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Guide to Creating and Utilizing a Deer Scrape
A scrape is a waypoint where deer communicate with one another via gland secretions. Scrapes are well-frequented by bucks that are looking for mates – as well as does before they enter a nearby food plot – which is why building your own scrape is one of the best hunting techniques at your disposal.
When choosing a location for your mock scrape, the best spots are (A) alongside the edge between a field and wooded area and (B) a staging area. Staging areas, which are spots just outside where deer feed or bed down for the night, are preferable. Once you have found a good spot for your mock scrape, make it as wide in diameter as you’re able – no smaller than 10’x10′, if possible. The larger and more visible your mock scrape, the more inviting deer will find it, and you certainly do want a bustling hot spot of deer activity!
It is essential to have a good licking branch at your mock scrape, as deer visit these to communicate with one another via salivary excretions. Select a spot beneath a tree with overhanging branches – or, barring that, a spot where you can affix your own makeshift licking branch via zip ties.
Working down the location of a mock scrape until it becomes bare earth is time-consuming, but the benefits are well worth it. Once the soil is exposed, dump five to eight gallons of water around the area to help get your own smell out of it. Next disperse whichever scent you’ll be using that season and add three more gallons of water. Mix some grass and leaves into the final bucket of water to make the area look more natural. With that, you’re all set to mount your trail camera.
Research tells us that scrapes are busiest between 10:30am and 1:30pm. My own experience confirms that this timeframe is indeed when bucks are most likely to pursue hot does.
Big Buck Adventures’ deer scents make the perfect addition to any scrape. Our Ultimate Scrape Mix is especially potent at scrapes, as the scent informs does that the scrape is a good breeding area. This spurs them to urinate, which is more often than not the only invitation eager bucks need! But several of our other gland scents all pose massive advantages when correctly applied.
Once you have completed these steps, all you have to do is sit back and brace yourself for heart-pounding action when the upcoming rut finally kicks into full gear!
Guide to Deer Zones
Your deer zone is where you will place one or more tree stands so you can remain undetected as you surveil deer while they breed, browse, and traverse the landscape.
An ideal deer zone will have multiple corridors for deer to travel through. These corridors typically radiate around at least one large feeding area or food plot, but you may install multiple additional smaller food plots throughout your zone as well. However, you lay out your zone’s corridors, it is key to design them so they narrow down at certain points – aka “kill zones.”
It is highly recommended that you set up at least one stand near your zone’s mock scrape. Once you have judiciously applied Big Buck Adventures’ Ultimate Scrape Mix to your scrape, eager bucks are certain to come investigating. It is also strongly recommended that you set up mineral licks in your zone during the summer months – preferably next to a trail camera, so you can monitor the traffic of mature bucks in your zone. If your mineral lick fails to attract any bucks, then you should still have time to seek out a better zone!
Should you set up a deer zone in a heavily wooded area?
This is not advisable. Deer scrapes and rubs are most commonly found within open and transitional areas during the rut, so you should follow suit by setting up your zone near these areas as well. Seek out zones which contain multiple areas where a field transitions to woodland, as well as natural clearings (or manmade clearings, if you are creating your own scrape as well). Zones that contain these locations are ideal for bow and gun hunters alike!
Do you need a food plot?
A food plot is not necessary to a successful hunt, but it can be extremely helpful! Food plots attract browsing does, which in turn attract mature and eager bucks. If you are hunting during the rut, then you will only make your food plot more effective by strategically applying urine and gland scents at nearby locations. Bucks still have to eat during rut, but food is not their priority during that time of year. They’re instinctually driven to home in on the thrilling scents of hot does!
How do you start a food plot?
You’re already in the right place to get started! Big Buck Adventures’ proprietary seed and fertilizer blend is designed to produce food plots that will keep the deer coming to your zone all season long. Once you have sewn your food plot, you need only return to mow, fertilize and perform other light maintenance four times a year. This will ensure sustained growth of the nutritious plants deer most like to browse. In conjunction with our incredibly effective urine and gland scents, a Big Buck Adventures food plot becomes an incredibly potent tool for bagging trophy bucks!
Guide to Deer Gland Scents
As you may know, a deer has several special glands located throughout its body. When a deer deposits a gland secretion on a given area, it sends important information about itself to other deer.
Big Buck Adventures harvests several deer glands to produce a wide selection of high-quality gland scents. Hunters frequently use our gland scents to send their own important message to deer: “Come over here, Mr. Deer … and meet Mr. 30-06 Springfield.”
We have refined our gland scent production protocol to a fine science. That is why other companies’ gland scents are even remotely effective as our own, and why we can so confidently guarantee to our customers that they will see trophy bucks!
We cannot share our proprietary secrets. But we will tell you more about any of the glands that we harvest – including one which we discovered, and is otherwise unknown to researchers.
- Forehead Gland – Although all deer have this gland, only bucks use it to rub their scent onto rubs. They often work it into the branches overhanging a rub using their antlers.
- Salivary & Nasal Glands – Deer deposit secretions from their salivary glands on communal licking branches in order to signal their presence to potential mates and competition. The nasal gland serves a less communicative purpose, primarily keeping the deer’s nose moist and more sensitive to scents.
- Preorbital Gland – This gland, which is positioned near the deer’s tear ducts, is not well understood. Rutting bucks do open these glands to signal aggression to competition. Paradoxically, does also open their preorbital glands while caring for their fawns.
- Interdigital Gland – Deer use the glands located between the hooves of each foot to tell each other apart in family groups. As such, the interdigital gland is one of the most communicative organs in a deer’s body. That’s why it’s often so fundamental to a high-quality gland scent.
- Tarsal Gland – Deer mix secretions from the gland behind their legs with urine to message important information to other deer both before and during rut. When a doe smells tarsal gland secretions, she knows a willing mate is nearby. When a buck smells them, he learns that a rival is afoot!
- Metatarsal Gland – These glands are located on the outside of both of a deer’s hind legs. Some claim the metatarsal gland serves no communicative purpose, but we have identified it as the deer’s method of signaling alarm when it stamps its feet.
- Preputial Gland – Only bucks have this gland, and they exclusively use it to communicate during pre-rut. Bucks mix their preputial and tarsal gland secretions to emit a distinctive and potent rutting scent.
- Anal Gland – This gland is exclusive to does and is attached to the urinary tract. Anal gland secretions signal to bucks that the doe is in heat, which is why the gland makes the perfect foundation for Big Buck Adventures’ signature Doe in Heat and Doe Passion gland scents!
How can I be so confident? Because I have personally developed Big Buck Adventures’ techniques and products over the course of a lifetime, testing virtually every tool at the deer hunter’s disposal in the process.
And what I learned in all that time serves me well while I’m out in the woods. I recently joined the Pope and Young club thanks not only to my bow and arrow, but also our proprietary Ultimate Scrape Mix. I have also made a career of helping others to bag big bucks, and I love nothing more than the look on a customer’s face when a Big Buck Adventures zone, food plot or scent wins them the trophy of a lifetime.
In short, I owe my success as a hunter to the same techniques and products I now stand behind. My guarantee simply underscores that the same things that work so well for me will also transform your hunting season!