Nock Out® Pro Staff Spotlight | Shelby Arman’s 2017 Buck

Bow Hunting Spotlight | Shelby Arman’s 2017 Buck

By: Shelby Arman of Ultimate Outdoor Adventures TV

I had just driven the 250 miles back from college, making it just in time to head down to our Ranch with my Dad for the weekend. The winds were out of the South East, so we headed across the river to a stand we hadn’t hunted yet this season. This was a cool little setup that was overlooking a kill plot back off the main food plot, nestled in the trees about a hundred yards away. We had trail camera pictures of several nice deer throughout the summer on this food plot, but the only problem is that we hadn’t seen them in a month. Needless to say, my hopes were not real high. The only thing that was in our favor was that the neighbors had just combined all of the corn where we thought the deer had moved to. After about an hour in the stand, I figured that my chances of seeing a good deer, let alone any deer, were slipping away.

Just as that thought had entered my mind, a little doe appeared in the food plot. I sat and watched her nibbling on the turnip leaves for several minutes before she lifted her head and looked behind her. As I sat with anticipation and thought of what may or may not come in…a buck appeared! It was “Charlie, the big 8 pointer that we had watched grow over the last two years. It took everything I had in me to keep it together as “Charlie” walked by me at 25 yards. I settled my pin behind his shoulder and released my arrow.

I watched my arrow find its mark. With the help of the Nock Out® lighted nocks, I found my arrow and it was a short tracking job to this massive 8 pointer! Big thanks to my Dad for always being my best friend and hunting partner!

Shelby’s Bow Hunting Equipment:

· Hoyt® Carbon Defiant

· Beman® ICS Hunters

· Apex™ Gear sights, rest, and stabilizer

· NAP® Kill zone broadheads

· Nikon® Optics

· Hawk® Tree stands

· Nock Out® lighted nocks

 

Nock Out® Pro Staff Spotlight | Flatline Whitetails’ Nick Kravitz

Early Season Bow Hunting Success | Nick Kravitz

By: Nick Kravitz of Flatline Whitetails
Photos by: Darton Harwick, Tyler Kravitz, & Nick Kravitz
“Finally I can say that I’ve wrapped my hands around the antlers of a Mature Pennsylvania Whitetail Buck!”

Tyler and I had photos of this deer as a 2.5-year-old buck 3 years ago on a trail camera. After the bear destroyed two of our cameras this year, we didn’t have many photos of deer on this property. However, we knew the potential that the property had just from summer scouting, so I was actually after a different “Shooter Buck”.

A cold front was pushing through on October 16th and I knew it was going to be a good night for deer activity in the tree stand. It was a beautiful October evening.. I remember thinking to myself, “This is the perfect day for hunting”, and sure enough, at around 4:30 I already had eyes on a young buck up on his feet and again, at 5:30, two more young bucks walked by at 20 yards.

As the sun began to set, I was admiring the view with my camera and snapping photos. As I set my camera back in my Sitka Gear tool bucket, I peered over my left shoulder and caught a slight glimpse of antlers through the corn stalks, swaying in the wind. All that I could see were Big G2’s and Big G3’s so I immediately knew this was a shooter buck. Slowly I started reaching for my bow.. My first thought was that he was going to walk away and I was going to have to shoot him where I first saw him. I drew back my Mathews Archery, Inc. Halon 32 and watched him walk right out of my shooting lane but towards another. I held my bow back for what seemed like an eternity, which in reality was about 3 minutes. I thought about letting down twice but I knew that I needed to be ready when the opportunity presented itself.

As I began to see his rack appear through the corn stalks and branches, I knew this was the moment of truth. He stopped walking and turned toward me slightly. This was it, now or never. It was not a shot that I particularly like taking but I knew this was my only opportunity to try. So with a slight squeeze of the TRU Ball Archery and Axcel Sights Glory Release, the last thing that I witnessed was my Nock Out Lighted Nocks disappear directly behind his front shoulder.

Luckily I had my safety harness on or I surely would have fallen out of the tree! With plenty of daylight left, I ran all the way to the truck and called Tyler and Darton to tell them the news! We met up and reviewed the footage and decided it was best to just let him lay for a few hours given the cool temperatures would keep him through the evening. After we got done tracking and finding Brooke Williams and Tyler Kravitz bucks, it was about midnight. We decided to go in and look at the blood and see if we could locate my buck.

