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The Fascinating World of Deer Hunting: Unveiling the Power of Mock Scrapes

Hello, and welcome back fellow hunting enthusiasts! One of my passions is understanding and leveraging the complex world of deer communication to improve my hunting strategy. It’s this interest that led me to dive deep into the realm of mock scrapes, an intriguing aspect of deer behavior that offers invaluable insights for hunters.

Mock scrapes, or as some call them, fake or hunter-made scrapes, have been a game-changer in my hunting strategy. They have helped me significantly increase my success rates during the hunting season. The ability to mimic natural whitetail scrapes and communicate with deer in their ‘language’ has undoubtedly revolutionized my hunting experiences.

But why are mock scrapes so important? What role do they play in deer communication, and how can we, as hunters, use them to our advantage? If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, then you’re in the right place. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about mock scrapes and how to hunt them effectively. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of deer communication and unveil the power of mock scrapes!

What are Mock Scrapes?

As an avid hunter, one of my favorite hunting strategies involves the use of mock scrapes. In the world of whitetail hunting, mock scrapes, play a crucial role. But what are they exactly?

Mock scrapes are artificial deer scrapes that hunters create to attract bucks. Think of them as a communication board for deer – they’re an imitation of the natural scrapes made by bucks during the rutting season. Bucks use natural scrapes to mark their territory and signal their presence to does, often choosing high-traffic areas under a licking branch.

These mock scrapes aim to trigger the same buck behavior, drawing them into your hunting area and within range of your stand or tree saddle. Mock scrapes tap into the deer’s keen sense of smell – a significant aspect of deer communication.

What is a Community Scrape?

When deer hunting, you might stumble upon a goldmine, the community scrape. These are natural scrapes, usually larger and more frequented than regular scrapes. A community scrape serves as a ‘social hub’ for deer, with multiple bucks and does contributing to it over the entire season. They are typically found under a well-defined licking branch – a branch that deer will sniff or lick, adding their scent  from their preorbital glands to the communal mix.

This communication hub is a prime spot for game cameras and hunting strategies involving mock scrapes. Capturing the scent profile of a community scrape can be highly effective when creating your mock scrapes. In fact, harnessing the power of community scrapes in your hunting approach can significantly improve your chances of a successful hunt. You can do this by adding manufactured mock scrape scents to the community scrape and taking it over and challenging the mature buck that’s using the community scrape.

This provides an overview of what mock scrapes and community scrapes are and their role in deer hunting. We’ll further explore how and when to make mock scrapes, their effectiveness, and many more aspects in the following sections. Remember, hunting is not just about the thrill; it’s a part of our outdoor life, a bond with nature and a commitment to wildlife conservation.

making a mock scrape, how to create a mock scrape, making a licking branch

When Should You Make Mock Scrapes?

Timing is a critical factor when it comes to creating mock scrapes. The goal is to mimic natural deer behavior during the rutting season, when bucks are most active and marking their territory. Typically, the ideal time to make mock scrapes is during the pre-rut and rut periods when deer activity is at its peak. Although I do regularly run some mock scrapes all year round to try and keep an eye on deer in the area and see how they are using the scrapes throughout the season.

The exact timing may vary depending on your geographical location and the specific breeding season of the local deer population. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the hunting season and the rutting patterns in your area. Local hunting associations and wildlife management organizations like the Deer Association (NDA) can provide valuable insights into the peak rutting periods.

By aligning your mock scrape creation with the natural breeding behavior of deer, you increase the chances of attracting bucks to your hunting area. This strategic timing can significantly enhance your hunting experience and improve the effectiveness of your mock scrapes.

Do Mock Scrapes Really Work?

The effectiveness of mock scrapes is a topic of much debate among hunters. Some swear by their success, while others remain skeptical. From my personal experience and the experiences shared by other hunters, mock scrapes can indeed be effective in attracting deer and influencing their behavior.

The key to the effectiveness of mock scrapes lies in their presentation and the use of enticing scents. When creating a mock scrape, it’s essential to make it as realistic as possible. This includes selecting the right location, mimicking natural scraping patterns, and using appropriate scents that mimic deer urine or gland secretions.

Additionally, placing trail cameras near mock scrapes allows you to monitor deer activity and gain valuable insights into the local buck population. These cameras can capture valuable footage and help you refine your hunting strategies.

While mock scrapes may not guarantee a successful hunt every time, they can certainly improve your odds and contribute to a more productive hunting experience. It’s important to experiment, adapt, and fine-tune your approach based on your specific hunting area and the behavior of the deer population.

What is the Best Thing to Put in a Mock Scrape?

When it comes to creating a mock scrape, the choice of scent is a crucial factor. Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell for communication and detecting potential threats. Using the right scent can enhance the authenticity of your mock scrape and make it more appealing to deer.

Common options for scent include deer urine, both buck and doe urine, as well as synthetic scents that mimic natural deer gland secretions. These scents can be applied to the scrape itself, the surrounding area, and the licking branch.

It’s important to check the hunting regulations in your area regarding the use of scents. In some regions, there may be restrictions or specific guidelines for using scents in hunting. Always ensure you are in compliance with local laws and regulations.

