Introduction to using Scent For Deer Hunting

Introduction to using Scent For Deer Hunting

Trapping animals of all sorts have always been a real fascination of mine. 

Like anything you do in life long enough, you begin to streamline or find ways to “Do it Better”. There was a time in my life that I relied on the money I received from my fur check. Realizing fast that I preferred steak to beans, meant that I would have to catch a lot of furs and beat my competitors to the punch! The one thing I learned quickly was that in order for me to do it, I had to get the most sets in the ground in the least amount of time in the best locations. Better yet, if I could just get animals coming to my sets before the season – and before I could legally set the traps.


That was it! Once I found the exact location for my trap sight I would begin to prebait, thus Attracting Animals to my sets first. Once the season opened it was just a matter of setting the traps in place.

Mock Scrapes have and will always play an important role in the Whitetail Deer’s communication process.

Having spent the better part of thirty years developing scents and studying Whitetail’s behaviors, I can assure you that the following techniques work, for “Communicating with the Whitetail”. Best yet all mock scrapes can be made long before the hunting season begins.

Deer don’t stop communicating just because it’s not hunting season. They are very social, very territorial, and very curious. With proper scent usage and proper scrape placements, you can have Big Bucks coming to your hunting site long before the season begins.

Get the picture PRE_BAITING (Be sure and check with your local game laws) Each of the following steps is crucial to effectively communicate with the Whitetail Buck and Does. Remember before starting to take care of your human odor. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and rubber foot wears. Leaving as little of your human scent at the scrape location is a must!


Finding areas to place your mock scrapes is not as difficult as you might think. Years past has taught me to place them where you saw Bucks make them from last season.

Bucks are creatures of habit and will often make scrapes in the same spots year after year. Remember if you’re going to hunt over it, to strategically place the scrape in a way that your tree stands or ground blind can be nearby. Look for areas that create small funnels or neck down points, edges near wood lines, old logging roads, etc.

One of the best is near bedding areas, but be very careful as to not spook deer going into it or leaving much human odor behind. Bucks will often visit your mock scrape near bedding areas later in the morning and earlier in the evening.


Once you have carefully determined your scrape location, its time to create your masterpiece.

  • You must have an overhanging limb, with a preferred height of 4-5 feet off the ground.
  • This limb should be hanging slightly downward over your scrape and is a necessary part of the entire picture.
  • Directly under the limb scrape the ground free from debris, I prefer to use a sturdy stick to do it.
  • Scrape it away from the tree in one direction, making it about 1 to 2 feet in diameter.

Remember to make your scrapes larger as the rut begins to approach. Your scrape does not need to look perfect however it should have “Eye Appeal”.


Now the moment of truth, the finishing touches!

  • On the limb above your scrape mist 1 to 2 pumps of a quality pre-orbital gland scent,
  • in the scrape below the limb mist 4 to 6 pumps of a quality tarsal gland scent followed by 1 to 2 pumps of a quality interdigital gland scent.
  • Be sure to mist the odors over the entire scrape area, it will add realism.



If you done it right and choose the proper location, results should appear in a couple of days, by the way of tracks within the scrape itself. Once you have a response, you can keep your scrape active by reapplying the gland scents every 7 to 10 days, more often after heavy rains. If you are going to hunt over a particular mock scrape, add a quality Buck Urine (1-2ozs) the day before and WATCH OUT!

Good luck out there hunting and remember to be safe.

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