After 75 yards we started seeing blood. Tyler looked up and said “there he is!” As we ran up to him, we couldn’t believe it. The emotion and feeling that I felt right then was something I will never be able to put into words. It was an absolutely amazing moment in my life that I will carry with me forever! Thanks for all the help and knowledge you have passed on to me Tyler Kravitz and Darton Harwick  and thank you for being there to share the moment with me.

One of the reasons that the Nock Out Lighted Nocks really helped me out with this hunt was after I made the shot on film, I was able to go home and review the footage to see exactly where I hit. With the ability to see my entry, we were able to make the decision to give this buck 5 hours since it was cold that night. Turns out he only went 75 yards, but the theory I have is it’s better to be safe than sorry because once you bump a wounded buck it’s NEVER good!

 

Nock Out® Pro Staff Stories | Willi Schmidt’s Montana Elk Hunt

Lighted Nocks and Elk Hunting

 

By: Willi Schmidt of Pure Hunting

 

The State of Montana followed suit with many other states last year in changing some hunting regulations. This change finally allowed the use of lighted nocks this year!  Knowing this new change, I installed my green Nock Out® lighted nocks for my upcoming Montana elk hunt!  Little did I know how valuable this tool would be on the hunt!

On day 3 of the hunt, we heard a bugle with about 20 minutes of light left in the evening and after a quick second bugle and then silence, I decided to make a move a few hundred yards to see if I could encounter the bull.  As I picked up my pack, I looked up and saw him coming into my cow calls.  He was hesitant and hung up about 80 yards away and began to rake a tree.  The light was fading fast and I made my move, knowing the bull was pre-occupied with his trashing of the Russian Olive.  I quickly got to 40 yards, but couldn’t get any closer because of having to cross a swampy creek. After deciding this I ranged him, settled my pin, and released my arrow.

 

 

 

The glow of the Nock Out showed that the impact was a touch higher than I wanted, but I knew it was still high lung.  It was such low light that had I not had lighted nocks, I would have had to guess the spot of impact.  This information was valuable for me because of the high shot, combined with the bull running off full-steam, allowed me to not get too nervous and uncomfortable with the poor blood trail.

 

 

 

We did follow blood and tracked him for about 250 yards only to back out to resume the tracking the following morning.  When we lost blood once the bull crossed the creek, I still was confident that the bull was dead, however, we had to search a little harder.  Two grueling hours later, I found my biggest bull to date!

 

The Nock Out lighted nock gave me the information I needed in fading light to know where the impact was, not get too discouraged with the lack of blood, and the confidence that we would recover the bull.

 

 

 

Enjoy the full story of my elk hunt by clicking the link below!

 

 

 

About Pure Hunting: Pure Hunting puts you completely in the moment with the most hardcore hunters on the planet. Join extreme hunting host Will Schmidt and his best friends as they set out across the country and around the globe in a quest to discover and conquer the world’s last, best and purest hunting adventures.

Nock Out® Pro Staff Spotlight| Backwoods Life’s Michael Lee

Early Season Bow Hunting Success | Michael Lee of Backwoods Life

Who: Michael Lee of Backwoods Life

What: Early Season Bow Hunting (whitetail)

When: September 2017

Where: South Georgia

This is a buck I had patterned on the Covert trail cameras all summer and when opening day came around I slipped in on him.  Sure enough, he showed up right on cue and I made a complete pass through at 25 yards.  We trailed the buck almost 200 yards and lost blood.  The shot looked good on the entrance side from the video and arrow was covered with blood.  We decided to back out and give him some time.

The next morning, we eased back into the last blood and began looking again for three more hours with no luck.  After calling it quits, I decided to put a trail camera on the closest water tank to where we last tracked blood.  Amazingly, one hour later the buck walked up to the tank to drink then laid down close by!  Using the Covert app on my phone, I saw him there and waited a few more hours.  We eased back in and he was laying less than 100 yards from the water tank.  By far the craziest ordeal I have been through with ups and downs over a 24-hour period.

Truly thankful for this buck and that I could recover him and put the meat in my freezer.

