Found next to the trail. Thought it was blood, but not very reddish. Could it be urine? I was able to follow the orange marks into the woods a bit, so I presume it was from an animal.
Well, it seems most likely that it's from a deer that has been eating a lot of acorns, which makes sense given that the snow cover isn't very thick right now.
Google tells me that horse urine can change color after it sits awhile in cold conditions. Do horses use the trail?
Yes, some animal urine (including horses and deer) can look red like this in the snow.
cherry cocacola, no caffeine
Two or three years ago while setting courses in a park bordering on a residential neighborhood, I found a trail of fresh blood drips and sled tracks leading through the woods, not far behind the houses. Initial concern that a neighborhood kid might have seriously injured him/herself was quickly dispelled, after some brief tracking. It soon became apparent that one of the homeowners had shot (bow and arrow) a deer at a bait station in his backyard. Mortally wounded, the deer had fled 100 yards or so through dense brush into the park before succumbing. The successful hunter had pulled in a sled to haul out his kill, leaving behind the trail of blood drippings.
No horses on this particular trail, so I'm inclined to believe it was from a deer.