Bow and rifle hunters looking for deer, elk, and other big game know that many of their best shot opportunities arise near dusk. The problem is, finding a blood trail in the dark can present challenges.
That’s why we’ve decided to take an in-depth look at the best blood tracking lights that 2023 has to offer.
We’ll review the best of the best, including a few blood lights from Bushnell, the ever-popular Primos Bloodhunter HDs, and a well-reviewed blood tracking headlamp.
Plus, we’ll analyze whether or not you should use a UV light for blood tracking. Because having the correct tool for the job is essential, especially when you pour as much time and money into hunting as you do.
In the end, a blood tracking light can save you a load of heartache when you’re searching for that deer or elk. There’s absolutely nothing worse than sending an arrow or bullet into an elk or a deer and not being able to track it down. Not only will you go empty-handed, but you’ll spend days replaying the situation in your head.
It’s enough to make you sick.
So, if you want to give yourself the best chance to track down your kill, toss one of 2023’s best blood tracking flashlights in your pack.
Best Blood Tracking Light for the Money
Primos Bloodhunter HD
Primos created the best blood tracking light money can buy when they released the Bloodhunter HD.
This light comes with 600 lumens of CREE LED power and an optical filter designed to make fresh blood pop against leaves, sticks, and grass. It works by filtering out specific light wavelengths to make trails easy to spot.
But it’s not just for spotting blood. It’s a bit of a multi-purpose tool in that it features two power settings — one for surveying for blood trails and another as a low-intensity light for simple illumination. Ultimately, though, this unit is made for blood detection, and it does that job very well.
It does come with a few extras, too, like a Cardura holster with belt straps, and included CR123 batteries. These batteries pack more voltage than regular AAs but aren’t exactly household staples you’ll find lying around. We recommend stocking up on these batteries to ensure you have backups for you need them most.
When it comes right down to it, this blood trail light does exactly what it’s supposed to do: find and highlight blood trails in the night. Reviewers swear by it, and many refuse to go hunting without it.
- Pros: Great for finding even tiny drops of blood, flat handle is ergonomic, 600 lumens make this powerful for nighttime tracking, two power settings make this a somewhat multi-use light, CREE LEDs
- Cons: CR123 batteries are uncommon and can’t be found in most junk drawers
Powerful & Popular Tracking Light
Bushnell TRKR 600L Multi-Color Flashlight
The Bushnell TRKR 600L is a mighty multi-purpose blood tracking flashlight that could be the best bang for your buck on this list.
Bushnell equipped this unit with powerful 600-lumen CREE LEDs that will excel for hunters of all stripes. But, what makes this blood light so interesting is that it’s truly a multi-purpose tool. That is to say, it utilizes three different colored lights: red, white, and blue.
The red light is excellent to help you maintain your night vision, and many hunters find that deer won’t spook with red hunting lights. White works to illuminate the night, and it’s a tremendous general-purpose color for around camp.
Blue, on the other hand, is a specifically-tuned spectrum of light designed for spotting blood trails; in short, blue light equals blood tracking mode.
Reviewers rave how well-made the 600L is. Bushnell used aircraft-grade aluminum to make it tough and durable, and its IPX4 weather resistance will keep it shining for years to come.
It uses four AA batteries, making it a bit bulky for some reviewers. It doesn’t come with a clip, either, but many hunters think it thrives as an all-purpose elk and deer blood tracking light regardless.
- Pros: Powerful, uses standard batteries, multiple lighting colors, blood tracking mode works well, water-resistant, durable, CREE LEDs
- Cons: A bit bulky for some, doesn’t come with a clip
Like Our Top Pick (but Smaller)
Primos Bloodhunter HD Pocket Light
If you’re looking for a more lightweight and sleek blood trail light than the Primos Bloodhunter HD, look no further than the Bloodhunter HD Pocket Light.
Primos made this light slim and compact so that it can slip in and out of your pocket with ease. Its included clip can keep it on your belt and at the ready. Its 250-lumen LED and blood-specific filter is explicitly designed to reveal bright red deer and elk blood in the varied fall terrain to help you track down that prized kill.
It also has a low-illumination mode made for night hiking and is made of sturdy aluminum, making it as durable and weather-resistant as they come. It’s powered by 2 AA batteries, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding spares.
Simply put, we think this is the best blood tracking light you can buy at this size, but due to its relatively low 250 lumens, it might not shine as bright as you’d like. A couple of reviewers felt like this was the case, but most loved this light and stand behind their recommendation.
