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Animal Track Identification: Animal Footprint I.D. Chart | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Animal Track Identification

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Identifying Animal Footprints and Paw Prints

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You don’t have to be in the jungle or deep forest to be an animal tracker. Animal footprints are often as close as your backyard or garden. Take a look at these animal track pictures—showing footprints in both snow and mud.

How to Track Animals and Identify Animal Tracks

Tracking is something that you learn by doing. Get out there and look! Here are a few tips:

  • Animal tracks are easiest to find in mud, soft garden soil, sand, and snow.
  • Study the ground closely. Get down on your hands and knees. Note the size of the track and whether it shows claw marks. You may wish to make a sketch.
  • Track early in the morning or late in the day when shadows make prints easier to see.
  • Watch for animal droppings called scat. The scat will also help you track the animal. If it’s dry all the way through, the tracks may have been left a while ago. Scat can also tell you if you’re tracking a vegetarian or a meat eater.
  • If you lose the trail, search in a circle around the track until you pick up the trail again.
  • The most important tip of all: don’t get lost!

Animal Track Pictures in the Winter Snow

If you live in a snowy area, this is probably the easiest way to see and identify tracks. Take a look at these common animal tracks.

animal-tracks-winter.jpg

Animal Track Pictures in the Mud

Here are the same animal tracks as they might look in a muddy garden or backyard!

animal tracks

We love all these animals, but if these are destroying your garden, here are simple ways to deter common critters:
 deermicemolesrabbitsraccoonsskunkssquirrelsvoles, and woodchucks or groundhogs

Have you seen any animal tracks in your backyard lately? Tell us about it below!

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