Thanksgiving week is here and it could not have arrived at a more perfect time. Let’s be honest there is not one hunter here that would take bickering over politics and catching up with family over a cold November hunt! Luckily the time off work aligns perfectly with an incredible opportunity. The rut is winding down, but that does not mean mature buck movement is. In fact, this Thanksgiving week could be one of the best times to kill one of your hit-list bucks. This might just be the perfect excuse to miss that overcooked turkey at the in-laws! If you find the time to hunt, be sure to take a look at these hunting tips for taking a Thanksgiving week buck!
During this week, mature bucks rather than little bucks are on their feet. Young bucks that you saw nearly every day of the first part of November are now slowing down, while mature bucks still have enough energy to seek and chase the last does coming into estrus. This is a period that is make or break. Opportunities with a mature buck will exist as cold temperatures finally make their way over the Midwest. Cold temperatures with a few does still yet to come in creates a recipe where a hit-list buck can be harvested.
This is the back end of the bell curve of the rut, does are still coming in, and mature bucks are out trying to find them. Rut hunting strategies for this week include sticking to the bedding areas, but also keeping an eye on late season food sources. As hunting transitions into December, food sources become the focus instead of bedding areas.
Mature bucks will start focusing on late season food sources later as we approach December and colder temps, but do not get ahead of yourself. For now, the best hunting tips for hunting the backside of the rut means stick with your rut hunting strategies, remember you trail camera tips for the rut, check trail cameras often, and grind it out until the end of the season.
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/hunting-tips-thanksgiving-buck_Feature.jpg720960Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-11-22 20:34:012016-11-22 20:41:46Hunting Tips for Taking a Thanksgiving Week Buck
Taking Advantage of Mock Scrapes With Trail Cameras
Deer season has arrived and with it the unmistakable frustration of not seeing deer during the first weeks of October. No, we are not talking about you only not seeing deer in the stand, but nearly everywhere, including on your trail cameras. This frustration comes at a high price as you will waste the first weeks of deer season playing a game of cat and mouse with of course no claws or teeth to catch the mouse…sounds frustrating right? It is without the proper guidance! The reason for this frustration is the loop many hunters (you included) get thrown into just before the season starts and it all starts with your trail cameras. Luckily mock scrapes are the answer to the problem that you have yet to realize or seek a solution for.
Trail Cameras Weekly | Week 1: Mock Scrapes
(Video)- Mock scrapes can be the solution to a problem hunters face this time of year. Bait sites need to be taken down, so hunters are looking for a good location to hang their trail cameras in order to gather intel about bucks. This is usually in the form of food plots or mock scrapes as both supplies attraction in order to draw the deer in front of the camera. For how to make a mock scrape, I simply find a good location where deer and more importantly bucks frequent, find a good sturdy licking branch 4-5 ft high, snap it off, clear out the ground with a stick about 2 ft wide, and put scent in the form of mock scrape starter on the ground.
Here is the issue at hand, lack of intel driven with attraction. All summer long you have relied heavily on trail cameras, baits sites, and scouting crop fields to tell you what bucks you have and where they reside on your property. As the summer has recently progressed into fall and into deer season, bait sites needed to be removed and bean fields were drying up. You were left begging the question “how do I find my bucks now?”
Luckily sources of help and quality information are available on channels like Muddy TV. Bill Winke of Midwest Whitetail and the weekly web show “Whitetail 101” dives into this subject continuously throughout October. Bill is an expert at “finding bucks back again” after they have moved home ranges and adjusted on different food sources. The secret to Bill’s success is putting trail cameras in the right locations, with the right attraction, and the right settings. This will become your success point as well after reading through this article.
Again the problem isn’t necessarily the changing times, it’s the behavioral changes in whitetails in addition to the legal ramifications (in some states) of having bait out on the property around your stands. This is an issue because it is in the best interest for you to have some sort of attraction in front of your trail camera to snap pictures of bucks and gain valuable intel. With bait or any “edible” attraction out of the question, we are left with one thing…scent.
During the early season and pre-rut, bucks have one weakness that can be taken advantage of. Their inquisition. Whitetails are curious creatures, they are also social and creatures of habit making this weakness even more deadly. Communicating and learning about other deer and the status of those deer continually throughout October and November takes place at a scrape. Bucks and does alike will visit scrapes throughout the season presenting two opportunities.
By creating mock scrapes the two opportunities can be fully extorted. The first opportunity is mock scrapes create the attraction needed to draw deer in front of your trail cameras. The second arrives once a buck has been located and somewhat patterned, as these mock scrapes suggest tree stand locations.
How to Make a Mock Scrape
Follow these simple steps to make an attractive and useful mock scrape.
Step 1: Find high traffic area located in the right seasonal location (around acorns, in a food plot, by crops)
Step 2: Find a tree with a good branch, or hang a branch in the location that is within shooting range of a potential tree stand site.
Step 3: Create or bend down a licking branch 4-5 feet high. Break the tip off just like a buck does when making or checking a scrape.
Step 4: Take a stick and clear out a 2ft circle under the licking branch.
Step 5: Apply mock scrape starter to the dirt or use human urine. Do not put urine on the licking branch, only apply forehead gland or preorbital gland scent products to the licking branch.
Step 1: Find a tree opposite the mock scrape’s face. Do not put trail camera close or right on top of mock scrape as it could put unwanted scent and be seen by the bucks.
Step 2: Place trail camera around 10 yards from scrape.
Step 3: Set the delay to 1 minute as does and bucks will not spend a lot of time at a mock scrape sight, but instead will only pass through and investigate, or work the scrape quickly.
Step 4: Set the trail camera on a long video mode. For Muddy trail cameras, the 2 minute HD video is perfect for detecting bucks and watching both where they enter/exit and how they work the scrape.
This year if you are struggling to find out where to put your cameras or are struggling to capture your bucks again after summer, try using mock scrapes and trail cameras in combination. By placing mock scrapes in areas subject to deer traffic in different parts of the seasons (acorns early, green food sources later, funnels in the rut, and late season food sources) you will be able to continually attract bucks in front of your trail cameras. This will reveal valuable intel that otherwise would go unnoticed.
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/mock-scrapes-and-trail-cameras-Features-e1475677392819.jpg6481200Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-10-05 14:22:522018-05-07 19:12:56Mock Scrapes | How to Take Full Advantage of a Buck’s Weakness