Scrapes are an integral part of the whitetail breeding season and can get you some of the best trail cam pictures of the year. However, frustration accumulates for many hunters as the bucks make their way to scrapes every night and never when you're on stand. The truth is that a majority of scrapes are made, and scent marked under the cover of darkness. I remember when first starting to hunt thinking that finding a scrape meant a sure-fire chance at a buck, only to walk out of the wood's hours later, finding out on the next card pull that they were there after the sunset.Good news is that scrapes can still provide valuable information that with the right mindset can be utilized to harvest that "nightwalker". A trail camera picture can give hints about where a buck's travel route is, where he's bedding, and what his routine is during particular conditions. After finding enough of this information a hunter can ascertain that in order to get a chance at a particular buck, a stand should be hung on way to the scrape, not on top of it.
As most know not everything written in an outdoor article is gospel, and hunting can be a cruel and rewarding cat and mouse game. However, with the right mindset and plan, scrapes and mock scrapes may be the missing piece to your hunting strategy. So next time you get a picture of a buck on a scrape, rack blurred by branches and darkness, think about more than just the time stamp on the picture.
“I came across the Hodag Licking Branch system on YouTube a few yrs ago. I am an avid archery deer hunter and also a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Trapper in IL. I use lure at times in order to enhance my set ups. I was keenly interested in the Licking Branch system knowing how well lure can work. I was even more intrigued by the fact that no gland or urine was used. I went ahead and order a couple. I set them out 30yds out from a tower stand and a hay bale blind and set up trail cams. Within a day or two I had dozens of deer showing up at these set ups. Does with and without fawns. Shooter bucks and smaller bucks. Some were repeat visitors and others were newbies. I was AMAZED! Last 2 yrs I have deployed this system. The deer keep hitting the branches so much that before the season is over there's nothing but a stick left, AND THEY KEEP HITTING IT! Do yourself a GIGANTIC favor and deploy this system. You won't regret it. WELL DONE HODAG TEAM ! ! !”