Lights for hunting?

crewcabrob

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Hi guys,

I need some help here with general hunting illumination questions.

First, I am an elk hunter and I get to draw out maybe once in every 4 years that I put in for the hunt. I can only hunt out of state as there are very few elk in Nebraska. I have never been a trophy hunter and mainly go out to have fun with family and friends, camp and harvest meat. This year, my brother-in-law asked me to drive down to Arizona and hunt with him. We have put in for a bull tag, which I suspect could mean my first and only trophy hunt. I know that may not sit well with some of you, and I apologize in advance for any ill will that this thread may create.

I am planning on taking a few lights with me: my new Boxer 24w, a SL Stinger HP with the 3w LED conversion and a Super battery 3600mah battery, and I am sure at least a few other lights. The combo of the two lights should handle most of my needs, but I am looking to get help with two more lights that are special purpose.

The first question I have is about visible light for game. I think I have read before that green LED light is not visible to big game and many hunters use it for hiking into areas before dawn. I will be able to use ATVs to extract the game, but getting into the main habitat needs to be more stealthy. Do you think a green Photon would be enough for this activity? It is light weight, and cheap from the bright guy and should provide enough light to walk by. Is this the correct wave length or am I being to concerned about this?

My second issue concerns game tracking. In my 30 years of hunting, (I'm 40) I have only lost a few pheasants and no large game. Given that I have only shot cows (female elk) and not bulls, I am concerned that I may need to track the harvested animal. I use every modern advantage I can to make sure that what ever I do shoot, doesn't suffer any longer than it has too. I have the proper caliber, (300wsm) and some of the best possible optics (Swarovski scope) to make sure I hit what I intend to hit. On the outside chance that this very large animal runs, I want to be able to track it during the day and or night. I have measures for tracking during the day, but I am looking for any help at night. I know that under certain light, blood fluoresces and will stand out from the surroundings. I have found a few lights available commercially, but I only want a task built light and not a dual or more purpose light. It doesn't need to be large, but it needs to have a decent run time of at least two hours and regulation would be awesome. Also, I do not know what the correct wave length I need to shop for is. Is there one that is better than the other for large game?

Any help is much appreciated,

Thanks,

Rob
 

lrp

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Good luck on your hunting trip Rob! I'm an avid hunter who loves the outdoors.
 

yellow

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crewcabrob said:
I think I have read before that green LED light is not visible to big game and many hunters use it for hiking into areas before dawn.

I know that under certain light, blood fluoresces and will stand out from the surroundings.
1st of all, I am no hunter, nor an animal doctor, just an armchair warrior ;)

Red light is said to show blood as black and thus shall increase (?) the chances to follow the deer, dunno if there is a light where blood glows actively.

"green light" or those green clothings of hunters:
I do not believe that the color has anything to do. Consider this: to have less hunters shoot themselves, they have to wear whatever bright color and this does not seem to interfere with being spot by the animals.
Also most of the outdoors is green and brown. I would suggest, that because of this, creatures living there are much more sensible to these colors and will register any slightly other green/brown very quick.

To me its more on being quiet and that Your prey is just plain dumb. As long as they don't consider anyone as being a tread. With being quiet, moving slow and a distance too far for a direct attack (from the animal`s point of view, gun range is way too much), one might wanter around naked, or with UV-active club clothing and toting an UV-light. Won't make any change to hunter-green.
 

s23246g

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I just bought a Winchester hunting light that has BLUE and RED LEDs shining at the same time to help illuminate blood. I got it at Wal mart for less than $20. It looks like the same principle as the light linked to above, but no incan, and MUCH cheaper. I'm dying to try it out, but will have to wait for deer season, which is another 8 months. I guess I could shoot one of the neighbors dogs.. hmmm. mwahahahaha
It DOES bring out reds on stuff lying around the house at night. And oranges seem to really glow in it. I think it will work pretty well.
 

Pydpiper

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The best illumination tool for tracking is a Coleman lantern.. Unfortunately technology does not seem capable of meeting our needs. The hunting world is unanimous on the Coleman..
Good luck on your hunt! Bring a kid and hunt safely!
I count on the lights I use for daily tasks, only because I have become so accustomed to the light they provide for me.. You train your brain with the lights you use most often, once you are used to a specific lights color you will be able to function doing anything with it, including tracking.
 

thermal guy

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get yourself a sf kroma lots of light and the red leds are not visible to deer and the blue shows up the blood
 

BIGIRON

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I've hunted elk in mountainous areas quite a bit. I remember several hunters (local as well as out of area) who died or were seriously injured from walking over cliff edges in the dark. So no matter what other light you have, make sure you've got one that'll get you back to camp.

