Mock scrapes are a popular whitetail tool. With the Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit from the Wildlife Research Center, you can set mock scrapes wherever you want them on your hunting property and condition deer to hit them during daylight.
by Jace Bauserman
I’m a western bowhunter who fell head over heels in love with whitetails. I am so much in love that I haven’t hunted mule deer in my home state of Colorado for eight years. Yikes!
Why the big attraction?
At first, whitetails presented a new challenge. I was a run-and-gun, move-and-groove bowhunter. Spending time 20 feet up cottonwoods and waiting was a challenge.
Then, as I arrowed a few whitetails, my obsession became about harvesting mature deer and spending most of my year preparing my hunting properties for big-deer encounters.
I still have a long way to go. I’m learning — still working to be the best whitetail hunter I can be. One company that’s making this task easier is Wildlife Research Center.
Not only do I use WRC products to control my human odor, but I also use them to drive big bucks wild. WRC makes scents that are second to none, and because I use mock scrapes to make my trail cams trigger often, the Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit is a 2023 go-to.
I have many locales where I want to put mock scapes, but I rarely find an overhanging branch in these areas. A licking branch is a scrape must-have, and before Active-Branch, I would disregard these locations because I had no way of attaching a licking branch. That’s all changed now.
Included with the Active Branch Mock Scrape Kit is a patent-pending dual-branch holder. With this holder, you only need to take four screws and attach the holder bracket to a tree, fence post, or any other in-the-woods object. A nylon mounting strap is also included.
The design is perfect. Two long tubes fitted with wing nut screws that back in and out allow the insertion and tightening down of branches. The angle of the tubes is excellent, and I appreciate that I can add a pair of branches. More to come on why.
With the branch holder, I can add a mock scrape anywhere I want in minutes.
Active-Branch In The Field
Before selecting what branches to add to your branch holders, determine what type of trees in your area bucks tend to use for licking branches. In my neck of the woods, it’s cottonwood and elm.
Branches should be generally straight. I carry a pocket knife to carve them to size and remove any humps or bumps.
Next, attach the branch holder wherever you want to add the mock scrape. Use the mounting strap and then add your screws. If hunting public dirt, be sure to check state regulations before screwing the mounting plate to the tree.
I like deer to be able to come up and stuff their face in a pile of leaves and branches. For this reason, my licking branches hang low — about nose height on a deer. Again, I don’t like tawny little toothpicks with a few leaves on the end. Insert the licking branch into the bottom tube and push the limb as far as possible. Next, thread the wingnut down to lock the stem in place.
The second branch holder is for mounting the Magnum Scrape Dripper. I will add the dripper during October’s first week. I prefer to add Trails End #307 to the dirt and walk away. This scent, more than any other I have used during September and early October, gets a scrape going. Then, once bucks take over the scrape, I switch to the dripper filled with Golden Scrape.
Make The Scrape
I don’t overthink mock scrapes. Like a suitable hunting property, location is the most important thing. With my branch holder attached and my branches inserted, I snap off a few branches (wear gloves) on the bottom branch. Next, I take a stick and my rubber boots and paw a dirt section under the licking branch.
I don’t go for scrapes the size of a car hood during the early season. Instead, I dig a little earth and add Trails End #307. Once bucks start hitting the scrape, I will go back and hang the dripper and add the Golden Scrape, as mentioned.
How It Helps
A mock scrape with a dripper conditions deer to hit the scrape during daylight hours. Deer research confirms that most scraping happens after the sun goes down, but the Magnum Scrape Dripper only drips during daylight.
Not only will I use Active-Branch to hunt over, but as I transition my trail cameras from food sources, trail intersections, etc., to scrapes, I know I will capture most of my target deer. Once I get deer on camera, I can make an effective plan for hunting them.
One Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit isn’t enough. I started with one but made a WRC order and purchased five more. It’s fantastic to put scrapes wherever I want them, and priced at $47.99, the kit doesn’t break the bank.
The process takes less than 10 minutes, and I will be able to throw the additional five incoming kits in my pack and get them placed around my farm quickly.