year of deer, by width of track ?

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dreaming bucks
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year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dreaming bucks » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:27 am

Is there a general rule for how old a buck is from the width of the track ? I found a track this spring that is 4 fingers wide, but I had to wonder if there is a way to age the deer from how wide it is.... I know it's a older deer, but what would you say, 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 atleast ? would a 3 1/2 make a four finger track ? Keep in mind, I have pretty big hands, so it would make sense to me if he is a 4 1/2 atleast, but not sure, any help ?


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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:47 am

4 finger walking track is likely a four year old or better... But the right 3 year old could lay a track that big too.
Coincidentally, my highest scoring typical was 4-1/2 when I shot him and had a 3 finger track, just like most of the 2 year olds.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby tim » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:15 am

im wondering just how big some of these hooves get, this spring near my pond i had tracks over 4 fingers and i also got wide hands. i though it was a fluke till i measured all the tracks he left , i could fit 4 fingers and move it around- but not quite 5. i dont believe i got his pic yet. the only other time i have seen tracks comparable was in kenosha back in 1998 and i got 1 pic of this deer and found 1 shed . this deer to this day is the biggest bodied buck ive ever gotten a photo of.and i know it was him because i was following his track through the snow when i found his antler in feb of 99.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:09 am

I have seen 4 1/2 finger tracks a few times, mostly splaying from weight... The biggest track I have seen was in Iowa and was about 5 fingers wide, and was not overly splayed...
dreaming bucks
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dreaming bucks » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:20 am

Do the bucks tend to show the marks from their Dew claws in a soft soil base, more than a doe ? I mean, Does have them too, but someone told me to look for the marks in the ground from the dew claws, which is generally a buck ? anything to that ?
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:51 am

someone told me to look for the marks in the ground from the dew claws, which is generally a buck ? anything to that ?

Kind of... The same thing that makes a bucks track wide, is the same thing that adds the dew claw marks... Weight.
dreaming bucks
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dreaming bucks » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:46 pm

dan wrote:
someone told me to look for the marks in the ground from the dew claws, which is generally a buck ? anything to that ?

Kind of... The same thing that makes a bucks track wide, is the same thing that adds the dew claw marks... Weight.


ok, that makes sense Dan.... I will have to watch for that in the future. I guess I always just looked for a big wide track, not even thinking anything about the dew claws putting a mark in the ground... Good stuff !
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby Spysar » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:35 am

No way to tell for sure about a track. Just bigger is better. When the dew claws make an impression, we call them a flatfooter. It takes an old heavy buck to leave dewclaw marks at a normal walk. As the deer ages and he gains weight, the foot actually flattens out a bit. Instead of walking on it's toes, it's more on the ball of the hoof.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby Spysar » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:37 am

Oh, and the front hoof is bigger than the back. At a walk a deer will put it's back hoof in it's front hoofs track.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:43 am

D.B. Check out this article if you have not seen it yet:

CLICK THE LINK:
viewtopic.php?f=159&t=1327
dreaming bucks
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dreaming bucks » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:00 am

dan wrote:D.B. Check out this article if you have not seen it yet:

CLICK THE LINK:
viewtopic.php?f=159&t=1327


Interesting stuff Dan........ thanks.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:59 am

Spysar wrote:Oh, and the front hoof is bigger than the back. At a walk a deer will put it's back hoof in it's front hoofs track.

So to make sure I am getting this. The tracks are stacked, the most foward of the two tracks is the front foot, while the most rearward of the track is the back foot?
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:08 am

Black Squirrel wrote:
Spysar wrote:Oh, and the front hoof is bigger than the back. At a walk a deer will put it's back hoof in it's front hoofs track.

So to make sure I am getting this. The tracks are stacked, the most foward of the two tracks is the front foot, while the most rearward of the track is the back foot?

Correct..
Doe rear tracks are generally in the track slightly farther back, or or to the outside of the front track.
Bucks rear tracks are generally inside the front tracks... This is because bucks have wider chests than hips, and does have wider hips than chests.
The front hoof will always be the larger hoof, and the one we refer to when talking track size.
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby dan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:10 am

Does and young bucks seem to step in the same track much more than mature bucks.
Here is a doe track from the article.
Image
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Re: year of deer, by width of track ?

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:40 am

All very good info. I would have to relate the track characteristics to age. As a rule of thumb, as any heavy critter ages, their joints show their age. As our joints wear out, we tend to walk with a more "flat-footed" style. Ever wonder why orthapedic shoes and arch supports are being sold to the elderly at such an alarming rate? Animals in the wild with a heavy body weight tend to do the same over time. They develop a flatter-walk and a lazy gait. This can be noticed in the tracks they leave. I often have fun when I go to the beach with my kids and as we walk in the sand along the lake, I notice other folks walking ahead of me and "track" their steps to see if I can match the body up with the track....very predictable results. The same holds true with animals.

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