Wild boar are notoriously elusive. You may not see the animal, but there are a few signs you can look for to see if wild boar are in the area!


Wild boar tracks can look similar to white tailed deer, but there are a number of differences. Perhaps the most apparent is that the dewclaws at the back are always visible, and are set wide, pointing up and to the outside of the foot. The front toes are also “split” at the front, as opposed to deer.

DSC04362In the winter, sometimes a large group looks like just one animal, as the head sow will walk in front and the rest follow in her exact footsteps through the snow.


Wild boar droppings vary with their opportunistic diet. Typically it is comprised of large irregular shaped lumps, almost like a segmented sausage. The colour varies with diet, and size varies with the weight of the animal.


Severe damage to vegetated areas can be a a sure sign that wild boar have been about! It is sometimes described as looking like an area has been roto-tilled or ploughed. This occurs when the animals are foraging for food in the leaf litter or soil.

Dawson Keen MB1Nests

Wild boar build nests to farrow in, and just to lounge in. In open environments, these nests can be quite covered as the animals seek protection. In the wintertime, wild boar will hide away in cattail nests under the snow. If there is a large group, one can actually see steam rising up from the area, and trails leading to it provide further clues. Do not approach a nest!

Other Signs

Wild boar can also leave other signs, but they are a bit harder to identify. Wallows are muddy depressions that the animals use to cool off and rid themselves of parasites. Rubs on trees can be a good indicator, but there are several other animals that engage in this behaviour as well (wild boar do, however, seem to have an affinity for using telephone poles specifically!). Likewise, trampling and other damage to crops can be difficult to correctly identify, although any scat can be used to help identify the animal. Tusk marks on trees can be confused with marks made by buck antlers.

*If you think you have seen some of these signs, please let us know!*