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Friday, October 21, 2011

Early scrape activity

White-tailed deer scrape
(Seneca Falls, NY 10/11)
I am not bow hunting this year. But that doesn't mean I have no interest in the comings and goings of deer on my property. This past Sunday I went to check my camera traps and found two half-hearted scrapes. This first scrape is larger and is under a black locust sapling. It is a bit difficult to see in this photo but click on it to enlarge. You are looking at the bare area in the mowed grass trail. Scrapes are normally found with a tree branch hanging above it. The purpose of the branch is for the deer to apply additional scent. They will mouth the branch and perhaps rub their pre-orbital glands as well. This next photo is a nice close up of the scrape itself.









White-tailed deer scrape
(Seneca Falls, NY 10/11)
Here is the scrape up close and personal. The scrape is made by the male. He uses his hooves to clear the vegetation and then urinates through his tarsal glands to produce a calling card for other deer to investigate.









White-tailed deer scrape
(Seneca Falls, NY 10/11)
The second scrape I encountered was not as fully formed. Only about 20 feet away, this other scrape was much smaller but contained a nice clear deer track. The track is just above my finger. Note how much vegetation remains within this scrape. I have seen this behavior before and often these early scrape attempts are never quite finished and probably play a very small role, if any, in the reproductive story each fall.

I was anxious to check my camera and see if I had captured any images of bucks. In fact, I had only a single photo of a buck. I cannot say for certain that this buck is the one that made these scrapes, but the camera is only 20 yards from the scrapes on the same trail.  Not a bad buck...
Male white-tailed deer
(Seneca Falls, NY 10/11)

1 comment:

  1. It is so cool that one can see animal signs, and then possably see the culprit with a camera trap. Can't wait to get one! I got my first picture on the one from school; a nice shot of a squirrel with a nut.

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