Identifying the trailways of a fox can be a bit challenging for some. Unlike before, we can only find foxes in the meadows, woods and deserts. Nowadays, we can see signs of their footprints even in the suburban town. What makes it more puzzling is that their paw prints are very much alike with the rest of the wild canines. Do you think the dog track you’ve seen outside could possibly come from a fox?
A fox isn’t that too heavy in the first place. In that case, their heel pads will hardly leave some marks (especially on a muddy ground). The size of a grey fox’s feet is somewhere between 1.25-1.75 inches long and 1-1.75 inches wide. Red foxes meanwhile measures between 1.75-2.5 inches long and 1.5-2 inches wide.
• Claws are not visible on the footprint
• Triangle-shaped toes and oval shaped footpad
• Visible marks will show only 4 toes
• A fox’s front foot is slightly bigger (by at least one-third) than that from behind
• Footprints are usually smaller than a dog
• A coyote’s footprint is oftentimes mistaken for a fox
Foxes have this certain walk, which brings us to what we call as “the foxtrot”. This is characterized by the very distinct “gait” that allow them to walk, lope and gallop in a very typical manner. Both red and grey foxes walk as if the rear foot would end up exactly as to where the front foot has landed.
A fox’s trailway will also leave some other clues behind. It would help anyone to easily identify a fox track if they have the first impression of the scat’s appearance. But before anything else, you need to study it close enough. At first, it may appear just the same as your dog’s poop.
• The size and appearance. Look for a scat that is typically divided into segments while ropey and tapered all at the same time. Take note of the size as it would usually fall somewhere between 3.8-5.8 inches in diameter and 3-6 inches long
• The smell. Yes, you need to stick your nose a little bit closer and find out for yourself it doesn’t smell as bad as your dog’s poop.
Clue: A grey fox’s scat has less unpleasant smell. As for the red fox, a hint of musky scent will help people tell the difference between the two.
How to identify fox tracks