Scraping in August?

Cdad

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While doing some scouting the other day I found what looks like a great spot. There are 6 heavily used trails through pretty thick cover in the woods, that all meet at this small (35-40 yds in diameter) clearing, and right where they all meet there is a HEAVILY pawed area 10-12 ft in diameter, that looks EXACTLY like a primary scrape! I have NEVER heard of whitetails scraping in August! The point is that I set up one of my portable tree stands in a mature elm tree, with lots of cover behind me to break up my outline, about 25 yds on the down wind side of it. The woods are only about 150-200 yds wide at this point (natural funnel) and the (scrape??) is about 50-60 yds inside the woods from the edge of the soybean field. I've never really been much of a scrape hunter, but if they are using (visiting)
this area now, what will the pre-rut/rut be like? Thanks to all for making a new member feel so welcome!!:confused-yellow:
 

Jon Bain

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Welcome Cdad, this likely could be a scrape believe it or not.  I know of several scrapes that are used all year by deer.  They do not dig them out all year long, but they do visit them.  If you find one of these scrapes it is a good spot to watch, but I wouldn’t count on seeing the big buck there all the time.  You may luck up and catch him there in the pre-rut.  Once the peek of the rut comes in though, scrape activity decreases.  A lot of scrape activity is done at night too.  

Look at the deer cam pictures on my web site.  The camera was set up last season over one of these types of scrapes.  I’ve since moved it over a mineral lick because I get more activity there in the summer.  This scrape is visited all year long with peek activity occurring in the pre-rut and post rut periods.  If your area has a long strung out rut due to an in balance of bucks to does, or if your area's rut is early for some reason then the deer could actually be working the scrapes now.  I have found some worked this early before, but I am in the deep south and that is not uncommon.  Lastly, it could be some other animal kicked the debris around making it look like a scrape.  Does it have the tell tale licking branch over it?


(Edited by Jon Bain at 8:54 pm on Aug. 17, 2002)
 

Cdad

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Jon, there is not only the usual licking branch right over the scrape but there are several trees (2-4"in diameter) in the area that look to me like sign post rubbing trees, as if this is a central area for more than one buck, and or the place where the bucks leave their scent . Their are ALOT of deer tracks in the scrape and it is also really dark, black (mucky) soil, the kind that a buck (or doe) would like for it's ability to hold the scent for a long period of time. Our pre-rut is usually Oct 20 (give or take) with the peak of the rut occuring Nov 12-15th. Just for the record I am also proud to say I harvest does not only to minimize crop damage,(we farm 1200 acres) but to keep the buck to doe ratio as close as possible to 2:1.I think we have been doing well as I saw 27 does and 13 bucks last season. Lucky #13- a 3 1/2 yr old 3 point (QDM deer) got a free ride home!!
 

woodseye

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Good Spot! A primary scrape,like Jon says will see year round activity.I have seen several scrapes this month and that is earlier than normal for my area also. Maybe the mild winter as deer horns seem to be growing a little earlier this year too.Sounds like a good pre rut spot for that stand.More than one buck visits these scrapes as they are more community info centers for deer.

 woods
 

Cdad

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Hunter 12 I would love to put a game cam there but $$$ is really tight this year, I will just trust in God to bless me if it is his will.
 

Jon Bain

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I have a feeling he will if you meet him half way there and it sound as if you have a good start.  I would keep this place marked as a early season site to hunt.  I tend to like rubs more than scrapes, but I hunt where I feel my chances are best at harvesting the deer I'm after.  Sometimes I have to put in a lot of research time determining where the buck likes to live and feed and the trails in between.  It sounds as if this spot you found may be close to either a feeding area or a bedding area.  If it is near a feeding area it sounds like it could be a staging area for the deer.  A place to hang out until the safty of darkenss comes.  While hanging out scrapes and rubs are made.  Also both scrapes and rubs are seen, used, and visited my many deer.  I treat scraps like fire hydrents in the neighbor hood that every dog around will smell and mark.  Rubs are a little different and I like to use them as trail markers.  I would hunt this spot for sure to see what is there.
 

Cdad

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Jon, first of all thanks for your advice and making me feel welcome to the forum. This spot is about half way between a known bedding (where there is a HUGE primary scrape every year) area and my food plot, at a nice funnel point where any deer that wants to stay in the cover will have to pass within 35-50 yds of my stand. Second of all, I have seen some really  BIG (140-150 class 10 ptr) bucks just kind of "disappear" into the woods every year close to this scrape, so I finally decided to investigate. I thought I knew my area, just proves what you said "We can all always learn something new". I will definitely keep you posted during the upcoming season, it will be cool to have a long distance hunting partner!!  
 

FTTPOW

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Cdad, Jon's giving you some good info sharing here. If you could check this area out in preseason from a distance with binos, it would keep you from scenting up a potential early season hotspot. Another option is like hunter12 said and try a trail cam.
 Do you think our avatars will start insulting and fighting when we aren't looking?
 

Cdad

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fttpow, here's the way I think I will scout this spot. The scrape is 50-60 yds back in the woods surrounded by pretty heavy cover, no way to see what's going on right @ the scrape. I am going to set up in some standing corn (2-3 rows in) which is about 200 yds across a soybean field that borders the woods (and on the other side of a 30 ft wide ditch) from the spot where the trails that lead into the woods right by the scrape. This way I can see the deer entering the soybean field/just leaving the woods, at least I will know what bucks are in the immediate area. This will be the only way $$$ too tight this year (wife will go nuts if I buy a game cam) but if I do this in the evening with my binocs, (my spot has always been MUCH better-see more in the P.M.) they won't even know i'm there.I sense some doubt from you about who would win the battle of the avatars,alright one clue it won't be OSU. Do you know our favorite song around our house? Let me think..................- oh yeah something about.. Hail...............-that's it!!! HAIL TO THE CONQUERING HEROES, HAIL HAIL TO MICHIGAN, THE LEADERS AND THE BEST--LOL!!!!!!!
 
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