Early scraping

JCDEERMAN

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Question: do yall ever open up a historical scrape yourselves to kind of help it along? Don't see how that would be much different from opening up a mock scrape, it just happens to be a real one that needed some help? I tried it yesterday and have only had does so far on camera. guess we will see!
Absolutely. Does it speed up the process? Who knows? But I go to all of my scrape locations, whether I made them years ago or naturally made by deer, I go to them and reopen them start - mid October. Pee in them or use the pee I bottled in water bottles. Then I stay out of there until muzzleloader when I’m in there hunting. I’ll exchange cards while in there and get out until the next optimal time to move in there.
 

Jaahspike

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A lot of it is random, just bucks thrashing trees to show off or because they're frustrated. When you see a single rub or a small cluster of rubs, they generally mean nothing. I've seen a single buck make half a dozen rubs in just a couple minutes because he was showing his dominance to the smaller bucks who were all chasing one doe.

Rub lines are what I search for. They're generally made by a singular buck and in my experience they mark his trail from bedding to a major travel corridor, like lights lining a driveway.

Then there are sign post rubs, most generally a larger than normal rub on a larger than normal tree. Any and every deer uses it, not just bucks.
Thanks for the response! Sorry for all of the questions but, how much distance does the average rub line go? Do they follow a certain pattern like along a ridgeline?
 

Ski

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by biological definition, a big rub has to be used in more than one year to be considered a true signpost

I didn't know that. I've seen only a very few perennial ones. Most I find are used a single season, but during that season they're used exactly the same way the perennial ones are.
 

Ski

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Thanks for the response! Sorry for all of the questions but, how much distance does the average rub line go? Do they follow a certain pattern like along a ridgeline?

I can't really say I've noticed a certain length that seems more common. Most I see are less than 150yds though. And I don't see them all that much along a ridge line. They're usually crossing it. When I do see one along a ridge, it's only for a really short distance before dropping off to one side or the other. I've got one in mind just like that. It's a hogback ridge with a shallow dip and the rub line runs diagonal across the ridge, so it looks like it runs with the ridge but it actually crosses it at an angle. It's not there every year but it's pretty often I find one there. I'll be up at that property next week and if one is there I'll take pics.

Generally what I see linearly along a ridge line is scrapes, especially when the area has multiple mature bucks. I suppose it's because of competition??? I don't really know. It's just something I've noticed.
 

BSK

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I didn't know that. I've seen only a very few perennial ones. Most I find are used a single season, but during that season they're used exactly the same way the perennial ones are.
Exactly, and that's why I call them signposts as well. That is their purpose and that is what they are being used for.

However, in my area, we see a lot of signposts that are used for many years. Eventually the tree becomes so rub-scarred that it dies. These "used many years" signposts are almost exclusively cedars and pines.
 

Ski

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However, in my area, we see a lot of signposts that are used for many years. Eventually the tree becomes so rub-scarred that it dies. These "used many years" signposts are almost exclusively cedars and pines.

I don't find many of those, and when I do it's almost always a beech. I don't have many cedars and no pines. I've been really considering installing a cedar post in a couple really scrape areas where major trails intersect, but haven't done it yet. I'm curious if they'd adopt & begin using them.
 

philsanchez76

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Absolutely. Does it speed up the process? Who knows? But I go to all of my scrape locations, whether I made them years ago or naturally made by deer, I go to them and reopen them start - mid October. Pee in them or use the pee I bottled in water bottles. Then I stay out of there until muzzleloader when I’m in there hunting. I’ll exchange cards while in there and get out until the next optimal time to move in there.
Do you wait till muzzleloader just out of preference (for the weapon or colder temps, less bugs, etc) or do you wait just because that's the best time for buck movement regardless? I think im hunting near my scrapes too early with my bow when I should wait a few weeks. Still learning all this.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Do you wait till muzzleloader just out of preference (for the weapon or colder temps, less bugs, etc) or do you wait just because that's the best time for buck movement regardless? I think im hunting near my scrapes too early with my bow when I should wait a few weeks. Still learning all this.
Some of those scrapes aren’t very intrusive, so I’ll check them more often. Some are more secluded and I want to very much limit the traffic. I wait until muzzleloader for optimal time in those secluded locations for bucks to be on their feet cruising and starting to bump a few does around.

Let me preface: I never hunt a location because a scrape is located there, however, by happenstance, scrape locations and my stand locations coincide often. Hence, I may hang a stand at a pinch point, and also have a scrape there with a camera hanging due to it being a travel highway. When I am sitting in that stand, the thought has never crossed my mind that “I hope a buck comes and checks this scrape”. I’m simply hunting there due to deer traffic in general.

