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In a hurry and want to know my favorite Blood Tracking light? It’s the Primos Bloodhunter HD– read on to find out why.
When hunting at night you want to have the best blood tracking light with you to track your kill. Here is my review of the 4 best blood tracking lights available today.
Here’s the quick list:
- Primos HD Bloodhunter
- Gerber Myth Blood Tracker
- Bushnell TRKR Line
- Coleman Powerhouse Dual-Fuel Lantern
What to know when tracking Deer Blood Trails
After the shot, if the deer doesn’t drop immediately it will naturally bolt away. A wounded deer will generally take the path of least resistance through the woods or forest or head to a water source, but will likely not go far unless pursued. The best thing to do is wait at least 15-30 minutes or longer to allow the animal to expire before breaking concealment and trying to track the animal by the blood trail.
If you are tracking at night then you need a good flashlight. For finding a blood trail you really need a light that has high lumens and a wide or omnidirectional beam to light up the area immediately around you. Long-range spotlights or ‘throwy’ lights are great tools, but you are not likely to spot a blood trail more than 50 feet away from you so using a spotlight not be very helpful.
What Color Light is Best to Track Deer Blood?
There are quite a few options and just as many opinions on what color light is best for finding and tracking deer blood. Here are some of the common ones:
- Blue Light – A blue light will cause red blood to show black and contrast with the forest background. However, blue lights can rob you of your night vision. Deer are also much more sensitive to blue lights than to red or green, (Penn State) and if your animal is not yet down it may bolt when it sees the light.
- Red Light – A red light will allow you to keep your night vision while still casting a light on the area, and will not scare deer. However, they generally don’t provide the same contrast to show blood as blue light.
- White Light – For many hunters, the solution is to go with a standard LED or Incandescent flashlight or lantern. The jury is out on if this is more effective than using blue light or not.
A note about LED vs. Incandescent – Wiggies Wilderness has a great video demonstration (YouTube) on using an LED bulb with a blue filter vs. an incandescent bulb with the same filter on a blood-like substance.
A blue filter on the Incandescent bulb was much more effective at showing the blood than the same blue filter on an LED emitter. I can’t say for sure why, but I suspect it has to do with the broader spectrum of the Incandescent bulb, to include more of the infrared spectrum, than the LED.
Will a UV Light or Blacklight Work for Blood Tracking?
If a blue light will work then a UV light will work better, right? Not so, according to Don Penven at the Crime Scene Investigators Network. While some bodily fluids will naturally fluoresce (or glow) well under UV light, blood is not one of them without a little help. Blood is better detected by spraying a substance such as Luminol which will cause blood to fluoresce in UV light. Here’s a video explaining how this reaction works.
Top 4 Best Blood Tracking Lights
The Primos HD Bloodhunter blood tracking light has a special lens which makes the color red pop out against a forest floor. This makes a blood trail as easy to spot on the ground as fallen maple leaves.
The Low and Hi settings allow you to keep your power consumption low and extend your battery life, and the flat profile shaft is easy to carry. This one gets great reviews on Amazon so it is well worth your time to check out.
Here’s a video of the Primos Bloodhunter HD in action
|Modes||Hi and Low|
- High lumen
- Simple design
- Flat profile
- Single-purpose light
- Not good for general illumination
- Blue light can wreck night vision and spook game
Gerber Myth Blood Tracker (Discontinued)
The Gerber Myth Blood Tracker light is actually a discontinued product by Gerber. However, if you can get your hands on one it may serve well as an economical blood tracking solution – check ebay or other sources for second-hand gear.
This light was not only merely designed to make blood pop out against a forest floor. The designers recognized that drying blood changes characteristics and color over time, and designed this light to look for blood an hour old as opposed to fresh.
The Myth Blood Tracker is a small, handy light with a size and profile to go right into a cargo pocket.
|Battery||‘AA’ (x4) cells|
|Durability||IPX4 Splash Proof|
|Dimensions||7 inches (17.78 cm) long|
|Weight||7.2 oz. (204 grams)|
- Small profile
- Multi-color LED light
- Discontinued from production
- Low lumens
The Bushnell TRKR Line line of flashlights and headlamps come in a variety of sizes and power for your needs. These lights feature red and blue LED emitters around the edge of the reflector ring surrounding a bright white LED emitter. This adds flexibility to the light, allowing you to go from red low-light scanning, blue blood hunter mode and normal flashlight mode to light up the night all in one device.
|Battery||‘AA’ (x4) cells|
|Modes||3 Modes: White, Red and Blue Blood Tracking (TRKR)|
|Alternate Colors||White, Red, and Blue|
- Multiple model options for different size and power
- Multi-color LED light
- Bright high-lumen white light
- Blue LED light instead of a filter may not be as effective
This is the classic Coleman Lantern and is not specifically designed for blood tracking. However, many hunters swear by the beautiful creamy warm light put out by this lantern and think that it is the best device you can have for finding a blood trail. The gas-fueled flame provides a wide and full spectrum of light that is richer than LED’s, which focus on a few light frequencies. Many hunters keep it one their truck specifically for after the shot.
|Fuel||White Gas or Unleaded|
|Fuel Capacity||17.9 fl. oz.|
|Burn Time (Max)||7h 55m|
|Modes||Adjustable Brightness Knob|
|Throw||72 feet (brightest)|
|Dimensions||12 x 6.25 x 5.75 inches|
- Beautiful omnidirectional light
- Excellent brightness and throw
- Uses either white gas or unleaded fuel
- Large and bulky
- Some fragile components like the globe or mantles
- Cannot be used indoors due to carbon monoxide poisoning
Which is the Best Blood Tracking Light?
This one is a close call, but in my opinion, the best Blood Tracking Light on the market today is the Primos Bloodhunter HD. I’m a sucker for old-school tools that work. I also love warm, high-quality light. So naturally, I want to gravitate to the Coleman lantern.
But we have a blood trail to pick up and an animal to track. With the small profile of the Primos Bloodhunter HD light it is handy to have along just for this purpose while using a more general light source like the Coleman lantern for the rest of the evening.
Hey – don’t forget to check out my list of the Best Hunting Lights (Torchspot)!