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Deer hunting can sometimes feel like a game of luck, especially when it comes to luring the elusive mature buck into range. The mock scrape is a tool that I started using several years ago and it has worked great in scouting and hunting scenarios. This blog post will explain how to create a mock scrape for deer hunting and provide useful tips I have learned while using them.

How to create a mock scrape for deer hunting

What is a Mock Scrape?

A mock scrape is a scrape made by hunters to attract bucks to a specific location. Bucks use scrapes to display dominance and communicate with other deer in the area without having to be in the same place at once.

When to Create a Mock Scrape

Scraping activity in whitetail bucks really starts to pick up during the time referred to as the pre-rut. Depending on where you are located in the U.S. this can range from early to late October. I like to have my mock scrapes made and active by the first week of October. This gives the bucks plenty of time to find and start using the scrape.

Location of Mock Scrape

The first thing I think about when making a mock scrape is the location and what is my purpose for making the scrape. Do I plan on hunting over it? Using it to take inventory of bucks with a trail camera? Answering these questions will help you decide where to make your mock scrape.

You also want to make sure you are placing your mock scrape in an area that deer are naturally traveling like field edges, old logging roads, or ridge tops. Making a mock scrape in an area where a buck is unlikely to visit defeats the purpose of making it.

Luring Bucks to a specific area

Luring bucks to a set spot is easy with mock scrapes. Bucks use these spots much like we use chat rooms. They check them often, leave messages and read notes left by others. A buck can tell how close a doe might be to being ready to mate or if another buck has moved into the area.

Mock scrapes pull in deer from all around. High-traffic areas are best for this trick. I’ve found good places near trails and food sources work well too! Be sure to put your scrape in a place that fits into the deer’s daily path of travel or next to their bedding areas.

Monitoring deer activity

Watching deer work is part of a hunter’s job. It tells us what the deer are up to. Using mock scrapes helps with this task. Deer use these spots often, so we can note their moves here.

We see how many bucks come by and when they do it. This is key for planning our next hunt.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Mock Scrape

Creating a mock scrape is relatively easy and rewarding when done right; first, you should consider the location of your scrape, looking out for high-traffic areas near food or bedding sources.

Once the ideal spot has been identified go ahead to make visible marks on the ground clearing an approximate 3-foot diameter patch of leaves or grass using a stick or your foot exposing bare soil.

Finally douse in scent—a combination of deer urine, doe estrus and buck urine proves most effective—to trick bucks into thinking another deer made it letting them visit over and over again.

Choosing the right location

Picking a good spot for your mock scrape is key. Deer like to use paths that they travel often. So, pick a place near where they feed or sleep. You can also choose spots where two trails meet.

Early fall is the best time to make a mock scrape. This way, the deer get used to it before rutting starts in earnest. Community scrapes made by deer can be turned into mock scrapes too!

Making the scrape

First, clear a spot on the ground for your scrape. You can use a stick to pull back leaves and grass. It should look like deer have been kicking at it with their hooves. Make sure it is big enough but not too large either.

Next, hang or tie a branch above the scrape spot. This is known as the licking branch. Deer will rub their glands on it, so place it about chest high from the ground – around 45-60 inches up if you’re measuring.

Adding scent to the scrape

I put scent in the scrape after that. I use deer urine, gland juice, or fake deer smells. We must not use too much so we do not scare off the deers. Very important to wear gloves and keep clear of human smells when putting in the scent to help pull in more deers.

Utilizing Trail Cameras with Mock Scrapes

Trail cameras, when used in tandem with mock scrapes, can be a great way to see what bucks are using a particular area. Placement is critical – position your camera to provide a clear field of view for capturing images. Aim the lens slightly downward and ensure it’s placed at a height that matches typical deer head level.

Use settings appropriate for capturing high-quality shots or video under various light conditions, including night-time. Lastly, always remember to minimize human scent while setting up trail cameras near mock scrapes – use rubber gloves, wear scent-free clothes and boots, and avoid visiting too frequently.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Making Mock Scrapes

You should be careful to steer clear of common blunders while making mock scrapes. Here’s a handy list of some mistakes you should avoid:

  1. Not placing the mock scrapes in high – traffic areas like trail intersections and food source edges.

  2. Creating the mock scrapes at the wrong time, they should ideally be placed during pre – rut when bucks start making real scrapes.

  3. Using your bare hands to make the scrape – always use gloves to avoid leaving your scent.

  4. Not adding scent to your scrape or using incorrect scents which can spook off deer.

  5. Making the scrape too big or too small, it should ideally be around 3 – 4 feet in diameter.

  6. Overusing the same site which risks making it smell strongly of human presence, scaring away timid bucks.

  7. Forgetting wind direction while placing your scrape – on windy days, your human scent could reach deer before they approach your site.

  8. Not refreshing and maintaining your mock scrapes throughout hunting season – these sites require upkeep!

  9. Ignoring natural licking branches already being used by bucks.

  10. Overusing or incorrectly using trail cameras near your scrape – this can alert deer to our presence and activity in their territory.


Mock scrapes can be a great tool for any hunter to add to their arsenal of tactics. Remember when making a mock scrape to utilize high traffic areas that deer frequent and to minimize the amount of human scent you are leaving in the area. This tactic is great for taking inventory of the bucks in your area and for luring that mature buck into the range of your tree stand. Implementing mock scrapes into your deer hunting strategies could greatly increase your chances of harvesting a mature buck this season.   

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