The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation
Nurse……Scalpel. You hear line this in many TV hospital dramas. Doctors have many instruments to choose from when in the operating room and when it comes time to doctoring a scrape, do you have the proper instruments? Don’t just walk by a scrape. Manipulate it and use it to your advantage. But in order to do this correctly, make sure your doctor bag has the right tools
Saw or Pruners: Many of us carry these instruments to clear branches near our stands or blinds. Although it seems cliche to say, have these with you at all times. You want to be able to take an active licking branch easily without having to try and break it off by snapping it. Saws and pruners are much faster.
Rubber Gloves: Remember, you are dealing with pure olfactory manipulation. Controlling your own scent is crucial to success. Having rubber gloves keeps the oils from your fingers off of the licking branch, zip ties, and cotton balls. Keep several pair of rubber gloves in a small bag in your pack.
Cotton balls and cu-tips: Keep cotton balls or even cu-tips handy. If you shoot a deer, collect the saliva from their mouth and seal it in a ziplock bag. The highly absorbent cotton soaks up and holds the fresh saliva, which is an over looked key to manipulating big bucks.
Garbage Bag: Once in college I filled our apartment’s freezer up with garbage bags containing active licking branches. Keep a scentless garbage back in your pack and when you find an active scape you do not plan on hunting over, slip the bag over the branch and but the branch at it’s base. Tie the garbage bag off and keep it stored in a cool area such as a cooler or a freezer until you are ready to create your new mock scrape.
Zip-ties: I like to use zip ties since they snugly secure branches and zip ties when creating a new mock scrape. They also are scentless and unlike twine, odor causing bacteria has less of a chance to grab a hold on the smooth surface.
Breath Mask: Ok sure this might sound like it’s out of a apocalyptic move however, your breath is the lead odor source. Breathing on the branches will certainly not aid in your quest to fool a big buck’s nose. A breath mask can help keep your odor down. Eating an apple before doctoring a scrape is a great natural scent eliminator.
Rubber Boots and Sprays: While this might not be real cutting edge here, I recommend wearing rubber boots and using some sort of scent elimination spray. This is especially important as you create your new mock scrape. Fool a deer’s nose and you might be able to pattern a big buck during daylight. Nothing seems too crazy when in pursuit of a big whitetail.
Trail Camera: Trail camera use has been written about to death nearly. However, the purpose of switching licking branches is to manipulate a big buck and catch him during day light. By letting your camera’s do the scouting for you, you can make better decisions on stand placement and not waste your precious time in the woods. I like to keep my smallest cameras in my bag for travel purposes.
While it may seem silly to create a tool bag and lug it around in your pack, you will be mighty thankful when you stumble across a hot scrap. Instead of just walking by that scrape, you will know you have the ability to manipulate deer movement, hopefully right into your shooting lane.
Last Updated: October 22nd, 2014