HOW TO BUILD A SCRAPE TREE
How can you bring a big buck in bow range of your blind or treestand that is currently passing within view, but unfortunately is too far for a shot. One thing that land manager and hunting TV personality Steve Bartylla does to increase the odds of a bringing bucks within bow range is to build scrape trees.
“Bucks are like male dogs, they like to mark their territory,” Bartylla told me. “Years ago, I started putting treated posts in the ground near blinds and stands and I attached a licking branch to the post. Often bucks would start building scrapes within days of putting in the scrape tree.”
Bartylla often creates scrape trees weeks or months before deer season starts. Because deer season has already started, he suggests if you want to put in the scrape tree, you should use an actual tree. “Treated posts give off a strange odor so hunters who want to put in a scrape tree should cut a tree down, dig a hole, and bury the base of the tree.”
Scrape trees located on the edge of a field, in the middle of a food plot, or near an area deer regularly travel quickly grab the attention of bucks. “I have had deer hit my new scrape trees the same day I put them in,” Bartylla said. Bartylla likes to position the tree so when a buck comes in to freshen the scrape and lick the licking branch, the buck offers a broadside or quartering away shot.
“A scrape tree will bring a buck within bow range and will also keep him distracted while a bowhunter draws his bow.”
Last but not least, Bartylla adds a scrape dripper in one of the branches hanging over the scrape. This keeps the scrape fresh smelling and is an additional touch of realism to the scrape.
As an experiment, my son and I dug a hole in our food plot last week, put a scrape tree in, and made a mock scrape. Within 48 hours, deer were using the scrape. The odds of my son killing a buck at the scrape tree this fall are extremely high.
To listen to Steve Bartylla discuss scrape trees and how to build one, CLICK THIS PODCAST LINK.