How Good a Tracker Are You?

This 10 question, true or false quiz will separate the professional hunters from the weekend warriors. Think you know the intricate details of a beaver track? Take the quiz and see how you score.

Outdoor Life Online Editor
  1. Coyote tracks and dogs tracks are almost imperceptibly the same.
  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 1. Coyote tracks and dogs tracks are almost imperceptibly the same.

False.
Coyote tracks tend to be more oval-shaped and compact than those of dogs. Nail marks are also less prominent, and the tracks tend to follow a straight line more closely than those of dogs. Nevertheless, some dog tracks are easily confused with coyote tracks, even when the tracks are well defined.

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[pagebreak] 2. Tracks of a gray fox's front and hind paws are separated, a characteristic that helps distinguish the sign of this species.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 2. Tracks of a gray fox's front and hind paws are separated, a characteristic that helps distinguish the sign of this species.

False.
The front and rear tracks of gray and red foxes usually overlap and appear as one print.

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[pagebreak] 3. The rear pad of a bobcat's foot has a front border that shows two lobes, making the track distinct from that of the coyote.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 3. The rear pad of a bobcat's foot has a front border that shows two lobes, making the track distinct from that of the coyote.

True.

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[pagebreak] 4. Possums walk in such a way that the tracks of their front and rear feet are side by side.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 4. Possums walk in such a way that the tracks of their front and rear feet are side by side.

True.
The same is true of raccoons.

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[pagebreak] 5. Clear armadillo tracks will show five toes on the front foot and four on the rear.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 5. Clear armadillo tracks will show five toes on the front foot and four on the rear.

False.
The opposite is true: four toes on the front feet, five on the rear.

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[pagebreak] 6. Shrews are so small they never leave tracks.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 6. Shrews are so small they never leave tracks.

False.
The shrew's tiny tracks often show up in light snow.

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[pagebreak] 7. When a mink runs in snow, its hind feet usually register in the front tracks, nearly or completely, so the trail appears as a line of twin prints.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 7. When a mink runs in snow, its hind feet usually register in the front tracks, nearly or completely, so the trail appears as a line of twin prints.

True.
The same is true of weasels.

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[pagebreak] 8. A beaver's track is so distinctive it shows even the webbing between the toes.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 8. A beaver's track is so distinctive it shows even the webbing between the toes.

False.
Perfect beaver tracks are hard to find because the flattened tail drags behind the animal and obscures them.

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[pagebreak] 9. When a cottontail rabbit is running, the hind feet come ahead of the front feet, which is noticeable in its tracks. When the rabbit iss moving slowly, the rear feet stay behind the front ones.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 9. When a cottontail rabbit is running, the hind feet come ahead of the front feet, which is noticeable in its tracks. When the rabbit is moving slowly, the rear feet stay behind the front ones.

False.
Rabbits hop, even when moving slowly, and almost always place their hind feet ahead of their front feet.

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[pagebreak] 10. Although bear tracks are said to resemble human tracks, the bear's biggest toe is on the outside, not on the inside.

  • True
  • False

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[pagebreak] 10. Although bear tracks are said to resemble human tracks, the bear's biggest toe is on the outside, not on the inside.

True.

How did you score? Click "NEXT"

[pagebreak] 1-3: You couldn't find a hemophiliac deer bleeding in fresh snow.

4-6: You're a reliable hitter in the lineup, but no Mark McGwire.

7-9: Quit your day job and work as a tracker. There's no reason such skill should go to waste behind a desk.

10: Send your resume to an African outfitter. You belong on a safari.