Understanding Elk – Tracks and Droppings

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It is very important for an elk hunter to be able to immediately
identify the tracks and droppings of an elk. For most experienced elk
hunters, it is the search for fresh elk droppings and tracks that
ultimately leads them to the secret lair of the bull elk.


Tracks

An elk’s track is distinct from any other hoofed ungulate. The
track itself is twice as long and tree times the width of a deer track.
But unlike the narrow, chisel shape of a deer track, an elk’s track
will be more rounded.

An elk’s track is only about two-thirds the size of a moose’s’
track. A moose’s track will also be much sharper pointed, almost
deer-like, as compared to the rounded track of an elk. Experience elk
hunters say that the best way for a new elk hunter to learn what an
elk’s track looks like is to go to a farm pasture and inspect the track
left by a yearling domestic cow. A mature elk’s track will be almost
identical.


Droppings

Elk droppings are slightly larger than a deer’s droppings,
though they tend to also be rounded or slightly oblong, and black in
color. Also, an elk’s droppings will occasionally appear stuck together
in a clump, much like a deer’s.

A moose’s droppings are much larger than an elk’s. Also, moose
droppings tend to be more elongated or bullet-like. Moose droppings
usually tend to turn brown as they age, unlike elk droppings which tend
to turn black.


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