A lighted nock is precisely what it sounds like. They are nocks you attach to your arrow that, once released, cause the nock to light up allowing you to visibly follow the path of your arrow and monitor where your shot hit the animal; they also make finding pass-through or missed arrows much easier. Lighted nocks are most useful in more low-light hunting conditions; such as early morning or late evenings where tracking your arrow’s flight can be a bit more difficult. For a long time, lighted nocks were an area of archery that was rife with debate and tension. Many hunters wanted them, while many states regulations said no (however, for 2016 Oregon is no longer in the “no” category and all we can say is woo-hoo). In recent years more and more states have begun to allow the use of lighted nocks, causing the amount of debates to decrease, yet some states still have them listed in the illegal equipment sections of their hunting regulations.
Now, many of you hunters already know this, which begs the question of why we are writing this article. Is it to show our support for lighted nocks? Is it to draw attention to the fact that some states still have then banned? Is it because lighted nocks can come in some pretty awesome colors and watching them fly makes you feel like an bow hunting Jedi? The answer to that is no…except for maybe the last one because on occasion when practicing we do make a few light saber noises. What prompted this article is the knowledge that one of our staff is new to hunting and while cruising through Google one afternoon, came across a few comparison articles for various brands of lighted nocks, and proceeded to point at the screen and demand, “Explain the thing.” We decided not only to explain for her benefit, but also for the benefit of any other individuals who are either new to hunting or curious about lighted nocks in general.
As we mentioned before lighted nocks are just arrow nocks that light up upon the arrows release. We found them to be beneficial, particularly for newer hunters, as it makes it very obvious if you not only hit your mark but also where the shot connected which lets you know not only A. If the shot you made was a solid shot, and B. If you hit the targeted area, or if you connected in a less than desirable location. The knowledge of the area of penetration can help you determine the best methods with which to track the animal. The concept of a lighted nock is very cut and dry, the confusion seems to erupt when one is faced with not only the large variety or brands, but also they variety in connection types and their effectiveness.
The connection type that seems to be preferred by most hunters we have spoken are the ones where a completed circuit causes the nock to illuminate. This is seen in Lumenock and Carbon Express brand nocks where the force of the arrows release from the bow causes the nock to push into the arrow’s shaft resulting a completed circuit and wonderful glowing nock. Both Firenock and G-5 G-force nocks rely on force to activate the light, though Firenock’s relies on the arrows forward momentum and the G5 relies on centrifugal force. Finally, you have nocks that are activated via magnet, like Easton Tracer Arrows. With these the nock passes through a magnet, which triggers the nock’s light. From our experience, the type of connection seen with the Lumenock and Carbon Express arrows is the most reliable; however, we also respect that each hunter has his own preferences as well. She is currently still researching which type she would like to try, though she did mention she was leaning towards either the Lumenock or Firenock. When we asked her why, she replied that they had the longest battery life, were also the most recommended on various forums, and that the Firenock “comes in pretty colors.” Though she did request that we see what feedback she can get from all of you to ensure she makes an educated decision.
So, that bears the question: Which brand do you prefer and why?
The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.
The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. Our Aluminum Carriers are made from a 7075 aluminum alloy which is typically used in aerospace programs. It is the strongest aluminum alloy in the market and made to resist high velocity impacts.
The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on an easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker® System
The Pro-Tracker® Custom Carrying Case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.
This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.
The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your trophy with durable state-of-the-art technology.
The compact receiver can track up to 6 different transmitters at once. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read backlit LED screen. By watching the receiver you can even determine if the animal is moving or is stationary.
Once activated upon impact with the target the transmitters have a 12 hour battery life. They are also waterproof and rechargeable so they can be reused over and over again. They come with a charging station that can be plugged into wall outlets or vehicle USB ports for extended hunting trips.
The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic and lightweight design of the carriers and transmitters.
Tests have even shown the system does not impact the level of penetration the arrow has. The Pro-Tracker® System has the durability and precision to recover your trophy.
Not only does the Pro-Tracker® system not interfere with ethical shots, but numerous wounded loss studies have shown just how much it is needed in bowhunting. According to one study done by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, 50% of deer that were shot were never recovered.
There are many reasons why it could become nearly impossible to recover an animal. Sometimes game only bleed internally and don’t leave a blood trail, or flee into impossible terrain. Sometimes the weather takes a sudden turn.
Whatever the reason, the Pro-Tracker® System is designed to overcome these obstacles and recover the animal without detracting from the method in which you choose to hunt. Whether in a tree stand, ground blind, or stalking your favorite game, the Pro-Tracker® System is the one sure method for the ethical recovery of all wounded game.
Q. Is the Pro-Tracker® Legal in my State?
A. ‡ Indicates states where we believe based on our reading of the State regulations the use of the Pro-Tracker System are prohibited. In no way is this considered to be a legal opinion.
‡ Alaska: No
Arizona: Use at your own discretion (unlawful to use electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering devices, thermal imaging devices or laser sights; except for devices such as laser range finders, scopes with self illuminating reticles, and fiber optic sights with self-illuminating sights or pins that do not project a visible light onto an animal. I is unlawful to use tracking devices to aid in the taking of wild game).
‡ Arkansas: No (It is unlawful to use electronic tracking devices to locate wildlife or computer assisted hunting equipment)
California: Use at own discretion (has several municipalities, most of which have their own additions or addendums in regards to legal hunting equipment)
Colorado: Use at own discretion (Colorado does have specific restrictions in regards to battery operated equipment on bows and arrows. Tracking devices, specifically, are not mentioned in the regulatory manual).
Georgia: Use at own discretion (it is unlawful to kill or cripple game without reasonable efforts to retrieve. Unlawful to use electronic communications equipment to aid in the pursuit of game).
‡ Idaho: No (cannot take big game with aid of radio telemetry)
Illinois: No (electronic devices, including but not limited to those that use radio telemetry, are not permitted)
Iowa: Use at your own discretion (it is unlawful to use dogs, domestic animals, bait, radios, handguns, rifles and crossbows , automobiles, aircraft, electronic calls or any mechanical conveyance or device to hunt deer. You cannot use a two-way mobile radio transmitter to communicate the location or direction of game or furbearing animals, or to coordinate the movement of other hunters).
‡ Kentucky: No
‡ Minnesota: Yes
‡ Montana: No (electronic or battery-powered devices attached to a hunting bow. – A bow sight or arrow which uses artificial light, luminous chemicals such as tritium, or electronics).
Nevada: No (it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive, or electronic devices attached).
New Hampshire: Yes
New Jersey: Yes
New Mexico: Yes
‡ New York: Yes
‡ North Carolina: Yes
‡ North Dakota: Use at your own discretion (Telescopic sights, range finding devices, battery- powered or electronically lighted sights or other electronic devices attached to the bow, or the arrow, are not permitted (exception: lighted nocks and recording devices which do not aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow are permitted). Handheld range finding devices are legal).
‡ Oregon: No (electronic devices may not be attached to bow or arrow).
South Carolina: Yes
‡ South Dakota: Yes
‡ Washington: No (It is unlawful to have any electrical equipment or electric device(s), except for illuminated nocks, attached to the bow or arrow while hunting).
West Virginia: Yes
*Disclaimer: This research was obtained by the staff of Pro-Tracker and is not to be considered a legal representation as to law. When using the Pro-Tracker system the user must assume any responsibility as to the State regulations that they are in. This is only a guide.