Footprints of a hare in the snow

It is very important for a novice hunter to distinguish the traces of a hare from other animals, as well as to trace the trajectory of his movement, because in the winter hunting for a hare is more accessible than for another animal. The whole hare's path, laid during the night, starting from the place of the den to the lodging (feeding place) and back to the bed, is called a malik. Malik of a hare-hare is much easier to track, unlike the white-haired one: its paths are very confused, the track winds, mixes up with other paths, and when tracking a hare it is difficult to notice, because its white coat merges with snow. Therefore, in order not to waste time searching for the white hare, the hunter needs to distinguish his prints from the brown, more accessible as prey.

What does the hare trace look like?

Snow-white hare

Hunting for rabbits by the powder is a fascinating activity, allowing you to fully reveal the hunter's abilities, observation and caution. In the hunting sense, powders are called snow that has been falling since evening or night before, on which fresh imprints of an animal can be seen in the morning. A good powder is considered to be such a depth of snow that allows you to see distinct prints. In this regard, tracking hare paths is very convenient, because the hare is an animal with a predominantly nocturnal way of life, which moves at night to the place of lodging, to the place of the new den, leaving its tracks in the morning. By gunpowder, hunting can be carried out in most cases only for rookers, since in the late winter the hare hides in the deepest, where, sometimes even an experienced hunter finds it difficult to figure out his many tangled paths. Unlike him, the roe almost always leaves the forest to the edge, closer to shrubs, ravines, etc.

The front legs of a hare are left approaching a circle, prints arranged in one line one after another. The hind legs leave elongated prints that are parallel or slightly extending one after the other. In a forest hare, footprints in the snow leave a rounder and wider footprint than in a brown hare, whose footprint is narrower and oblong. But on less friable snow, you can see that the hind legs of the roe are still much wider, with visible fingerprints.

To correctly determine the direction of movement of the hare, you must remember: the traces of the rear cleft paws always leave their imprint in front of the prints of the front paws, and not behind.

Winter hare tracks

Traces of a hare in the snow, photo

A hare print in the snow may look different depending on its behavior. A normal, ordinary track looks like this: large jumps with simultaneous (or almost simultaneous) extension of the hind legs, while the front legs are sequentially one after the other. If the jump is large, then the front legs are also together. The usual trail left by a hare going to feed or returning from it to the den is called the terminal. In addition, other prints are distinguished:

  • The trail of a sitting hare looks like this: the prints of the front legs are parallel, in contrast to the hind legs. At the same time, his groove is imprinted on the snow, as the hare sits bending its hind limbs to the first joint. Therefore, the imprint of the hare's hind legs in a sitting position is always longer than the imprints of the usual course of movement of the animal. With the exception of the sitting position, the posterior cleft prints always maintain parallelism. If fingerprints are noticed in which the back tracks are clubbed or strongly ahead of each other, then they belong to another animal.
  • Fat hare tracks are prints of his movement near the place of feeding, with frequent sitting down in the snow. They differ in that individual tracks almost merge, while the rest are very close to each other.
  • The animal leaves rushing traces when it is scared from the place of the den, and it moves in large leaps. Such prints are similar to the end prints, but with the opposite direction, since the front prints are near the prints of the hind legs of the previous jump.
  • When an animal tries to hide or cut off its footprint, it looks for a place where it can be healed, and for this it leaves discount or estimate prints. They are left by the largest jumps, which are done at an angle to the original direction. From one to four, the hare usually makes such jumps, then his track again becomes the end. Often, before the discount trail begins, in the snow you can see a double print of cleft paws.
  • Loops are rounding of a cleft course with the intersection of their previous prints. The hare leaves such a trail when it begins to seek refuge. It can leave loops over a large area, which is difficult for a hunter to define a hare path. Rarely more than one loop is found, but soon it begins to double and tune with the application of one trace on another. This also creates certain difficulties, since it is necessary to distinguish a double trace from an ordinary one. After winding tracks, the hare usually slides to the side, or winds on the ground, where there is little snow. The length of a double loop can reach 150 steps in one or several maliks. Making a discount to the side, the hare tries to break his trail, getting rid of possible pursuers in the form of animals and people.

Thus, the hare's path of movement is as follows: from the lair you can trace the usual gait with traces of the end to the place of feeding (fatliquoring). In place of feeding, he leaves fatty traces with imprints of the sitting position, which after a while pass into the hounds. Having a good meal and having played enough, the hare moves in search of a new place for the den with traces of the end. This behavior does not always happen: often the hare moves from one fatty place to another, or leaves it and returns only in the morning.

Tracking a Rusak

Hare tracks leading to the forest

So, finding a string of hare tracks, you must first determine the direction of its movement. This has already been mentioned above. However, if the prints are not clear, the direction of its movement can be recognized by other signs, in particular, by the distance between the prints of individual tracks. Many other auxiliary features are described in special hunting literature that will help a novice hunter. An experienced hunter who has set his eyes in more than one season will easily determine the direction of the hare.


After the direction is determined, you need to follow there, trying not to trample the prints on the snow. If the malik leads to the place of lodging, do not waste time unraveling the fat and hounds, and bypass them, finding traces of the exit of the hare from fat places, and then follow it in parallel. Further, several options are possible: fatty traces can lead the hunter to new places of fattening, and then the previous action should be repeated. Or the hunter will stumble on looping or double tracks, which means finding nearby animal lying places. The loop needs to be twisted regardless of its area, otherwise there is a risk that the hunter will attack the trail of another hare crossing the tracks of the first, then he will lead him to new places of grazing and will have to start tracking from the beginning. Turning to a new trail is necessary only when there is complete confidence that this is the imprint of the same beast. It is necessary to unload all the loops caught in the path of pursuit. After the loop, a deuce usually follows, after which the hare lies nearby. Therefore, here you need to be prepared to shoot the beast: carefully examine the bushes, snow marks, stones, ditches and ravines. Particular attention in the forest should be paid to low Christmas trees, snowdrifts and snow marks at the roots of trees. A hare may lie inside a hole dug by it in the snow, after which it will be swept by snow. If the weather is windy, the animal lies in shelters that protect it from the wind with its muzzle facing it. If you are lucky, you can shoot a roach directly on the bench, with a whale such cases are very rare.

If you notice where the Rusak lies, you need to, without wasting time, go to him. If it is far, you need to go around the place of lying, approaching the distance from which you can make a sure shot. When approaching, you should not constantly look at the animal, it will certainly notice and run away.

For a novice hunter, you can recommend starting to track the brownling from the place of fatliquest, where it is easiest to trace the hare by fingerprints heading to the lying places. Following one path, not spreading from one malik to another, as a result, the target will be hunted down and obtained.

Watch the video: Tracking Eastern Cottontail Rabbit in the Snow (April 2020).