By incorporating the right scents into your mock scrape, you create an enticing and realistic environment that appeals to deer. This increases the likelihood of attracting bucks and enhancing your hunting success.

How Many Mock Scrapes Should I Make?

The number of mock scrapes you should make depends on several factors, including the size of your hunting area, the deer population, and the specific hunting strategy you’re employing. While there is no definitive answer, creating multiple mock scrapes can increase your chances of attracting deer and maximizing your hunting opportunities.

Strategic placement is key when determining the number of mock scrapes to make. It’s recommended to start with a few well-placed mock scrapes and monitor their activity. If you observe increased deer traffic and interactions, it indicates that your mock scrapes are effective.

As you gain more insights into the behavior of deer in your hunting area, you can expand the number of mock scrapes accordingly. It’s important to create a balance between having enough mock scrapes to cover different areas and not overwhelming the deer with an excessive number of scrapes.

Monitoring the activity around each mock scrape is essential. Trail cameras, such as the ones discussed in the section on trail cameras, can provide valuable data on deer movement and help you assess the effectiveness of each mock scrape.

Remember, the goal is to create mock scrapes that effectively simulate natural deer behavior and attract bucks. By strategically placing and monitoring multiple mock scrapes, you increase your chances of luring in deer and optimizing your hunting experience.

Why Aren’t Deer Hitting My Mock Scrape?

If you find that deer are not interacting with your mock scrape as expected, there could be several reasons for this. It’s important to assess and troubleshoot the situation to improve the effectiveness of your mock scrape.

  1. Location: The location of your mock scrape plays a crucial role. Ensure that it is placed in an area frequented by deer, such as near food sources, bedding areas, or along travel routes.
  2. Timing: The timing of your mock scrape creation is important. If the scrape is made too early or too late in the season, deer may not be actively engaging with it. Align the creation of your mock scrape with the peak rutting periods in your area.
  3. Scent: The scent you use in your mock scrape is another critical factor. Ensure that you are using the right scents, such as deer urine or synthetic scents, to make the mock scrape appealing to deer. Avoid using excessive amounts of scent, as it may deter deer.
  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your mock scrape is essential. Refresh the scrape with fresh scent and soil periodically to keep it appealing to deer. Remove any debris or excess vegetation that may hinder deer interaction.
  5. Competing Scrapes: If there are existing natural scrapes in the area, deer may prefer those over your mock scrape. Consider placing your mock scrape near heavily worked, natural scrapes to increase its effectiveness.

By evaluating these factors and making necessary adjustments, you can improve the attractiveness of your mock scrape and increase the chances of deer interacting with it during your hunts.

How Do You Attract Deer to Mock Scrapes?

Attracting deer to your mock scrapes requires careful consideration of various factors that can entice their curiosity and draw them in. Here are some tips and techniques to increase the effectiveness of your mock scrapes in attracting deer:

  1. Strategic Placement: Choose locations for your mock scrapes that are frequented by deer. Look for areas with high deer traffic, such as near food sources, bedding areas, or along known travel routes like pinch points or funnels. By placing your mock scrape in these strategic locations, you increase the likelihood of deer encountering and investigating it.
  2. Scent Attractants: Scent plays a crucial role in attracting deer to mock scrapes. Consider using deer urine or synthetic scents that mimic natural deer scents. Apply the scent attractant to the mock scrape itself and on the licking branch above the scrape. This creates a realistic scent profile that entices deer to investigate the area.
  3. Licking Branch: A key component of a mock scrape is the presence of a licking branch. Choose a sturdy branch that hangs approximately 4-5 feet above the ground and extends over the mock scrape. This branch serves as a visual cue for deer and encourages them to interact with the scrape.
  4. Visual Presentation: Make your mock scrape visually appealing to deer by roughing up the ground around the scrape. Use a stick or rake to create disturbance and mimic the activity of multiple bucks. This gives the impression that the scrape has been worked over time, making it more attractive to deer.
  5. Trail Cameras: Placing trail cameras near your mock scrapes allows you to monitor deer activity and assess the effectiveness of your setup. Trail cameras provide valuable insights into the types of deer visiting the scrape, their behavior, and the times they are most active. This information can help you make adjustments to your hunting strategy accordingly.
  6. Timing: Consider the timing of your hunts in relation to deer activity. Early morning and late afternoon are typically when deer are most active. Plan your hunting sessions accordingly, maximizing your chances of encountering deer near your mock scrape.

By employing these techniques and adapting to the specific conditions of your hunting area, you can enhance the attractiveness of your mock scrapes and increase the likelihood of deer interaction. Remember to be patient and allow time for deer to discover and establish a pattern of visiting your mock scrapes. Persistence and careful attention to detail will pay off in improving your hunting success.

Do Deer Check Scrapes in Morning or Evening?

