Ask The Biologist

Who Started It?

Who Started It?

By Bob Humphrey

We just don’t know everything there is to know about scrapes.

QUESTION: Who starts the scrape, and what do the does have to do with it? – Scotty W.

ANSWER: Bucks typically do most of the scrape initiation and tending. While we still don’t fully understand their function, it is largely accepted that scrapes represent a scent signpost or message board where deer leave olfactory (scent) signals indicating things like fitness, readiness to breed and quite possibly individual identity.

However, other deer, including does, visit scrapes. They do not typically leave urine scent in the scrape; that’s the buck’s job, but they may deposit scent for forehead and infraorbital glands on the overhanging branch.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

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