Since toe dragging can be used as an indicator to judge the maturity of a buck, hunters often mistakenly think that only bucks will drag their toes. But this is not true, all deer will drag their feet in the snow. That said, with experience toe drag marks in snow can be used to help determine the age class of a buck you are following if you also consider the other indicators of a big buck track.
Do Does Drag Their Feet In Snow?
Does and young deer drag their feet starting around 4-inches of snow. Smaller and younger deer tend to drag their feet in this amount of snow because it takes too much effort to lift their legs all the way up over the top of the snow for each step. For this reason, they will drag their feet a bit through the snow. As snow depth increases so will the drag marks.
Doe vs Buck Toe Dragging In Snow?
Does and young bucks usually will not usually be dragging their feet much in two inches of snow or less. If you see drag marks in a couple of inches of snow it could be an old buck as long as you’ve also taken into consideration the other factors that help to determine big buck tracks.
Old bucks will often but not always drag their feet in much less snow. These older bucks are stiff and lazy and will be conserving as much energy as possible. For this reason, they tend to drag their feet in less snow than other deer in the herd.
Do Bucks Drag Their Feet In Snow?
If you see a big buck track, but do not see drag marks, that is not necessarily an indicator that it is a small deer. It just means that deer may be sprier or likely a mature buck that is on the younger side, for example, a 3.5 or 4.5-year-old. Bucks that are getting old, 5.5+ years are more likely to drag their feet in shallower snow because they are starting to get past their prime.
Next time you see drag marks in the snow, make sure you carefully analyze the track. Just because you see drag marks in the snow does not mean those tracks belong to a buck. Hopefully, this clears up any confusion about deer track drag marks in the snow and will bring you more success this hunting season.