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Hunting Scrapes on old logging roads

gcr0003

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There are two maybe 1/8 mile roads that get scraped up real good the first two weeks of October. I got a lot of real good bucks going through there in years past but I waited too long to set up on them and they always dry up around mid October (possibly due to hunting pressure) There are minimal hardwoods and the one road bump up against private, the other does not. Private is maybe 5 year old pines and the public has a good amount of small pines following the roads and then it transitions into steep hills and hardwoods. The small pines and thickness makes it hard to set up on (I think). I think the deer are bedding on the private and coming and working the scrapes on their way to the hardwoods in the afternoon to feed. Does anyone have tips for hunting this type of location when the scrapes are being frequently used? I played it safe in the past 2 years and missed the time when they were really using the scrapes in the day time. I’m hunting around the same location again this weekend and want to try and catch one slipping.
 

woodsdog2

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Don't wait then. Get in there and set up over them is my advice. It sounds like they work down to the hardwoods on the logging roads, pay attention to upward thermals rising to deer bedded above but you could try and set up where the wind is just off where you suspect they're bedding so if they are north of you and the thermals are rising, set up just to the east of where you think a majority are coming from. Waiting for the wind to be from them they may not even check them that day if its a bigger buck with a lot of pressure. Or wait until its a stronger wind to over take the thermals and set up in a crosswind to the majority of movement. I like mornings for srapes because the deer have been out feeding all night and not as pressured so they "tend" to be more relaxed and do what deer do. In the evening they'll hit them too but I've had more success hunting scrapes in the morning. Also, anytime after a rain pre rut they like to freshen them up.
 

BTaylor

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Is your access such that you could hunt closer to the or at the edge of the hardwoods but not be walking through approaching deer on your exit? Thinking about an evening hunt specifically. Might be a better morning thru midday spot from an access standpoint based on the way it seems you described it.
 

kyler1945

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Put a cel camera on the road in July with good batteries. Don’t go back in until you start seeing the deer work the road scrapes. It will also tell you daylight or dark. If dark, figure out where they are before or after. If daylight, shoot ‘em in the road.
 

Bowmanmike

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Where are you at? Seems early for scrape hunting,but somebody must have made those and if you know they dry up later in the month you might as well see what happens.
 

gcr0003

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Is your access such that you could hunt closer to the or at the edge of the hardwoods but not be walking through approaching deer on your exit? Thinking about an evening hunt specifically. Might be a better morning thru midday spot from an access standpoint based on the way it seems you described it.
The properties run parallel north to south. I can access one end of the road from the north by going a long way around (30 min through steep hills and thick stuff) or go straight up and through the pine thicket to the south end.


E2394943-BD4E-4728-9102-101EB440FF2B.jpeg
 

gcr0003

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Put a cel camera on the road in July with good batteries. Don’t go back in until you start seeing the deer work the road scrapes. It will also tell you daylight or dark. If dark, figure out where they are before or after. If daylight, shoot ‘em in the road.
Two years worth of trail camera photos (pre-season up to November) shows they work them morning and evening pretty consistently until about the second week of season. Usually 4-6 separate bucks on several different scrapes. They don’t work all of them, usually just one or two and then cross the road.
 

gcr0003

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Where are you at? Seems early for scrape hunting,but somebody must have made those and if you know they dry up later in the month you might as well see what happens.
Where I’m at is funky, I’ve seen and have photos of fresh scrapes popping up early, disappear completely for about a month and a half, then pop up again in December. I’m just wanting to hunt the fresh deer sign that I find instead of waiting until maybe it dries up.

A few could be man made, but I have also found this is many of the surrounding areas as well as well as large community doe scrapes. So I don’t think they can all be man made.
 

