Choosing a mock scrape scent can be as difficult or as easy as you want it to be. Some people claim to have great success using their own urine while others swear by using pre-orbital Gland scent on a licking branch.
Licking Branch Scent
There are generally two parts to a mock scrape, the licking branch and the scrape itself. While the two don’t need to have two different scents, some people prefer to use different scents for each.
Deer are somewhat unique in using their pre-orbital glands. While it’s unsure just how much deer use their pre-orbital glands for communication, we know that deer can open their glands more so than other species.
Rutting bucks will use their pre-orbital glands to mark their territory and warn off other males.
This makes for a perfect lick branch scent because the pre-orbital gland in a deer is located just in the corner of the deer’s eye. Both bucks and does will rub this scent on overhanging limbs.
Smokey’s Pre-Orbital is a great example of a quality pre-orbital scent, it’s used by many deer hunters as well as myself and always proves successful.
The fact that it is made from an individual buck ensures quality as opposed to alternatives that use multiple bucks.
The forehead glands on a buck are located between the antlers and just above the eyes. Bucks use these glands to mark their territory by leaving the oily secretion on rubs.
Older more mature bucks can produce more oils from their glands allowing them to make and mark more rubs than their younger counterparts.
Forehead Glands scent is best used on rubs around the scrape, although it also works well on licking branches. It can be used well before the season to monitor the area with trail cameras.
One of the best forehead scent glands comes from Buck Fever.
Probably the most well-known scent to hunters is from the tarsal glands. A deers’ tarsal glands are located on his hind legs, just inside the hock.
In this area, there is a patch of stiff hairs, and at the base of these hairs are fat glands.
Each deer has the ability to flare its tarsals to release a scent. Bucks, does and fawns will urinate on their tarsals.
Fawns use this practice to find their mothers.
Bucks will urinate on their tarsals to leave a scent on a scrape both to ward off other bucks and attract does.
Does will do the same to identify their readiness to breed.
Hunters have been using tarsal gland scents for decades to attract deer to mock scrapes. It’s common practice for hunters to cut the tarsal glands out of harvested deer and hang them at a mock scrape.
Many companies now offer bottled tarsal gland scent for making mock scrapes.
Code Blue offers a product made from real tarsal glands that are soaked in buck urine. Because each deer has a unique scent Code Blue uses only one deer scent per bottle.
The interdigital glands are often overlooked by hunters when making mock scrapes. Many hunters jump to pre-orbital for licking branches and tarsal glands or urine for scrapes.
These are solid options but interdigital glands may just add a little extra surety.
The interdigital glands on a deer are located between the “toes” of the deer on each hoof, meaning that each deer has four interdigital glands.
The gland is made up of a small sack that secrets a scent similar to that of an expired dairy product.
Each step from a deer leaves a small amount of this scent that allows other deer to follow.
Another use of this gland is when bucks are making scrapes. Here they leave a little more scent that is made up of many compounds.
Urine is one of the most common and cheapest scents to use in a mock scrape and it works.
Some hunters even go as far as using their own urine in mock scrapes.
Peeing in your mock scrape is certainly a cheap and effective method for attracting deer. But you’re more likely to have better success with Nationwide Scents Deer Urine.
Doe Estrus Scent
Doe estrus scent is used to attract bucks and alert them that the doe is ready to breed.
The change in hormones changes the chemicals in a does urine. This scent is very effective in attracting rutting bucks.
One of the better products on the market to hunters is Code Blue Whitetail Doe Estrous.
Mock scrapes are one of the most surefire ways to lure big bucks to your hunting area.
These scrapes are easy to make and can give you info on deer all year round.
It’s important to keep the deer coming back though, and this is where using the right scent comes in.
Curious deer will check out most scents, but unless it’s the right scent they will just move on. The right scents will keep them around for you to harvest during the season.