Tips to Track Elk and Moose

While tracking we need to recognize the difference of the traces of each animals. Sometimes it can be quite confusing to difference the trace of the Elk and the Moose. In this article, we will learn to recognize the tracks between both of them. Hoof print: The heavy dotted lines indicate the size of the print, the light dotted lines the extent of the pads.

Length about 31/2, width about 21/4"-21/2. Females about 1/2"-3/4 smaller. The dewclaws leave no impression when the animal is walking easily.

An elk can jump up to 25 feet. Droppings: Dung-like or disc-shaped masses in hunting season or when stags are in heat. Acorn form up to 3/4" long, 3/8"-5/8" thick, females 1/4"-3/4 thick. Brown. Traces of Eating and Scraping: Tree bark pulled off. Peeled spots higher than three feet and with deep tooth marks.

Likes to wallow in mud puddles near the "scratching tree" where he rubs himself and where the mud and hairs stick. "Scraping trees," where he beats his antlers first to remove the velvet and later playfully or excitedly when he is in heat, stand along his usual run. The antlers are shed from February to March; the antler scraping time is midsummer. The higher the marks on the tree and the stronger the tree, the larger and more powerful the stag.

The Moose Tracks: See those of the deer. Hoof print: Much longer soles than the elk, about half the length of the hoof. The tracks are smaller than those of the elk, but the hoof print can be almost as large. Does not keep to a single run as much as the elk, but instead roams around more and is less shy than the elk.

Droppings: Dung-like or disc-shaped masses in hunting season or when bulls are in heat. Acorn form about 1/2"-3/4" long, 3/8" thick. Brown for cows, brown and piled in peaked masses for the bull. Traces of Eating and Scraping: Sheds antlers later than the elk.

Traces of antler scraping similar to those of the elk, but on weaker trees and not as high. The moose does not wallow in the mud and therefore has no trees for scratching. The moose kicks up earth and grass when in heat, but the elk does that all the time.

The stamping spots of the moose are much more noticeable, lie closer together, and the ground is completely barren and stamped down solid. There are the differences of tracks between the Elk and the Moose. If you can recognize their tracks, you can choose which one you want for your dinner.

Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for,,

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