Deer Tracks

Whitetails.com Deer Tracks
Use deer tracks to determine what type of deer you are tracking. Deer tracks can be best analyzed on flat level ground.
The size of a deer track will help you to determine the size of the deer. As a deer grows, their feet will grow accordingly. Big mature bucks will leave big and deep tracks. In soft ground the dew claws will show on both bucks and does. Rounded tips on hoofs are a result of hoof wear usually due to rocky or other abrasive surfaces and has little to do with weather the deer is a buck or a doe.

When analyzing deer tracks in shallow snow, look to see which deer are dragging their feet. It is believed that bucks drag their feet to conserve energy. In deeper snow all deer will drag their feet. Another trick for snow tracking is to watch for antler impressions in the snow. When a large buck is checking the trail for a doe in estrus, his horns will sometimes leave an impression in the snow. This will also show you how wide his antler spread is.

Once you have found a good track in the snow, you can follow it to find travel routes, feeding areas, watering areas and bedding areas.

When a deer walks, they will place their back hoof in the track of their front hoof. If the second track falls slightly to the outside of the first, it is probably a doe because a doe's hind quarters are wider than her chest. The wider hind quarters of a doe are required for giving birth. If the second track falls slightly to the inside and short of the first track, then it is probably a buck track since a buck's chest is wider than his hind quarters and his body is longer.

Whitetails.com Deer Tracks

The chart above is a size comparison for the front hoof of a deer. The size of deer and their tracks will vary from region to region. The deer tracks in your region may vary from the above chart.

The deer tracks in the illustration to the right are fairly typical for a set of deer tracks, except the tracks have been lined up and moved closer together for the purpose of this illustration.

Note how the rear tracks are slightly farther apart than the front tracks. These tracks were probably made by a doe.

Whitetails.com Deer Tracks