Gear List:

  • Bow: Elite Option 7
  • Release: Scott Shark
  • Rest: QAD Ultra Rest HDX
  • Sight: CBE SL4
  • Nocks: Nock Out Lighted Nocks
  • Scent Control: Lethal Products and Ozonics
  • Broadhead: Raptor Trick
  • Camo: Walls Pro Series in Realtree
  • Safety Harness: Hunter Safety System
  • Optics: Hawke Binoculars and Range Finder
  • Trail Camera: Covert
  • Hunting Map: Knockdown Outdoors App

Want to learn how to tag out in the early season? Try a few of these early season bow hunting tips below!

early season bow hunting tips | Nock Out Lighted Nocks

Bow Hunting Tips for the Early Season

Tips and Tactics for Early Bow Season

Feature image: Clint Schwach of The Virtue TV

Early bow season tips and tactics are on the minds of bow hunters across the nation.  If you are among them, you might be frantically searching for a tactic that could swing you an opportunity at your hit-list buck. There are many things you need to consider in the early season to help fill that tag, but fixating on the tactic that is tailored to your situation should be your focus. With limited deer movement, humid weather increases the need for scent control, and shifting weather patterns, the early season is the perfect recipe for difficult hunting situations. However, just remember that the early season has many positive attributes, too. These include longer days and milder weather, and also some key weaknesses deer might exhibit for you to capitalize on. Bow season is here whether you are ready or not, take a breath, stop being overwhelmed and focus on these bow hunting tips!

Reevaluate Your Archery Gear

Like anything built to last, a good foundation is a good way to start out your bow season. Sure you might have spent the summer fine-tuning your bow setup, but taking another look is not a bad idea. While bow sights, bow rests, quivers, broadheads, stabilizers, and other equipment are relatively simple, one overlooked key component in your bow hunting setup is the arrow.  Careful planning towards your arrow configuration and components are critical. Arrow flight can be affected by many factors including arrow spine weight and straightness, fletching, arrow inserts, arrow nocks, and broadheads.  While it might be too late to completely change your entire arrow setup, taking another look might reveal a slight tweak that could increase accuracy.

As an example, one very critical component of the arrow is its fletching. Vanes on the back of an arrow steer the arrow during flight, keeping the front and back end in correct alignment. Mass-produced and fletched arrows are not always tuned properly and are subsequently the reason for inconsistent shooting. Accurately tuned and fletched arrows can greatly improve your shooting performance. Some problems that you might be encountering with ill-tuned arrows are:

  • Vanes grazing the arrow rest
  • Stray arrows from solid groups
  • Irregular arrow flight and point of impact

While you might be doubting the importance of fletching, don’t dismiss this easy fix for better archery shooting. Believe it or not, you don’t have to take your arrows to a pro-shop to achieve this!

The Addition of Lighted Nocks

The use of lighted nocks in your setup provides a greater level of confidence on that early season hunt. Having the ability to focus on the arrow through flight to the target is critically important to the bow hunter. This is especially true in the early season as deer move and present opportunities in extremely low light conditions. Without a lighted nock, you simply have to judge your shot based on sound, the deer’s behavior, and the resulting blood trail. Lighted nocks are a terrific tool in a bow hunter’s toolbox and provide immediate shot feedback both in practice sessions and during the hunt.

Practice sessions, both before and during hunting season, are paramount in developing confidence and accuracy with archery equipment.  Lighted nocks are one of the best ways to make practice sessions as effective as possible. The use of lighted nocks in your practice sessions is a game changer when identifying arrow flight paths, patterns, and characteristics.  Being able to quickly identify issues with arrow flight, archery form or other equipment such as arrow rests or releases is much easier to determine with the use of lighted nocks.

This also brings up one critical early season bow hunting tip…practice makes perfect. While that might seem redundant in most archery blogs you read, the point being made here is that you should practice how you hunt. Yes, that means shooting extreme archery angles like you might on an elk hunt or shooting from a tree stand, but also practicing with the same gear you will be using. You should be practicing with your broadheads and your lighted nock on your arrow, tuning your bow to that setup rather than a normal arrow nock and field point. While the broadhead and lighted nock might not significantly affect the shot, every bit of tuning helps!

Click the link below to find out more on Nock Out® Lighted Nock’s practice mode.

Early Season Bow Hunting Tips

Early season bow hunting tactics are often different than the rut-crazed later season hunting we all thirst for, but it is a great opportunity to fill your tag.  Early season tactics often center on food and the tail end of summer patterns.  With fall and winter months just around the corner, deer are consuming critical calories before breeding seasons and winter months. The food sources that you should focus on for hunting opportunities are generally:

  • Fall plots
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Acorns

Early season weather patterns and changing foliage are key items you should consider on your pre-rut hunts. Wind patterns change from dominantly south to north often during this time of year, and cover and color of fall foliage change from green to orange and brown.  Consider multiple hunting scenarios and setups depending on the environmental conditions when you key in on an early season food sources.

early season bow hunting tips | Nock Out Lighted Nocks

Picture: Flatline Whitetails

Deer movement usually centers on early dawn/first light, and late afternoon and evening hours. The only way to catch earlier daylight movement would be to move closer to bedding areas. However, doing this could also put hunting pressure where it may not necessarily be needed this early in the season. Rely on observational hunts and trail cameras to reveal key intel before making a move this early in the season.

