difference between buck and doe tracks?

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
Ok i'm gonna ask the age old question,do you believe you can tell a difference between a buck track and a doe track?Buddy of mine and i got into this argument a couple of days ago,he says if it has dewclaws showing in the track its automatically a buck,i say it could be doe running,what do ya'll think?
Honestly no, unless I see the deer make the track. All I would bet the house on is that if it is a big track then it is a big deer. Big bucks usually leave big tracks, but so do big does. See where I am headed with this? :D

The same for deer poop. :)



GONetwork Member
IMO, the dew claws doesn't tell you much. They can be from a buck or a doe as they both have dew claws. What I look for is the width more than anything, one that you could sit a cigarrett pack into. A really large buck will have a really wide foot in order to support their weight. Rarely do you see doe's in excess of 200# in GA.


Senior Member
IMO, I don't think you can. There are no distinguishing features between the buck hoof and the doe hoof (that I know of). So you have to rely on the weight of the deer leaving an imprint in soft dirt, hard dirt, running or walking, etc.
Too many factors for me to plan my hunting on.

With that said, I do pay attention to big tracks in "smelly" wet dirt in the middle of a fresh scrape.

:cool: :cool: :cool:
Yes, there is a difference.

Bucks have a wider stance. You can tell if a doe or buck left the tracks if they are walking.

A doe will place here feet real close to the same spot as her last step. So her tracks are real close together.

A bucks tracks are seperated by more space.

I think we all assume that a big track with dew claws is a buck, but it could be a really big doe too. Just looking at a single track it is impossible to tell.


Senior Member
Because a mature buck's hips are narrower than its chest, a buck places its back hoof to the rear of the front hoof. A doe's rear hoof trypically lands directly on top of or just sightly off the front track.

Also, the average distance beteween a nature buck's right and left hooves is 6+ inches, while a doe's is little more than 2 inches . A buck's stride also stretches about 20 inches when the buck is walking, a does stride is only around 14 inches.

This info from a article in Outdoor life by Jim Zumbo

Wang Dang

Senior Member
In the latest issue of GON, a Boone and Crockett buck from last season was profiled. One of the statements from the hunter that killed it said the deer had some of the smallest feet he had ever seen. Just something to think about.
Buck vs Doe Tracks

I hunted deer with hounds for many years. during this time there were no doe days, so it was a waste of time and hound energy to jump and run a doe. It thus became a practice of not just turning the hounds loose to jump whatever, but to recon all of the sandy roads and look for a track that had promise of belonging to a buck.

By the time all roads were checked we would have perhaps five or six tracks marked which held promise of beng a buck. The hounds would be released to work the track that we believed to be that of the biggest buck. This system worked reasonably well, but was far from absolute. It upped the percentage of bucks that we ran, but there was always the big footed old doe that muddied the water for us.

After 30 years of following the above practice, and after looking at a few thousand tracks, we arrived at the following conclusion: A large deer track could be that of a large doe or that of a 150 pound buck. An unusually large track can almost always be taken as that of an unusually good buck.

Since during the hunting season, bucks usually travel alone (unless pursuing romance) as they move over their territory. It follows then that anytime you see a lone track (whether large or medium), it is likely to be a buck.

On the other hand does, as a normal practice will have in her company her fawns of the current season plus her maiden does of the previous season. It follows then that anytime we see where a covey of deer have crossed the road, it will be a doe and her entourage.

In summary, I do not believe there is any magic formula for successfully sexing a track. The nearest thing to a cinch would be that a very large track which has a tendency to bog down (from weight) in sandy or loose soil is most certain to be a very nice buck.



Senior Member
If they walk on soil that permits the leaving of tracks then 100% of the time without fail, a buck will leave a buck track and a doe will leave a doe track.
Sorry, but you've got your answer, your friend is incorrect. Though there's nothing wrong with a little 'wishful thinking' on his part. Done it myself on several occasions. :eek:


M L.........

Michael Lee said:
Honestly no, unless I see the deer make the track. All I would bet the house on is that if it is a big track then it is a big deer. Big bucks usually leave big tracks, but so do big does. See where I am headed with this? :D

The same for deer poop. :)

EXACTLY RIGHT!!!!!!!!!! :cool:

coon dawg

GONetwork Member

will say this............if the track is squared off in front, to the point of being almost flat, in November-January, it's probably a buck............if one is making a lot of scrapes, it wears the point of the feet down to some degree...... :)


Founder - Gone but not forgotten.
Track identification between a buck and doe is never a sure thing. --- but you can put the odds a little more in your favor by observing the small details.

In sandy soils -- look for a mature buck to slightly drag his front feet as he moves the foot forward to make the next step. --- This is also true in snow.

Also -- a mature buck will have considerably more weight positioned over the front feet while in a standing position. -- This will naturally cause the front tracks to be a little deeper.

My favorite way to use tracks is to locate a fresh scrape that has just been worked. -- Normally the buck's track will be the only one present if it's fresh and usually it will be a nice, clear impression almost like a carbon copy :) of his hoof. -- Study and try to memorize every minute detail of that track. -- Sometimes you may notice a small nick located on the side or maybe one side of the hoof is longer than the other. -- I've seen some that even cross slightly and like coon dawg said, the more they paw, the more it wears off the ends.

When you can identify his track -- it then becomes personal. (you and him).:D --- Keep checking the banks, roads, and trails after a rain and you will eventually pin down where he is coming from -- and going.


Staff member
I have a method that works with 100 per cent accuracy.

Find tracks.
Follow tracks till tracks are found with hooves in them.
Look up.

Seriously, back in the late 60s, maybe early 70s, an outdoor writer in Tallahassee had a box full of mounted deer feet. He had them marked so he knew whether they came off a buck or doe. Anyone who could correctly ID these would collect 100 dollars from him. He never had to pay up.