Hunt Scrapes or find the bed

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I’ve recently gotten onto a public land 9 pointer in a plot of land that isn’t too pressured and I know holds some decent deer. I found 3 scrapes and multiple rubs all within 20 yards of each other then set a camera on the main scrape next to a cluster of rubs. The next night i had him on camera working the scrape and freshening the rub but this was at 2:30am. I set up this morning in a tree saddle and saw he had made 2 more big scrapes the night before. (This is all within 2 days)

Should i continue to hunt these scrapes, wait until the rut in a couple of weeks when he’ll be more active during daylight, or try and find an area closer to his bed and hunt him in the coming days?
 

nitsy33

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Tough to say, too many variables. I would try to find his travel route and work back towards his bed. If you are in MA I think its gonna warm up a bit next week, so he might stick to traveling at night til the temp drops a bit or the rut gets closer. I am not an expert but thats how I would work it.
 

smokey-seven

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I would terrain hunt the area. There has to be funnels of tracks where trails intersect and the terrain will push into these funnels. Sit back and take a more global overview of the area to determine how to effectively hunt him.

I always looked for, "triangles" where roads / rr tracks or terrain pushed deer into a squeeze spot (funnel) and sat on that squeeze rather than the scrapes. Worked for me.
 

Mark from MA

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I’ve recently gotten onto a public land 9 pointer in a plot of land that isn’t too pressured and I know holds some decent deer. I found 3 scrapes and multiple rubs all within 20 yards of each other then set a camera on the main scrape next to a cluster of rubs. The next night i had him on camera working the scrape and freshening the rub but this was at 2:30am. I set up this morning in a tree saddle and saw he had made 2 more big scrapes the night before. (This is all within 2 days)

Should i continue to hunt these scrapes, wait until the rut in a couple of weeks when he’ll be more active during daylight, or try and find an area closer to his bed and hunt him in the coming days?
Deer is in the area now.........We are going to get a frosty cold front, clear weather in the next couple days....find where you think hes bedding and set just off of it between that and the scrapes and/or food. Hunt it hard on those mornings, early just before light be in your tree and ready. He may be active later in the mornings during the first frosts. Try some light calling, antler rattling or doe bleats. Ive killed 90% of my big bucks on frosty cold mornings where they move to bed later.

Or you could be fxcked and he's totally noctournal, your cam will tell that.

Either way, Don't bump him or your screwed, he will move on.

Note that once the rut hits, and if he gets no hits on his scrapes.......he will move out of the area and try again in a different area, and this is why these big bucks get killed, because they start to circle out and travel to find does and start bumping into hunters in trees.
 
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