Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Hunting & Fishing

Whitetail hunting: Scrapes

Tracks and rubs are the first two signs to look for when scouting for whitetails. Scrapes are the third sign to look for.

Scrapes are made during breeding season and serve as a whitetail’s version of a singles bar. Bucks and does will both visit scrapes and leave scent announcing that they’re ready to breed.

Whitetail bucks will scrape the ground cover away from an area up to five feet in diameter. They then urinate over their tarsal glands (on the back of their legs) to mark their territory, similar to a dog lifting it's leg on everything in sight. Most scrapes are under an overhanging limb. This allows the buck to leave scent from it's forehead and saliva above the ground where the wind can carry it to other deer passing by.

This announces the buck's presence to any other bucks in the area as well as to the does that are ready to breed.

Scrapes are the most difficult kind of whitetail sign to find because other animals disturb the forest floor for various reasons, but several clues can give away a scrape.

First, the area will be fairly large, up to five feet in diameter. Then there will be deer tracks around. You might even find a few perfect prints in the scrape.

Finally, there will be a branch or limb over the scraped earth four to five feet high. It may look like it's been chewed on.





  • David Price rumors
    Should the bottom-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays trade or keep pitching ace David Price?
    MLB Rumors
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has Alzheimer's disease, will step down
    NFL News
  • Sam responds to Dungy
    Michael Sam has the perfect response to Tony Dungy's controversial comments
    NFL News
  • Bella wardrobe malfunction
    Sexy diva Nikki Bella suffers wardrobe malfunction during WWE show
    Fight Sports
  • LeBron gives cupcakes
    LeBron James sends cupcakes to neighbors after press overtakes neighborhood
    Food & Drink