The signature Rod White ICS (Image Capture System) is your ultimate tool for finding specific age class bucks in areas you want to hunt! Don't waste countless hours in the stand for an opportunity at a deer that may not exist. The entire ICS is designed to give you everything you need to successfully build mock scrapes to take inventory of the deer in your hunting area. Included in the ICS are the following products.
- 1 - Rod White Branded Cold Spell Container (for in-field transport and application of the scent system)
- 1 - 2 ounce bottle of Scrape Activator (Must be refrigerated or frozen at all times and kept in the Cold Spell in the field)
- 1 - 2 ounce bottle of Limb Attractant (Preferably kept in a cool dry place or with the Scrape Activator)
- 2 - Spray top applicators
- 10 pairs of Nitrile gloves for application
Directions for use:
The keys to success with the ICS or ANY mock scrape system revolve around these three important elements...
- Trail Camera Placement
- Application and Storage
**Always store the Scrape Activator in your ColdSpell during transport and in the field to maintain a cool environment for the Scrape Activator. The Scrape Activator contains biological ingredients and must be kept below 40 degrees to inhibit any bacterial growth and destruction of the integrity of the pheromones. The Limb Attractant does not need to be refrigerated but should be stored in a cool dry location while not in use.
Choosing the right location...
Of the three, this first requirement for success is the toughest to convey to new mock scrape users. Mostly because this will change somewhat from area to area across the country and the time of the year. Early in the season, up until the pre-rut in your area, focus your mock scrapes in locations that are secluded. You can certainly get lots of images on field edges, but most mature bucks prior to the pre-rut, after they have shed their velvet, are in a constant state of change. Dominance amongst similarly age structured deer becomes an issue and causes a redistribution of home ranges. The ICS formula is designed to capture the curiosity of mature bucks that are being redistributed for that reason and generate an interest in your mock scrapes. Gathering images of bucks during this time period is primarily to get an understanding of what bucks could potentially be on your inventory list of bucks you would like to pursue in the next few weeks.
With all that in mind, some of my favorite locations and successful mock scrape sets are near in-timber water holes, old logging roads near bedding areas, travel corridors leading to early season food sources, white oak ridges near bedding areas, and especially pre-staging areas with heavy acorn production near green food sources such as clover and alfalfa fields, late maturing soybean fields, and food plot mixtures such as turnips, winter oats, and brassicas.
Correct trail camera placement and considerations...
If you're new to the trail camera scouting game, there are lots of options out there for cameras. My favorite two for affordability and reliability are the Browning Sub-Micro Strike Force 850 and the Covert MP8 Blackouts. Both cameras will run you about $100 each and both have blackout or infrared systems. Placing your cameras correctly will ensure quality pictures and video. I prefer to run all of my cameras on a 1 minute video capture because I feel like I get way more information than photo-bursts provide. But, that also requires a lot more time to sift through pictures when you pick up your cameras or cards.
Place the cameras where direct sunlight will NOT be entering the camera lens. Predominantly this means facing the cameras to the North. Facing them to the South can also work, but just be mindful that those dusk and dawn pictures and video can be difficult to identify deer when the sun is hitting them in the lens creating a lot of glare.
Next, be sure to place the camera, with few exceptions, no more than 3 feet from the timber floor and at a minimum of 15 ft from the mock scrape in a secluded fashion. This is probably the largest mistake made by new trail camera users. The cameras work off of motion detection...so if you keep the sensors pointed toward where the legs of the deer move across the detection area, you're likely to get way more triggers with 4 objects in motion (meaning the 4 legs of a deer) rather than just one subject (meaning the deers body) passing by the sensors. Both of the suggested camera makes and models I mentioned above have some of the best sensor success rates I've seen on the market, which is again why I highly recommend them. And as a last note, the distance is key, some deer seem to NOT like the cameras at all while others don't seem to mind them. I strive in everyone of my setups to keep those cameras as concealed as possible and out of direct view of the mock scrape area.
Lastly, the application and storage of the system is vital to your success...
It's hyper important that you utilize the nitrile gloves provided with your purchase, or a similar latex alternative. No matter how hard you scrub and clean your hands, oils and bacterial odor are ever present and ever producing. Leaving any trace of either at the mock scrape site greatly diminishes your success rates. I included them in the product kit because they are that important, use them! From the time you get to your potential scrape location, DON'T touch anything with your bare hands, especially the licking branches that you'll create for the scrape, and the surrounding vegetation. It's also important to note that you should be wearing a rubber boot as well, although I wouldn't call it a requirement, I would suggest using them to get the best results.
After taking the camera placement instructions above into consideration. Mount the camera facing the scrape area...while wearing your gloves as well...then grab a stick from nearby and use it to create the scrape area on the ground. Scrape the soil and turn the leafy or grassy vegetation on the ground until you have cleared an area approximately 2' by 2' in diameter below an overhanging branch that you can reach. Discard the branch as far away from the area as you can toss it.
Again, using the gloves, break one or two of the overhanging branches (preferably live branches) just enough that they are still attached to the limb but are obviously visibly broken. Apply the Limb Attractant to the limbs, not the leaves as these are usually ingested, with 6 to 8 pumps from the spray lid that's included with the kit.
Next, apply the Scrape Activator by using the other spray top provided in the ICS to the fresh soil in the scrape and surrounding vegetation with 6 to 8 pumps. Using only 6 to 8 pumps of both products should produce PLENTY of attractant without overpowering and causing rejection from upper age class deer. It will also ensure that you will receive approximately 20 scrape sets per ICS.
My highest consistent success rates in the same areas seem to happen when I limit checking card and cameras once a week at most. On public grounds, I immediately pull my cameras once I capture mature images. Although from time to time I may hunt these locations, for the most part, the product has served it's purpose for me. Pulling my cameras also keeps others from checking my cameras and lower any theft rates on public properties.
As always, please share your success photos and stories! And, It's always appreciated to see consumer reviews and shares on social media! Good luck everyone out there and hunt safe!
- Rod White