Scouting ten days before the Ohio muzzleloading season, Dan Parrott found the kind of buck that would make any trophy hunter smile. This is a rather common story. Out of millions of hunters, each year a good portion of us locate at least one trophy buck.Then a tiny, minute fraction of us actually put a tag on a trophy buck. But here is where Parrott's story took a unique turn, not because he got his trophy buck, but how he accomplished it.
Parrott, along with Don Ursitz, invented a device called the Scrape Wiz. This first-of-its-kind electronic unit dispenses deer urine at pre-timed intervals. That is, it can be set to drip your favorite scent at any time you wish. This should be done at the same time every day, and deer which visit it will soon begin to come to the scrape at about the same time the scent is dripped. New on the market this fall, Parrott used a prototype last year.
After seeing the huge buck, Parrott went home and got his scent dripper, then returned to the overgrown pasture where he had seen the buck. He built an artificial scrape about two feet in diameter, and hung the scent dripper over it, set to drip at 9:00 a.m. That was the last time he visited the site until the muzzleloader season.
This latter point is one of the biggest advantages of the scrape dripper. The hunter does not have to disturb the site once the scent dripper is in place. Repeatedly returning to a mock scrape to refresh the scent makes it very likely, almost certain, that a wary old buck will realize something is awry.
Ohio, of course, is one of the best states for big whitetails. Parrott's hunting area was the kind of place that grows big bucks. An overgrown dairy farm surrounded by agricultural land, the precise location of his scent dripper was in a wind row at the edge of a thick, brushy, overgrown pasture and between two mature wood lots. As Parrott's hunt progressed, the true trophy potential of this area became readily apparent.
Parrott walked to his stand near the scent dripper before sunrise, somewhat uncertain if he could even find it. Luck was with him. He had his tree stand in place and was ready before shooting time.
With the first rays of morning sun, Parrott was able to see that his fake scrape had been enlarged to twice its original size. Several small trees in the vicinity had been rubbed and torn apart. These were the signs of a big buck, one ready for action.
Nothing stirred until about 8:30 A.M.
"I saw movement 70 yards away," Parrott recalled. "I could only see parts of the legs and the rack. It moved slowly toward the scrape."
At the time, he only knew it was a very big buck, and he assumed it was the same buck he saw while scouting. When it was 25 yards away Parrott fired at the shoulder. The buck dropped immediately. Only when he examined it more closely did he realize that this was not the same buck, but another magnificent trophy.
"This wasn't the buck I saw when I was scouting. That buck had a distinctly wider rack and was not as basket-shaped. I hope to see that deer this year."
Parrott's trophy buck measured 153 B&C points. The first field test of the Scrape Wiz was a huge success. Parrott's partner followed it with success in Pennsylvania, though with a more modest buck. This fall, many deer hunters, myself included, will get the opportunity to try it for ourselves. I am very anxious...
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