Identifying Primary Scrapes

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

Primary scrapes are used by several deer and are generally reopened season after season. They are often found on high ground, in funnels, and where one buck’s territory intersects that of another. Primary scrapes always have a licking branch above them and several rubbed trees in the vicinity. I’ve seen primary scrapes as small as 3 feet in diameter and as large as a sheet of plywood.
-Jim

The Stink Buck

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

The bucks, for their part, secrete their own strong hormones to help induce the females to ovulate. Researchers have long understood the effects of male odors on hormone levels in females, and have found that the length and timing of the menstrual cycles are markedly influenced by odors produced by males. This is why big bucks will always enter the field upwind of the doe herd. Not only does this promote estrous, but also the buck can visually detect even the slightest sign of sexual arousal his scent might be causing in the doe.

-Jim

The Difficult Part

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

The most difficult part of becoming a great hunter is making the commitment to be one. Trust me: it’s much more difficult to be an average hunter than it is to be a great hunter.

-Jim

Look for the Questions

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

Good scouting is not so much looking for the answers as it is looking for the questions. In nature nothing is random and nothing happens by accident. The when and the where are a lot easier to figure out if we know what makes the wheel go around.

-Jim

Whizzing in the Woods

Recent research indicates that deer cannot distinguish between human urine and deer urine.

I’ve known this for some time. I quit peeing into plastic jugs 20 years ago and in that entire time I have never seen a deer spooked at the scent of human urine.

In fact, I’ve had deer walk up, smell my urine, and lay down in it. I won’t go as far as to say that deer are attracted to human urine, but I will say it doesn’t spook them.

-Jim

Double your Efforts

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

It’s a matter of numbers only 1 out of 20 bucks will ever reach trophy status. Most areas just don’t contain enough deer to produce trophies year in and year out. Once the buck pool is drained in one area. It is time to increase and improve our hunting efforts.
If there’s a shortage of bucks in your area, means it is going to be rare to see big bucks.
What this tells me is that I need to double my efforts in scouting and locating new areas for big bucks.
-Jim

Dig a Pit

Photo courtesy Apple Creek Ranch

One of the oldest and most successful methods of hunting deer is rarely used nowadays. I’m talking about hunting out of pits.
Back in my youth, I found an arrowhead on the West shore of Lake Coeur d’ Alene. I was looking around for more arrowheads when I found a shallow pit built with rock’s against a slide some 20 yards away. What I had discovered was an ancient Indian hunting blind. Digging shallow pits or making rock blinds near a deer trail was a common hunting tactic of Native Americans.
Hunting deer from a pit is as effective today as it was back there. The pit not only helps to keep your scent from spreading around but the low-profile does wonders to keep the deer from being spooked.
If you’re hunting in an area where treestands are not possible, you might want to think about digging a pit.
– Jim

Reaching the Unreachable

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

The biggest and baddest bucks are almost always just beyond our reach. They didn’t get big by being stupid.

Trying to attract deer with calls or scents they just aren’t interested in will not work.

There is one exception to this is the rut. Generally speaking, the biggest bucks are harvested during the rut.

Try the tarsal gland scent from another buck? This is almost irresistible to bucks during the rut.

Please notice the almost.

-Jim

The Moment of Action

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

You’ve been sitting in a treestand for days. Suddenly, a big buck appears out of nowhere.
This is the moment of truth.
The moment is between you and the buck. Most hunters hesitate. Most hunters panic. Once the panic subsides, it’s already too late.
All the preparation and luck are nothing compared with the ability to not panic.
-Jim

The Thick Stuff

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails


Don’t overlook the thick brush once the ruts starts or you’ll be missing a lot of action. The does will lead the buck into the thick brush. This is not for security, but an attempt to avoid an amorous buck before the time is right. The doe, with her smaller frame, can outmaneuver the heavier buck in the thick brush.
-Jim