Watch the progression of the rut to make the right moves when hunting. Conventional wisdom says that bucks are all chasing does and all bets are off. Well, a buck that has just successfully bred a doe or lost her to a more dominant buck will often return to his old haunts and freshen up his scrapes.
This is more often the case in areas where the rut is a long, drawn-out affair. When previously neglected scrapes suddenly look fresh again, you are in the neighborhood of a lonely buck.
All during the rut, watch where does travel and concentrate on places a buck might travel to quickly check those trails and areas. Bucks looking for does tend to hang out in heavy cover downwind of areas of high doe use.
When a buck is on a hot doe’s trail, it will follow her onto main trails or anywhere else she goes. Keep your eyes open during the rut because a buck could turn up anywhere.