What Does Deer Poop Look Like? [Identifying Deer by Scat]

what does deer poop look like

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Have you ever seen the fecal droppings of deer? Wait wait. Why are you covering your nose?

If you are a deer hunter, this article will make you win the game. But how?

Firstly, uncover your nose and be patient!

Normally, the first evidence of a deer in an area is its poop. We are going to share the info about all the features of the deer scat. It will make you identify if this mammal is nearby or not. Plus, it will aid you to hunt successfully.

So, don’t go away and read till the end.

Do you know what deer poop looks like? The deer poop looks like small oval-shaped pellets that are usually scattered in piles. Its color ranges from black to brown. During the summer, when the deer diet consists of moisture-rich foods like fruits and succulent plants, the pellets may be found clumped together. However, during the winter they eat twigs and bark of trees, so the scat will be firm, semi-round, and separated.

The study of the poop gives you many hints about feeding and resting areas of wild animals. Not only this, but you can also be able to identify the animal that has made its toilet in your backyard, garden, or car porch. So, don’t bother if you feel disgusted with the topic. Keep on reading to learn about the amazing revealed secrets.

The analysis of Deer Poop

If you live in a deer rich populated area, it’s pretty normal to find oval-shaped droppings along paths, fields, or woodlands. But how will you recognize that it belongs to deer? 

So, it’s important to learn about all the features of this poop thing. Are you ready for this exciting research? Here we go!

Let’s dive in to learn about the shape, structure, size, color of the deer fecal droppings.

The Shape of Deer Poop

Normally, the shape of the deer poop is oval, with one end pointed and the other flat or indented that gather together to form a solid scat. They resemble bullet-shaped pellets and are usually clustered. We can explain it a little bit more with an example, whenever we draw an illustration of a raindrop, it comes out with one end pointed and the other oval. This is exactly the shape of deer fecal dropping.

Color of Deer Poop

Have you ever noticed whenever you eat oreo, your poop also becomes darker? Yes, it is true and sounds funny. But if you see black poop of deer, don’t misunderstand it for oreo. The color of the deer scat depends on the diet that they have consumed. It can be green, brown, or black. When deer consumes a large number of green veggies, the poop turns out to be green. Sometimes when a deer has some abdominal disturbance and bile pigments are not broken down, the green fecal droppings indicate diarrhea. The dead red blood cells and bile give feces typical brown and black color.

The Texture of Deer Poop

How will you check the texture of deer poop? Obviously, you won’t touch it unless you are a hunter. The texture mainly depends on the diet that has been consumed by this ruminant. Their poop will be round, shiny, separate, and firm when they have eaten twigs, acorns, and leaves. While the droppings will be lumpy if the diet consists of fruits like apples, alfalfa, grasses, and other herbaceous flowering plants. If the deer has just pooped, it will be steaming and warm. It will lose the moisture with the passage of time, becomes drier, shrinks, and also changes its color.

deer poop

Deer Fecal Dropping Size

The most important thing you must know is the size of the dropping. It will make you identify deer poop from other animals scat. Normally, the deer droppings are smaller in size. Moreover, some hunters have found that buck pellet size is a bit bigger than the doe. But everyone cannot recognize this difference. The rhythmic movement of the deer’s small colon which opens and closes resulting in small-sized oval-shaped pellets. 

Number of Pellets Per Defecation

Now you will argue about how many times a deer defecates or how many droppings fall per poop? So, we are sharing interesting research in this aspect. According to the biologists, on the average, a deer poops about thirteen times per day in winter. Their diet in winter mainly consists of dry twigs, weeds, and forbs. And the number of pellets per defecation is 75 on average. It’s really surprising what a world-class poop it is.

 However, the quantity of defecation highly depends on the quality of the diet. In spring and summer, they defecate nearly 26 times per day with an amazing pellet count of 93 per defecation. The reason is probably the fiber that they get from fresh succulent leaves and flowering herbs. In summer, ripe vegetables become their diet therefore, they will poop more than winters.

How Deer Poop Aid Hunters 

Most of you will think about why to go deep in studying deer scat. Are you curious to know? So, here is the answer. Actually, the analysis of poop will help the hunters to track this mammal. But how? Have a look at the following points, you will not be curious anymore.