- Pros: Works excellent to find blood, low-illumination white light great for hunting, uses everyday batteries, very compact, lightweight
- Cons: Only 250 lumens, low-level white illumination doesn’t make for a great flashlight
Versatile Light for Spotting Deer & Elk Blood
Bushnell TRKR 400
The Bushnell TRKR 400 has red, white, and blue lighting modes, just like the 600L we mentioned earlier. It packs 200 lumens less, but that trade-off makes for a more compact and portable size.
Like the TRKR 600L, this is one of the best blood tracking lights of 2023 because its blue setting illuminates deer, elk, or wild game blood to make it bright red against the forest floor’s leaves, dirt, and branches. This feature should enable you to follow a blood trail easily.
Plus, because it shines in multiple colors, you’ll have a versatile light that will lead the way in most situations you find yourself in.
But all of these features wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans if the light couldn’t stand up to abuse. Thankfully, Bushnell made this tracker of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it can withstand drops, bumps, and scrapes. It also features IPX4 water resistance, so splashes and precipitation shouldn’t affect it in any way.
It only requires two AA batteries, which help to keep it stashed away in your pocket unnoticed. If you need a compact multi-use hunting flashlight, here it is.
Ultimately, reviewers love this blood trail finder, and we think you will too.
- Pros: Powerful for its size, uses AA batteries, multiple lighting colors, blood tracking mode works well, water-resistant, well made, CREE LEDs
- Cons: Not as powerful as the TRKR 600L
Best Headlamp for Finding Blood
Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp
Many hunters want to keep their hands free when following blood trails, and Bushnell’s multi-color TRKR headlamp will help them do just that. At 325 lumens, it’s a tad less powerful than the TRKR 400, but it packs a bit more punch than the Bloodhunter HD Pocket Light.
Like the rest of the TRKR series, this light features multiple color lights: blue blood tracking mode, a red light to keep you stealth, and a bright white light to illuminate the dead of the night.
You might be worried that an exposed light on your head could malfunction in the rain, but that’s not the case with the TRKR 325L. This handy headlamp adheres to IPX4 water resistance standards, so you’ll be able to light the way when it gets dark and wet outside.
If you’re looking for downsides, there are only a couple. Some hunters find that the blood tracking feature didn’t work very well, while others loved it. This could stem from differences in how individuals perceive light and color.
Second, some reviewers found that the durability of this headlamp has slipped in recent years, but most find it to be a wonderfully sturdy product.
If you want a useful multi-purpose headlamp, the Bushnell TRKR 325L performs admirably and will keep your hands free as you follow that blood trail.
And, if you’re searching for a more versatile headlamp for your hunting or fishing trip, check out our excellent headlamp buying guide.
- Pros: Allows for hands-free blood tracking, good weather resistance, comfortable, compact
- Cons: Not overly powerful, some reviewers question its durability
Powerful Multi-Use Hunting Flashlight
Vastfire Blood Tracking Light
Of all the lights on this list, the Vastfire Blood Tracking Light might be the most feature-rich of the bunch. Let’s take a look at why.
- This blood light features more lumens than any other on the list
- It comes with rechargeable batteries
- It has USB charging capabilities
- It has UV, red, and green LED multi-color lights
- Its IPX6 water resistance is better than any other light on this list
This light differs from any on this best-of list because it utilized a UV light instead of a blueish or violet blood trail light. According to the company, this 365nm UV light helps make blood fluoresce, or glow at night.
In practice, though, many reviewers found that it simply didn’t work as they’d hoped. Typically, to see blood with UV light, you must spray a chemical called luminol on it to make it shine in the dark.
Ultimately, we think that the Bloodhunter and TRKR series will better find a blood trail. That said, this is an excellent hunting flashlight with various features that make it a helpful companion in the field. It’s just not your best bet as a deer or elk blood tracking light, however.
- Pros: Rechargeable via USB, green and red lights for deer hunting, great weather resistance, powerful, no-click button makes for quiet operation, gun mountable
- Cons: UV light might not work well without luminol, some don’t believe it’s 1,000 lumens
If you’re skeptical about any of the lights we’ve recommended, you do have other options to track blood in the night. Let’s take a look.
When you’re tracking blood, you need every advantage you can get. That’s why we think bringing some hydrogen peroxide with you on your hunts is a good idea.
If you’ve ever cut yourself, you know why. Hydrogen peroxide makes blood foam up, making it much easier to see. Bring some small bottles along on your next hunt to help foam up that deer or elk blood or to use as part of your first-aid kit.
