Blood Tracking Hunting Light
Deer tracking, you've shot the buck of a lifetime, now you have to find him. It's getting dark and you don't know what direction he ran after the shot. It's a difficult job that's the responsibility of every Hunter. Finding that first drop of blood is hard enough, then factor in that he may have run twenty or thirty yards, or more, before a drop hits the ground and now you have several thousand square feet to search just to start tracking.
I've struggled with this one for about 25 years, (My first ten years I had someone else to struggle for me) and have tried everything. I've used the large rechargeable Streamlights I carried as a Police Officer, my small tactical lights, coon hunter headlamps, little cheap flashlights, flashlights sold with all sorts of lenses advertised to make blood glow in the dark and even candles. My best luck had been with a regular gas lantern, but that's not the easiest thing to carry around and the shadows it cast made it very difficult to locate blood, especially in fallen leaves.
So often I just wait until the next morning. But I never liked doing that and if you're not able to come back in the morning, or it's a warm night, it may not even be possible. It's a sick feeling when you can't find that deer you just shot and you spend the night playing the shot over and over in your head. Wondering if you hit too far back, or even at all.
So what to do, what to do.
I was wandering around the Bass Pro Shops just down the road from my house, much to the detriment of my checking account, and found a couple of lights from Primos that were advertised to make blood trailing easier. Well, me being a sucker for new gear, I bought one.
I bought the Primos Mini-Bloodhunter Plus, $49.99. It takes three penlight, or double A for the younger folk, batteries. There is a rechargeable model, but this model is more compact and comes in a nifty little holster if you want to wear it on your belt. It has four operating settings, pure red light, pure green light, a high blood tracking setting, a low blood tracking setting and pure white light. It has what seems to be very sturdy construction, an aluminum body with an O-ring sealed screw-on battery cap and seems to be water-tight. (more on that in a bit) It uses a pressure switch that is easy to use and well-positioned, although with heavy gloves on, you'll probably need to take one off to work the switch.
The white light is very good. It's comparable to my Streamlight Scorpion but without the high priced lithium batteries. It's a full beam of light, no holes in the center, and is focused for about twenty feet. Perfect for an outdoorsman light. The red beam and the green are bright for it's size and very good for walking a trail. You're not going to hunt pigs with it, but for walking to and from the stand or other times when you don't want to be waving a bright white light around, it's very good.
But on to where this light really shines, pun intended, the bloodtracking settings. In this setting you have a choice between high and low power and it works by combining both the red and green lights. The instructions say to use the high power setting when ground tracking and shadows aren't a problem and use the low power setting for heavy leaves and looking for blood on brush.
I have used this light to track two deer this year, one the night I bought it. I was a bit skeptical, having tried so many different lights. But Primos has this one right. I used the light on the high power setting to find a dime sized drop of blood in heavy woods with about 4" of fresh leaves on the ground. I did have to search the area to find it, but when that light hit the blood, there was no doubt. And after that first drop it was even easier because my eye knew what to look for. The blood won't glow, it just changes to a different sort of red that nothing else really matches. Some fallen maple leaves tricked me at first because the red in them was picked up by the light and they really stood out, but once I saw what I was looking for, finding blood was a cinch. I tracked the first buck about sixty yards in very thick bottoms and found him within thirty minutes of when I started looking. The second buck I shot I had no idea what direction he had gone, I was using a muzzleloader and couldn't see anything after the shot for all the smoke, but I found the blood trail within five minutes and followed a straight line about thirty yards, again in very heavy bottoms.
I discovered it is indeed water-tight as I was dressing the deer. I had it on my shoulder, trying to hold it with my ear or something, and dropped it right into the body cavity of the deer. There was a pool of blood and it took a few seconds to dig it out, but it never missed a beat. I washed it off in the sink once I got home and no evidence of moisture anywhere.
So I'm sold on the Primos Mini-Bloodhunter Plus. For hunting and deer tracking, it's an all around very good light, uses cheap batteries available anywhere, does exactly what it's supposed to and feels built to last. Thanks Primos, this is an outstanding light for tracking blood trails.