Over the past few days, the bucks have really been tearing up the woods and leaving behind a lot of hot sign. As a deer hunter, I love spotting bright yellow rub trees and fresh scrapes. All of this coupled with cooler temperatures and the musky smell of tarsal scent in the air has really got me excited. Most of you on the BBZ know exactly what I am talking about and you’re probably already fired-up about the upcoming rut. With that being said, if you’re dreaming about locating a thick-necked bruiser right now, then you really need to give the following high-impact strategy a try the next time you hit the woods.
Make A Mock Scrape
One of the fastest ways to determine what kind of bucks are roaming around your hunting area is to hang a series of trail-cameras overlooking some mock scrapes. With this procedure, being completely scent-free and picking the right locations will ultimately determine your overall success in the field. In order to cut down on human scent, I highly recommend wearing a pair of knee-high rubber boots and latex gloves when making any mock scrape. Next, utilize a stick to rake away leaf litter directly below an overhanging branch that is about head high. Place a scent wick with tarsal lure on the branch above the scrape and spray some buck urine on the ground.
Location & Camera Position
For the best results, try to construct multiple mock scrapes near high-traffic areas like current food sources, travel corridors, and along the edges of known doe bedding areas. You will also want to keep the scrape active by periodically adding fresh buck and doe urine, especially after a heavy rain. Lastly, just point your trail-cameras toward the center of each scrape and let the games begin. My son recently utilized this deadly technique to capture the pictures above from a small patch of woods behind our house.
As a result, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be climbing into his stand just about every day after school and this is exactly what you need to be doing as well. What are you waiting for? Right now you can use this scouting technique to pinpoint, pattern, and connect with a top-heavy buck in your neck of the woods. Be sure to keep us posted on the BBZ about what the bucks are doing inside of your favorite hunting area.