Rut Science: Shoot 2 Mature Bucks in Same Scrape Area

Not new info but great info.

Wildlife scientists at Auburn University say many hunters overlook the possibility of killing 2 dominant bucks from the same scrape area. They point out that rutting bucks expand their home ranges and move into new territories they may not frequent during any other time of the year, something we’ve talked about a lot here on the blog, and a fact you need to remember and work into your plan these next 2 weeks. As the big boys roam, they often find and begin to work the scrapes of another mature buck that is missing in action (either he is out roaming too, or maybe you or somebody else shot him).

Here’s the point. If you or a buddy shoots a whopper on a scrape-laced ridge or in a scrape-laced creek bottom, don’t be afraid to go back to the well every day while the rut is still rocking. Many hunters believe when a big deer is killed, that spot is “shot out.” Not necessarily.

2 qualifiers:

1) Not just any scrapes will do; they have to be ones that a mature buck has worked repeatedly and left his foot and tarsal scent, pee and DNA in the area. That unmistakable stink is what might bring in another big boy. So hunt a scraped area where you know a good one was killed…or where you got a giant on trail camera…or where you saw one but maybe couldn’t get a shot
2) Notice I say always say “scrape area” or “on a scrape-laced ridge or in a scrape-laced bottom.” Your goal is not to shoot a second giant (or a first buck for that matter) with his nose in a single scrape. That ain’t gonna happen unless you’re the luckiest hunter alive. But it might well happen if you hunt a scrape line/system that runs a length of a ridge or bottom with good, thick cover, so watch as much of that area as you can from a stand. Obviously your chances are better if you’re gun hunting and have more reach.


Fred's Gravatar I always say it takes the presence of a big buck to bring in another big buck. If you have a big buck in your area he will attract the competition of another big buck. Its a good practice to leave that single big one alone so he can attract others.
# Posted By Fred | 11/17/11 4:40 PM
K's Gravatar Excellent advice!! Thanks...
# Posted By K | 11/18/11 12:43 AM
Andy @ bow hunting maryland's Gravatar I agree with Mike 110% on this subject. There are always more bucks around, they may be a bit smaller, or a bit larger, but they are around. Hunting the same location after you harvest a nice buck can be a key to getting a bigger one to come out and show himself during rut. Remember, one way or another does will go into heat and if it is not your mature buck that breeds them, it will be a new one that roams into that area. That is your chance to find that "second" big boy of the year. In Maryland where I am hunting, gun season starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so that means my goal is take all my scouting and sightings this weekend/ upcoming week to try to get one of those big boys so come next week, I may have a chance at another. Otherwise, I'll just be shooting does for meat in the freezer.

Good luck the next few weeks everyone!
# Posted By Andy @ bow hunting maryland | 11/18/11 10:03 AM