First track spot?

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THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
I was taking the dog on a nice two hour walk, seeing squirrels, birds, and the oncoming of Spring when near the end I looked down at the muddy path and found these:

pe9ADaC.jpg


I instantly recognised them as deer prints. I've never seen a track before, but I've seen these same shapes on the internet. I was astonished to see how well preserved and clear they are.

Not being very well versed in tracking I couldn't follow them nor could I see any other prints like these. I wasn't certain if they were deer tracks, but a quick Google image search means I'm quite sure they are now.

Can someone please tell me the story behind these if you can? I can't quite imagine how the deer would be standing. What do these two sets of prints mean exactly? Is it the same deer?

:)
 

swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,796
196
Somerset
It looks to me as if you have front and rear hooves so I would say the beast was walking but can't say for sure without seeing the bigger picture.
 

Albus Culter

Maker
Jan 14, 2013
1,379
0
West Yorkshire
I'm really not up on my tracks - shame on me.

But yeh. Front and rear hooves of deer and not splayed and showing dew claws so I'd say walking too. I may be talking poop (folk feel free to correct me) but the larger print is the front hoof and the smaller is the rear. Front being bigger as it carries more weight.
 

THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
It looks to me as if you have front and rear hooves so I would say the beast was walking but can't say for sure without seeing the bigger picture.
Ah, unfortunately I don't have a shot from further out and no size information. Thanks for the response though, it's good to see that I did actually find a track.

Does that mean it was walking like this?
mRK0W5r.png


Also, the prints in my photo seem to be missing the two spots below each set of claws.

H117_DeerTrackBuck.gif
Notice the two spots below the main claws.

Any idea?
 
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THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
I take it you can't determine what species of deer it is from the little information I've given? If I see any more in the future I'll make a size comparison and take more photos.
 
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Kepis

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 17, 2005
6,369
1,300
Sussex
Quite a regular path looking at the other weathered tracks there, the leaf at the top of the pic gives a fair indication as to the size of the prints and therefore the species of deer.
 

THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
Quite a regular path looking at the other weathered tracks there, the leaf at the top of the pic gives a fair indication as to the size of the prints and therefore the species of deer.
You're seeing other tracks in that image? And I was wondering about the oak leaf and how it was depressed into the mud. Do you know what species the deer is then, Kepis?
Thanks.

Edit: And do you know why the two spots below the claws aren't there on my prints?
:)
 
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Oakleaf

Full Member
Jun 6, 2004
331
1
Moray
Its something I still forget to do, but always worth putting something for scale in such pictures - even if its just a 50p piece etc.

Rough estimate from size of the vegetation, I'd say Roe and likely a Doe ( very much guess in this context ). From what I can see of the base of the print, that suggests Roe too as a Red for example tends to show more pronounced 'filling' to the base of its toes.

Regards secondary marks from dew claws ( the two spots you mention ) - very rarely would you see these in a Roe print - so third indicator. They are more commonly seen with Red deer.

The contrast isnt good enough - at least for my aged eyes! - to fully interpret the track walls and what appears to be displacement to the right of both prints. The general impression implies a slow/ relaxed walk. The displacement pattern could show that at that point it looked to the left of the picture.

To be clear, my best guess from what I see. Others may have different and just as or more valid interpretation.
 

THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
Its something I still forget to do, but always worth putting something for scale in such pictures - even if its just a 50p piece etc.

Rough estimate from size of the vegetation, I'd say Roe and likely a Doe ( very much guess in this context ). From what I can see of the base of the print, that suggests Roe too as a Red for example tends to show more pronounced 'filling' to the base of its toes.

Regards secondary marks from dew claws ( the two spots you mention ) - very rarely would you see these in a Roe print - so third indicator. They are more commonly seen with Red deer.

The contrast isnt good enough - at least for my aged eyes! - to fully interpret the track walls and what appears to be displacement to the right of both prints. The general impression implies a slow/ relaxed walk. The displacement pattern could show that at that point it looked to the left of the picture.

To be clear, my best guess from what I see. Others may have different and just as or more valid interpretation.
My, that's a really interesting response. Thanks Oakleaf. This has inspired me to read up on tracking though and it's something I'll try to do more often. Hopefully if I see more prints I'll try to analyse it with those things in mind. Cheers.
 

Oakleaf

Full Member
Jun 6, 2004
331
1
Moray
Good reading is the Animal Tracks and Signs by Bang & Dahlstrom ( sic ) . And so long as you can get your head around the 'Tom Brown Phenomenon' then his tracking book is a real goldmine of detail.

But nothing beats time in the field and watching animals actually make the sign.
 

THOaken

Native
Jan 21, 2013
1,299
1
27
England(Scottish Native)
Good reading is the Animal Tracks and Signs by Bang & Dahlstrom ( sic ) . And so long as you can get your head around the 'Tom Brown Phenomenon' then his tracking book is a real goldmine of detail.

But nothing beats time in the field and watching animals actually make the sign.
Yes, I've heard about Tom Brown and I'm not really for his whole spiritual philosophy, but I can see what he means by what I've read about his way of teaching tracking. I know that you're supposed to slow down and really try to look at the tracks in that special mindset, but I couldn't be doing with all the filler. Still, I know there's good resources out there when I need them.

Thanks again.
 
Feb 27, 2008
423
1
Cambridge
Tom brown has a lot on pressure releases and trail sign like beds and lays which is worth the read in itself. You can buy all the tracking books out there and not figure out what made that track. You can even buy deer hunting books which are great for learning deer tracking. But local knowledge is key. Roe and fallow rarely like to hang out. And they won't be hanging out with red deer. Roe, fallow, muntjac etc are all happy in mixed broadleaf woodland whereas you will find red in pine woods. Context of your environment is key. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule:

[video=youtube_share;sQOQdBLHrLk]http://youtu.be/sQOQdBLHrLk[/video]
Deer are meant to be vegetarian. Guess they didn't get that memo.
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
Deer are meant to be vegetarian. Guess they didn't get that memo.
I know what you mean Leigh more like people taking things for granted, Archolgists investigating the remains of human bones in chambered cairns many years ago speculated that the shortage of small bones " fingers and small ribs etc" may be down to deer chewing on corpses prior to burial , looks like the scientists are finally begining to catch up though, investigation's on the Isle of Rum indicate a mineral shortage being responsible for deer eating the wings and legs off young sea birds, just dont tell them it happens all over the place, it will just make them look silly, maybe its time for a new memo.
Ps its the same with panda bears most people automatically think they are veges or rather herbivores because they have seen a picture of one eating bamboo , thay are in fact omnivores , crap hunters it must be said but if they find a dead animal on the forest floor they will quite happily sit down and eat it.



Aye 18/9/2014
 
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