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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
Blood Trail Question

I was backpacking around East Chinook Pass a couple miles from Highway 410 up a trail on Union Creek around 4400ft when I saw a blood trail for about 40 yards. I was walking up hill and I noticed what I thought were small deer tracks. I thought to myself this deer jumped because the toe was deep and not showing in the rear of the print. I lost the track not paying much attention as there were a lot of tracks everywhere you walked in the 25 mile backpack. Then I notice fresh blood spatters on the ground on the lower Vanilla Leaf. It was not dry when I poked it with a stick and it was red. I followed it for 40 yards and some drops were waist high on Huckleberry all on the left of the trail. At one stump you could sit on if you pushed up on your tip toes were many puddles. The blood went off uphill towards the top of a forested ridge. Or down I’m not positive. I saw no sign of a struggle. Do you think a busted antler? I may have seen 9 ounces of blood. There was a lot. I even got some on my leg. I also thought maybe cougar putting a small deer up on the waist high stump for a better grip. How long does it take blood to dry at 70 degrees, 45 minutes in the shade? I’m not good at tracking yet. What do you make of this? :-?

Curious,
Frontiersman

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Location: Olympia, WA
Joined: 04/09/2005
Posts: 140
blood trail

Frontiersman, In my humble opinion, a cougar doesn't need a stump to get "a better grip", considering their strength. An average cougar can haul off a deer in it's mouth and hop it over a six foot fence or higher, all without the use of a handy stump. Could be anything from a deer as you mentioned, a bear with a fresh wound (they are hungry, and on the move looking for food now...) maybe a bird tangle with a bobcat, and finally sitting up high before exit flight? Who knows... In my experience, most all blood sign coagulates and dries quickly, although this is slowed by humidity. Fog and /or rain slow the process it seems to me...

Sure get's your mind thinking, doesn't it?

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
Blood Trail Question

You bet it gets me thinking. I wondered if a cougar could just readjust a deer in the mouth in mid air with a head jerk. Whatever it was it was fresh!
Thank you,
Frontiersman

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Blood Trail Question

if there was fresh deer tracks and the blood was on top of them or in the same direction my insticnt would tell you it was the deer bleeding out but to tell you why is beyond me coulda been nature coulda been a hunter coulda been almost anything. Thats the thing you never do know unless you watch it happen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I am a true believer in the one shot one kill method.

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