Look for signs of feeding. Animals sometimes drop fruits or nuts when the food supply is ample. They have
the luxury of picking and choosing their preference. Pine cones are stripped so the animal can eat the seeds. Bark is torn
from trees for food, often leaving clear bite marks. Sheep and goats have slanted bite marks where deer teeth marks are up
and down. Squirrels usually feed from bark higher on the tree than bears or deer. They also tend to drop bark pieces on the
ground at the foot of the tree.
Study droppings. You can tell
how big an animal can be by the size of its waste. Strong smelling feces usually indicates a mammal. Animals with diets of
vegetation usually produce waste that's straw-like. Long tapering feces indicate a meat-eater. You can break open the
droppings to get ideas for what to use as bait. Birds that live on seeds usually have small, fluid droppings. Meat-eating
birds yield pellets.
Hunt when your prey is out. Most mammals
are active in the early morning and early evening. The ones who are out during the middle of the day are the large, powerful
animals. Rabbits and other small animals venture out only at night to eat. Big, plant-eating animals usually eat constantly
all day, as do extremely small ones. For emergency survival situations, you will probably want the largest animal that you
can skillfully kill that will provide you the most meat.