12 December 2005

Deer tracks in snow

Drawing from Anonymous. Animal Tracks, Stackpole Co., 1954.

Around here in Maryland the only deer we have is the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. Their characteristic 2-toed prints left in mud or snow are easy to identify even when the prints are old or distorded.

It snowed here last Thursday nite. While hiking in the woods over the weekend, I ran into deer tracks everywhere. The picture on the left shows one of the tracks. Although most prints in the snow were nothing more than just elongated holes, there were always some that clearly showed the impressions of 2 toes, and thus, identifying the animal as the white-tailed deer. By comparing these prints with the drawing above, you can tell which way the deer was going.

Below is another set of deer tracks in addition to those of a dog. The dog had walked along the hiking trail visible near the righthand margin and 1 or more deer had crossed the trail at right angles. Again, the 2-toed deer prints are unmistakable.

At some point during Thursday nite, the snow was mixed with rain. You can see the poke marks left on the snow by the raindrops.

1 comment:

deniz said...

poke marks or pock marks?

I wish I could recognize animal tracks when I see them!