What Does Deer Poop Look Like? [7 Important Facts & More]


Scouting and paying attention to the deer sign (including deer sounds) around you is vital to improving your hunting skills and putting yourself in the best possible situation to succeed.

On of the more important questions hunters need to ask is “What Does Deer Poop Look Like?” Furthermore, once you’re able to identify deer pellets, hunters should then understand what it means and what it’s telling you.

The information below is going to summarize everything you need to know about deer poop. I’m going to walk you through the key features of deer poop so you can easily identify it out in the woods, and we’re also going to talk a little bit about what it can tell you about the deer in your area. Finally, there’s a brief section outlining some of the most popular questions.

Overall, I hope this information helps you in your scouting efforts, and puts another tool in your tool belt. Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have any additional information that might be helpful to other hunters.

What Are The Key Features Of Deer Poop?

These are the 7 key features to note when identifying deer poop:

1. Size

Deer poop is usually 1 cm in diameter, and is not indicative of the size of the deer.

Of course, the size varies depending on the diet and the amount of fiber being consumed. Foods that contain higher amounts of moistures (e.g. grasses) will produce larger, softer clumps, rather than the standard pellets.

2. Color

Deer feces color is usually dark brown or black, and sometimes may be green.

Similar to size, initial color is largely affected by the deer’s diet. As you’d expect, eating more grass will produce greener pellets. On a different note, as pellets remain on the ground, and moisture begins to evaporate, the droppings will become lighter.

3. Shape

Since deer are ruminants, and their digestive system creates uniform movements, their poop is more times than not a uniform, oval-shaped pellet.

It’s important to note, as mentioned above, eating large amounts of grasses, forbs, and soft mast apples and pears will make a deer’s poop begin to clump. You may notice less individual pellets and more single, cone-shaped pieces of feces.

4. Area

Deer have been known to defecate in and around bedding and feeding areas.

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To tell the difference between a potential bedding and feeding area, you’ll have to read the sign. If deer pellets are largely distributed within a single place, and in large amounts, it’s most likely a bedding area. To identify a feeding area, you’ll most likely stumble upon a large amount of pellets, but they will be spread out as the deer will like be grazing and pooping simultaneously

5. Amount

After doing quite a lot of research on this area, the amount of deer poop showcases two things. One, if this area is a feeding or bedding area (please see section above), and two, the number of deer on your property.

Many say the amount and size give evidence to the size of the deer, but there’s no hard evidence to support this. Be careful when utilizing this particular feature of deer poop to determine if a big buck is in your area or not.

6. Consistency

The composition of a deer’s poop showcases the deer’s most recent source of nutrients.

Deer that regularly consumer corn, acorns, twigs, etc. will produce more dense pellets. As that diet changes, and items such as grasses and/or fruits are introduced, the consistency will change and become less compact.

7. Temperature

While it’s quite obvious, warmer deer pellets indicates that a deer was recently in the area.

Temperatures is probably the least important factor when it comes to analyzing deer poop, but one that can be used if you’re stalking an animal or hunting in a new area.

Deer Poop Picture

Deer Poop Picture - Pellets vs Clump

What Is Deer Poop Trying To Tell You?

The first myth that comes to mind when talking about deer pellets is the belief that hunters can identity a big buck by their droppings. Unfortunately, based on my personal experiences, as well as the research I’ve done, there’s no direct correlation between large deer droppings and a big buck.

Of course, you would think that bigger deer have larger pellets, but that’s just not the case. Keep this in mind as you’re doing your scouting to better understand what deer might be in your area.

So you might be asking, “Then what does deer poop tell me?” Here’s the answer:

Number of Deer In Your Area

Deer poop around 10 to 15 times during the spring and 20 to 30 times in the winter. This data has been confirmed by several wildlife agencies, and as a result of the consistency many agencies use deer poop to estimate population.

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Buck to Doe Ratio In Your Area

While it’s a little harder to gather this information, it’s still very possible. Bucks produce around 30-40% more pellets than does (female deer). Of course, this isn’t the easiest thing to track, but if you do see difference in the number of pellets you might be able to see what your herd looks like.

Time and Frequency Deer Move Through Your Area

Over time, scat will begin to change consistency and color due to exposure to the elements. If you identify droppings that contain moisture and are shiny, it’s pretty good evidence that a deer was present within 12 hours or so. Droppings then begin to lose their moisture and color, and even begin to crack over time. Pellets that looked cracked usually point to a deer that came by more than a week ago.

Where Deer Are Feeding

As indicated above, moisture is a telling sign within deer poop. If a deer has been eating items such as grasses, apples, and plants their poop will contain more moisture. On the other side, items such as leaves, grains, acorns, etc. will result in pellets that contain less moisture.

Fun Fact: If deer are utilizing your deer feeder consistently, their poop will be much more dense.

Deer Poop Informational Video

If you’re looking for a simple, yet informative video that talks about deer sign take a look at this handy video that showcase deer poop images, pictures and visuals.

Popular Deer Poop Questions

Here are some of the most popular deer poop questions being asked across the internet today.

1. Deer Poop vs. Rabbit Poop – What’s The Difference?

When it comes to rabbit poop the most obvious difference is going to be size, but that’s not always the case. Rabbit poop can range from .7 to 1.2 cm in diameter, so it can easily be mistaken for deer feces if not reviewed carefully. Overall, on average it is much smaller, but there are still exceptions.

When speaking to shape, rabbit poop is almost always going to be round, while deer poop is more of an oval shape. This is probably the easiest way to tell the difference between the two.

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2. Deer Poop vs. Bear Poop – What’s The Difference?

Bear scat is quite a bit different when compared to deer pellets. While bears are herbivores their stomach and digestive system mirrors that of a carnivore – meaning they have a somewhat difficult time digesting plants. As a result of their diet and this particular feature, bear poop may vary quite a bit depending on their last meal.

In terms of what it looks like compared to deer – bear poop is still relatively dark (even though it can change to a bit of a green if consuming too many plants), but will not hold a pellet shape. Most bear poop will be larger clumps with a bit of a tapered end.

3. Deer Poop vs. Moose Poop – What’s The Difference?

Compared to deer poop, which is usually 1 cm in diameter, moose poop is much larger – coming in at 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter. Since deer and moose are both cervids, and thus ruminants, they produce dark colored (brown or black) oval-shaped pellets. However, due to slight differences in diets, moose droppings are are little less round when compared to deer.

4. Is Deer Poop Bad For Dogs?

According to Wag, dogs can get sick from eating deer poop; however, it’s not a serious threat. It’s best to keep your dog away from digesting any types of feces – whether it be deer or not. If your dog does consumer any deer feces, pay attention to his or her behavior and call a vet if your dog begins acting odd.

Also, in case you’re wondering, there’s no clear answer out there as to why dogs eat door poop. There’s many theories, but no direct, firm understanding.

5. What Is Deer Poop Called?

Deer poop can be called many things by different types of hunters. For a full summary of what people call deer poop, check this out. When trying to figure out what deer poop looks like, it’s first good to know what to call it.

1. Deer Scat

2. Deer Stool

3. Deer Droppings

4. Deer Pellets

5. Deer Feces

For a blog about How Many People A Deer Will Feed take a second and check it out!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>