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. This item comes in a pack of four.
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 metal 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 kill with durable, state of the art technology. The compact system can track 6 different transmitters while using the same RF receiver with an easy to read LED screen. Best of all, our transmitters don’t require the purchase of batteries and can be recharged both at home and out in the field.
The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® Archery System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic carrier. Tests have shown the Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will give you many hours of use and the precision to recovery your trophy.
In the reports, we found that while many of the deer either die (Ditchkoff) or are recovered within 24 hours (Pedersen), that some can survive 5-7 days with wounds before they perish. When looking at these numbers and percentages for any individual state, the number of animals that are not recovered seems miniscule. However once you look at the entire population of bow hunters within the United States alone, the amount becomes much more significant (Ditchkoff). This more significant number of unrecovered animals has been causing animal rights and anti-hunting activists to state that bow hunting is both cruel and inhumane. It is because of this that the Pro-Tracker was invented. Our goal is to eliminate the possibility of losing even one animal while maintaining the integrity of the hunt. Pro-Tracker has been in use since 2010 and thus far we have a 100% accuracy rate in animal recovery. The Pro-Tracker system, while not ideal for every hunter, is thus far supporting the goal of striving to ensure bow hunting is appreciated for the skill it requires and given the support it deserves, rather than seen in a negative light. With technology and advancement in the archery industry, we can help in recovering the animals wounded and work to improve the loss rate. We all have a responsibility to the natural resources we are given; no one is perfect every time. Accidents do happen, and we need to be prepared for those occasions.
1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronald_Masters/publication/237609363_Wounding_Rates_of_Whitetailed_Deer_
2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34