Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by theallcineyes, May 13, 2019.
what do you use to find blood on the ground?
My wife seems to be a little better at it than I am. I think wimmin are better at "focus on the details" people. jd
A Coleman lantern I don’t know why but it makes the blood glow.
I think it might be because of that big pool of light vs. the direct,intense beam of a flashlight. I replaced my lantern with a 4 LED worklight.
Works great and doesn't cost much.
If your talking about a Alternative Light Source like on SVU, don't waste your money. I can tell you from my day job that I have experience with a few versions of ALS kits. They are for finding hidden biological material, blood is easy enough to spot without it and if its small enough droplets the ALS will not make them stand out any more on the forest floor. Plus the better kits require you to use filter/glasses to see the different biological material and IDK how that would work very well on the forest floor. It gave me enough problems trying to walk around inside a house with poor lighting and or dark carpet.
Ive always had good luck with a coleman lantern. I found that the LED lights tend to throw a light of light but drown out the blood.
"Blood" lights are totally overrated.
Use a big-ass light with good battery life, and/or invest in another Li-ion, etc. battery pack, and/or carry batteries.
The most annoying thing we remember was the super-bright halogen Surefires of a few years back...they worked better than anything else, but ate CR123's like candy. LITERALLY had to carry a spare pack.
I always look for blood sign on the vegetation 1.gives the best contrast 2. Lowest ability to absorb the blood(plowed corn field,ignore the dirt look on the corn residue)3. flat surfaces. 4. in standing tight cover remember to look from the wound height down(blood spatter gets finer the further the transfer through vegetation and higher the velocity) 5. a tracking stick is helpful for measuring distance between blood spatter when blood sign is not "paint brushed".
That's great advice!
I'll add to that (and thank you for encouraging me!)...
First. Things don't always go as well as we'd like. Accept that, or don't hunt. But always be working to better prepare yourself and your gear to prevent issues when possible. It is the responsibility of the hunter to continually evaluate what has happened, and make decisions as objectively as possible about what to do in the future.
--If you find yourself in a tracking situation, check your ego at the door, in favor of the animal's dignity. If you're not willing to crawl, track halfway through the township, stare at the ground all night, and piss off your spouse, then you shouldn't take the shot. It's okay. You don't HAVE to kill one "today". Get okay with that, and you'll enjoy your time in the woods for what it is, and you will be more reverent and appreciative when you DO have a good opportunity and capitalize on it.
--Animals don't get shot on a time clock, and they don't die according to the hands on your watch. Plan accordingly.
--Don't be afraid to buy and read books. Preparation indoors will prevent pain outdoors.
--Especially training kids, or training adult kids (like yourself), make sure to take advantage of ANY opportunity to practice. Even if you can SEE the dead animal, go through the motions of examining the trail, and help train your brain and eyes. This goes for any animal, no matter the size.
--Short haired animals and animals with coarse hair (eg: deer, hogs) do not "hide" blood well, so they usually begin dripping (again, if they aren't paint brushing) much sooner than an animal with heavy fur (eg: coyotes, raccoons) that, though it doesn't really absorb the blood, does slow blood flow down. Keep looking.
--With marginally-sized exit wounds, the heavier fur can also become matted over the hole if blood flow is slow enough to not keep the wound completely hydrated. The animal's is still dying, but may be harder to find. Keep looking.
--If you are pretty serious about killing a given animal on a regular basis, consider putting together a hair-clipping book. Next one you kill, PULL samples of hair from all over it's body, label them, and put them in one of those old baseball-card binders. That way, if you have a hit later on, but no blood, maybe you can use the hair from the impact site to ID where the animal was hit. That information will, of course, inform your strategy tracking.
--Try to walk on the SIDE of the blood trail, not IN it. Pick your boots UP to avoid over-turning leaves and grass...don't f*(^ing truffle-shuffle through the woods.You may be back here at this spot looking again.
--Take note, when possible, of the shape of your animal's footprint. Are there any distinguishing marks? Broken claw? Foot a little turned-in? If blood gets really bad, footprints may be all you have.
--Look at the COLOR of the blood as you track. If it's been dark red and drying, or has dry "halos" around the red drops, then you're a long way from that animal, or it's been awhile. If it's been that way, and then you come upon a bright red splash, or painting on the ground, best be looking and/or slowing down...you just bumped the animal out of it's (death)bed. maybe the blood trail restarts then...maybe it doesn't.
