Don’t you wish you could always have that perfect scrape tree in the perfect spot for every hunt? Well, now you can and it’s absolutely free! Now I know that sounded like an infomercial pitch, but the concept is pretty simple, really. All you need to do is find a scrape worthy tree or branch, cut it or transplant it, dig a hole in front of your stand, stick the tree in it, create a mock scrape, and wait for the right buck.
Where to Place Them
Of course, a scrape tree is not suited for every circumstance. They are most effective in open areas like a field, prairie, or food plot, basically anywhere low hanging branches are uncommon. Place them in accordance to your treestand or blind location being sure to set them up for a perfect broadside shot opportunity. Treecoys serve as a tremendous focal point in open areas to draw bucks in for a shot. Now your frustrations of bucks feeding out of range will turn to pure optimism as you wait for him to come work the perfectly placed scrape.
Treecoys serve as tremendous focal points to draw bucks within shooting range, especially in large open areas.
What Type of Tree?
Any tree can work as your base or skeleton so to speak, but you should use a tree species that is preferred by deer for the actual overhanging licking branches. Aromatic species (one’s that hold and give off a lot of scent) like cedar, apple, pine, and grape vines work great. In the video above, you can see how we used an appropriately sized ash tree for our main frame and overhung wild grape vines from the limbs. All you really have to be sure of is that there is a branch or branches hanging between 4-6 feet from the ground.
How Do I Make the Scrape?
Pretty simple, disturb and scrape the ground directly under the licking branch. Use a stick, rake, boot or whatever you can find to expose the dirt. To get things started you can dribble some active scrape scent, hang a scent dripper, or add a little bit of your own pee. Most likely the sight and temptation of a lone standing tree will get the deer (does included) to come and mark it up regardless of the scent.
Using a scrape dripper can be a great way to kick things off!
Best Time to Hunt
Since most activity will be occurring during the night in the early part of October, use a trail camera to monitor activity. If you’ve got one frequenting during daylight, hunt it when conditions are right. Otherwise let it serve as a buck magnet to see what bucks are frequenting your area. The best time to hunt a scrape is during any October cold front and the last 10 days of October. Once the breeding kicks in, bucks are generally more concerned with the does than marking up a scrape. Also, its important to note that treecoys placed in food plots will likely receive more daytime action as they are in an area deer are already feeding in.
- Post hole digger
- Hand saw
- T-Post Stake
- Post Driver/sledge hammer
- Trail Camera