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Kyle

Heres a scenario for ya.

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So I just set a stand in a spot that has 5 scrapes in a 15yd radius. I saw a doe right in there this morning, and a fork was tending her at a distance. He wouldnt come into that area, probably because he knew he would get his A$$ rocked by the big buck who made the scrapes. I skylined a very large bodied deer on the ridge behind me tonight right at dark. The deer walked off because it never walked towards me after that. I have hunted this spot two nights and one morning so far. Ive tried grunting a little. No results. The little fork that was tending the doe was grunting a bit, and she paid no attention. My calling didnt spook anything, but it didnt bring anything in. My question for this scenario is, what can i do to get the big guy whos scraping up the area to come in either earlier, or at all? I know I havent spent much time there yet, but the scrapes are so new and so hot that I know he has to be coming in there regularly. He must be doing it at night. What have you done in a situation like this? I have yet to kill a really big buck, which I think this one is considering the size of the tracks in the scrapes(HUGE), and Ive never been able to find and hunt such a newly hot area, so I want to make the most of this. FYI, Ive done a couple of scent drags, and have had a Tinks #69 scent bomb out the three times Ive hunted. Please help me out with some advice, I really really want to score on this big guy, and I just dont know what else I can do. Even if someone can explain to me what could be going on with this deer, or if you've had a similar experience. Thanks

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Crawl into that stand and stay there all day throughout the rut if you can and only hunt it when the wind is right for that area. If he winds you, you will not see that buck again this year in that area.

He will leave if he knows you are there or scents you.

Hunt him HARD.

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Thankks Harvey. I had a doe this morning at 5 yds, that never had a clue I was there. Is that different than a buck? Are does just as keen?

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Does can be even more keen, remember they often have more than themselves to take care of and look out for. During the rut if you can fool the doe, good chance the buck may fall right in your lap. A lot of research shows that a lot, if not most, of the scraping goes on at night. Lots of small bucks moving now, bigger bucks not so much yet during daylight hours. That could change soon, especially with cooler temps again end of next week. With the timing of the second full moon (after equinox) this year, breeding should be later than normal. I look for the best hunting to occur the week or ten days prior to peak breeding, so I'm thinking the best time to waylay one of these big boys this year might be 10th to 20th or something like that. Unfortunately in Minnesota, the guns season kicks in and all bets are off depending on size of your hunting property and pressure, etc. But still a great time to be out and you never know, all you need is a doe in your area to come in early and things can escalate quite rapidly from there. I would find where you believe this buck is bedding and for an evening set, set up in the most advantageous spot between there and this scrape area. Mornings and during the day I would sit in the best funnel you have between doe bedding and feeding, or on the edge of doe bedding areas - mature bucks will cruise those looking to keep a low profile while still covering ground keepping tabs on the local does and looking for does in heat. They will often make scrapes at concentrations of travel such as trail intersections, but doesn't mean they will revisit, though it is likely if it is on their travel route anyway. Calling and rattling will work well right up until the breeding goes into full swing, and again after, and even sometimes during if you can catch a buck that's in-between does and looking for another. If you do hunt the scrapes again, go in clean using a good entry and exit strategy, wear a carbon suit, sit as long as possible, you might even consider using a decoy if visibility is good. Ever notice why early in the rut (the pre-rut, not breeding - scraping, grunting, chasing, etc) you always see a lot more small bucks chasing everything that moves, but the does aren't ready and run? Not only is it because there are a lot more young bucks, it's because mature (large) bucks know it's not time yet, and they are more reclusive and cautious by nature. Not smart, or smarter, just more experienced, more paranoid, more cautious. But the best is yet to come, and when it does happen, regardless of the weather, be in the woods as much as you can. It just helps when it's cooler, 'cause those deer have their winter coats on and have had many trips to the abundant smorgasboard all fall, and especially big deer just don't move as much during daylight when it's really warm. But cool crisp mornings and cold fronts can be their undoing. Good luck. Let us know how you do - with pics!

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Once the does kick off their fawns and start to be chased my rutting bucks, they can get very wary. Maybe worse than when they have their fawns with them earlier in the season.

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