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Deer Tracks

The print of a deer’s cloven hoof is a split heart shape. The pointed end is forward. Size varies greatly from region to region and from one subspecies to another. Most tracks are between 2 and 3 inches long on relatively hard ground. If they are much smaller, a fawn probably made them. (See illustration below.)

Many experienced whitetail hunters believe they can tell a buck’s track from a doe’s. They say a buck’s hoof lobes splay, sometimes so much that the front of the track is wider than the rear. But a heavy old doe often has splayed hooves.

Back ToYBO Home PageBoth bucks and does run with a rocking horse motion, causing the hind prints sometimes to register ahead of the foreprints and forming a slightly zigzag line. Tracks don’t bunch up in the manner of a bounding mule deer—except in deep snow, which forces high leaps. The trail will likely be 5 or 6 inches wide and the walking stride a foot or so long. Running strides may be stride 6 feet or more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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