How Often Do Bucks Check Their Scrapes – The Surprising Truth Revealed

How Often Do Bucks Check Their Scrapes

Scrapes are supposedly a gold mine for deer hunters. The bucks make the scrapes before the mating season, and here they are simply trying to get some attention. As for the hunters, when you see a scrape, the chances of finding a deer or a buck are high.

For instance, the buck that made the scrape might revisit the scrape. Or the others might fulfill the duty.  When you use hunting dogs for the prey, they can easily lead you to the animal or at least give a hint. The chances are high that other bucks will visit the scrape in due time.

So how often do bucks check their scrapes? Because scrapes are an indicator that a buck has recently visited the area, we hunters can use this to track down their locations. But to do that, it is good to know why they check their scrapes, how often they might check it, and the types of scrapes a deer makes.

Key Takeaways

  • Bucks make their scrapes during mating season to attract females and mark their territories.
  • There are two types of scrapes, primary and secondary scrapes. The primary ones are visited by both bucks and does.
  • Bucks will frequent their scrapes during the evening so it gives an indication to hunters that bucks will be away from their scrapes during the day.
  • The scrape lines that deer make can provide valuable information to hunters. So, they can find where the bucks are.

What Are Buck Scrapes?

What Are Buck Scrapes
What Are Buck Scrapes

For those who are unaware of the buck’s nature, the scrapes might not be something you’ve ever heard of. The male deer make the scrapes before they enter the breeding season or when they are in the rut. So this is mostly a behavior that is shown by the males who are looking for partners. The bucks will start to make scrapes throughout the jungle in order to attract mates.

These scrapes will work as a communication spot for the males and females, as the males are signaling. The males will leave their scent behind, which will help the does follow them. Here the bucks will rub their heads, nasal glands, and even their face on the ground.

They will start to chew the branches around the place. The buck will touch even the overhanging branches. The bucks will then paw the ground to remove the leaves and debris from the area. Later they will urinate in the place.

The scraping process is widespread and only takes around two minutes. But by doing this, the buck leaves a hefty amount of odor in the area. Scraping and rubbing alert the possible mates around the area.

Here are some interesting facts about buck scrape:

  • The mature bucks would make more and heavier scrapes, and they will rub twice the amount than a yearling buck.
  • Some of the mature bucks will make a scrape around the area within a few years. The hunters will follow these scraped areas, and this sort of hunting term is known as a “scrape line.”
  • The rubbing on the scrapes will leave pheromones in the area, and for the older bucks, they are known as priming hormones.
  • Bucks of all ages will use the scraps. And even other bucks or that buck itself will use the scrape point again.

Types of Scrapes

Different facts about the scrapes allow the hunters to secure their position. For example, the type of scrape there is more variety of age in bucks and does are somewhat connected to it. There are mostly two kinds of scrapes, and here we are, including the facts.

Types Of Scrapes
Types Of Scrapes

Primary scrapes

These kinds of scrapes are the easiest to identify. They come in large areas; the maximum area can be twenty-four inches across. So the primary scrapes are significantly large. Thirty-six inches of the primary scrape are also possible. Numerous bucks use the primary scrapes. There will be chewed leaves or licked branches lying around. Most primary scrapes are made in the core of the area, and they are seen less frequently.

Secondary scrapes

These kinds of scrapes can be very tiny, and they don’t contain any licking branches. These scrapes are made in a hurry and are mostly done to prove dominance. Mature bucks make the scrapes. They can also be a result of frustration, which occurs before and during the rut. These kinds of scrapes are mostly found on the edges of the jungle, and hunters will not incorporate this kind of scrape into their line.

How Often do Bucks Check their Scrapes?

How Often Do Bucks Check Their Scrapes 1
How Often Do Bucks Check Their Scrapes

The bucks will visit the same scrape over and over again. The scrapes are visited by other deer and do. So the sand dunes are generally a well-visited area. The scrapes made on the core of the forest are the most visited places, and that is where the scrapes will return. The number of times the scrapes will be revisited is ensured. But when it is a primary scrape, they are used by older and younger individuals, as well as females. At the scrapes, they all leave their scent.

