How much do you know about deer poop?

Identify deer poop from that of elk or moose isn't as easy as you'd think. Here are the differences.
How much do you know about deer poop?

Sometimes questions just pop into your mind. Like, what does deer poop look like? Or how about questions on basic physics, such as how far can a deer jump? If you feel silly about bringing a question like that up in deer-camp conversation, read on. Let’s tackle the dope on deer droppings first.

What does deer poop look like?

You likely know deer poop hits the ground in a pelletized form, right? Did you know a variety of other critters also leave these round calling cards in the woods? The most common critter to leave a round calling card is the cottontail rabbit. Hares and other rodents also leave round droppings. To distinguish deer from other counterfeiters, first look at the shape. Most rabbits deliver a pile of very round droppings to terra firma. Deer, on the other hand, have a more oval shape to their pellets, sometimes characterized by a point at the end and generally larger than those of a rabbit.

Elk and moose also have pellet-shaped poop. Elk is larger and a bit rounder, while moose are even larger yet. Visualize deer pellets being the size of the end of your pinkie finger, elk the size of your middle finger and moose the size of the end of your thumb.

Related: What do deer eat?

Other rodents that also drop pellet-shaped poop the size of big deer or even elk include woodchucks, marmots and porcupines.

Of course you might find a plop of pellet-looking poop in the woods. Deer and their ungulate cousins also plop out piles of poop from time to time. This usually occurs in the spring and summer months when their diet has a higher moisture content. In the fall and winter, browse and grasses dry out giving the pellets a more fiber-like appearance.

According to poop experts, a whitetail deer could leave its calling card in the woods more than a dozen times per day. That gives you ample opportunity to distinguish deer poop from other expelling critters.


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