Have You Ever Hunted Over Pronghorn Scrapes?
I was in Africa when the concept hit me. I couldn't help but notice African antelope constructed scrapes, pawed-out areas where droppings and scent were deposited. I knew I'd observed this phenomenon before on North America's pronghorn prairies.
It was to become my secret weapon, one few bowhunters even consider.
All dominant pronghorn bucks maintain highly defined scrapes along territory edges or intersections. You'll find these in places like water-hole edges, ranch-road rises or major fence corners. The best are tended by multiple mature bucks. I call them scrapes only because bucks paw in them aggressively before depositing droppings and urine. But the best part of bowhunting over pronghorn scrapes is when daily thunderstorms put a damper on standard water-hole ploys, bucks appear at scrapes more dependably to add fresh scent. Scrapes help salvage rained-out bowhunts.
Finding a scrape is the first priority. Sometimes you just stumble onto them by keeping a sharp look out for a shallow depression full of clumped droppings and urine stains. In other cases you find them by staking out a particular buck, watching him from a distance over the course of a day or two. When he stops to paw and squat, you allow him to walk away and inspect his work.
Hunting pronghorn scrapes is best accomplished via an inconspicuous brush blind, as a full-blown pop-up must normally be left in place for many days to become accepted as part of the landscape.