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Lighted Nock Debate: Helpful Technology or a Threat to Bowhunting Tradition?

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February 14, 2013
Lighted Nock Debate: Helpful Technology or a Threat to Bowhunting Tradition? - 10

With Montana's Legislature back in full swing, policy makers have taken up the explosive issue of … lighted arrow nocks. Only in Montana right?

House Bill 26, sponsored by Rep. Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman, would prohibit the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission from barring lighted nocks, as it does now, according to the Independent Record.

Over the last few days a barrage of editorials from Big Sky state newspapers have debated whether or not Montana bowhunters should be allowed to use the technology. And, one of the most outspoken opponents of the bill is the Montana Bow Hunters Association.

“The concern is that this is the beginning of (allowing) electronics,” said Jerry Davis of the Association. “The majority of our membership is opposed to any electronics being added to bows or arrows.”

The theory behind the bill is that lighted nocks allow a hunter to better identify where he hits an animal immediately after the shot. Armed with that knowledge, bowhunters can track an animal more effectively and hopefully improve recovery rates.

But Joelle Selk of Montana Bowhunters Association counters that bowhunting recovery rates are already high and lighted nocks won't help them get any higher. Selk wrote this in an Independent Record Editorial

"Proponents of lighted nocks state that bow hunting has inordinately high wounding rates. They cite a wounding figure of about 50 percent, typically derived from anecdotal sources. In contrast, valid studies show a wounding rate of 13 to 18 percent, similar to that of rifle wounding (Camp Ripley study by Krueger, et. al. and Indian Head study by Pedersen, et. al.). One of the related findings of Pedersen’s study was that there was no difference in deer recovery metrics between compound bow and crossbow users (Pedersen, p. 31). Based upon these findings, there is clearly no advantage in allowing increased technology in order to reduce wounding rates. In fact, no studies exist which show that lighted nocks improve recovery."

Of course, the Montana Bowhunters Association doesn't speak for every hunter in the state. An editorial from The Missoulian offered this insight…

"Lighted arrows don’t cause any apparent harm, and if they do help reduce the rate of unrecovered game – well, that’s a good thing. In fact, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association Executive Director Jean Johnson recognized the greater importance of finding wounded or killed animals when she spoke in support of HB26.

There’s a simple answer for those who don’t want to use lighted nocks: don’t use them."

Obviously, the best way to improve recovery rates is through individual hunters taking accurate, responsible shots. But, what do you think about this issue? Should lighted nocks be allowed or banned? Do you think they could help improve recovery rates? Comment below!

 

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Hi...

Perhaps a bit pricey, never-the-less an invaluable tool to help trace your shot...and to help you retrieve your arrow.

Now, what's wrong with that...??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bioguy001 wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Take the light out of the knock and you have a knock. Put the light back in the knock, and you can see your shot placement on an animal and make a better decision as to how long you should wait to start blood trailing. Heck, you may even stay in the tree longer if you saw that the shot was a little far back, just so you don't disturb the area more than necessary. Where is there an unfair or unethical advantage to using lighted knocks? I just don't see any. If anything, they are more ethical to use than any other knock out there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pittrehab wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

It helps me find my crossbow bolt and see my shot better. Whats the harm?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Finding your arrow after the shot gives you a pretty good starting point for tracking. shots can look perfect, but that green slime on the arrow might tell otherwise. Lighted nocks will help in arrow retrieval which in turn will give hunters an idea if they can track now or wait a few hours instead of bumping game off their beds. The issue is an emotional response from an old school MBA about the evolution of hunting equipment, not ethics.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Finding your arrow after the shot gives you a pretty good starting point for tracking. shots can look perfect, but that green slime on the arrow might tell otherwise. Lighted nocks will help in arrow retrieval which in turn will give hunters an idea if they can track now or wait a few hours instead of bumping game off their beds. The issue is an emotional response from an old school MBA about the evolution of hunting equipment, not ethics.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I see no valid reason to oppose them. They do not aid with the actual shot in any way, only lighting up after the arrow is released. They're no way in the same league as electronic sights, etc. I use them in my recurve occasionally, and it gives no advantage (other than seeing the arrow). The shot is still more difficult than with a compound or crossbow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ethan Carr wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The technology is getting out of hand range finders, high power scopes, lighted this and that, game trail cameras. Whats next? Drones that locate and kill the animal. Stalking and hunting is going by the way side. To many gimmicks, the animals technology hasn't advanced one iota.
I suggest people practice, practice, practice with a basic weapon and shoot at fair distances that will ensure a kill.
Otherwise hunt a game ranch or get a video game. It's getting pathetic.........

