How should I hunt a place where buck scrapes appear year after year?
QUESTION: Bob, does it mean anything significant when ground scrapes are found in the same places year after year? And how should they be hunted? - J. Mulholland
ANSWER: Yes, it means the scrapes are being used annually for a reason, which is a very good sign.
What you’re observing is not all that unusual. The site probably has characteristics favorable to bucks, and I’d be willing to bet there’s an overhanging branch four or five feet above the scrape.
Scrapes that reappear annually are a good indication that the area is a place deer like to travel regularly, especially bucks.
For the best chance of success, hunt it sparingly and wait for the right time, which will likely be a week or two before the peak of the rut.
You could also try using appropriate scents in a natural sequence in the deer’s world.
This means to use buck urine early, then follow up with estrus doe scents when the rut kicks in. You might even want to set up a scrape dripper to your advantage since you know beforehand where they will be scraping. Just be sure never to touch the licking branches.
I also highly recommend the use of a trail camera, set up strategically near the scrape to see if the bucks hitting the scrape are worthy of your time, as well as what time of day or night they are visiting the area.
Annual scrapes are a dead giveaway as to where the bucks are going to be, so use this to your advantage.