Bucks make and use scrapes as calling card signposts for other bucks and does in the area. They’re a form of communication that is very important in the whitetail world.
We see these as scraped-out depressions but they’re much more than that. Scrapes may be primary or secondary, created at different times of the season (or year), checked by bucks and does, and typically involve an overhanging licking branch. Urine, saliva, and tarsal and preorbital gland scent are secreted in the creation of scrapes. These are what other deer taste and smell when they check on scrapes.
Steve Bartylla provides some great insights in this latest episode of Hunt ’em Big.
Hunt ’em Big, Season 2 Episode 10. Originally aired Dec. 1, 2016. Scrapes Tell the Tale for Great Deer Hunting.