The timing of when deer check scrapes can vary, but there are general patterns that can guide your hunting strategy. While deer are known to visit scrapes throughout the day, there are certain tendencies to keep in mind:

  1. Nighttime Activity: Most scraping activity occurs at night when deer feel more secure and less susceptible to predation. Bucks, in particular, are known to be active at night, visiting scrapes to leave their scent and gather information about other deer in the area.
  2. Evening Visits: Bucks may also visit scrapes in the evening hours, especially as they move from bedding areas to feeding areas. During this time, they may check scrapes for any recent activity or leave their own scent as a communication signal.
  3. Morning Movements: Deer, including bucks, often move toward their bedding areas in the morning after a night of foraging. While they may not actively check scrapes during this time, their movements can provide valuable insight into their patterns and potential bedding areas.
  4. Pre-Rut and Rut Phases: During the pre-rut and rut phases of the breeding season, bucks are more likely to check scrapes throughout the day, including morning and evening. These periods are characterized by increased deer activity and communication, making it an opportune time to hunt over mock scrapes.

To optimize your hunting strategy based on deer scrape checking behavior, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Morning Hunts: If you plan to hunt over a scrape line, it’s best to do so during the morning hours. Most bucks will work their scrapes during the night and move towards their bedding areas in the morning. Position yourself strategically along their likely travel routes, increasing your chances of encountering a buck near the scrape.
  2. Evening Hunts: Hunting over scrapes in the evening can also be productive, especially during the pre-rut and rut phases when bucks are actively checking scrapes. Set up in locations where deer move from feeding areas to bedding areas, intersecting their travel paths near scrapes.
  3. Trail Camera Insights: Utilize trail cameras to gather data on scrape activity during different times of the day. By analyzing the images and timestamps, you can identify patterns of deer visits and adjust your hunting schedule accordingly.
  4. Scouting and Observation: Spend time scouting and observing deer behavior in your hunting area. Look for signs of fresh scrape activity, such as pawed-up ground and fresh scent markings. This on-the-ground knowledge will help you determine the most suitable times to hunt near mock scrapes.

It’s important to note that while there are general trends in deer behavior around scrapes, individual deer may exhibit variations in their visiting patterns. Factors such as weather conditions, hunting pressure, and deer population density can influence their behavior. As an experienced hunter, it’s crucial to remain adaptable and responsive to the specific conditions in your hunting area.

By understanding the typical time frames when deer check scrapes and aligning your hunting efforts accordingly, you can increase your chances of encountering deer near your mock scrapes and maximizing your hunting success.


Mock scrapes are valuable tools in a hunter’s arsenal, offering opportunities to attract and monitor deer activity. By understanding what mock scrapes are, how to create them effectively, and how to optimize their use in your hunting strategy, you can enhance your chances of a successful hunt.

Throughout this article, we have explored the concept of mock scrapes, including their purpose and importance in deer communication. We have discussed various factors to consider, such as timing, scent attractants, visual presentation, and strategic placement, to increase the effectiveness of mock scrapes.

Additionally, we have addressed common questions and concerns related to mock scrapes, including their efficacy, the best materials to use, the number of mock scrapes to create, and ways to troubleshoot if deer aren’t interacting with them as expected.

By incorporating these insights and techniques into your hunting approach, you can improve your understanding of deer behavior, increase your chances of attracting deer to your hunting area, and ultimately enhance your overall hunting success.

Remember, hunting is a dynamic and ever-evolving pursuit. Continual observation, adaptation, and honing of your skills will further refine your ability to effectively utilize mock scrapes and engage in a fulfilling and rewarding hunting experience. So, embrace the art of mock scrapes, explore new strategies, and let your passion for deer hunting guide you in the pursuit of memorable hunting moments.


  1. What are mock scrapes?
    • Mock scrapes are artificial imitations of natural scrapes made by deer hunters to attract deer to a specific location.
  2. How do mock scrapes differ from natural scrapes?
    • Mock scrapes are created by hunters, while natural scrapes are made by deer. However, hunters try to mimic the behavior and appearance of natural scrapes to make their mock scrapes more enticing to deer.
  3. What role does scent play in deer communication through mock scrapes?
    • Scent is a crucial component in deer communication through mock scrapes. Deer use scent to communicate their presence, reproductive status, and territorial boundaries. Hunters can use deer urine or synthetic scents to enhance the authenticity of the mock scrape.
  4. How do mock scrapes contribute to a hunting strategy?
    • Mock scrapes serve as attractants and communication hubs for deer, making them valuable tools in a hunting strategy. By strategically placing mock scrapes in areas frequented by deer, hunters can increase their chances of attracting and encountering deer during the hunting season.
  5. What is a community scrape?
    • A community scrape is a type of scrape used by multiple deer in an area to communicate with each other. It serves as a signpost where deer share their scent and engage in social interaction.
  6. How important are community scrapes in deer communication and hunting?
    • Community scrapes play a significant role in deer communication and can be a major factor in successful deer breeding. They provide valuable information about the presence and activity of multiple deer in an area, making them attractive locations for hunters.

1 thought on “The Fascinating World of Deer Hunting: Unveiling the Power of Mock Scrapes

  1. […] bucks, work by tapping into the intricate deer communication system. Deer, particularly bucks, use scrapes as a method of communication to assert their presence and dominance, and to signify their readiness […]

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