I have been hunting whitetail deer for 40 years, and I cannot honestly say I have ever shot a buck on his scrape line. I might have, I just don’t know. I’m not even sure scrape lines exist. The more I hunt whitetails in different habitats and terrains across the country, the more I believe that scraping is more random and scattered than on some particular line of travel between food and bedding cover.

That’s why I don’t scout for scrape lines anymore. From Halloween through November 15 or so, I look for a ridge, draw or creek bottom pocked with a dozen or so dark, stinky scrapes, with fresh rubs nearby.  I set a sit there a few days. If I don’t spot much and those scrapes go cold, I scout for other scrapes close by.

In a study on the rut behavior of wild, hunted bucks, University of Georgia researchers found that while some scrapes go neglected and cold overnight, multiple bucks might eagerly paw new scrapes only 100 to 200 yards away. That goes to my theory that scraping is random, sign of bucks roaming around and checking various areas for does while venting pen-up sexual energy.

Stay flexible and mobile as you walk into stands and hunt, and be on the lookout for the next cluster of rank, freshly dug scrapes. I believe your odds are better this way, rather than trying to hunt a buck on a line of scrapes that may or may not exist.