Do Commercial Blood Trailing Aids Work?
By Keith Wood
The Question: We all have to track wounded animals from time to time, but do the products that purport to help make blood trails easier to spot really work?
The Products: There are basically two types of products on the market: colored flashlights and chemical sprays. We chose one of each: the Primos Mini Bloodhunter Plus light and Bone Collector’s After Shot spray.
The Claims: The Mini Bloodhunter Plus claims to use “patent-pending technology that filters red and green light together to produce a light output that enhances the color red, making blood stand out.”
After Shot’s website says that if you “mist the area where you believe blood to be…active ingredients will IMMEDIATELY react to any trace of blood. No matter how small the blood droplets are they will show up as a fluorescent BLUE GLOW.”
The Test: Using fresh blood from a whitetail doe, we created a blood trail by dragging the doe's skin across 12 feet of grass. We used each product on the blood trial, as well as on trails of water and deer urine, to see whether blood would show up differently than other liquids. We used the white light option on the Mini Bloodhunter Plus as a control.
The Results: This is the “control," our faint blood trail as seen by white light.
The Mini Bloodhunter Plus mixes beams of green and red light which “enhances the color red." This photo accurately depicts what we saw:
Following the directions on the After Shot package, we dropped the two provided tablets into the spray bottle and filled it with water. When the spray was misted over the blood trail, the trail stood out like it had been painted with a florescent blue paintbrush. I was familiar with Luminol (used to find blood on crime scenes) from my days as an assistant state attorney in Florida; it appears as if After Shot uses the same technology.
After Shot works exactly as advertised; it would be very simple to follow a blood trail at night using this product. My only criticism is that the 6-ounce spray bottle would be run empty very quickly on a long blood trail. If you plan to use After Shot, I would be sure to pick up some refill tablets.
Note: None of the products reacted at all to the water or urine so you don’t have to worry about a "false trail."