Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Increasing Your Odds By Making a Mock Scrape
My NY hunting trip write up is coming. Right now it's just sitting under a pile of 'I need to do this first' and photo sessions and some rad design work I am doing for some people. In the meantime, I thought about a few highlights of my trip and this has to be one of the top ones.

When my family was getting ready to put up treestands I sent out two trail cameras for them to put up to start patterning the deer. They worked well (see some earlier posts), but we never got a photo of a big buck. We had plenty of odd bucks (3 points on one side, spike on the other) and quite a few does, but no bucks with any size or nice rack. We knew that they were using this chunk of woods as a travel route, too. My brother went in to one of the stand set-ups and made a mock scrape. Something we normally do when we aren't seeing too many bucks and also set up a trail camera about 10 yards away. A few days later and only a day before I arrived in NY, this was the only photo that was captured (click it to make it full size).

This is the first big buck we have seen on the property in 3 or 4 years.
The great thing about this image is that he was in freshening up the scrape just an hour before sunrise. We knew the deer have been doing it, but we never had any proof. It's really cool to see something work and to have photographic evidence of it.

Three days later, out in an open field there stands a few pine trees. From the road, about 150 yards away, my dad spots what looks like a buck rub that hadn't been there the day before. My brother goes to inspect it and sure enough, our large buck had started marking up his territory. It was awesome!

We hunted for this guy for 5 days and never even saw him. We found his tracks, his rubs and reviewed this scrape photo, but nothing else. It was still an awesome learning experience and so much fun! Even after 26 years of hunting these wiley animals you can learn a great deal.

Gun season opens this weekend and I have a feeling someone in my family might end up with a nice buck this year. Good luck to all going gun hunting and please be careful. Watch out for other hunters, too.


  1. That's pretty cool! Makes a person wonder just how many of those big bucks are out there that go their whole lives unseen...

    Best of luck hunting to you and yours. May you each fill your tags and come back safe!

    Happy hunting, Kari

  2. Awesome article! Can't wait to see the photos of the big bucks you guys shoot....