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Tips to Recognize the Animals Tracks

Aug 17, 2007
When it is time to go for hunting, e need to learn to read the tracks or traces of the animals. As we need to discover if we are on the food trails or on danger trail. Find some tips to recognize the animals in this article.

The Fox
Tracks: Four-toed prints. Oval paw about 13/4" long. Nails visible. Prints are clearly long as compared to a dog's pawprint. Leaves tracks either in a straight line or a "rabbit jump."
Droppings: Gray, sausage-shaped, about 3/4" thick and 3"-4" long. Found on rises in the woods or fields. Full of mouse hairs.
Burrow: Earth thrown up in leafy woods. Tunnels are up to 15" in diameter, many openings. Remains of feathers and bones in front of the burrow. The tracks of a young fox have a certain similarity to those of a cat. However, the imprint of the cat's toes is less distinct; instead there is the print of the whole hairy paw. The most important distinguishing feature of the pawprint of a house cat is that it shows no claws. The dog's prints are wider than those of the fox and the toe pads are more distinctly formed. The cat leaves prints in a straight line or in sets of four. The dog leaves prints with cross traces or in sets of four.

The Rabbit
Tracks: Short and long pawprints, the long ones up to 3". The long prints are next to each other, the short ones one behind the other. The long prints often appear in a zigzag or curved form when the rabbit has jumped several feet to the side.
Droppings: Brown (yellow, if old). Flattened on top and beneath,
up to 5/8" thick. Found on meadows, paths, and the edge of the woods. Traces of Feeding: Tree bark gnawed off from about 8" to 16" over the ground. Pairs of toothmarks. Longish strips of bark ripped off.

The polecat
Lives in the woods and near watering spots and farms. Eats snakes, frogs, mice, fowl, and eggs. Tracks: The prints appear in pairs. See those of the badger.
Pawprint: Four-toed, round to oval pawprint up to 11/8" long. The claws are faintly visible.
Droppings: Black, spiral form about 11/8" long and 1/4" thick, smeary. Found on paths through the fields, in the bushes, and along streams.

The Porcupine
Pawprint: Five-toed print with definitely visible claw marks. Droppings: Bluish-black, cylindrical form about 1/4" to 3/8" thick.
Found in the bushes, full of bits of insects and berries. Tracks: Leaves tracks with cross traces like the badger.

The Badger
Tracks: Five-toed, broadly oval paw prints about 11/4" long and 2" wide. The claws are clearly visible and are long, the paws being broader than they are long. Leaves tracks with cross traces.
Droppings: Gray to blue cylindrical forms, pasty consistency, about 3/4" thick. Found buried in holes in the woods near the burrow, full of bits of insects and berries.
Burrow: Burrowed through the earth with an obvious furrow. Tunnels up to 16" in diameter. Many exits.

The Squirrel
Tracks: Long and short pairs of five-toed paw prints next to each other. Long prints about 13/4" long. The tracks start and stop suddenly because the squirrel jumps from or into trees. Visible claws.
Droppings: Brown, perfect balls up to -3/16". Found in the woods, parks, etc.
Traces of Feeding: Pine cones are gnawed down to the core by squirrel.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.best-scopes-n-binoculars.com/, http://www.mycampinghub.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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