If I were bow hunting a scrape, it would certainly be in a less intrusive area. I have one scrape in mind now that we traditionally get daytime older buck pics during the last two weeks of October. It is a long, slim ridge with a steep and narrow cut that comes up to the top of the ridge. The deer cross there. I’ve had a scrape there for over 10 years. Right next to the road. That’s where I’ll be in a few weeks, probably in my saddle depending on wind
 

BSK

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Let me preface: I never hunt a location because a scrape is located there, however, by happenstance, scrape locations and my stand locations coincide often. Hence, I may hang a stand at a pinch point, and also have a scrape there with a camera hanging due to it being a travel highway. When I am sitting in that stand, the thought has never crossed my mind that “I hope a buck comes and checks this scrape”. I’m simply hunting there due to deer traffic in general.
Exactly. I often have stands near some of my best traditional scrapes. Not to hunt the scrape, but because the scrape is there for the same reason I'm hunting that area. It is a high deer interaction location. It is location where multiple deer travel corridors intersect. I'm there because it is a deer travel corridor intersection/interchange. The scrape is there because it is a high deer traffic intersection/interchange.
 

Buzzard Breath

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Quick question for you guys that are out looking for scrapes and checking trail cams over scrapes right now. Are you doing this exclusively from quads/4-wheelers, or are you walking your places. I hate to walk around when it's so dry and no rain is in the forecast. It normally doesn't bother me so much when I can get out just before a rain. With no rain in the forecast, I just hate walking around the place, outside of hunting it. Even then, I hunt a different portion every time I'm out. Am I overthinking this?
 

JCDEERMAN

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Quick question for you guys that are out looking for scrapes and checking trail cams over scrapes right now. Are you doing this exclusively from quads/4-wheelers, or are you walking your places. I hate to walk around when it's so dry and no rain is in the forecast. It normally doesn't bother me so much when I can get out just before a rain. With no rain in the forecast, I just hate walking around the place, outside of hunting it. Even then, I hunt a different portion every time I'm out. Am I overthinking this?
Right now, I care, but I really don’t care. Our bucks usually start filtering in around 10/12, so here in about a week, I’ll start to be more weary. By the weekend of the 15th, I want everything set and I’ll vanish until muzzleloader (for most of the locations). Agreed, when it’s dry like this, I'm not feeling very many good vibes trampling around. Once it rains, it’s all golf cart for me there on
 

BSK

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Quick question for you guys that are out looking for scrapes and checking trail cams over scrapes right now. Are you doing this exclusively from quads/4-wheelers, or are you walking your places. I hate to walk around when it's so dry and no rain is in the forecast. It normally doesn't bother me so much when I can get out just before a rain. With no rain in the forecast, I just hate walking around the place, outside of hunting it. Even then, I hunt a different portion every time I'm out. Am I overthinking this?
If I can't drive up to the camera on an ATV, I don't put a camera there.
 

Boll Weevil

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:rolleyes: Our gun season now starts Oct31 but the rut doesn't peak for my area until 1st week of Dec. Much rutting activity already takes place under cover of darkness...I can only imagine what daylight activity is gonna look like after already being shot at for a month.
 

BSK

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:rolleyes: Our gun season now starts Oct31 but the rut doesn't peak for my area until 1st week of Dec. Much rutting activity already takes place under cover of darkness...I can only imagine what daylight activity is gonna look like after already being shot at for a month.
I bet that's true. We're sort of lucky in that the guns don't start going off until just at peak buck activity as the rut is kicking off. MZ can open anywhere from Nov. 3 to Nov. 9, and our peak breeding always falls around Nov. 10-20.
 

Ski

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Quick question for you guys that are out looking for scrapes and checking trail cams over scrapes right now. Are you doing this exclusively from quads/4-wheelers, or are you walking your places. I hate to walk around when it's so dry and no rain is in the forecast. It normally doesn't bother me so much when I can get out just before a rain. With no rain in the forecast, I just hate walking around the place, outside of hunting it. Even then, I hunt a different portion every time I'm out. Am I overthinking this?

I don't care much until the bucks I want to hunt begin showing up. That's usually around mid month, a week away yet. I also make it a point to check cams midday and preferably with noisy wind if possible.
 

RS

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And by biological definition, a big rub has to be used in more than one year to be considered a true signpost. That said, we all know what a signpost looks like and I will call them a signpost even if it is the first year it is being worked.

Would this be considered a true signpost rub? 😀
F585A715-396A-41E1-88EA-AF262ED59DD1.jpeg
 

RS

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About as true a signpost as you're going to see. But honestly, in the Plains, it's not uncommon to see signpost rubs on anything made of wood, including fence-posts.
Yes, that pic was taken in Kansas. The county had to replace the post a few years after I took the pic because they had almost rubbed it completely through. I see a lot of fence post rubs out there also.
 

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