How to Make a Mock Scrape

How to Make a Mock Scrape

In today's post we are going to address a question that we are asked on a regular basis by our readers. How to make a mock scrape?

We will also address some of the reasons that you should make a mock scrape, as well as​ what makes a successful mock scrape.

We will also set up a trail cam on our mock scrape so that we can document the use of the scrape and gather information that will allow us to formulate a plan to hunt the mock scrape.​

In the video below, we will show you step by step how to make a make a mock scrape.

How to Make a Mock Scrape Video​

3 Essential Elements for Making a Mock Scrape

Whenever we are talking about how to make a mock scrape, we must include a segment on the necessary elements that need to be present in order to make a mock scrape that will attract the attention of the mature bucks in the area.

  1. A Licking Branch.
  2. A well used trail nearby. 
  3. Use of proper scents.

1. Licking Branch

What is a licking branch?

A licking branch is a tree branch that is around 5 feet off the ground and located in an area that is frequented by deer.

It serves as a kind of social hub for the whitetail deer. Every deer that passes the licking branch will lick and nuzzle the branch to leave scent on the branch and to let others in the herd know that they were there.

Both bucks and does will use the licking branch and as the whitetail mating season, known as the rut approaches, the bucks in the area will make scrapes under the licking branch, secreted urine down over their tarsal glands and into the scrape.​

While a licking branch is an essential element in making mock scrapes, don't worry if you can't find one where you want to make the scrape.

You can simply cut a branch and tie it into a tree at the proper height where you want to make the mock scrape. Similar to the way I tied a branch in for the scrape dripper in the video above.​

2. A Well Used Trail Nearby​

This should really go without saying​, but you must have a well used trail nearby in order to have a successful mock scrape.

3. Proper Use of Scents​

Using scents properly is a key element to a successful mock scrape.

Scrapes are made primarily by bucks and the bucks will urinate down their rear legs, over their tarsal glands and into the scrape. They will also defecate in a scrape to mark their territory.

Does will primarily use the licking branch and urinate in the scrape when they come into heat.

You can sign up for our rut calendar and we will also send you a peak breeding chart that will show you exactly when the does come into heat in your area.

You want to use buck urine and tarsal gland scents in your mock scrapes until the does begin to come into heat.

You can then switch to doe in heat urine in combination with the buck urine.​

This would be a good time to address a common misconception with the use of scents.

We have heard many hunters claim that they don't like to use doe in heat scent because it spooks does.

This could not be further from the truth.

In the video below, you will see a doe walk downwind of a mock scrape​ that we had just scented with doe in heat urine an hour before.

Check out her reaction!​

While we are talking about scents, it would be a good time to talk about the importance of scent control.

Learning how to make a mock scrape is really useless if you are going to leave your own scent all over the area​.

While hunting, we have had some success using Ozonics and Nose Jammer to fool the whitetails nose, but what we are finding is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to fool a mature bucks nose.​

Check out our article on scent control tips to learn all the ways to minimize the scent you leave behind.​

When to Make a Mock Scrape?

When is the best time to make a mock scrape?

We like to make our mock scrapes around the same time that the bucks in our area are beginning to make real scrapes.

That is early to mid October in the areas that we hunt and it will vary depending on the timing of the rut in your area.​

However, I'd like to share a trick that you can use to encourage the deer to make scrapes where you want them.

You can create a licking branch along well used trails that all of the deer will use and then the bucks will use the licking branch to make a scrape at the right time.

It requires a little fore thought, but it can be an extremely effective tactic for getting a buck where you want him.

These licking branches should be made in the spring or early summer in order to get the deer, both bucks and does, to use the licking branch.

You can tie a branch into a tree at the right height(5-6 feet), or you can use an existing branch that is too high and bend it down to the right height and the tie it off to the trunk of the tree with fishing line.

We have also strung fishing line between two trees and hung a licking branch straight down off of the fishing line.

Final Step in How to Make a mock Scrape - Set up a Trail Cam

Now that we have completed our mock scrape and scented it with buck urine, it is time to put a trail cam on the scrape and document whether it is being used and which bucks are using it.

This is my favorite part!

I can't wait to check my cams and see what's been going on at my mock scrapes.

Trail Cam Tips

This would be a good time to share a few trail cam tips.

There is nothing worse than learning how to make a mock scrape, taking the time and attention to detail to make the scrape and then finding you have no trail cam pics.

1. Test your trail camera before putting it out so that you are sure it is working.

2. Always use fresh batteries each season​.

3. Set up your trail cam between​ thigh and waist high.

4. Set up your trail cam 20-40 feet from your mock scrape.

5. Point your trail cam to the north if possible, otherwise you will get sun glare at some point during the day.​

Mock Scrape Trail Cam Pics​

If you watched the How to Make a Mock Scrape video above, you saw us go step by step making an actual mock scrape and then setting up a trail cam on the mock scrape.

Below will share​ the mock scrape trail cam pics that we get at that scrape!

Mock Scrape Trail Cam Pic

​Here is the first buck to show up at our mock scrape!

This is a buck we call Casper, because he is like a ghost all year long until the rut.

He visited our mock scrape around 36 hours after we made it, leaving us to believe that he is living nearby.

Here are a few more trail cam pics of Casper working the mock scrape.​

Buck Using a Mock Scrape

Casper Using a Mock Scrape

Buck using licking branch over a mock scrape

Casper using the licking branch over the mock scrape

Mock Scrape Trail Cam Pic 2

If you look closely, you can see the Scrape dripper in this pic.

does visiting a mock scrape

Does visiting the mock scrape.

This is why we make make scrapes! We finally have a mature buck visiting the mock scrape during daylight hours!

Buck Visiting Mock Scrape
Buck Working the Licking Branch

Buck working the licking branch. You can clearly see the scrape dripper above him.

Mock Scrape Trail Cam Pic

Look at the time in the lower right corner. This mock scrape has done its job and brought this buck in during the daylight hours. That is why we use a scrape dripper!

​How to Make a Mock Scrape Conclusion

We hope that you have learned how to make a mock scrape and enjoyed the tips and pics!

Making mock scrapes and hunting over them can be very exciting and rewarding if done correctly.

So what are you waiting For?

Watch the video above and go out and make your own mock scrape today!

You'll be glad you did!

Please share your tips and experiences on how to make a mock scrape in the comments below!​

About the author

John VanDerLaan

Hi folks! I'm John VanDerLaan and I have a deep passion for the outdoors, and deer hunting in particular. I am what you call a year round deer hunter. I am in the whitetail woods year round preparing for the next years season and I love to share the knowledge that I've gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail! In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend. I will make a commission if you buy through my link. You will not pay more when buying through my link. In fact, oftentimes I have negotiated a lower price (or bonuses) for my readers than you will find anywhere else online. Also, when you buy through my link, it allows me to continue to provide you with tons of FREE valuable information through this website!

Anthony - April 2, 2021

Really great article on mock scrapes. This is a tactic I love to use while hunting. It’s amazing to watch deer react to these scrapes!! Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

Jon Moss - December 31, 2016

I set them up in August and drink a ton of water that day. I just rake them out and get rid of all that water right there in the scrape.

    John VanDerLaan - December 31, 2016

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the comment!

    You find that they respond to human urine or do they not start using the scrapes until September or October after the urine has dissipated?

    Thanks again Jon,


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