As the brisk wind added to the cold misery of the dying day, I made the decision to fill my tag if I was given the opportunity thereby bringing to an end the MN bow season for this year. There was only a few days of the season left, we already had two feet of snow and the real fun had faded a week ago. The next deer that came along was toast regardless of size or sex; I just hoped that it was tonight, because I was cold and tired.
As the daylight dimmed, I caught the dark form of a whitetail moving along the crest of the ridge my stand overlooked. The terrain on the far side of the ridge dropped steeply down to the shore of a small lake. I had very little time as I brought my crossbow to my shoulder, flipped the safety off and found the animal in the scope. I had one narrow shooting lane and when the whitetail stepped into the lane, I pulled the trigger.
The waning light of the day was set on fire by the flight of my arrow, which was nocked with a bright red Lumenok. It was like I had shot a flare gun at the animal. The arrow disappeared from sight and the animal sped off melting into the dense gray of the dusk shrouded, falling snow landscape. Quickly climbing out of the stand, I moved down the shooting lane hoping all the way that my perception of the arrow passing through the center of my target was not an illusion. When I reached the crest of the ridge, I was treated to a massive blood trail on both sides of the freshly made trail that had been plowed through the freshly fallen snow.
The arrow, which I had already kissed good bye in my mind, had passed through the animal and flew over the ridge, down towards the lake. I checked in that direction and was startled to see a warm red glow on the surface of the snow just ten yards away. I walked to the glow, reached into the powdery white-stuff and pulled out my arrow still brightly shining. Without the Lumenok, I would not have been able to find that arrow until spring (if I remembered to come back and search for it) That was the fourth whitetail I had taken that fall and all had been taken with a Lumenok. The buck I had taken at Palmquist’s Farm is the only one that I hadn’t benefited greatly from the Lumenok as that one had been shot at high noon (an excellent time of the day to kill a rutting whitetail). In the final analysis, I had ended the season being an avid fan of the lighted nock concept. My enthusiasm for the product has gotten me involved in numerous conversations about lighted nocks and the biggest complaint I hear about them is that they are so darned expensive. Well, let’s analyze that statement. Using Lumenok as an example (since that is the extent of my lighted nock experience) let’s see exactly how expensive of a deal it is. Individual Lumenoks sell for $11 each and are available in a choice of flat or moon nocks. Wow that is a lot! Or you can buy three arrows already equipped with Lumenoks for $55/3-pak. That’s a shade over $18 for each arrow. Wow, again that’s a lot!
For additional data I went to the Information Highway to learn that I can buy crossbow arrows for any price from $5 to $15 each. Now of course that is without the Lumenok. Then I shopped broadheads and again discovered that one can spend from $5 to as high as $20+/broadhead if you go for whatever the rage is. Doing an average on the math would give us an average of $10 for an arrow and $12.50 for a broadhead for a grand total of $22.50/projectile. Now let’s say that you just added the Lumenok end to your arrow and that $11 investment helps you find just one of your $22.50 arrows. Well, according to my math (which is the old math as I haven’t a clue what new math even means, let alone how it works) if the Lumenok helps you find even one arrow that would have been lost it just paid for itself twice. Not a bad investment.
This past fall is the first fall in my hunting career that I didn’t lose an arrow. I did have one arrow broken when the broadhead was stopped by the scapula on the far side of my target and the deer fell on it when it died. Otherwise, I recovered and am able to reuse all four broadheads, all four Lumenoks and three of the arrows. The Lumenoks were definitely a fine investment the first year of use; and, I will be using the same Lumenoks this next season. Lumenoks were the original lighted nock and their concept must really be a sound and intelligent idea based on all of the other companies that are following suit with their own versions of the concept. The most sincere compliment any company can receive is to be copied and Lumenok is being copied, big time.
After just one season of using lighted nocks in my crossbow hunting, I am soundly sold on the concept. Not only for the savings in dollars by recovering arrows that may have been lost, but also because of the enhanced ability to follow arrow flight and being able to accurately determine where the arrow hits the intended target. I strongly recommend that you try a three pack (arrows or just the nocks) of Lumenoks this next season as see if, in the long run, the Lumenoks don’t save you money. Remember if you find just one arrow that would have been lost, you have paid for two Lumenoks. How many arrows did you lose last year? If the answer is more than zero, perhaps you should try hunting with a flare.