Grant's Blog

Thoughts from the field

How To Use Scrapes To Locate Bucks

The last two weeks of October are two of my favorite weeks of the year. The leaves are starting to take on lots of color, while the deer are beginning the yearly ritual. It’s an exciting time of year, especially for deer hunters! A lot of bucks will be loaded up in the back of trucks over the next few weeks; don’t you want to be one of those happy hunters? Use scrapes to find where bucks are active and move in for the kill!

A mock scrape was created to to attract bucks

Before and after of the mock scrape created to monitor bucks in the area.

There are many reasons why I love this time of year, fall leaf color, cool temperatures, MLB postseason baseball, but one of my favorites is the whitetail pre-rut. It is a great time of year to have those trail cameras out! Bucks are spending a lot of time working scrapes right now and that can make for great trail camera locations! We put several of our Reconyx cameras overlooking scrapes this time of year. Not only do we find scrapes, we also make them. If we’re in an area with very limited scrape limbs, we will make a scrape tree. Making a mock scrape is a very simple process. Start by bringing in a small tree with horizontal limbs about 4.5 to 5 feet off the ground. Drive a t-post into the ground at your desired location and then tie the tree to the post securely; making sure the tree is stable and secure. Once the tree is secure, scrape the ground under the limbs exposing bare dirt, just like a buck would do. This is a great way to locate bucks in areas where scrapes are very limited.

Bucks of all age classes will be checking scrapes over the next few weeks. If your cameras are watching the scrapes you’ve got a great chance at catching a hit list buck! Once you locate a buck, you should move in quick! It could be a brief window of time before he’s off cruising for receptive does.

It’s an amazing time of year, find time this week to get outside and enjoy this wonderful world God created for us!

Daydreaming of whitetails,


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The October Lull

It’s mid-October and still a week or so before the whitetail pre rut in most areas. Often, this portion of the season is referred to as the October Lull. I’ve certainly experienced some hunts during this time of year when it seemed there were no deer in the area. I’ve also experienced some great hunts during mid October! It seems many folks talk about the October Lull, but…CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLOG AT WINCHESTER.COM

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Cooking Deer Meat: Recipe For Slow Cooker Venison Roast

About two months ago I went out to our freezer and realized that we were down to three (3) packages of venison. The opening of bow season on September 15 was highly anticipated as we really needed to get some meat in the freezer! Thankfully, Grant arrowed a doe that first week. We now have a start on building our supply of venison back up for the next year. (You can see that hunt here in the episode “Bow Hunting: Opening Day, Buck Down!”).

Ingredients for slow cooker venison roast

Before you start preparing the venison roast for the crock pot gather all the ingredients.

Grant said we are beginning to get too many deer on the property. In order to keep the deer healthy and in balance with the available food supply “Dr. Woods” has prescribed that we take a good many does to help balance out the population. That is welcome news for our family food budget for filling the freezer with a great quality meat! As the season progresses expect to see Grant and Adam taking more does and know that meat will feed the family!

As you might expect, eating venison at our house is an everyday meal. I cook venison as frequently (or more) than most people cook pork or beef. Our kids have grown up eating healthy venison instead of beef or other red meats. The crock pot (slow cooker) is my answer for a quick, easy meal for my family. Below is my favorite recipe for cooking venison roast. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we do! It is super easy yet tastes like a gourmet meal! If you start it before leaving for work in the morning, the smell (aroma if you’re fancy) of it cooking will knock your socks off when you get home in the late afternoon!



Slow Cooker Venison Roast

  • 1 (3 to 4 pounds) venison roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large carton beef or chicken broth


Place venison roast in lightly oiled slow cooker/crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the roast, add water or additional broth. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving.

Note: You can easily add sliced carrots and potatoes on top of the roast to cook along with the meat. If you do this – drizzle a little olive oil on them along with a light sprinkle of salt, pepper, and very light sprinkle of garlic powder.

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Is Baiting Deer Effective?

Baiting deer during season is legal in several states. This is not another promote or bash baiting story. This is a brief look at the efficiency of baiting from a scientist’s perspective. More than a decade ago, and then again very recently, scientist studied if baiting increases or decreases the chance of seeing and/or tagging a buck….CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE AT WINCHESTER.COM

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