Scrape Week Part Two: Better Get Going!

Scott Bestul |

crab_claw_licking_branch-runway_scrape-oct_2012Last week we opened and examined the scrapes-are-a-night-thing phenomenon. Our conclusion was that yes, scrapes are largely visited by bucks at night, but with a notable exception; I call it “scrape week” –a narrow window just before peak breeding—and we are fast approaching that magic time.

To capitalize on scrape week, last week’s blog advised to scout for the season’s first scrapes, “blow them up” by creating mock scrapes next to them, and then hanging cameras on these sites. These cameras will help us to anticipate scrape week and capitalize on hunting opportunity. Here’s what to do:

dh_jr-runway_scrape-late_oct_2014*Make a milk run: As much as you want to get in a stand or blind now, scouting has to be part of your routine. Fortunately, your cameras are doing most of the work for you, so your job is simple; make frequent (I go every other day, and sometimes daily, for cams that aren’t near bedding areas) runs into your cams to swap out cards.

*Watch for the shift: You should notice a marked shift toward daylight scrape visits as the days go by….at least at some of your setups. As soon as you notice this shift happen, it’s time to hang a stand to capitalize on the M2E1L0-0R350B362behavior. Don’t wait “for things to really get good” (I quote that saying because I’ve heard too many hunters utter it)….the window on scrape week shuts in a hurry, and you need to hop on the action as soon as you get a hint that it’s happening.

*Stay mobile: Obviously, if the one scrape is markedly hotter than all the rest, hop on the action there. But a far better plan is to keep monitoring activity at all the scrapes and be ready to make a move to another site if bucks start hammering that one. The great thing about having multiple hot scrapes is it allows you to spread pressure among several sites.perfect_10_ii-runway_scrape-oct_2014

*Work it hard: Most hunters enjoy the chaos and frenetic activity of the chase and peak-breeding phase. Sure, you’ll probably see more bucks when the rut is going full bore….but your chances of actually killing a buck in his home range is much higher during that magic period called “scrape week.”