Skunk Tracks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicks Galore3, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I think I have to ask this at least once a year. :) I've seen tracks with four pointy toes but no distinct claw/pad marks for several days to a week. (Not sure how long.) Around the barn/farm. I have been very puzzled to what it could be. Well, today I got spring fever, braved the cold with my partner-in-adventure kitten and took a walk. I found clearer foot prints after some pointy-toed ones so i am assuming they both belong to the same creature. Who went to the barn. Now. Our barn has three doors. One is enclosed in the run for the chickens. One has a dog door for our dog. (That is no longer with us.) The last on has a cat door for the cats. Some tracks lead to the dog door, which is larger then the cat door, and it looks like whatever went up to the door was investigating it. I'm pretty sure that our cats know the dog door has a cover and thus they can't get in. The tracks are smudgy so I can't tell what they are. I also found some scat right outside the barn that may or may not be cat. (Picture at bottom.) NOW to the pictures. You can see what I mean about the "four pointy toes" print.
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    [​IMG] This picture is sideways...tracks lead from left to right. You can see it better if you tilt your head. :p

    [​IMG] Four pointy toes.

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    [​IMG] the scat. (If you couldn't tell.)

    Skunk or something else? Would a skunk come out of hibernation in February?
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A skunk track will have 5 toes, it is hard to say but that first pic looks like it only has 4 toes, how large is the track? Skunk will come out in winter but it usually is on unseasonably warm times.
     
  3. gmachicken

    gmachicken Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm not a tracker but that first one looks more like a coon but the size would make a difference.

    :)
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coon tracks also have 5 toes with long slender finger like toes, almost resemble a hand print, these are not coon they more resemble a canine track or maybe weasel but it is hard to say without knowing the size of the print, weasel is quite small obviously also the scat would be very small in diameter
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    They are about the size of a cat print. I'm pretty sure there is only four toes...I'll double check when I go out to do chores if the tracks are still there. No, it is not unseasonably warm...it is actually unseasonably cold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My money would be on fox, 4 fat toes with claws and a smaller pad about the size of a housecat could easily be fox and the scat looks like a good candidate for canine poop. Coon, opossum, and skunk all have 5 toes. Also try to see if you can make out front and rear tracks anywhere, with dogs and cats they are very similar with some of the other animals the rear foot is very different from the front

    Also if you can find an area where it walked off or into the yard, a fox track will most always be a perfectly straight set of footprints not staggered or side by side
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  7. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I googled, "four toed animal prints" and came up with fox...yup, looks like it. The pad isn't very clear but it looks canine-y, and the prints are in a straight line. I am assuming I want to get rid of Mr. Fox? How would I go about that? Chickens haven't been out for weeks because of the cold and wind. It will be in the 30's the next couple days and I was hoping I could let them out...should I keep them in?
     
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the fox is a regular visitor I wouldn't chance letting them out at least for awhile, could be he came around and couldn't get a meal and won't be back or he could continue coming back knowing there is chicken scent around, fox are also fond of house cats too, have seen a fox try to chase down a cat on a few occasions. I would keep an eye out and shoot it if I could, at a minimum watch for more tracks, maybe scratch out those tracks or throw snow over them if they haven't already been covered by fresh snow, this way you will easily see if he comes back. If you know someone who is a fur trapper in the area they may be willing to come set a trap for you. Fox will generally walk the same track repeatedly in snow so it may be possible to to find a location to set a snare or leghold in the snow. You could try a box trap but I personally have never caught a fox in one, I would say a young fox may go in the trap but an older one is generally pretty smart to that sort of thing, but anything is possible.
     

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