconsin, I start making mock scrapes in August. I like to place a trail camera over them to take inventory of the deer herd. What I look for are travel routes the deer take from bedding to feeding areas. I hunt swampy land, so I also look for where these trails cross higher ground. Flooded out scrapes are rarely effective. I also look for a location that has a small tree with overhanging branches.
Making the mock scrape itself is very easy. Take a stick or a hand rake and rough up an area about 12 inches by 12 inches under a small tree. You can also use the heel of your boot, being careful not to leave too much human scent. Scrape it up until most of the debris is gone and is mostly bare dirt (the smell of freshly disturbed earth is also an attractive quality). Then use a good buck urine scent by squirting some into the scrape you just made. We recommend Lucky 7 Synthescent Buck in Rut MAX. Also spray a little in surround areas and on the small tree you made it under. Next is to place a good preorbital scent on the overhanging branches of the small tree. Lucky 7 Synthescent Preorbital Licking Branch GEL is an extremely effective scent for this. It is a gel formulation that clings to the branches and resists washing away. Deer will lick and rub n this branch as they work the scrape below.
Now you can hang a trail camera nearby to catch the action. If placed in a reasonable location, you should see many of the deer frequenting the area check in with this scrape fairly often. You can inventory does and pick your hit list bucks for the upcoming season. Deer will continue to use this mock scrape as their own, often all year long. When the rut approaches, you can increase its effectiveness by adding some doe in heat scent, something like Lucky 7 Synthescent Doe in Heat PLUS. This will make them believe a ready doe is in the area and attract and hold them in this area.
Mock Scrapes are very easy to use, but can really help you be a successful whitetail deer hunter. Combine the creation with some quality scents from Nelson Creek Outdoors, and you will have a great technique for harvesting your next trophy. We hope this has helped you learn how to make a mock scrape.