ORIGINAL: Woods Walker
This is hard to explain in text but I'll give it my best to try and explain how to tell the difference.
First off a Buck's chest (front end) is Wider than his hind end BUT a Doe's Hind end is wider than her chest end, she rears fawns so naturally her hips are wider.
Now, when a deer walks it walks close to track in track meaning the rear hooves almost step into the front hooves SO when a Buck walks his tracks will show a step with another step slightly inside the front step
where a Doe will have a rear step slightly outside her front step..
here's an example of what I mean. excuse my artwork it isn't the best but it gives you an idea of what i'm explaining.
I hope this gives some insight on tracks and understand not all tracks are perfect but if you spend some time learning the skills of tracking and understanding the differences, you'll be amazed at how much a track can tell you about the animal you're following. the Average doe is approx. 140 lbs. I call them light footed, shallow imprints, a mature buck can easily carry 200 lbs, those are the heavy steppers, deeper imprints. most doe's sta on their toe's where a buck is more comfortable walking flatter footed but that always isnt the case either.
A great book I learned a lot from is called "Big Bucks the Benoit way",,, there's many books to learn from about tracking check em out and as always Good Luck.
But as you mentioned, this way of determining deer sex by tracks is pretty much for MATURE animals.
In Illinois, we have some old matriarchal does that are HUGE.
THe same size, or even bigger in fact, than many 2.5 year old bucks. Trying to determine their track from a buck would be difficult to say the least. The so called "urine test" that I mentioned is a sure fire way to accomplish this.
I should have mentioned I was referring to tracks that were at lease 4" to 4 1/2" in length or larger. (see chart)
The Urine test would be ok "IF" you were at their beds, But when a hunter crosses or comes onto a set of tracks their beds could be as much as a mile behind, The last thing I want to do is backtrack a fresh set of tracks. I want to be able to determine right then and there what left them tracks,, (a Buck or a Doe)... All hunters can and will benefit if they focus on tracks and study their differences.