Good luck. I envy your hunt. In my opinion there's no better meat in the world than young cow elk.
 

fishx65

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I agree with Bigiron. I'm in a huntclub and have spent many long nights trailing game. My hunting combination consists of a couple 4AA Lux Propolys and 2 EOS headlamps. Some don't like Leds for blood trailing but I find the bright white light of a good Luxeon to be perfect for the task. My two propolys seem to make blood really stand out and they run at full brightness for a loooong time. I'm sure the new Cree leds would also be perfect for this task but I have yet to take the plunge. The blue filters do make blood look black but on the forest floor there is a lot of black stuff so it didn't work for me. As far as alerting game with white light, I don't think it matters. Many times I have shined a light at deer standing 20ft from me and they just stand there like nothing is wrong. I've even used a flash at close range to take their picture without spooking them. Of course if they get a whiff of me it's all over!!!!!!

FishX65
 

whippoorwill

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Green lights serve two purposes as I understand a) the human eye is very sensitive to green light and it can be seen for longer distances by humans, ie safety 2)The eyes of deer (don't know about elk) seem to pick up green light less than other colors. Studies have shown that deer see olive drab less than other colors. What deer and I assume elk see is MOVEMENT. The sense of smell is their chief weapon.

I have spooked deer with white lights and red lights as I walked into my stand early in the morning but never with green.

Blue will make the red blood stand out, to my eye it almost glows. I have a 3C SL Pro Poly blue 10 led that I bought on ebay. It works, very floody.

Pydpiper is right about the Coleman lantern. It is just unwieldy as hell.

Hope this helps.
 
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I'M DK

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Rob,
Lots of questions. I'll cover what I Know.

Use red light to be sneaky.
Most game animals do not see red well, if at all.
Red light will not reduce your night vision.

Green light works well with Night Vision equipment.
The troops are using it with NV and some mistakenly think green light is good because it's being used in combat.
It's no good for what you have described.

Blue light and Red/Blue does make a blood trail easier to find and follow.
Along with the Gerber consider the Browning Black Ice.
http://www.cabelas.com Enter item #XG-517072 in their search box for more info.

Have fun and I wish you the best of luck.

DK
 

Campdavid

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Many good suggestions in this thread. Bottom line what you need is the following:
White for general purpose (sounds like you have that one covered)
Red light preserves night vision and the animals you mentioned do not see the red spectrum very well
Blue light will indeed cause blood to show up nicely against most (all) backgrounds)
Green can be helpful for map reading as it increases contrast of colors on a map.

That said...you may want to take a look at the following...it has all four:

http://www.brightguy.com/products/Gerber_Recon.php

Good luck and stay safe!
 

deuscoup

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I know that under certain light, blood fluoresces and will stand out from the surroundings.

only if you bring your squirt bottle of CSI stuff.

A red led will make wet blood appear bright red. A blue led will make wet blood appear glossy black. A flashing red led with a blue constant on will make the blood appear to blink.

I'm working on finding a cheaper alternative to: http://www.xenopuselectronix.com/xeled/BloodTracker.html
 

Pydpiper

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There are people on here that have the know how to make a good hunting light, unfortunately with no interest in hunting. It isn't as simple as using different shades of colors, there is too much contrast in the bush.. Once people sold every shade of red, blue and green for "tracking" and the people who use them spoke up and said that they don't work they have now moved on to flashing colors? They may be on to something with that, but I have to admit, I am a bit skeptical.
Someone once told me that if you are good at tracking you must not be a very good shot! :grin2: I found that pretty funny! I am a bow hunter so I didn't take it personal.. Still, it is best to be prepared for anything and somewhere out there is a guy or gal who could make a light to separate red from green/brown..
One of the most respected bow hunters I have seen uses a G2 for tracking.
 

cy

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avid deer hunter here... tracked many a deer.

used a surefire L1 until I stupidly sold it. been using my standard EDC, ti PD and Li14430/CR2
 

fishx65

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Nothing wrong with a good Surefire incan but sometimes a tracking job can turn into an all nighter so you gotta bring along a couple spare lamps and a bunch of batteries. Many have gotten lost tracking game, so long running leds are nice to have as backup. I always liked the 6P and G2 for tracking but after blowing so many bulbs and going through so many batteries I switched to Luxeons. When the Crees show up in a plastic bodied light, like the Propoly, I'll be first in line!
 

Boris

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deuscoup said:
A red led will make wet blood appear bright red. A blue led will make wet blood appear glossy black. A flashing red led with a blue constant on will make the blood appear to blink.

Wrong. Blue light makes the blood appear Bright red and Red Leds make the blood looks like black
 

jar3ds

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Easy... You need 2 Lights

Petzl TACTIKKA® XP : This light has red, blue, and green lens... which are perfect for your hunting purposes! Water resistant, and rugged.... This will be your close range light (blind lighting, walking, setting up hunting accessories... etc...

Second you'll need a longer range style torch for lighting up distance targets since your headlamp takes care of your close range illumination needs.

I recommend the Streamlight ProPolymer Luxeon 4AA Its cheap, will get the job done.. water resistant/proof... etc
 
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