Also commonly called blacklights, UV lights have a reputation for making bodily fluids fluoresce. But, as we’ve stated before, this is generally false without the help of additional chemicals.
UV lights work great for urine, but you’ll need something to bring along luminol if you want to make blood stand out in the field. Instead of UV lights, we look for lights designed to find blood instead.
Of course, one must have standards when reviewing blood tracking lights, and not any old product can make the cut. Here are some of the most important factors we considered when putting together this list.
Blood Tracking Modes
Blood tracking is why we’re all here, right? All the lights on this page claim the ability to track blood, and most reviewers can verify this with successful use in the field.
We tend to think that the lights specifically tuned to blood work best, so check out the Primos Bloodhunter series and Bushnell’s TRKR lights for your best chance at tracking that trail.
Lumens are simply a way of measuring a light’s brightness. We have lights that range from 250 lumens to 1,000 here, so finding one with the brightness for your specific needs should be a snap. We think the Primos Bloodhunter HD’s 600 lumens hits that sweet spot.
Most flashlights we feature here use AAs, but our top pick, the Primos Bloodhunter HD, uses less common CR123s.
Be mindful of the types of batteries you’ll need and stash a few extras in your hunting pack so your light shines bright no matter what.
Hunting equipment needs to be rugged enough to survive the outdoors. That said, we made sure every light here was sturdy enough to stand up to the rigors of deer, elk, and big game hunting.
The majority of lights here fulfill IPX4 standards, which means they can handle a good amount of precipitation, minor splashes, and spills.
The Vastfire UV light is rated at IPX6, meaning it’s rated to handle a touch more water than the others.
We wanted to include flashlights that work for whatever type of hunting you’re doing, so the blood lights we recommend ring in at different weights and come in a few different sizes.
You’ll find pocket-sized flashlights, larger ones that fit in a holster, and ones that are small enough to stash in a side pocket of your pack.
The point of this post is to recommend the best lights that will pick up a trail of blood. That said, we think that lights with multiple settings for different purposes can also be handy. The Bushnell TRKR series lights sport red, white, and blue filters and boast the type of multi-color capabilities we’re after.
You might be wondering which color light is best for blood tracking deer, elk, and other big game. You also may wonder if blood lights even work. We’re here to tell you they do.
Sometimes a regular old flashlight won’t get the job done. You’re going to need lights fitted with specialized filters to help make blood appear bright red against leaves, sticks, and other foliage.
That means you need to look for light that’s designed explicitly for blood detection. So, if you’re curious about what types of light work best for blood tracking, keep reading.
Blue light is the most commonly used color used to track blood. But, don’t just go rushing out to buy any old blue light. If you pay close attention, the light on blood trail lights is more of a violet hue.
The lights we recommend are designed to filter out colors like greens and browns to make blood stand out when exposed to specialized light wavelengths.
Red light isn’t going to help you very much for blood detection, but it is a good color to have when you’re moving around in the darkness because it can help you preserve your night vision.
Many hunters swear that deer can’t see their red lights.
Here’s another color that isn’t tailored to seeing blood. It can help, but generally, many hunters use green light to simply move around in the darkness without killing their night vision.
Many hunters believe that deer have a hard time seeing green light, much like red.
White light is handy for tracking blood, but it won’t make the blood stand out, and it can also spook deer and elk.
Like any flashlight, white light will brighten up your surroundings significantly and help you see better in the dark.
Loads of people watch CSI and think that simply shining a UV light on blood will make it glow like a fluorescent night light, but that’s simply not true
You need to spray a particular chemical called luminol on blood to make it fluoresce. Without this chemical, UV lights for blood tracking are more or less useless.
There you have it, our picks for the best blood tracking lights you’ll find on the 2023 market. Here we’ve shown you the specialized Primos Bloodhunter HD, as well as a handful of versatile flashlights and even a headlamp that will hold its own in the backcountry.
If you’re a bow or a rifle hunter, we think adding one of these blood lights to your pack is a great way to track deer, elk, and other big game that has taken a shot and escaped out of eyesight. Many of these products, including the smaller Bushnell tracker light and the Primos Pocket Light, can stash away unnoticed in your pocket for quick access when you need it most.
In short, we hope that our blood tracking flashlight reviews help you find another valuable tool to add to your deer or elk hunting gear list.
Hopefully, you’re such a good shot that you won’t need a blood tracking light, but the truth is, you can’t rely on that perfect double lung shot every time. That’s why it’s best to come prepared with one of 2023’s best blood tracking lights money can buy.
Now get out there and fill that tag, will ya?
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Last Updated on July 24, 2023