--Look carefully at any place the animal had to jump. Shakes blood loose.
--Look at the SHAPE of blood spatter. If it is a round circle, the animal is moving very slowly, or standing still, as those drops were expelled. More often, the spatter will be oblate, tear dropped, or streaked, pointing in the direction of travel, simply because the aerosol is moving when it hit. Longer the streak, faster the movement.
--Look UP from time to time. Blood gets scraped on limbs, fences, weeds, grass, etc. from the animal as it moves into/out of cover. FINE personalized blood from their mouth and nostrils gets sprayed on leaves and pine boughs as they pass. Eyes up...that won't be on the ground.
--Wounded animals generally avoid running uphill, and often try to find water to drink to raise their blood pressure.
--Start to practice mentally assessing the job (and the shot, if you took it) before starting. Like this:
---Was it a GOOD hit, and you know it? Maybe you need to find the impact site, look at all the evidence there, cool your jets, and then begin following the blood swath.
---Was it maybe not as good a hit, but there is blood...maybe dark, maybe some fecal or stomach contents? Maybe you need to WAIT an hour, and then go REALLY slow, with the gun ready. If it's dark, maybe you wait until light. Gut-shot animals can go DAYS...and they can still move pretty damn far out in front of you in the middle of the damn night.
---Is the animal headed toward an un-recoverable area? DNR, Govt't, nasty neighbor, idiot fellow hunters, island...whatever. Maybe you don't have much choice but to be aggressive in tracking. Keep the gun up, don't do anything stupid, and be prepared to walk away. If you have to be aggressive here, you should have made it so on the FIRST shot...and put the animal down in it's tracks. Use enough gun. (And bows are not guns.)
---Is it going to rain any minute? Better get your ass moving...no choice. Again, with the "keep the gun up", and "eyes up" comments. Don't worry as much about obscurring evidence, as long as you spot blood 2-6 feet out in front of you. If it's going to cut loose raining, it won't matter in an hour anyway. What DOES matter is not putting yourself in a "body search" unless you have to. What DOES matter is getting another hole in the animal, if at all possible.
If you DO have to get aggressive, it's better to have at least one more guy, if not two, that don't suck at this. At least ONE person "handy-with-the-steel", flanks out QUIETLY maybe 50 yards laterally, and 100 yards forward and still hunts along with you on the blood trail. The hope is to catch a shot on the J-hook, or at least get a good direction and condition report on the animal. But the best tracker goes on the blood trail, even if they are also the best shooter.
..anyway, think strategically about this thing, and it will work out better for you. And bring a friend.
can you use canine?
I have used an old Colman Lantern with white gas. I dont know why but it works amazingly.
Also if allowed in your state dogs have helped a few friends of mine.
You may be over thinking it. I back out and my wife finds it bright and early the next morning for me. I affectionately call her "dog". One of the perks I get for field dressing her deer.
Another vote for Coleman lanterns. The frequency of the emitted light often makes blood nearly fluorescent. And ALWAYS mark visible spots a frequent intervals so you can back up and try again if the trail gets too sparse to see immediately.
USE a big light! When there is no blood, you can see imprints in the pine needles.
late afternoon shots in the jungles we hunt in demand a Neck or shoulder shot.
I hate tracking a deer or hog after dark!
Anyone that has ever tracked a deer after dark know they walk in circles and or S patterns as they get dizzy from a lack of blood. If they are running dead, that is a different issue.
Especially when it is your son's first deer!
and if not allowed the local game wardens might ok it if dog on leash--they are helpful here. lap dogs/family pet will work fine--dont need bloodhound
Tracking dogs WILL find a mortally hit deer. A bright non LED light works best for me. I've tried bright LEDs and as stated above, they drown out the blood sign. Maybe it's because my eyes aren't real young anymore.
Coleman lantern with aluminum foil on the inside of the glass. About 1/3 of the back side to block some of the light.
Gas lantern keeps your hands warm on cold evening also. A big plus.
A deer shot in thick woods laying on the ground can be very difficult to see, also, they will run into a gully often and die if they can find one, or they just die and fall into it because they can not get across.
Lung shooters need to become shoulder shooters in late afternoon.
We have walked all around deer(does) because we did not have enough light.
If you're serious about not looking for them, neck shots are the way to go. They will drop right where they stood.
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