Monday, September 17, 2012

Ground Scrapes

I’ve always been amazed at how some experts can take something as simple as a ground scrape and imagine the choreography of a complicated breeding ritual. The old story went like this: a buck scrapes the ground, then puts his hind legs together and urinates over his tarsal glands so that the urine drips into the scrape. Legend has it that this is his calling card to receptive does. The doe, upon seeing the scrape, will rush up and spread her own urine in the scrape. This is supposedly her way of saying, "Come on big boy, I want you so bad." Later, when the buck returns, he can tell by the smell of the doe’s urine whether she is receptive or not. If so, it’s time to let the romance begin. It’s a good story, but just not true.

Actually, whitetail bucks are very territorial. Scraping activity has more to do with letting other bucks know he is in the area than it does with attracting does, think of it as very similar to how male dogs mark areas belonging to them. I’m sure that you have seen how the pooch lifts his leg on the corners of buildings, bushes, car tires, and fire hydrants, and then how the next dog to pass by will leave his own little remembrance in the same locations. It’s as if whoever pees last wins. It truly isn’t any more complicated than that.
Good Luck and Good Hnuting,
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