Myth #6: Hunting over scrapes is the best way to find a big buck during the rut.
The truth is, bucks tend to make and visit scrapes much more often before and after the peak of the rut than during this prime period. It makes sense when you think about it: When most does are ready to breed, dominant bucks are too busy tending to them to spend time checking scrapes. Rather, it’s in the pre- and post-rut periods that bucks are much more vigilant about checking and freshening scrapes in an effort to find receptive does.
A fresh scrape does indeed signal there’s a buck in the area, but don’t waste time hunting over it unless it’s on a well-travelled deer trail. There should also be an overhanging branch that allows the buck to deposit scent from his forehead glands. Even then, it may be days before the buck revisits the scrape, if ever. While there’s always value in hunting bucks when you know you’re on their home turf, a scrape is rarely the spot on the spot we all wish it were.