The sport of archery has seen its great share of technological advances over the years, among which is the lighted nock. Their appeal is simple; adding light to the nock which is attached to the arrow. Once that nock is lit, the once seemingly daunting task of watching an arrow as it hits it’s intended target becomes much easier, particularly with today’s faster bows. Thus, the hunter can take a more educated approach to where the arrow not only struck the target, but also to how and when to begin tracking that target. And what we get in the end is, simply, more recovered game.
So why is it you’re still not using one? After all, better, and possibly quicker recovery of wounded game should seem like a perfectly good excuse to drive out immediately after reading this article in order to purchase them. So why is it that certain realms of the hunting industry still frown upon the issue of lighted nocks? Pope and Young for instance, is a well known club for the keeping and maintaining of records of big game animals. Their stance on the matter of lighted nocks is that hunters who would take any game using this technology are not allowed to then enter their game into their books. Which is understandable since it is their book, their rules, but why? If the recovery of wounded game is our biggest collective responsibility as hunters, then why would anything used in the possible quicker recovery of that animal be considered ‘unfair’? Lighted nocks cannot aid the hunter in their quest to find bigger record sized game, can they?
What of today’s modern bows, which can reach speeds upwards of 350 feet per second? Just think about that. In years to come it’s certain those speeds will only increase. With those speeds hunters will have less and less of a chance to actually witness the arrow and its exact point of impact on any game species! Sooner or later a lighted nock will almost have to become the norm, simply because they will give us all better vision when in the field. Certainly, they will only lead to better end results caused by a better understanding of the ‘what just happened?’ feeling we all know so very well when hunting big game. Seeing will be believing.
Despite the advantage they offer to bowhunters, lighted nocks are not without their downfalls. First, they are expensive. Some lighted nocks can cost upwards of $10 each. With the price of today’s arrows and broadheads adding a lighted nock may just push some archers over their budget. On top of their additional cost, lighted nocks also bring additional weight to the back of your arrow. With many bow hunters now searching for ways to increase their FOC (Front of Center), using a lighted nock makes that task more difficult. The additional weight on the back of your arrow will decrease your FOC and potentially decrease both penetration and down range accuracy. Although in most hunting scenarios these effects will be negligible, which has been proven by the many hunters who have successfully harvested animals using light nocks.
For the vast majority of bowhunters it only makes sense to use lighted nocks and they are certainly not going away. Instead of one company producing them we now have half a dozen. Hunters and archery enthusiasts alike have even begun making their own lighted nocks at home. It’s clear that the bowhunting masses have spoken and we all want to see that gleaming beacon of hope lit up on the forest floor reminding us all of why we hunt. We hunt with the purpose of taking animals back to our kitchens, and more of it will certainly grace our freezers once lighted nocks are in our arrow quivers. If they only help you recover one more animal, they are worth it.
Continue reading as we have included several top lighted nock companies along with brief descriptions on their product. We hope you too will see the light!
By far the most popular of the major lighted nocks is the Lumenok from Burt Coyote. The Lumenok activates from the sheer force of the arrow being launched forward. The driving force of the string pushes the nock forward and completes a small circuit which turns the light on. It is this simplicity of design, coupled with its ease of use that makes this the choice of most archery insiders as well as hunting professionals. They require no glue, no switches, no magnets, or moving parts. The Lumenok will stay lit for up to 40 hours and can be disengaged by backing the nock out of arrow shaft and weighs roughly 26 grains.
Easton Tracer Arrow Nocks
A few years ago, Easton archery bought out Tracer nocks and made some minor improvements on what was already a great nock. Unlike the Lumenok, Tracer nocks activate once they pass a magnet which is typically installed on the bow’s riser shelf. Once the nock passes by this magnet (during a shot) it will light up for 30 seconds before going into blinking mode which is used to conserve battery life. These nocks have a battery life of 90 hours and weigh 24 grains.
Like the Lumenok, the Firenock does not require any magnets to be activated. The Firenock uses an advanced circuit board which activates the light after the arrow exceeds a certain amount of force, caused by forward movement of the arrow. Firenocks operate in temperatures from -15 to 180 and is turned off by dropping the arrow’s nock end on a hard surface. This prevents accidental deactivation in the field which means you’ll find your arrow more often. Firenocks are available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit nearly any application and weigh between 22 and 31 grains.
Carbon Express Launchpad Lighted Nocks
Like the Lumenok these lighted nocks light once the arrow is shot and the nock is compressed. Simply pull the nock back out to turn off. They work with any arrow with an arrow shaft with a 0.244 inside diameter. This nock is designed to use repeatedly for up to 7 hours of illumination and weighs 18.5 grains.
G5 G-Force Lighted Nocks
These nocks look like an ordinary nock until fired from your bow. Centrifugal force is what activates this red LED, illuminating the nock for 6 seconds before converting to blinking mode to save battery life. A replaceable battery gives about 25 hours of runtime. To turn off, simply tap the nock 3 times.