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Advise on Hunting Scrape

Old 12-08-2003, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Default Advise on Hunting Scrape

Hey Guys,

I live in West Virginia and today started the third week of gun hunting (Doe Season).

I have already taken two deer during the bucks only season with a gun and since this is my first season of bowhunting I want to finish out the year with my bow. Had a couple close calls in late Oct but it was enough to get me hooked.

Saturday we had a nice snow storm come in and today I made it up into the woods and found what looks like a fresh scrape....snow shoved aside, leaves
also and tracks in the dirt. Low hanging tree branch directly over the scrape.

Any advise on how to hunt this scrape would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks !!

West Virginia
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: Advise on Hunting Scrape

Just to clarify, are you hunting this scrape to take the buck? Or are you trying to harvest a doe? From your post it souded like y'all are in doe only season?

Anyways...if you after the buck.....

Best bet is not to hunt "over" the scrape. Probably should try to figure out how this buck is getting to and from the scrape and be careful to leave as little human scent around the scrape as possible. Use of cover scents is critical when hunting a scrape.

My advice is to figure out how this buck is getting to and from the scrape and set up there...maybe where you can see the scrape a ways off but try to intersect his path when he is comming and going. Bucks usually work thier scrapes on a defined path. Very seldom will they ramdomly approach thier scrape.

Also take the weather in concideration. If it's cold, he may be working his scrape in the middle of the day. Try to get out there during the noon hours, especially if there is a lot of moon, or it's really cold. Deer will move with the moon and will move in the middle of the day because that's when it's warmest.

Don't give up on him as long as he's working his scrape (which should be daily if he's still in rut). Scrape hunting requires a lot of patience because you are after a particular buck. As long as you do what you're supposed to as far as scent, noise, etc...sooner or later he will make a mistake and you'll get a shot at him.

Good luck! I hope you get him!
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: Advise on Hunting Scrape

Congrats on finding the sign, pretty exciting isn't it!!

Kind of funny my hunting partner shakes his head when we are out together. You see I am a rub man myself, whenever I see a rub I run right over and start checking everything out. He always says "the only good scrape or rub is when a deer is making it! Besides that it is a waste of good trees, ground & time" kind of funny but he does have a point (to a point ...humm that doesn't make much sense). Any hew I concur that setting up on a rub or scrape is usually a futile effort, I have never taken a buck over a scrape or a rub........BUT (that is a big but) it can lead you to a much better area which I have taken many a buck. You see i run over to my rubs to see how he is rubbing the deer, then try and determine if it is food to bed vs bed to food. After that scratching of the head process, I have started to determine where he is coming from/going to and where he is living....and that my deer hunting friend is where the buck stops. Hehe, ok enough of the one liners but the point is a hunter must use all the sign in a given area, rubs/scrapes indicate a buck which is a good place to start but to be truly successful you must look for patterns(sign) of this deer haunts and travel routes. Set up in accordance to the safest place the buck travels during legal and the area that offers you more than one sign but several. Basically look for trail that come to the scrape you found follow them back to what you persume is where the buck beds and look for your rubline, trail intersection,additional scrapes & so on. Most bucks will leave several clues(signs) in a given area, the highest % odds are the safe zones, such deep transition areas that offer concealment to the buck moving under daylight conditions, funnels, ridges, etc. If you can place yourself somewhere between his bedroom and kitchen you up the odds. I personally prefer getting as close as possible to his bedroom and either waiting or calling him out...depends on the cycle of rut they are in.

This is not meant to say that the rub doesn't indicate his route but if it is the sole thing you found then setting up shop may not provide you with the chance your thinking of, check the area for sign and determine which spot will give you that opportunity. Good Luck!!!!
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:30 PM
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Default RE: Advise on Hunting Scrape

I would love to take the buck but here in West Virginia even though it is gun season for Doe I can still take either sex since I haven't used either my buck or doe stamp for archery.

I would imagine that if it is an active scrape I should see some action around it either buck or doe but like i said earlier, this is the third week of firearms season and the deer are definately not as easy to spot as they were in mid October.

Noticed two possibly good trees near the scrape ...about 20 yards away and they both have clear shooting lanes to the scrape....this might take a while but I have until Dec 31.

Next year...bowhunting all the way..

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