What hunters need to know about reading tracks and scat


Ungulate scat (clockwise from top left): elk, white-tailed deer, moose


Ungulates leave behind nuggets or oval-shaped deposits, similar in appearance to chocolate-covered almonds. Moose create the biggest droppings, followed by elk then caribou. Deer scat is the smallest, approximately one third the size of moose droppings. With caribou and deer, each individual dropping may be pinched in somewhat. Cows and does typically leave behind distinctly separate droppings, while the individual droppings from bulls and bucks are commonly stuck together in a more cylindrical clump.

Predator scat is best described as a plug that’s more tubular in shape and pinched off at the ends. While bears, wolves and coyotes eat a variety of vegetation, they are also opportunistic carnivores, so it’s not unusual to see animal hair in their scat.