Fgirtyman

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There are two maybe 1/8 mile roads that get scraped up real good the first two weeks of October. I got a lot of real good bucks going through there in years past but I waited too long to set up on them and they always dry up around mid October (possibly due to hunting pressure) There are minimal hardwoods and the one road bump up against private, the other does not. Private is maybe 5 year old pines and the public has a good amount of small pines following the roads and then it transitions into steep hills and hardwoods. The small pines and thickness makes it hard to set up on (I think). I think the deer are bedding on the private and coming and working the scrapes on their way to the hardwoods in the afternoon to feed. Does anyone have tips for hunting this type of location when the scrapes are being frequently used? I played it safe in the past 2 years and missed the time when they were really using the scrapes in the day time. I’m hunting around the same location again this weekend and want to try and catch one slipping.
In my area logging roads and field edge scrapes are hard to capitalize on early Oct. They usually are worked at night. They are usually not prime scrapes but likely one will become one early Nov. I always look closer to the bedding areas for prime scrapes. If I sit on those logging road early scrapes I would set up 50-75 yards down wind. I’ve killed deer early season that way. 2 weeks ago I sat w/o a bow and had a P and Y walk directly under me..the season was open!! ha ha on me! I was just out glassing deer from a distance. You may get lucky, you never know. Good luck!
 

BTaylor

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The properties run parallel north to south. I can access one end of the road from the north by going a long way around (30 min through steep hills and thick stuff) or go straight up and through the pine thicket to the south end.


View attachment 72599
That helps, I wasnt exactly picturing that right to start with. I hunt a similar type area where an old logging road is the boundary between public and private. Both sides are cutover but different ages. What happens there is deer will pop out into the logging road and travel it some distance then cross over and other deer simply cross from one side to the other. Makes it difficult to set up right for wind. I think in your case I might try to determine the area of the logging road with the heaviest used scrapes and then see if I could correlate that to a food source they are keying on in the hardwoods and set up closer to the food to intercept. As the primary feed tree or trees changes it may very well shift the scrape usage on the logging road and where they are crossing to move up into the hardwoods. I would look for additional scrapes where the small pines transition to hardwoods, that edge should have scrapes too and may give you a better idea of the current movement.
 

Bowmanmike

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Where I’m at is funky, I’ve seen and have photos of fresh scrapes popping up early, disappear completely for about a month and a half, then pop up again in December. I’m just wanting to hunt the fresh deer sign that I find instead of waiting until maybe it dries up.

A few could be man made, but I have also found this is many of the surrounding areas as well as well as large community doe scrapes. So I don’t think they can all be man made.
I meant some deer.made them,but humans are an option too,lol.
 

gcr0003

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That helps, I wasnt exactly picturing that right to start with. I hunt a similar type area where an old logging road is the boundary between public and private. Both sides are cutover but different ages. What happens there is deer will pop out into the logging road and travel it some distance then cross over and other deer simply cross from one side to the other. Makes it difficult to set up right for wind. I think in your case I might try to determine the area of the logging road with the heaviest used scrapes and then see if I could correlate that to a food source they are keying on in the hardwoods and set up closer to the food to intercept. As the primary feed tree or trees changes it may very well shift the scrape usage on the logging road and where they are crossing to move up into the hardwoods. I would look for additional scrapes where the small pines transition to hardwoods, that edge should have scrapes too and may give you a better idea of the current movement.
There are a few trails that are open off the loggin road through the pines that usually have one or two scrapes and rubs on them as well. I’ve found but scat in there several times in the past. One trail leads to the smallest opening picture below. There are a couple oaks along the road, so if they’re falling I bet they munch on them on their way across.
71B4D78C-C961-4006-A2C2-C456D1766A0A.png
 

BTaylor

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There are a few trails that are open off the loggin road through the pines that usually have one or two scrapes and rubs on them as well. I’ve found but scat in there several times in the past. One trail leads to the smallest opening picture below. There are a couple oaks along the road, so if they’re falling I bet they munch on them on their way across.
View attachment 72605
I would try zero in on those spots off the road so it would hopefully give me a better ability to utilize the wind and be just off of the area where movement could be up/down the road or perpendicular to it. At least for a sit or two and then refine the position based on observation.
 

gcr0003

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I would try zero in on those spots off the road so it would hopefully give me a better ability to utilize the wind and be just off of the area where movement could be up/down the road or perpendicular to it. At least for a sit or two and then refine the position based on observation.
Those two areas are still in the pines so no trees to set up on. I guess I could get up like 6-8 ft but you can’t see in there very far and I would really only have one lane to the scrape. I’m hunting with a stick bow so I’m not sure if setting up on the ground would be good either.