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ethan Carr wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The technology is getting out of hand range finders, high power scopes, lighted this and that, game trail cameras. Whats next? Drones that locate and kill the animal. Stalking and hunting is going by the way side. To many gimmicks, the animals technology hasn't advanced one iota.
I suggest people practice, practice, practice with a basic weapon and shoot at fair distances that will ensure a kill.
Otherwise hunt a game ranch or get a video game. It's getting pathetic.........

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can't imagine why anyone would oppose something that could make it easier to recover a wounded animal. I don't buy their argument that they don't increase recovery numbers, maybe they don't increase them a lot, but it's just common sense that they would make the difference between finding and not finding a deer at least once in a while, such as one shot in low-light, for example.
I don't personally use lighted nocks, because the two kinds I've tried have been extremely unreliable, to say the least, but I don't have any problem with people who do use them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNwhitetailHunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As a bowhunter i could care less if people have lumenoks. it helps hunters out more than hurts them. i too wouldnt like it if hunting became too gagety but if that means more people to support the sport than people shouldn't complain. i would rather decide to be old school than not have the chance to hunt at all!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Finding your arrow after the shot gives you a pretty good starting point for tracking. shots can look perfect, but that green slime on the arrow might tell otherwise. Lighted nocks will help in arrow retrieval which in turn will give hunters an idea if they can track now or wait a few hours instead of bumping game off their beds. The issue is an emotional response from an old school MBA about the evolution of hunting equipment, not ethics.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can't imagine why anyone would oppose something that could make it easier to recover a wounded animal. I don't buy their argument that they don't increase recovery numbers, maybe they don't increase them a lot, but it's just common sense that they would make the difference between finding and not finding a deer at least once in a while, such as one shot in low-light, for example.
I don't personally use lighted nocks, because the two kinds I've tried have been extremely unreliable, to say the least, but I don't have any problem with people who do use them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I see no valid reason to oppose them. They do not aid with the actual shot in any way, only lighting up after the arrow is released. They're no way in the same league as electronic sights, etc. I use them in my recurve occasionally, and it gives no advantage (other than seeing the arrow). The shot is still more difficult than with a compound or crossbow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bioguy001 wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Take the light out of the knock and you have a knock. Put the light back in the knock, and you can see your shot placement on an animal and make a better decision as to how long you should wait to start blood trailing. Heck, you may even stay in the tree longer if you saw that the shot was a little far back, just so you don't disturb the area more than necessary. Where is there an unfair or unethical advantage to using lighted knocks? I just don't see any. If anything, they are more ethical to use than any other knock out there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Hi...

Perhaps a bit pricey, never-the-less an invaluable tool to help trace your shot...and to help you retrieve your arrow.

Now, what's wrong with that...??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNwhitetailHunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As a bowhunter i could care less if people have lumenoks. it helps hunters out more than hurts them. i too wouldnt like it if hunting became too gagety but if that means more people to support the sport than people shouldn't complain. i would rather decide to be old school than not have the chance to hunt at all!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Finding your arrow after the shot gives you a pretty good starting point for tracking. shots can look perfect, but that green slime on the arrow might tell otherwise. Lighted nocks will help in arrow retrieval which in turn will give hunters an idea if they can track now or wait a few hours instead of bumping game off their beds. The issue is an emotional response from an old school MBA about the evolution of hunting equipment, not ethics.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pittrehab wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

It helps me find my crossbow bolt and see my shot better. Whats the harm?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ethan Carr wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The technology is getting out of hand range finders, high power scopes, lighted this and that, game trail cameras. Whats next? Drones that locate and kill the animal. Stalking and hunting is going by the way side. To many gimmicks, the animals technology hasn't advanced one iota.
I suggest people practice, practice, practice with a basic weapon and shoot at fair distances that will ensure a kill.
Otherwise hunt a game ranch or get a video game. It's getting pathetic.........

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ethan Carr wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The technology is getting out of hand range finders, high power scopes, lighted this and that, game trail cameras. Whats next? Drones that locate and kill the animal. Stalking and hunting is going by the way side. To many gimmicks, the animals technology hasn't advanced one iota.
I suggest people practice, practice, practice with a basic weapon and shoot at fair distances that will ensure a kill.
Otherwise hunt a game ranch or get a video game. It's getting pathetic.........

-4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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