Deer season is upon us. You might be trying to determine how to bring a big buck, that keeps walking just out of range of your blind or stand, into bow range. One thing that land manager and TV personality, Steve Bartylla, does to increase the odds of a bringing a buck within bow range on the properties he manages is Building A Scrape Tree.
“Bucks are like male dogs, they like to mark their territory,” Bartylla said. “Years ago, I started putting treated posts in the ground near blinds and stands and I attached a licking branch to the post. Often bucks would start building scrapes within days of putting in the Scrape Tree.”
Bartylla often puts in scrape trees weeks or months before deer season starts. Because deer season has already started now, Steve recommends that you put in the scrape tree by using a real tree. “Treated posts give off a strange odor so they are a no-no. Deerhunters who want a scrape tree should cut a tree down, dig a hole, and bury the base of the tree.”
“Scrape trees located on the edge of a field, in the middle of a food plot, or near an area deer regularly travel seem to quickly grab the attention of bucks. I have had deer hit my new scrape trees the same day I put them in,” Bartylla said.
Steve Bartylla likes to position the tree so when a buck comes in to freshen the scrape and lick the licking branch, the buck offers a broadside or quartering away shot. “A scrape tree will bring a buck within bow range and will also keep him distracted while the bowhunter draws his bow.”
Last but not least, Bartylla loves putting a scrape dripper in one of the branches hanging over the scrape. This keeps the scrape fresh and adds a touch of realism to the scrape.
As an experiment, my son and I dug a hole in our food plot last week, put a scrape tree in, and made a mock scrape. Within 48 hours, deer were using the scrape. The odds of my son killing a buck at the scrape tree this fall are extremely high.
To listen to Steve Bartylla discuss scrape trees and how to build one, click the podcast Link below.