Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Rut Myth Debunked – Hunting bucks by setting up over a scrape

© By Othmar Vohringer

Myth: During the rut taking up a stand near a fresh scrape means better odds that a great buck will come by.

Here’s the skinny on scrapes. Did you know that over 90% of all scrapes are random? Meaning, the buck that made them will never return to it again? But hang on, it gets worse. Does make scrapes too and no, you can’t tell the difference from a buck and doe scrape. Scrapes come in all sizes from as big as a car-hood to as small as a dinner plate and neither is an indicator of what size deer made them. Some scrapes are only used by bucks, others only by females and again others are used by both sexes. Then there is the little known fact that the majority of mature bucks visit scrapes primarily at night as a recent study revealed with radio collared bucks. Now add to this confusion that a buck can make up to 40 or more scrapes in his territory of which none is regularly visited and others never attended to again and it becomes obvious how slim the chances are to plan on encountering a buck at a specific scrape.

All these limiting factors may be the reason for the answers I got from “scrape hunters” when I asked them about the success ratio they have by employing this particular hunting tactic. It can be summed up like this: if you hunt over the same scrape from dawn to dusk for several days, even weeks, and a buck will eventually walk by it. To me that sounds more like depending on luck - not a sound strategy.

Read the next segment of "Rut Myth Debunked"
Is the rut the best time to hunt mature bucks?
Does the full moon have an effect on the timing of the rut?

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