Hi we’re Nick and Valerie Wisniewski on
behalf of Expert Village.com. We would like to show you how to identify some raccoon tracks
in the wild and for more information, you can check our website at www.walnuthilltracking.com.
The raccoon is a member of the carnivora and the only member of its family in North America
where we are in the northeast. It is one of the most common wild animals that you will
encounter. It’s got 5 toes on both the front foot and 5 toes on the hind foot and the toes
are fairly well developed and elongated especially on the front foot and the heel pad is a c-shape
as you can see on both the front and on the hind. The hind foot is much more likely to
leave a heel pad and if it doesn’t you can easily mistake the front and hind foot. What
we’ve done is laid down a trail that is very typical of a raccoon and unique to the
raccoon. The raccoon can move in a variety of ways and we actually call him the trickster
of the north because his tracks can be confused with a lot of different animals everyone from
bobcats to fishers to even things like foxes. But in this particular pattern which it moves,
nobody else really moves in this way. What you have here is on one side you have a front
and immediately next to it is another track. In the red is a hind foot. If you look at
the next step of tracks you will see a front foot and a hind foot and the hinds have switched
sides and this kind of pattern where the bigger foot keeps switching sides from left to right,
from left to right, is indicative of a raccoon. The way that it makes this pattern is what
some people call a pace where the hind foot on one side and the front foot on the same
side will actually move almost at the same time and that explains how this pattern happens.
Sometimes in the wild you may see something like this or you may see something like that.
It is possible that it can move in either way. The distance that it travels is anywhere
from say around 10 inches to 17 ½ or so. Here we’ve laid one down that is about 13
½ stride and the trail width is quite wide. It is about 6 inches across which is a little
bit too wide for even a fisher or an otter bounding in a 2 pattern. This is not a bound
though. This is a walk. This is the raccoon’s favorite way of moving around the landscape.