By Jonathan Stuart
Seeing somebody be successful year after year makes you start asking questions about what tip or tactic they are using to help them be successful. Are they glassing more, putting boots on the ground more, understanding their property better, it could be a combination of all of those and more. Jonathan Stuart has been successful in the last couple of years early in the Kentucky archery season. This has me asking him what he is doing to bring him success. His answer was the utilization of mock scrapes. I asked him some questions to help better understand how to make these scrapes in a way to help drive success.
What Is The Best Location To Have a Mock Scrape Early Season?
I have found that placing early season mock scrapes on tree lines that boarder food sources off of trails can be deadly. Also I don’t run interior mocks at this time because deer tend to bed close to the food source at this time and any intrusion educates them.
What Products Do You Prefer To Use In Your Mock Scrapes?
I like to use “Scrape Down” from Nose Down Scents in the early season, I also use their calming scent called “Calm Down”. It helps me to cover my tracks in and out.
What Are Some Tips For Licking Branches
When choosing a licking branch, I look for a branch about 5-6 ft in height, full of vegetation, and one that is just off of a trail. I wear latex gloves when handling the branches to limit scent exposure to the best of my abilities.
Touch On Your Process Of Making a Mock Scrape
I’ll start my mocks in the early season with Scrape Down (like listed above) and run with that until the velvet come off. Once the bachelor groups start start breaking, I add in a little doe urine (NON ESTROUS). About Mid-October I start using “Bully Buck” urine to make those hit list bucks think they have an intruder on their territory. It will get them mad and tends to make them check their scrapes more often. I’ll even add some to active scrapes not made by myself. Once I start seeing bucks searching, I then start adding “Hot Doe” to my scrapes. I like to make them think there may be a hot doe nearby and hold them to the area best I can.
What Are Some Of Your Trail Camera Set Ups on a Mock Scrape?
When mounting trail cameras on scrapes, I have found it can be difficult to mount a camera on a tree so I like to mount my covert cameras on a “stick-n-pic” camera mount about 15 ft from scrape. I set my covert trail cams to video mode so I can see the entry and exit point from coming to and leaving scrape. Also it helps me to read their body language and tells me if I may or may not need to use a different combination of scents. I run them on a 20 second delay and they take a 15 second video at each trigger. I have had good luck with using energizer lithium batteries.
How Far Apart Are Your Scrapes? How Often Do You Visit Them? Has Starting Them Small And Letting The Deer Make Them Bigger Worked For You?
I refresh my scrapes every 7-10 days.
I like to space my mock scrapes no closer than 30 yds apart.
I make my mock scrapes about the same size as a natural scrape so it looks natural.
How Often After You Make A Mock Does It Usually Take For a Mature Buck To Hit It?
I’ve had deer hit a scrape Ive started in less than 2 hrs and I’ve had them go days until they hit them.
Mock Scrapes are something I think we are going to add to our arsenal for next year. Especially in non-baiting states like we are in, I think it is a great tool to get inventory and multiple pictures/angles of a deer to really access age, and antlers. Also like Jonathan said, make them deer more frequent and on a mission to that scrape, hopefully with you waiting in a tree, ready to send it!