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Challenging Dominant Bucks with Mocks. Yes or No?

Challenging Dominant Bucks with Mocks. Yes or No?

Can we challenge or put pressure on a dominant buck using mock scrapes to up our odds of harvesting him during season? This has been a subject that I have been studying for the last 2 decades. Although I feel I have a pretty good idea on the answer, individual Bucks are just that individuals, and as you know, will at times do things that leave you scratching your head. The short answer is NO, you cannot challenge or put pressure on a dominant Buck by building a mock scrape or for that matter treating an existing scrape to make him believe another buck is in his area vying for his Doe. For many years I believed I could, but time after time I found this not to be the case. Some of you are probably saying this guy doesn't know what he is talking about. But please bare with me as I explain how I have come to this conclusion.

1. Multiple Bucks work mock/real scrapes. "I have had as many as 27 different Bucks hitting my mock multiple times [4 to as many as 7 times] in a 7-day time period". With 5 to 6 of them being what you would refer to as dominant Bucks ranging in size from 150 to as high as 175. Now the question you need to ask yourself is, does that 175" Buck really care about the 150", 164", 167", etc. etc.? Or does the 150" really care about the other dominant Bucks? Or are they just going to simply breed as many Does as they can when the Doe begin cycling into estrus? And yes, they will keep their distance from each other for the most part. At least until a Doe shows up in estrus and she is one of only a few in estrus. "early/late estrus cycle.

2. Do you think that the biggest Buck in the area or any Buck for that matter is going to run around freaking out saying OMG OMG OMG this Jinx'em Buck I'm smelling in these scrapes is going to kick my tail and run me out of the area, and then breed all the Doe?

3. Don't many dominant Bucks travel miles searching for Doe and have multiple encounters with other big Bucks during their travels?

     The answer to #1 is: No, they do not care about the other dominant Bucks in the area. They care about 1 thing, and that is breeding as many Doe as possible before they cycle out of estrus. That's not saying if they don't have a Doe and another dominant Buck does, that he won't fight him or try to run him off so he can breed her. Totally different than challenging/pressuring him with a mock or real scrape.

    The answer to #2 is: Absolutely NOT. If this were the case, they would not continue to hit the same mock multiple times in a week and would simply leave the area because they are freaking out and afraid of the other dominant Bucks in the area... LOL... Which I have witnessed by the way. All about personality. Some are cocky, some are very passive, and everywhere in between. No different than your buddy that will fight at the drop of a hat, and your other buddy that will do whatever he needs to do to avoid a fight. {Think bar scene}

    The answer to #3 is a simple YES... They do travel great distances to find receptive Doe and will challenge another dominant Buck to gain breeding rights regardless of whether he is in or out of his area.

    In conclusion a Whitetail Buck has 1 thing on his mind when the breeding season hits, and that is to simply breed as many Does as he can before they cycle out of estrus. Let's not forget he will challenge/fight any other buck he has to, in order to breed a Doe. Again, a big difference between that challenge and thinking you can challenge him by simply adding buck urine to a mock or real scrape.

    Now the good news about building mocks and or treating real scrapes.

1. Identify the shooter Bucks in your area.

2. Condition him to hit your mock when he is in the area.

3. Create a community scrape that every deer "Buck, Doe, and even Fawn" will visit on a regular basis.

4. Create ambush points by strategically placing stands on or close to your active mock/real scrapes. 

I will close with this. Build as many mocks as you can comfortably maintain. Some of your mocks will be fire, while others may not be very active. For the inactive mocks... abandon them and build others until you have multiple active mock scrapes. I hope you enjoyed my opinion on challenging/pressuring dominant Bucks with Mock or real scrapes. Let me know your thoughts ~ Shawn  







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