Constructing a Mock Scrape, By Steve Bartylla

Steve BartyllaI depend very heavily on mock scrapes in my deer hunting. Do I believe they will draw bucks several ridge tops away to my location? NO, but they do serve as excellent scouting tools, for drawing a buck a short distance to a specific location and for holding them there long enough to get off a quality shot. Any one of these three things can make the different between success and failure. 

What follows is an illustrated, step by step guide to constructing a mock scrape.

I locate my mock scrapes precisely where I want my shot to occur. The single most important factor is having a licking branch. It should be about 5 feet from the ground, drooping downward and not much larger than the thickness of a pencil. Here I am pictured hanging an Ultimate Scrape Dripper.

With the location and licking branch selected, I clear the debris from the forest floor. Scrapes are a source of advertising within the whitetail world. Allowing them to stand out from a distance only helps.

The next step is creating an oval patch of pawed earth. I locate it slightly forward of center from the tip of the licking branch. Using a limb helps to mimic the appearance of hoof gouges. Also, scent elimination is key. Notice I am wearing a Scent-Lok suit, rubber gloves and rubber boots. I do not want the deer to smell human, only the urine scents I will leave behind.

After beating up the end of the licking branch, giving it a worked over look, I fill the scrape dripper with Active Scrape. Scrape drippers are outstanding. They allow me to keep a scrape charged for a week without having to visit the scrape and risk leaving human odor. Another advantage is that they work on gas pressure. As the temperature increases they drip scent. As the temp drops the pressure falls and they stop. The result is leaving fresh scent during the day. Now, if a buck wants to meet the maker he must show up during legal shooting hours to do so.

To give the scrape a quick boost, I pour the remaining drops of Active Scrape onto the scrape itself.

The final optional step is adding a mock rub. In this case I run the back of my folding saw on the base of the same tree I used to make my mock scrape. Looking carefully you can see the scrape dripper, licking branch, pawed earth and rub all in this picture.

My bowhunt at Bluff Country Outfitters

For those looking for every advantage in understanding whitetail deer, Steve Bartylla’s column on Grow ‘Em Big with Steve Bartylla is a must read.