Tips & Tactics

When the Rut’s in a Rut

When the Rut’s in a Rut

By Chris Chastain, Buckmasters Cameraman

Photo: Buckmasters cameraman Chris Chastain (right) and Buckmasters Sweepstakes Winner John Nowak ambushed this gorgeous Alabama 10-pointer using a tactic Chris learned from Terry Rohm of Tink’s.

Half the battle with taking a nice buck is simply knowing that it exists. The Buckmasters film crew has used trail cameras for many years — especially over active scrapes — to scout and see what’s what.

These photos give us confidence that we’re not wasting precious time at locations where immature or undesirable bucks are making scrapes.

This has been a solid tactic for us during the rut. But some years, the timing of the rut may be off. You can’t photograph scrapes if the bucks aren’t making them, right? WRONG. This Tip of the Week is perfect for when the bucks aren’t pawing.

I’ve had the pleasure of filming Terry Rohm of Tink’s for many years. He taught me that even if the bucks aren’t scraping, we could still trick them into posing for the trail camera.

Terry makes mock scrapes using Tink’s buck lures and places cameras beside them in areas where bucks usually make sign. The bucks would inspect the scrapes and appear on film, even though the natural rut was dead!

I’ve used Terry’s tactic with great success in Alabama by setting up mock scrapes and trail cams in multiple locations, and then waited a week before checking them.

For instance, in 2011, when one of the cameras revealed a nice 10-pointer working my fake scrape, I knew exactly where to pinpoint a stakeout with Buckmasters Sweepstakes Winner, John Nowak of Wausau, Wisconsin. I videotaped John taking that buck on the very first afternoon!

— Photo Courtesy of Chris Chastain

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd