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Can you tell the difference between a bull track and a cow track? How about a calf bull and a calf cow track?
How about cow scat and bull scat?
Cow has a curve to the track and a bull does not??
To me, crap is crap, but I'm betting I should probably learn the difference.
Has the snow and ice receded up there yet Tao?
Mike Vines's Link
Nope. No definitive way to discern sex from tracks. Calves vs. Adult=size only.
For all the guys who say they can tell i ask:can u tell a male footprint from a female?
Most of the snow is gone. Actually it snowed this weekend. Most of the lakes are ice free with just some chucks floating around. I guided a couple of fellows from Finland, years ago and they could tell the difference between the tracks as we walked quickly down the moose trail. I asked them how he could tell the difference with out stopping and getting down on his hands and knees. We stopped and he showed me the differences. And ...yes there is a difference in their scat... but a cow pie is a cow pie when they are eating aquatic plants. ....Great link Mike, is there more?
these are bull tracks I saw the bull that made em
I always thought these were cow tracks only because of the size,??
My daughter loves moose tracks ice cream!
Having been a NYS Adirondack tracker (or wanna be! :) ) for many years, I have trailed many a deer. You know a BIG buck track when you see it because no does are ever going to be that big!
However, most of the tracks of bucks 2.5 - 3.5 years old are about the same as the older does (no doe season as the winters control the deer herd). Sure, you can and should look for buck sign such as rubs and scrapes and sometimes you find them quickly, on other tracks, they may go 5 miles without making a rub or scrape.
You can look for the location of pee in the snow; does squat, so the pee stain will be behind their hind hoof prints or between them. A buck doesn't squat and the pee will be forward and he also may dribble (sound familiar?!) as he walks away.
Two other indicators - stride length and "Stagger" can also be a clue. Larger bodied deer have longer step strides. Stagger is the distance between the left & right side hoof prints. Draw an imaginary line down the middle and estimate the distance to the line of the left & the right. This is harder to discern though, unless its a BIG buck.
Lastly, and more visibly perhaps, is how the animal travels through the woods. Does, like women go here to check this, go there to check that. Bucks, especially during the rut, are going from here to there, period. They will go around obstacles, but don't wander as much as does will.
Obviously, snow is necessary. I suspect that such traits and signs are also applicable to moose, at least to some degree should one live close enough to a population to have time to study them. Interestingly, here in NYS the moose population is increasing. I have found tracks of a lone moose, some rubs and monster piles of turds! I love finding their sign and hope to see one sometime soon.
Mike Vines I have to disagree with you regarding the female tracks curved and bulls being pointy. The reason I say this is all bulls young and old, make scrapes in the ground during the rut , causing their hoofs to be worn down from all the digging. This makes their hoofs more blunt at the tip. Thats my thoughts of it. But still I never trust it. The general way I tell a bull from a cow is only with snow on the ground, it was mentioned in an earlier responds, the bulls 99 percent of the time make pee holes straight down, where a cow normally spray a big area.
My comment was more of a question than a statement. For a sure way to tell in the deep snow, look for the peter drag marks. :-)
Next time you look at moose tracks, here are things to look for. Sharp toes or rounded toes and which toe is longer then the other. How much of a inward hook do the toes have, are the toes the same width for what percentage of the over all length of each toe or are they tapered evenly the whole length? Look closely at the tracks, cow is different than a bull and size or weight does not matter. Is there more????
Track PATTERNS can sometimes be indicative of gender in moose. I have rarely been able to tell gender from an INDIVIDUAL track, unless they are at the top of the length range, which generally indicates a bull. If I'm scaling individual tracks, I concentrate on the front foot. In a set of tracks it will be the longer, WIDER tracks, usually with a bit more curve and, in good conditions, more definition between the hoof and the pad. In my experience a front track length of around 7" in a walking track, undistorted by speed or soft ground, will be a bull if you're talking about Shiras moose. Best indication of a bull, especially a large bull, in a track PATTERN is the same as for elk: because of the antler spread they tend to go AROUND things that cows and calves slip through. This is especially apparent when you follow a mixed band of elk in good tracking conditions. Again, this works best when the animals are walking, and undisturbed. I have watched running elk and moose turn their necks every which way to get through thick deadfall as they run. Stride length can be a helpful indication, but it can be hard to determine unless you have fairly level ground and good tracking conditions. I never bother with this unless I can find a walking track I can follow for awhile. A typical moose walk is an overstep walk (hind foot track partially covers front foot track). The stride length will range 2.5-4 feet, width 10-20 inches. Top of this range will be bulls. I hunt in the mountains now, so I don't use stride length much, but when I lived in northern Canada it was useful.