Deer track size

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
Moose
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Deer track size

Unread postby Moose » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:43 am

How do you guys judge track size to roughly age/size of deer? 3 finger track is roughly 3+yrs? 4 finger is 4+? I see alot of 3 finger tracks and a few 4 finger tracks. Are 3 finger tracks something to get excited about?


Jdw
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Re: Deer track size

Unread postby Jdw » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:07 am

I am excited when I see a large track for my area.

But like just about everything else in deer hunting there are lots of things to consider.

Deer from different parts of the country will have different body and foot sizes. If the foot is spread out due to soft ground or the deer running the track will look wider. Some people have big hands. Some mature bucks have small bodies and feet. Some immature bucks have big feet.

It’s not cut and dry but if you pay attention to all the tracks you encounter and check out the feet on dead bucks when you get a chance you will get a good feel for track size.
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stash59
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Re: Deer track size

Unread postby stash59 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:32 am

Along with track width. The depth of the track may tell you more. The deeper tracks, for that soil type and condition, compared to other tracks. Are made by heavier deer. The heaviest deer tend to be older bucks. Although telling if a buck is 3.5YO or actually older. Will be hard by just a track.

Member JoeRE has measured tracks and feet from dead bucks for years. He mainly hunts NE Iowa. Many big old bucks he's measured. Only had 2 5/8" wide tracks, or a fraction larger. Whereas the 4 fingered tracks or tracks as wide as the length of a 30.o6 shell. As the Benoits referenced. Are about 3" to 3 1/4".

Best way to learn what to look out for. Is to take every chance you get when you see a large buck in an area with decent soil. Go into that exact spot and study his tracks!
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<DK>
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Re: Deer track size

Unread postby <DK> » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:31 am

Great posts guys

Playing off of what Stash posted, pay close attention to the condition of the soil / type. Also consider if its front or back hoofs.
Moose
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Re: Deer track size

Unread postby Moose » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:31 am

Thanks for the replys! I never really thought about soil type. I definitely have some food for thought now!
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Re: Deer track size

Unread postby KLEMZ » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:36 pm

Following big tracks (either in snow or in soft spring soil) has led me to more mature buck hideouts than anything else.

I believe different regions have different size deer so track size is relative. Northern states have larger bodies than southern deer. The "four finger" track is relative, depends on your hand size and your location.

Be observant while you are hunting and scouting. If you find a larger than average track, it is worth noting. As observations accumulate, you will know what you are seeing.

My own little world in southern Wisconsin, I don't pay attention to a track until it is a verified 3.25 finger width. It takes more than a single track to make this call. Look for the smallest track in a series.

Press your hand down into every track you are gauging. Feel is more accurate than visual on older tracks or tracks in grassy cover or moss or muddy soil.

Bedding areas of mature bucks will have big tracks everywhere. The beds themselves will look pocked with standing tracks. These are the most important tracks for you to observe. A standing track in a bed is a very accurate gauge of the buck you are after.


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