Search This Blog

Friday, November 6, 2009

Muzzle Loader Opener and Mock Scrapes

This past weekend was the opener to our muzzle loading season. This was not a stay over camp, and no one showed up to hunt the property. I did go out several afternoons on stand, and morning still hunts but did not see any deer. Oh, they were here - every evening I came out of the woods they were all over the fields and barely moved as I puttered down on my ATV. But as far as decent bucks go, nothing. I did not really expect to see any as it is normal for our big guys to stay put until real cold, and the second and third week of November set in...As you can see from the pictures, it was a beautiful full moon this past weekend...if you did not know, the November full moon is officially called the Hunter's Moon.

I sat two evenings far up on the Ridge from camp. No deer, but as it got dark and that beautiful amber moon came up over my left shoulder, big as a dinner plate, I knew, simply knew, that I was in the right place in this tiny glimpse of history. Typically I lower my gear from the stand in the dark and hike down a trail a hundred yards or so to my ATV where I load my gear and putter on out. About a half mile down toward camp is where I pass the Far Stand, (check the pictures) and right after that I hit the fields I cross to get to camp. That is where I see the does all chowing down. On Sunday night, while I was still in stand, and the moon coming up like a big saucer, a flock of around ten raucous Canada Geese crossed it on their way South. I was close to Heaven.
Now, someone asked me about mock scrapes. Believe me I have subscribed to, and read every major deer hunting and archery publication available in the last twenty years (before that I was a yeoman patrol cop who couldn't afford such luxuries) and I have hunted New England for 54 years. So about fifteen years ago I began to set up mock scrapes. Exactly where and how all the experts and pundits descriped. For the last ten years I have used the drippers and scents from Wildlife Research Center and here are my results. Zip. Save your money.

I have set up scrapes as directed, used every scent made, as directed, used scent free gloves, spent countless dollars on products, and conclude, in New England, that mock scrapes are not worth the time or money.
Below is one I have had in place by the Far Stand for 12 years. I have yet to take a deer over it, though I have shot many deer from this stand...

The pictures of the stand you see is the Far Stand, fifty yards into the woods looking down at a field.

Upper is the stand, lower is the field it looks out on...

 Right below the stand is a cross roads of deer trails.

I have seen literally hundreds of deer while sitting in this stand. Once, in fourteen years I saw a young immature buck sniff the mock scrape. Once. Now, to be fair, I did shoot a buck in 1998 that was walking toward me from my right toward the mock scrape. He was still seventy five yards from it when I shot him. He was a nine pointer that dressed out at 240 pounds. Huge. But there is no indication that he was headed to the scrape. Last year while sitting in this same stand, a ten pointer came up across the field headed directly for this scrape. I passed up an easy seventy yard shot thinking he would stop at the scrape, but no, he veered off leaving me with no shot at all. He never went close to it.
I have used every scent Wildlife Research makes, a myriad of doe-in-heat/buck tarsal, you name-it scents. Just for fun. And I don't mean to discourage your use of mock scrapes. They are fun to do, fun to watch, and divert attention. But in this part of the country, if you are doing them to attract deer, forget it! If you are doing them for an excuse to get out there, go for it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...