The wound per say is not the actual AC, but the minimal residue from the animal that caused it. Its saliva, material that had built up on its claws, etc. Collecting that material without contamination from the wounded party to fix would require magic.
The larger issue you will run into is can you even fix the AC if you collect it? Fixing an AC is a season long lab activity by RAW, while the material you collect has a life time of only a few hours. It is up to the SG weather starting the process of fixing an AC will prevent it from expiring or not. However you would really have to rush to begin fixing it before it expired.
Edit: I had a temporary mindblank and forgot that by RAW an AC does not expire once the labwork to fix it has begun. Apologies.
From the Corebook: "A magus who has an active Arcane Connection (see page 84) may make it permanent by spending a season of laboratory work and one pawn of Vim vis. The connection must be active at the beginning of the season, but need not be such as to naturally last for the whole season."
I dont quite agree with your assessment here. I think it is more accurate to say: If the magus makes it back to lab and starts the process of fixing the arcane connection before it expires.
The season of study is a game mechanical abstraction and not an intrinsic feature of the game world. So there is no reason why you cant start a season of study at any given moment. Naturally if you have an already ongoing project then you will have to interrupt that.
There are some practical reasons, such as the Aegis all but having to be cast at either an equinox or a solstice. However if you intend to stay in the covenant for an extended period of time there is little reason to schedule ones study seasons according to that. A covenant also benefits from its magi having aligned study seasons because that way they can easier swap books and such at set times.
Lab seasons are the only thing that is truly seasonal. I believe that was the explicit explanation in a prior edition. I don't think the reason is stated explicitly in 5th, though it might be. But, certainly, your point that it must match the season is true.
Everything else is abstracted to seasons. So, for example, you might read a book for a couple hours per day for the year, practice with your sword for a couple hours a day for the year, and do your covenant job in the kitchen for a whole bunch of hours each day for they year. That amounts to 1 season of reading, 1 season of practice, and 2 seasons of exposure. But you cannot do that with laboratory work.
I never interpreted that to mean that it has to be a calendar season in that sense.
Instead I read that statement as meaning that unlike mundanes who work about half-time all the time, hermetic labwork does represent a continuous piece of work taking 1/4 of a year's worth of full time work.
In fact I would argue that my interpretation is a reasonable reading of that paragraph.
What is an "actual season" if it's not actually a season? Yes, I totally agree that an "entire season" of work could mean just what you say. So why, in a book where word count mattered, write "entire, actual season" if you only mean "entire season" and you don't mean an actual season at all?
I started with 4th Ed Ars Magica, and from time to time I fall back on it without realising.
My presumption that Lab activities must align with astrological Seasons for magical reasons could be such a fallback.
However, since so much spellcasting defaults to astrological related timeframes, is it so strange that Lab activities must align to the end points of Year duration spells?
No it is not at all strange, I even admit that your viewpoint has some merit as being grounded in the passage quoted by callen above.
However there is difference between "it would not be strange if this were the case" and "this is definitely the case".
I personally favor the other interpretation based on my own contrary reading of the text, but IMO there is ample textual space for both of us to fit our own interpretation into the wording in the core book.
Though admittedly in my own saga I would probably house rule any statement that forces magi to align their study seasons with year-duration end points. Because I like the flexibility of being able to scrap a seasons work in favor of starting a new one right away and because the year-duration end points dont align with the beginnings of the real seasons which adds an extra layer of confusion because of a difference between study-seasons and calendar-seasons.
In no way should my preference prevent you from having yours.
Huh? The actual seasons start/end with solstices and equinoxes, and year-duration spells end at sunrise on an equinox or solstice. The seasons don't align with our months starting and ending, though; so if you record by months there will be a deviation.
While I can't find anything specific in 5th Ed that states that Lab activities must align with Seasons, the fact that Lab Activities are in multiples of exactly 1 season, with rules for distraction from Lab Activities, does imply to me that Lab Activities are supposed to align with something.
But otherwise nothing I see in RAW.
BTW in most countries that recognise 4 Seasons, for much of history, the changing of the Seasons occurs on the Solstices and Equinoxes.
There are exceptions, like Australia where I am told that the Bureau of Meteorology's computer system of half a century ago, would abbreviate dates to months apparently resulted in Seasons being declared as happening on a month boundary, and the rest of the country followed the BoM's example.