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>> Help Tracking Blood Trails :: By James C. Gates on 2001-04-25
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This may be old hat to you "Mossy Backs", but maybe the new hunter can learn something! Sooner or later it will happen: a pulled shot, an arrow just a little far back, or whatever, and you have a blood trail to work - and, to make it worse, it is sundown! This is when the dog people start getting calls; most calls could have been avoided if the hunters would stash a black light in their trucks. In the fishing section of most "good" catalogs you will find a two bulb black/flo "D" batt fishing light about 10" long. They are used to see mono lines at night, etc. What most people don't know is that blood, human or animal, glows under black light! In the Southeast in autumn we have leaves of red, yellow, brown, etc. on the ground. Blood, only minutes dropped, is extremely hard to see. Most new hunters just give up and say they missed - when their game may be down only a hundred yards away! With a black light, things really light up: drops on the ground, on the bushes as the game brushed by, and even in the mud. The nice thing about the two bulbs is you can switch back and forth, using the flo bulb to walk out, etc.

We all keep one in the the trucks and in the boats!
Best Regards, James

An additional hint added by Matt Callahan:

An interesting note on the same line. The Border Patrol and DEA use blue lens caps on their flashlights to "blood trail" in case of a night shooting. I'm told this works just like a black light. Hardly a fun twist to the topic, but a blue lens in your pack that fits your flashlight may come in handy for the hunter of game, not men.

Yet another tip from Ruger No.3

Another trick we mossybacks use in the north when the fall leaves are on the ground is a little spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. That blood will bubble. Trying to discern blood spots in six inches of maple and oakleaves can be quite exasperating. Hydrogen peroxide is cheap and readily available, too. I like that blacklight idea for those late bow kills.The eyes are playing tricks on you at dusk till night vision settles in. I posted the peroxide idea on a busy forum during deer season and those guys went nuts over it. Somebody markets a $5 bottle of product that supposedly works by foaming and blacklight. It appears we have the formula covered. I had no idea blood reflected blacklight. These hunters were looking for stores that had it and I said to use peroxide. and look for the foam. Peroxide works on wet leaves, too.

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