  • Usually, hunters examine the deer poop closely, warm and wet scat indicates that this ruminant is nearby. For confirmation, one or two more visits are done to make sure that the deer are frequently staying in this area or just passed through it.
  • You can estimate the number of deer in an area by just counting the number of droppings in that area. What you have to do is just walk various transects in one square mile area and count the number of pellets. For instance, if you find 195 pellets divide by 13, it is the indication that the number of deer in your hunting area is 15 per square mile.
  • Normally, deer poop in three different ways in the woods. They will drop the pellets randomly, or deposit the clumps of poop at a place, or simply drop the pellets uniformly where they bed and feed. It gives an important clue that deer bedding areas must be nearby.
  • Another more secret point is, if you pick a sample of dropping from some other area and distribute it in your hunting area, the deer will surely come to smell the poop of this newbie in their herd. And you can hunt in this time interval.
  • Being a hunter, safety should be your first priority. So, never touch the deer poop without gloves, as you don’t know which animal is suffering from the disease. Always use latex gloves or any stick if you need to touch it.
  • And last but not least idea may be disgusting. So apologize in advance. You just need to dry the deer scat, smash it and rub it all over your hunting suit shoes, and treestand whenever you plan a hunting trip. It will help in covering your scent while hunting. But don’t worry if you do not agree. Just grab this scent killer and go your way.

What Does Baby Deer Poop Look Like

You will be amazed to know that deer moms are very caring and they know the tricks to save their babies from predators. Normally, the fawns don’t defecate at the places where the mother has hidden them. The mom will take them away from day time hiding areas and nurse them. The fawns will only poop when the mother will stimulate them while they are nursing. Some researchers have found that deer eat the poop of fawns, it helps in scent reduction and saving them from predators.

The fawn deer poop appearance is similar to that of adult deer but the size of the pellet is smaller. Apparently, it looks like small oval-shaped pellets that are in the form of a cluster or sometimes can be seen separately. In the wild somehow, it is difficult to find poop of nursing fawn deer. But when they start to feed on grasses, the poop size becomes bigger gradually. Nursing fawns also pass loose stools which is an indication of diarrhea.

What Does Male Deer Poop Look Like

Are you ready for the most interesting fact about male deer poop? If yes, then here it is. Studies have shown that buck poop is bigger than the doe. It doesn’t mean that buck produces a big dump, it actually means that the number of pellets in buck poop is larger than the doe poop. Perhaps, they like to eat more than females do.

 Further studies revealed that buck drops nearly 70 to 80 pellets while the doe drops 50 to 60 droppings per defecation. The male deer poop consists of oval-shaped small pellets that are pointed at one end while flat at the other. These droppings are usually clumped or clustered to form a solid scat. Its texture is shiny and moist when it is fresh, with the passage of time it becomes dry and matte.

 According to the Buckmasters, researchers have found that visually there is only a slight difference between buck and doe poop and every hunter cannot get an idea about the sex of the doe by just looking at it. Normally, when you compare a single dropping of a buck with the doe, only the pellet size of the buck will be a bit longer than that of the doe.

What Does Whitetail Deer Poop Look Like

You will be surprised to know that whitetail deer are in abundance in North America. Being herbivores, they graze crazily causing havoc to greenery and vegetation. You will find its fecal droppings along the trails woodlands and green belts.

 The fecal droppings of the whitetail deer look like oval or tubular pellets that are usually clumped or clustered. It happens in summer when they eat a moisture-rich diet. The color of the pellets can be brown, black, or green depending on the food they eat. During winters, when green veggies are no more available, they feed on bark, grasses, alfalfa, and clover. Hence, their poop also becomes hard and firm which results in scattered or individual droppings. The pellet size ranges from ½ to ⅝ inches in diameter.

 Normally, the colon of the whitetail deer is small and its rhythmic movement results in small pellets. However, if you find green color scat with a stinky smell, it means that the deer must be suffering from diarrhea.

What Does Roe Deer Poop Look Like

The roe deer drops a small-sized cylindrical scat, with the pellets of 1-1.4cm long. The analysis of one pellet shows that it’s one end is pointed and the other is round or oval in shape. Its appearance is shiny and the color is black when it is fresh. So, never think that it is chocolate. Eh? Yukkkeeee…

Like all other species of deer, roe deer are also ruminant. These herbivores get the nutrients from plants and the food that they eat is fermented in the front part of the digestive system, it is then regurgitated and chewed again by this animal prior to defecation. So, the contents of the poop normally give no idea about what the animal has eaten. Sometimes, the color of the scat gives some hints about the diet of roe deer.

