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A Hunting Trip of a lifetime in the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness! Headin West Hunt Consulting

Author Topic: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?  (Read 1181 times)

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« on: March 21, 2018, 09:41:51 AM »
Whether scouting or hunting, its always a good thing to be able to identify what kind of elk tracks you're looking at (bull or cow).  Can you tell by a clear set of tracks in the soil or snow what you're looking at?  Does the location (where you see/find them) of the tracks have a bearing on the possible gender of the elk?  Let's talk about elk tracks  ;).
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Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 09:55:37 AM »
When I see a bigger, wider set with prominent dew claws, I've always assumed it was a bull. But I know that's not 100%
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 10:31:14 AM »
Its not an exact science, but you can generally have a clue when you are mostly after trophy bulls.  They usually have trophy feet.
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Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 11:43:31 AM »
Then there is always the issue of telling Bull (Elk) tracks from Cow (Bovine) tracks if you are in an area with free ranging cattle. 

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 12:07:17 PM »
If I'm not sure...I'm not sure.

If it's a big bull track, I'm sure
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Offline ian_padron

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 01:24:35 PM »
Then there is always the issue of telling Bull (Elk) tracks from Cow (Bovine) tracks if you are in an area with free ranging cattle.
Really? I have found the two to be pretty distinct. The cows that are out ranging tend to have bigger rounder prints. Not to mention there's always a massive pile of cow*censored* nearby LOL

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Offline cbond3318

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 01:30:36 PM »
If there is a drag mark between the tracks, you’ve found a stud Bull.
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Offline WSU

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 02:18:23 PM »
Then there is always the issue of telling Bull (Elk) tracks from Cow (Bovine) tracks if you are in an area with free ranging cattle.
Really? I have found the two to be pretty distinct. The cows that are out ranging tend to have bigger rounder prints. Not to mention there's always a massive pile of cow*censored* nearby LOL

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Depends on how many you can see and what cow/calf made them.  An area I hunt locally has cows that have been loose for a few years.  It's timber, some fields, and a large overgrown clearcut.  There's cow poop from fresh to really old, and cows from calf sized to full grown cow.  If you can follow them for a bit you'll find one of the big old cow tracks that pretty obvious.  If you find one or two in the middle of the reprod it's a lot harder. 

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 03:17:23 PM »
Here's one: 

Bulls and cows are built differently.  Bulls have narrower, smaller hips which change the way their hind hooves hit the ground in relation to the front.  Elk pretty much always step their back hooves into the front hoof (a bit terrain dependent but normally).  Bulls with their narrow build in the caboose will step to the inside of the front hoof print and cows will step to the outside of the front hoof print in most cases.  Take a look at the next set of cow or bull tracks you see left behind and you'll see what I'm talking about  ;).     
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Offline zwickeyman

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 04:41:33 PM »
Wapititalk

I agree with you and I have found that a Bull has bigger front hooves and a cow has bigger back hooves for the sane reasons you mentioned. This helps with identifiying the way you said

Cbond

I agree with you also. Like a big buck drags his feet. Especially in 2" to 4" of snow

Offline Crunchy

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 05:25:46 PM »
its always a big bull track.  That is what keeps you motivated and on red alert if it is fresh :tup:

Offline mdbuck5x5

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Re: Elk Tracks, Bull or Cow?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2018, 08:52:42 PM »
Its not an exact science, but you can generally have a clue when you are mostly after trophy bulls.  They usually have trophy feet.

 :chuckle: :chuckle: Thanks now I know what to look for lol!

 

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