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    • #32392
      kens
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      Who can help me reading animal tracks?
      I am in coastal Georgia and hike a lot for health as well as game scouting. Mostly interested in deer & hog.
      I have a hard time to tell difference of deer / hog prints. I am told many times a hog print is more or less D shaped.
      That doesn’t seem to hold true to me, how can I tell if it is a big deer or a smaller hog? Walking or running?
      The shape of the print seems to change for whatever reasons.
      This past weekend, I hiked a good 6 miles on dirt roads. I noticed a (deer or hog) set of prints for a long ways where the back hoofs seemed immediately behind the front hoofs.
      Who or what is (running or walking) when the hoofs are doubled up behind in pairs?

    • #32393
      popper
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      Deer toes are always together. Hog toes are farther apart, except when sometimes running.

    • #32394
      kens
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      popper;n12789 wrote: Deer toes are always together. Hog toes are farther apart, except when sometimes running.

      So, how can you tell if it is a hog walking or a deer running?

    • #32401
      WCM
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      The wild hogs I have had on my land root up the ground and rub their back on trees.
      The whole area stinks too.
      They usually run a lot of the deer off.

      There is no season on them and we kill ever one we see.
      They are slick and wary, so most are shot at a distance.

      I shot one with a .405 win that was running away from me at about 80 yds.
      He went down so fast I thought I had missed.

      My neighbor hunts them with a night vision scope on his AR15.
      Now that is the best way to clean them off the property.

    • #32411
      Anonymous
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      kens;n12790 wrote:

      So, how can you tell if it is a hog walking or a deer running?

      Length of stride.

    • #32418
      popper
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      Deer tend to run bounding or trot where hogs body remains in one place and just the legs churn – like my dog – sort of comic dog like. They leave leading toe print and pushed dirt behind the toe print.

    • #32420
      kens
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      I thought about that the other day, deer, dogs, horses, break into a full gallop run, and a pig might run it doesn’t really get into a full gallop.

    • #32505
      Goodsteel
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      WCM;n12800 wrote: The wild hogs I have had on my land root up the ground and rub their back on trees.
      The whole area stinks too.
      They usually run a lot of the deer off.

      This is the object of tracking. It’s about noticing your surroundings and knowing what things are SUPPOSED to look like vs. how they actually do. The hoofprints are just one piece of it. You can’t tell much about one track found in the dirt. You have to follow it a ways and see what the animal does as it goes to build an MO. See a lot of stuff rooted up and scratched up as you go? That’s a hog. See berries and leaves missing ubove waste level and cracked acorns etc etc etc. Probably a deer.
      Best trackers I’ve ever known have been avid walkers.

    • #32508
      kens
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      Tim,
      I been looking to find what our deer really eat, I can’t find it.
      I don’t know if there is just so much abundant food that they only nibble and constantly move, or if they stay in one area until all the food is gone.
      I can’t tell. I have not noticed one single area devastated. Do you guys have Gallberries? Pine plantations? Palmetto?

    • #32511
      Goodsteel
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      My understanding of deer is that they move through with a light touch. Just nibble here and there as they go. They can shuck acorns like a squirrel, and nothing is just devastated (unless you’re talking about grandma’s vegetable garden). Pigs on the other hand often leave much more than footprints in their wake. Lot’s of rooting around. In the summer time, sometimes you can find wet areas where they cool themselves in the mud.

    • #32514
      kens
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      Yeah, I obviously see the hog rooting and mud wallows. I can easily see where the hogs have been, I want to know where they are going to be!!!
      Deer are similar, I see occasional tracks, nothing of what they are nibbling on, and I still want to know where they are going to be!!!

      Wherever they are going to be, is where I want to take the safety off !!

    • #32523
      JPHolla
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      Deer can do either. Like Tim’s garden reference, if there is a really good source of good-tasting or very nourishing food, they may stay around until they have stripped it bare (as long as nothing else pushes them out). They typically graze as they travel. I have noticed their scat often is composed of a whole lot of the same thing. Their digestive system may not handle mixed fodder well, I’m guessing. I believe a lot of animals eat one thing at a time. I read the other day even wolves do. I don’t have much experience with pigs, but I believe they eat anything, any time. Domestic ones do for sure.

    • #32527
      kens
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      but, to get on the main subject, how do you tell the difference between deer and hog tracks.?
      from what I am gathering here, the way to tell is to look around outside the tracks for other kinds of sign.

    • #32534
      popper
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      Deer dew claw is directly behind the hoof print, pigs is outside & behind. That is if they leae that part of the print. Deer even love rose bushes, thorns and all.

    • #32535
      WCM
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      My son was out trying to kill one last doe for meat on Tuesday.
      He got a shot at 350 yds with his new Savage model 12 FV .308.

      I loaded him some Nosler Ballistic tips with 44 grs of Rel 15.
      He made a perfect lung shot,and the deer ran about 65 yds.
      We figured the bullet had about the same energy as a .30/30 when it hit the deer.

      The BT worked, but he had very little blood trail.

      He found the deer right at dark and had to drag it back about 400 yds to his truck.
      He gutted and cleaned it as well as put it on ice.

      He is young and very strong.

      Tracking deer after dark is something I don’t like doing.

    • #32538
      kens
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      I hear lots talk about a bullet needs to expend all its energy inside the animal,. I am not in that school of thought.
      I want a big exit hole, good tracking if need be,
      Let the blood out and let the cold air in.

    • #32620
      WCM
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      I am considered by many as a first class tracker.
      I spent much of my time growing you in the woods and watching the habits of wildlife.
      I am also part Cherokee Indian..

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