Many folks say the rut is their favorite time to hunt. I like to hunt more than just the peak week of rutting behavior. I enjoy hunting from opening day until the end of season. However, my tactics and stand locations change throughout the season.
Throughout most of the whitetail’s range, the peak of scrape use occurs from mid to late October. Even more importantly, it seems this is also the peak of when bucks use scrapes during daylight. Check out the recent video clip below to see what I mean.
Peak scrape use occurs just before most does become receptive. When a majority of does are receptive, bucks don’t need to use scrapes as a communication tool. They simply use their nose to search for receptive does.
When hunting scrapes, my preference is to find active scrapes that are in travel corridors. I love such locations. My next preference is scrapes near feeding areas for afternoon hunts, and scrapes by bedding areas for morning hunts.
A great example of this is a hunt I had a few years ago. I tagged a mature 12-point buck that was heading to a known bedding area during the morning. I watched him work a scrape and then grunted and watched the show until I took the shot. This is a great strategy for this time of year, and I will probably be hunting that same stand location again soon. You can watch this hunt and see the techniques by clicking here.
Good luck in the treestand this weekend. And remember these two words of advice: Hunt scrapes.
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out Dr. Grant Woods and his popular on-demand web series that shares current information about deer hunting and deer management. The free videos focus on what the GrowingDeer team of experienced hunters and deer managers are doing in the field week to week, including action-packed hunts, proven hunting strategies, habitat management, food plots, trail camera techniques and the gear it takes to get it all done.
Images and video by Dr. Grant Woods