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Two of the most common small game animals are rabbits and squirrels. By studying these animals, you can learn to recognize their tracks.

Some small mammals that are sought after primarily for their pelts are called furbearers. Two popular breeds are fox and mink.

Some Small Mammals and Their Tracks

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Small-sized with brownish-gray fur with cottontail; large ears but not as large as jackrabbit.

Habitat and Habits: Lives in heavy brush in forests, farmlands, thickets of shrubs or trees, swamplands, and weed patches. Herbivorous. Four to seven young per litter; three to four litters per year.

  • State Hunting License required
Eastern cottontail rabbit
Eastern cottontail rabbit tracks

Southern Fox Squirrel

About twice the size of the medium-sized gray squirrel with a gray, black, or brown body; black facial “mask”; white patches on the nose, paws, and ear tips.

Habitat and Habits: Lives in mature pine forests and mature pine-hardwood forests. Mostly herbivorous. Lives up to 12 years. Two to three young born Jan.-Feb.

  • State Hunting License required
Southern Fox Squirrel
Fox squirrel tracks

Red Fox

Medium-sized, usually reddish-yellow but sometimes gray; can range from darker to lighter; bushy tail with white tip; usually dark legs and paws.

Habitat and Habits: Lives in mixed woodlands, farming areas, and open country. Carnivorous. Three to seven young born Apr.–May.

  • State Hunting License required
Red fox
Red Fox
Red fox track
Red Fox Track

American Beaver

Large-sized, brown rodent; naked tail, scaly and paddle-shaped. Large chestnut-colored front teeth and webbed short feet for swimming.

Habitat and Habits: Lives in streams, rivers, ponds, or lakes. Constructs houses of sticks, logs, and mud or burrows in banks; builds dams serving as habitat. Herbivorous. Lives up to 11 years. Two to four kits born Apr.–Jul. 

  • State Hunting License required
American Beaver
American Beaver
American Beaver Tracks
American Beaver Tracks

Bobcat

Medium-sized with reddish-spotted fur (grayer in winter) and black on top and at tip of very short tail. Light-spotted underside including face.

Habitat and Habits: Lives in thickets of shrubs or trees, swamplands, woodlands, rimrock, and rocky prairies. Carnivorous. Mainly nocturnal and solitary. Two to four kittens in one litter can be born throughout year.

  • State Hunting License required
  • Additional tags may be required
Bobcat
Bobcat Tracks
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