As late October approaches, more aggressive tactics can and will work. Centering closer to core areas, especially during cold fronts, could expose opportunities at mature bucks. Overall, the early season can be a difficult and overwhelming period. Keep your wits, only make smart moves, double and triple check your equipment, and always keep your eyes open for opportunities. The best thing about bow hunting in the early season is that plenty of opportunities exist, and you have the rest of deer season to capitalize on them!

Considerations for Building Your Hunting Arrows

Hunting Arrow Considerations

Much like customizing your favorite truck or ATV, your archery hunting equipment can often be changed to fit your personal style and needs. There are many different facets of your archery equipment that you can tailor to fit your personal needs such as the draw length of your bow, your bow release and your bow sight set up.  One critical piece of the equipment that lends itself to customizing is your hunting arrow.  Customizing your hunting arrows to fit your specific draw length and purposes can not only increase your consistency and accuracy, but it can also ensure that you are getting the most kinetic energy out of your set up.

Although they may look simple, your hunting arrows are little more complex than you might think.  Understanding how each part of the arrow functions can help you begin to understand how you might be able to adjust your specific set up to better fit your needs.

The Weight and Length of Your Arrow

Since the days of aluminum arrows, the white-tailed deer hunting industry and the archery equipment industry have tried to help balance the weight to kinetic energy ratio.  The heavier the arrow, the more energy or “punch” it can deliver…if you can get it travel fast enough. Today’s modern archery equipment, with the addition of carbon arrows, have balanced this ratio. You now have the ability to send a larger arrow down range, with the speed and intensity needed to deliver plenty of impact at the target.  That said, it is important that you know what length of arrow fits you and your bow the best.  Once you have determined the appropriate length, you can begin to customize your arrows by style and weight.

Arrow weight is more critical than most archers realize in terms of optimal shooting performance. Ultra-lightweight arrows, such as those used by competition archers, will typically travel in a straighter line and group more tightly. There are lightweight hunting arrows designed for hunting that have similar characteristics. Heavier arrows will deliver more kinetic energy for better hide and flesh penetration on game animals while still retaining a good grouping.

The arrow weight for hunting is recommended for a total weight of 6 to 8 grain per pound of draw weight. It is important to never use an arrow with less than 5 grain per pound of draw weight with any bow; doing so could cause damage to the bow and cause injury to the archer, similar to that of dry-firing a bow.

Fletching

Whether you prefer to shoot a traditional style of fletching or a “blazer” style of fletching, the way in which your arrow is fletched can determine both how your arrow flies downrange as well as a spine that your arrow may have.  Each can impact your accuracy and consistency when it comes to shot placement.

Inserts and Broadheads

Your arrow inserts and knocks are likely one of the most underappreciated pieces of your set up, and although they may be undervalued, they can make some difference when comes to how your arrow flies down range and the energy it can deliver.  The type of insert you use can often dictate the style and type of broadhead that will fit your bow.  The weight of the insert will compound with the weight of the broadhead (regardless if you shoot fixed blade or expandable), all of which should be taken into consideration while customizing your hunting arrow.

Your Arrow’s Nock

The next area that can be subject to customization is your arrow nock. While normally dismissed, your arrow nock is the point in which the arrow makes contact with the bow (besides the bow rest). A nock that is too tight or too loose can affect the accuracy of the arrow. Ensuring the proper seating in the arrow shaft and the proper fit of the nock will result in better arrow flight. This is also where archers get a chance to upgrade their hunting arrows. Installing a lighted nock from Nock Out® lighted nocks allows you to not only shoot a lighted nock while hunting, but actively practice without wasting battery life. This allows you to ensure your hunting arrows are hitting their mark with the lighted nocks attached!

When adding any lighted nock, or anything different to your arrow always make sure you tune your bow again. Lighted nocks with differing weight and length can always affect accuracy, just like a new broadhead, learn how to tune lighted nocks here.

Don’t overlook the opportunity to customize your hunting arrows.  They are truly where the rubber meets the road, and taking the time to give these few factors some attention can truly help to increase your success rate this fall.