The area down in the hardwoods does get a decent amount of pressure since it’s easy access. I had a nice encounter with a 10 pt in the creek bottoms on my first sit on oct 15 2 years ago. He was feeding and in heavy brush at 40 yards away but never made his way down to me. This is where I marked it going north and then west route toward the logging road. It’s very hard to get to in the pitch black of night and I’m lazy so I didn’t return but I did see a couple of deer. That’s also where one of the community scrapes was two years ago. I passed on Doe there because I didn’t want to haul it out of the hills.
 

BTaylor

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Those two areas are still in the pines so no trees to set up on. I guess I could get up like 6-8 ft but you can’t see in there very far and I would really only have one lane to the scrape. I’m hunting with a stick bow so I’m not sure if setting up on the ground would be good either.

The area down in the hardwoods does get a decent amount of pressure since it’s easy access. I had a nice encounter with a 10 pt in the creek bottoms on my first sit on oct 15 2 years ago. He was feeding and in heavy brush at 40 yards away but never made his way down to me. This is where I marked it going north and then west route toward the logging road. It’s very hard to get to in the pitch black of night and I’m lazy so I didn’t return but I did see a couple of deer. That’s also where one of the community scrapes was two years ago. I passed on Doe there because I didn’t want to haul it out of the hills.
Based on the discussion, I see 2 options, hang low in thick pines and limited shooting lanes or shift out just to the edge of where the pines transition to hardwoods. The thick doesnt bother me at all but I am use to it. Dont get too hung up on seeing deer, sometimes, more like most times, the best spot to kill the deer is not where you can see everything around you for a hundred yards.
 

gcr0003

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Based on the discussion, I see 2 options, hang low in thick pines and limited shooting lanes or shift out just to the edge of where the pines transition to hardwoods. The thick doesnt bother me at all but I am use to it. Dont get too hung up on seeing deer, sometimes, more like most times, the best spot to kill the deer is not where you can see everything around you for a hundred yards.
I know the deer love the thick stuff, I just need to learn how to hunt the thick stuff. I do think I can get in there a little tighter with the traditional bow, so I’m going to use that to my advantage. That might not make sense, but it does to me.
 

BTaylor

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I know the deer love the thick stuff, I just need to learn how to hunt the thick stuff. I do think I can get in there a little tighter with the traditional bow, so I’m going to use that to my advantage. That might not make sense, but it does to me.
There is a definite adjustment to hunting super thick stuff for folks that havent done that prior. Was for me anyway. Once I got adjusted to it, I cant hardly force myself to hang somewhere that is really open at ground level. I hunt a lot of stuff that is wide open once you are up a tree but on the ground you couldnt kill a deer 20-25. Even from a tree you cant hardly see deer except for a glimpse here and there as they move. Can be really frustrating to hunt at times but the deer live there so that's where I hunt them rather than the really open clean stuff they just visit on occasion.
 

Fgirtyman

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I know the deer love the thick stuff, I just need to learn how to hunt the thick stuff. I do think I can get in there a little tighter with the traditional bow, so I’m going to use that to my advantage. That might not make sense, but it does to me.
Sounds like you have a handle on figuring things out for yourself. Put your time in and go with your gut. I think you got this one. Best of luck!
 

Robert loper

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In my areas on these old logging roads its very difficult and the area needs to be looked at closely
If its kind of an open area it’s probably a spot being visited after dark.
If not refrence winds and how the bucks can skirt that scrape downwind to check it.
most older bucks will check scrApes well down wind in a open area without having to actually smell the scrape.
Now if you have some sort of pattern with trail cameras showing daytime visits that you can refer to then thats a different story.
 

woodsdog2

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I know the deer love the thick stuff, I just need to learn how to hunt the thick stuff. I do think I can get in there a little tighter with the traditional bow, so I’m going to use that to my advantage. That might not make sense, but it does to me.
They like to skirt the thick stuff in transition areas
 
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