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Pay Attention To Overhanging Limbs by Grant Woods

The majority of does throughout much of the whitetail’s range have been bred. Some does simply become receptive later, some didn’t conceive during their first cycle and some female fawns are just now becoming mature enough to be receptive.

The combination of these circumstances means competition for receptive does during early December can be high in areas where most does are bred during mid November. This means bucks, does, and fawns will be using scrapes to communicate their social status to other local deer. However, the leaves have fallen throughout much of the whitetail’s range by early December and the ground portion of scrapes are often covered with leaves and appear inactive.

Therefore it’s important to remember when scouting during this time of year that the overhanging limb is more important to scrapes than the ground portion. The scrape in this video is a good example. It would appear based on the ground portion that this scrape is totally inactive.

Hunters that walked by and assumed that would have missed hanging a stand/placing a blind and having a chance at this mature ten point buck that’s clearly marking this scrape.

When scouting scrapes during early December remember to check the overhanging limbs for signs of recent use.

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Dr. Grant Woods
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.