If you have been out in the deer woods lately, you know that things are starting to heat up. One early season tactic that seems to be everywhere on the web and TV is creating mock scrapes. The thinking here is that the sight of a scrape will ignite bucks in the area to visiting it more, so you get an inventory, or that there will be an increase in the number of scrapes on the property. In addition to the visual appeal, hunters are always looking for the advantage, so with the aid of commercially available “scrape starters,” they look to bring in more bucks. But the question remains do mock scrapes even work, and especially do these scrape starters contribute to attract bucks if they do. We put these theories to the test in this “Mock Scape Project.”
We ran the experiment in 5 states: Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Kansas, and Ohio. We place cameras on video mode observing a scrape “enhanced” with scrape starter and one without, within a relatively close distance as to capture the same deer in the vicinity. The results were surprising.
Bucks in Indiana and Pennsylvania, although all at or under 3 ½ years old, frequented the scrape with the “starter” applied. However, in Iowa, Kansas, and Ohio, more mature deer tended to visit the strictly visual scrape with no “starter.” Is this because the wiser bucks know that the foreign attractant is out of place? Hard to say, but it gives you some real, “deer world” data to apply this season.
Stay tuned for more Hunting Experiments from The Buck Advisors this fall, including testing dominant buck over doe in estrous during the rut!