What Does Moose Deer Poop Look Like

Well, do you have any idea about what moose poop looks like? Most people think that these are dry oval nugget shaped droppings. These pellets are about an inch long and ⅝ inches in diameter. But it is the case in winters only when they find no green leaves and they have to feed on just woody twigs.

 The Moose poop looks like a cow pie during summer and spring when they eat a lot of forbs, green leaves, and grasses. Upon examining closely, it shows that tubular pellets stick together to form big dung like that of a cow. The elk deer poop is also similar in appearance to that of moose scat.

As we already know that Moose are ruminants, so they thoroughly digest the food before dropping it out. Now, the difference between the deer and moose poop is obvious. Deer normally drop oval-shaped pellets that are clustered, while the moose scat is big and its nugget shaped droppings stick to form a dump like a cow dung. 

How To Distinguish Deer Poop From other Animal Poop

If you want to be an expert hunter, you must have knowledge of how to differentiate between deer and other animal droppings in your hunting area. Here, It is crucial to explain about latrines. Some wild animals use to poop in the same places over a long period of time, these are named as latrines. They do this to mark territories.

  Read this table carefully, it will make you know which poop belongs to which animal. Plus, here is the comparison of deer droppings with other wild animal scat. So, have a look to know more.

Animal NameComparison of stool  with deer scat
GoatGoat droppings are quite similar in color to that of deer. They also chew the food twice before digestion. The only difference is the size of the pellets which are small, beady, and fall out separately. On the other hand, the deer droppings are clustered with oval pellets that are a bit bigger than that of a goat.
RaccoonThe raccoon poop is granular with tubular segments that can break easily. The size of this tubular scat is 2 to 3 inches in length and 1/2inches in width. These droppings are found in piles and are darker in color. The way by which this scat differs from deer is its length which is longer than deer scat.
ElkElk droppings are similar to that of cow patty in summer when they eat fresh grasses and green leaves. When it is closely examined, pellets are seen which are tapered at both ends, whereas bull elk scat is concave at one end. The big bull elks drop larger clumps. In winter when they eat dry grasses and twigs, the droppings are in the form of dry separate pallets. Moreover, pellets of elk are larger than deer poop. So, they can be easily distinguished with that of deer black colored small oval-shaped pellets. 
FoxThe size of the fox poop is usually 5 to 20 cm in length. The urban fox scat is small just like dogs poop due to meat, bread, and seeds included in the diet. While rural fox eats birds and other mammals, therefore, produces long poop with one end twisted and the other end pointed. So, the difference between fox and deer scat is prominent.
BadgerBadger poop is usually wet and slimy. Its size and texture vary with diet. Normally it forms a tubular long swirly scat with a sweet musky smell. However, it is totally different from deer droppings that are tubular oval pellets.
RabbitThe rabbit droppings consist of dry, round and rough, pellets that are brown in color due to the large amount of bark they consumed. Usually, rabbits also eat their own fresh poop. So, these pellets are a bit different from deer poop due to its texture and shape which is rough and round. While deer stool consists of smooth oval pellets. 
BearMost of the time summer droppings of moose are mistaken for bear poop. Normally, bear poop is tubular in shape and its ends are blunt and slightly tapered. It almost looks similar to human feces. Its size is 5 to 12 inches long with 1 ½ and 2 ½ inches in diameter. It’s scat clearly shows what it has eaten. So, it is totally different from deer feces.
CoyoteCoyotes can poop anywhere even in the middle of roads. Its scat is long and tubular with tapered ends. In winters, they eat other mammals that result in darker scat. If you will closely examine it, you will see that ingested fur makes twisted, rope-like feces. In spring and summer, they eat veggies and fruits, so the poop color will be lighter and brighter. On the other hand, deer poop has oval-shaped pellets and these two scats have no similarity.

Final Words

Finally, the deer poop comes to an end.

I hope you have learned a lot about new hunting secrets from this article. If you find it helpful, don’t forget to share it with other hunter fellows.

Next time, when you will see the poop of any animal, you will be able to identify the owner.

Similarly, you will be able to detect the animal that invaded your garden at night.

Also comment below, who was the owner of the scat that you had seen last time?

For more entertaining and informative info, Stay connected!

Roland Carroll

Hi, This is Roland. I love Hunting and it's my hobby. I love to share my hunting experience in this blog. Keep reading all the articles here and let me know what do you think about this site.

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