Photo of a large whitetail buck

Making Mock Scrapes

Mock scrapes have been a tool in my whitetail arsenal for a very long time. When I find something that works, I tend to stay with it, and mock scrapes work. No, not all of the time, but then I don’t know anything that does when hunting whitetail.

But mock scrapes work well enough for me to have made hundreds of them and I have no intention on turning my back on them now. Too many times I have had mock scrapes put a buck right where I wanted him.

In recent years there has been a lot written about mock scrapes. Often these articles tend to focus on reasons why mock scrapes work. And who am I to say that all of the reasons offered are not solid.

Gary Clancy
Gary Clancy

Me, I tend to keep it simple. It is enough for me to know that mock scrapes work. All of the research and studies done on whitetail deer is probably a good thing, but in my thesis nothing works better than good old boots on the ground and common sense.

The beauty of mock scrapes is that they encourage bucks to check scrapes and freshen them where you want him, too.

Here are a few tips to make mock scrapes work for you this season.

First of all, do not waste your time making a single mock scrape. Bucks do not visit single scrapes nearly as often as they do scrape lines. Sometimes I create a scrape line with a half-dozen or more mock scrapes, but more often I intersperse my mock scrapes in-between the scrapes on a real scrape line. This seems to really get the attention of the buck, which pawed out the original scrape line. My guess is that it is a territorial/dominance thing. The buck which made the scrape line gets “po’d” that another buck has had the audacity to make his scrapes along his scrape line. It makes sense to me that the buck whose scrapes have been infringed upon, will check that scrape line more often than others, just hoping to catch the intruder buck in action.

Use This Simple Method
You can get real fancy when it comes to making mock scrapes, or you can use this simple method. Find a branch hanging over the buck’s scrape line at about five feet off the ground. Often the buck will have already scraped under all of these branches so you will have to get creative. With the landowner’s permission you can bend or break branches so that they hang five feet off the ground. Or you can tie a branch, which you cut to a higher branch and let it hang down to about that five-foot level.

You can put a little forehead gland scent on the branch tip if you like, although chances are a buck is not going to be able to resist scraping under that branch with or without scent. I use a little scent, because I want the resident buck to know a rogue buck is on his turf. Then just take your boot heel or a garden trowel and scrape away the grass and leaf-litter beneath the overhanging branch. This bare patch of earth does not have to be big, about the size of a basketball is plenty.

Drip a few drops of tarsal gland scent into the new scrape and that is it. I also like to put a few drops of the same scent into the buck’s own scrapes, just to get him even more interested. Sometimes I will make a half-dozen mock scrapes along the existing scrape line, sometimes less.

Like I said, mock scrapes do not work each time, but they have worked often enough that I plan to keep right on using them.

Shop Sportsman’s Guide for Deer Scents/Scent Drippers!

Shop Sportsman’s Guide for a great selection of other Scents to make mock scrapes!

Leave a Reply

Commenting Policy - We encourage open expression of your thoughts and ideas. But there are a few rules:

No abusive comments, threats, or personal attacks. Use clean language. No discussion of illegal activity. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally hateful comments are not tolerated. Keep comments on topic. Please don't spam.

While we reserve the right to remove or modify comments at our sole discretion, the Sportsman's Guide does not bear any responsibility for user comments. The views expressed within the comment section do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Sportsman's Guide.