When you spend time in the forests and in the mountains of NW Montana it will become quickly apparent that you are in a landscape that a great many creatures call home. You may be lucky enough to see the whitetail deer alongside a creek, or a mule deer buck along the thick-timbered slopes, or a herd of elk in a meadow at evening, but if you’re not always lucky enough to see them, it’s always possible to stumble across their tracks. But which animal’s tracks do you see?
Here are a few tips to identifying those tracks so that the next time you find yourself on a trail somewhere and observing a track in the dirt you might feel more confident in identifying the animal who left it.
When you come across a track that you believe was either left by an elk or a deer, it’s important first to consider size. A deer’s track will be smaller than an elk’s…But what if you have never seen either? Both deer and elk tracks will look to be shaped like a heart. Pointed in the front and rounded at the back. Deer tracks should appear balanced in thickness from the front to the back, meaning that the toes will likely be spaced apart and the front of the track will be close to as wide as the rear of the track.
Elk don’t have wide spaces toward the front of the hoof and tend to come together at a closed point (Very narrow space between the toes). The spacing between the two halves of the hoof print should also be much more consistent from front to back than the deer’s.
Identifying an animal by its tracks takes skill and experience. And if you have a potential project for which you require the tools and expertise that only Reddig equipment can provide, then call the professionals and schedule your next rental today.