Most scrape visits will take place at night. So the deer will return to their scrape right after dusk. Most of the bucks will return to see the mark and maybe mark the place again. The scrapes are visited by the does when the rut or breeding season is at its peak.  The doves visit the scrapes to find their best-fitting mate. Again, the primary scrapes are an indication of the presence of the bucks, but they are not really useful as a hunting site, as in most places hunting after dawn is illegal.

How to Hunt Using Scrape Lines?

When there is scrape after scrape within a few yards, it feels like a trailer for the hunter. Here, the hunters will follow through and find out where to stand. Well, while most people think that the scrapes are a golden opportunity to hunt bucks but honestly, the opposite is correct. The bucks only visit the scrapes after dusk. So the chances are high that you’ll only see them after the day has passed. So, how do you use these scrape lines to hunt? Let’s find out!

Choose the scrape

Choose the scrape
Choose the scrape

The primary or group scrapes must be chosen as a leader for the hunting. When the bucks visit the primary scrape, they are most likely to be at their most visited site. And they will be passing the area a few times a day. Again the primary scrape will be closer to the place where they fed and rest. To find the movements of the buck, you have to look at how much scrape is made and, most importantly, how fresh the scrape is.

The fresh scrapes located in a denser area indicate that the chances are high that a buck is nearby. When the scrape is in an open space or near a food source, then the chances are high that these would be the mock scrapes. The primary scrapes most frequently visited by the bucks will be near their home and in a more secure area.

Hunting away from the scrape

The best way to hunt would be to hunt far from the scrape. You might think that the bucks will visit the scrapes more often. Mostly the bucks will visit after dusk, and in most cases, they are just the younger ones. But the older bucks will most frequently visit the downwind edge, and there you can get more hunts than by staying in the scrapes for too long. So hunting at least 40 to 60 yards away from the scrape will make more sense than hunting over the scrape.

Hunting on the scrape

Hunting on the scrape is a rare act for the bucks. These animals will rarely visit the scrapes after they are marked. And even when they visit it, it will be at night. So you might not want to lurk over the fresh scrapes just after they are marked. It’ll only be a waste of time. The fresh scrapes might indicate that a buck is nearby or that some might pay a visit. For the female part, this expectation can only meet during the breeding season. 

Best time to hunt on the scrape lines

Best time to hunt on the scrape lines
Best time to hunt on the scrape lines

The best time to go hunt on the scrape lines is dawn. The chances are high that you’ll be unable to cover the scrape area during the night. But in the fresh early hours, the bucks might not pass the scrape, but they’ll be standing close to it. So when you are thinking about hunting in the sage line, do it in the first hour of the sunrise. Try to stand on the edge and be motionless, as you don’t want to alert the bucks. The bucks might be tired after a long walk, and here’s your chance to go for a hunt. In the peak of the rut, the bucks will run after the does rather than revisit the scrapes.


Does a small scrape mean a small buck?

Yes, smaller and younger bucks will make a small scrape. But even the older and mature bucks can make a small scrape. It is known as the secondary scrape.

What times do most bucks get killed?

Most of the bucks will get killed in the early hours of sunrise. The bucks will turn tired after the long night of eating and roaming. So the bucks can be killed mostly in the morning.

Final Thoughts

Scrapes are one of the most phenomenal and desperate measures shown by a male when they are entering the breeding season. They are done to attract the females, but when you see a scrape, the chances are very high that you might be very close to a group. A scrape is visited mainly by females. And some bucks will even follow, as they are also in need of a potential partner.

The scrapes are a great help when you are standing clueless on a deer hunt. Most experienced hunters would be dancing around as soon as they see scrapes. The scrapes will be caused by the buck itself or others of its kind. So, it is truly an important criterion when you are looking for a buck to hunt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *