As a Leo (zodiac, not law enforcement), I’m not known for my patience; though I work on it daily and hunting has certainly tested and grown by ability to enhance my calm. Having said that; it has taken every ounce of self-control I have to wait until this morning to create mock scrapes in my hunting area. It seems that I sometimes forget the object of the mock scrape is to entice bucks to present themselves to me while I’m actually hunting, not just to get them to show up on my Moultrie game cameras looking handsome.
Previously I shared that I’ve never created a mock scrape before. This is only my second-ever deer season. But I am excited to take more ownership of the hunting experience and try tools, new to me, for improving my odds of really getting what I want this year. My new tools of choice this year; my game cameras (both Moultrie), my ground blinds (by Ameristep), feeder tubes (by DevourBaits), and mock scrape paraphernalia.
My mock scrape journey started with the Hunting Scent Book, a handbook by Wildlife Research Center, and a video produced on the mock scrape. That led me to purchasing the Magnum Scrape Dripper (three) and four bottles of Active Scrape (from Wildlife Research Center), two bottles of Golden Scrape and multiple bottles of Golden Estrus (also from Wildlife Research Center), as well as two drippers and two bottles of Power Scrape (from Tink’s). To say I have spent quite a tidy sum of money on Odocoileus virginianus urine would be an understatement. One could argue that I’ve actually pissed my money away.
Whether or not the mock scrapes will bring forth well-endowed bucks during my hunt has yet to be seen; as opening day here in Kansas is September 14th (and you-betcha I took that day off work). It was kind of fun to create them though, more adventuresome really. If the scrapes work, it will be interesting to compare which worked better to my satisfaction; the Wildlife Research Center products or the Tink’s.
I placed the Magnum Drippers in the upper area I hunt, where I also hunted turkeys in spring. That was where my first game camera was set up and where I set up my first feeder back in April 2015. My Tink’s system was hung up in the lower hunting area, where I hunted deer last year (and bagged my first deer, a beautiful doe I still pray thanks for). There is a game camera and a feeder in the lower area as well, and both areas have my ground blinds set up.
When I check the game cameras next weekend I will have an idea if the bucks have shifted from their nocturnal habits to more diurnal activity. Whatever the outcome, however, I have enjoyed the opportunities to get out into the woods and field to tend to the process. That includes adding food to the feeders weekly and following the progress of some of the deer, specifically the doe with her fawn. It has been incredible watching the doe through her pregnancy in May and June, and her trips with her fawn since July. Yesterday I was quite blessed to see the doe and her fawn quenching their thirst from the pond in the lower area as I was headed down to replenish the feeder. As soon as I saw the doe I stopped, and stood very still. She didn’t see me, and neither did the fawn, but when the wind shifted she caught a whiff of possible danger and went back up into the lower woods.
I was also surprisingly blessed to see a group of gobbler bachelors yesterday. They ran away when they saw me approach, but I could see they were all large, plump, and ripe for the bagging when autumn turkey season starts. And since they’ve been hanging out in my lower hunting area, I have a better shot (pun intended) of bagging a bird for Thanksgiving this year (although Thanksgiving will be far more somber with my son deployed instead of making his yearly pilgrimage to my home for love, laughter, and food).
In nine days I will be out in the blind for the first day of deer season, with my crossbow sighted and my hunting clothes scent-free and matching. I can hardly wait; only 207 hours left to go!