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Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.  

One could debate, perhaps, if Strecke first meant the entirety of killed animals, or the place to display them. I have no opinion here. In any way, today both meanings are in use metonymically.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots in sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence for this whatsoever, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case. Rather than the relatively modern phenomenon of sports, a military context could be theoretically supposed, as Volker Landgraf did in his separate answer, with military men being left "on the track" during quick advance or retreat of larger military bodies. However, if that was the origin of the phrase, I would suuppose there were other words too like auf dem Marsch bleiben, which however does not exist. Contrary to that the existence of a phrase zur Strecke bringen which clearly is related to hunting, is a strong hint that also auf der Strecke bleiben is probably a hunting term.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.  

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots in sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence for this whatsoever, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

One could debate, perhaps, if Strecke first meant the entirety of killed animals, or the place to display them. I have no opinion here. In any way, today both meanings are in use metonymically.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots in sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence for this whatsoever, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case. Rather than the relatively modern phenomenon of sports, a military context could be theoretically supposed, as Volker Landgraf did in his separate answer, with military men being left "on the track" during quick advance or retreat of larger military bodies. However, if that was the origin of the phrase, I would suuppose there were other words too like auf dem Marsch bleiben, which however does not exist. Contrary to that the existence of a phrase zur Strecke bringen which clearly is related to hunting, is a strong hint that also auf der Strecke bleiben is probably a hunting term.

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Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots isin sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence for this whatsoever, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots is sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots in sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence for this whatsoever, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

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Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots is sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Other than other people who answered here, I suppose that Auf der Strecke bleiben is not at all related to Strecke as track or route. Rather I suppose the phrase refers to an expression common with hunters. For them, by tradition since mediaeval times, Strecke is the quantity of animals caught and killed during the hunt, and displayed at the end of the event in a neatly arranged row somewhere on a meadow. Imagine hunters playing some music on horns in addition.

Note that killing someobody is also

jemanden zur Strecke bringen

which definitely is not related to getting somebody to the route. It is getting somebody to be on display for successfully being hunted down and killed.

Admittedly Duden Herkunftswörterbuch (one of the more recent editions) claims that Auf der Strecke bleiben "probably" roots is sports, whereas zur Strecke bringen was related to hunting. But Duden does not give any evidence, and I would dare doubting their judgement in this case.

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