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.
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.
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.
https://www.nockout.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/thumbnail.jpg14392559Stone Roadhttps://www.nockout.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Nock-Out-Lighted-Nocks-for-Vertical-Bows-and-Crossbows.pngStone Road2017-10-05 19:43:242018-08-24 14:55:06Considerations for Building Your Hunting Arrows
The Importance of Knowing the Anatomy of Your Hunting Arrows
Knowing your equipment is the first step in trusting that you can get the job done, no matter what that particular “job” is. Nowhere is this statement more correct than when it comes to hunting equipment designed to take an animals life. However, the common misconception is that the bow is the object doing the killing. It’s not…it’s the arrow, the object that delivers the final blow. So an ethical question is this…”do you know the anatomy and important features of your hunting arrows?”
There are five basic parts that make up your hunting arrows: the point, the insert, the shaft, the nock, and the fletching. Hunting arrows have these five things in common, but that is the only similar features among arrows. Every arrow is going to have a specific weight, spine tolerance, and length that is important to the optimal use of an arrow with a particular bow’s specification as well as the game the hunter is pursuing. Ethical bow hunting is knowing what you are slinging towards another living thing, and being confident that this object is set up for the most effective, quick, and painless death it can deliver.
There are a variety of points that can tip an arrow: field points, broadheads, judo-points, or blunt-tips. Field points are available with longer tips or more blunt tips. Broadheads can be fixed or expandable blade. There are broadheads customized for specific game animals such as small game or turkey with a variety of tips and cutting diameter. These points are available in a variation of styles made of a variety of materials. The point, regardless of style, is weighed in grains and commonly available in 75, 100, 125, and 150 grain. You should always practice and sight your bow in the same grain weight of the broadhead that will be used for hunting.
Inserts are aluminum, brass, or plastic sleeves which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the shaft and has a slightly larger rim to keep it from going completely into the arrow shaft. The insert is placed into point end of the arrow shaft and glued in. The insert provides a threaded end to insert and screw on points.
Some brass inserts, having a little more weight than plastic or aluminum, can assist in adding front of center weight for weight forward accuracy and penetration.
Lock-n-Load® Inserts make the job of installing inserts quick and easy! Now within seconds, you can install, index and lock your inserts in place without glue.
Precision, self-centering design improves concentricity by aligning to the center of the shaft resulting in better overall flight accuracy and arrow to arrow consistency. Easily index your blades to your vanes before locking the insert into place.
The shaft is literally the backbone of the arrow and consists of two important components; weight and spine deflection or tolerance. The most commonly used arrows for hunting these days is carbon or a carbon-aluminum blend shaft. Some aluminum arrows are still being shot but are few and far between. Wood arrows are used by primitive-style archers but will not be covered in this writing.
Aluminum shafts are durable and more affordable than carbon. Carbon shafts are a little more expensive but are favored for the lightweight design that comes in a variety of diameters. However, carbon shafts can be damaged easier than aluminum shafts. Aluminum-Carbon blend shafts incorporate an aluminum tube and a carbon outer layer or just the opposite, a carbon tube with an aluminum outer layer. For all practical purposes, the carbon and carbon blend arrow will be within this article.
Arrow weight is more critical than most archers realize when it comes to 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 of 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 injury to the archer similar to that of dry-firing a bow
Every arrow is going to have a certain stiffness referred to as the spine deflection or spine tolerance of the shaft. Arrow weight and arrow spine deflection are often confused as being the same thing; they are not. The spine deflection is technically the most important trait of an arrow but probably the most misunderstood characteristic of an arrow. This misunderstanding is often a result of different manufacturers using different spine numbers for each shaft tolerance; there is no standard as to labeling. There is, however, a standard to measuring the spine tolerance.
Ultimately, it is important to make certain that you purchase arrows that have a spine tolerance for the draw weight of the bow being used. Often the arrow manufacturer will advertise that an arrow is “suitable for bows up to a 70-pound draw weight” or “suitable for bows up to a 50-pound draw weight.”
Arrow length is also critical to optimal shooting. Typically, a bow hunter will want the arrow shaft to extend out at least two inches from the rest contact at full draw. This measurement can be affected by the type of rest that is on the bow. It is important that the broadhead has proper clearance from the bow and the archer’s hand/fingers.
The three vanes on arrows are known as fletching and can be made up of feathers or pliable plastic material of varying length and height. To allow optimal arrow flight, the fletching can be tuned to the arrow shaft by weight. The three vanes have a cock feather, or index feather, of different color which is used to indicate how the arrow is loaded onto the bow string to allow arrow rest clearance.
Feather fletching is still popular with many archers, but they are not as durable as plastic vanes especially during wet weather or storing. Plastic vanes adhere easier to the arrow shafts, offer more durability, and a more consistent flight. Target archers typically use smaller vanes for less drag, but a small vane will not offer stability with a broadhead. Longer vanes, or shorter, high profile vanes will offer better control for broadheads. Remember, the taller the vane, the more drag the arrow will have in flight.
For the most accurate and consistent flight among arrows, weight tuning is recommended. The easiest way to weight tune a shaft without a professional tuning device is to place a single shaft in a tub filled about a one-quarter full of water that has some soap suds. Place the shaft in the tub and let it spin until it comes to a halt. Roll it once more, making sure the ends are not touching the sides of the tub. Make a mark on the arrow shaft close to the nock on the side facing up. This is the lightest side of the shaft. The cock feather needs to be affixed to the opposite side of that mark; on the heavy side of the shaft. Doing this for all of the arrows will help in the consistency of the arrow groupings.
Fletching is normally affixed to arrows with a two or three-degree helical offset in the vane. Helical offsets have been proven to offer a more stable, tighter pattern with both field points and broadheads. If a bow hunter wants to make certain that the arrow and broadhead are tuned, they can take a fletch tuned arrow, place the insert in the end of the shaft with epoxy cement, screw on a broadhead and match the blades to the vanes.
If a bow hunter walks into a big box store and grabs a handful of pre-fletched arrows, they will find the arrows will shoot down range and hit the mark on the target. More often than not, one or two arrows will shoot consistent every shot. Often, those few are the arrows that are the closest to being tuned. There is nothing wrong with this method of purchasing arrows preseason. For optimal shooting, imagine the advantage a bow hunter would have when they have taken the time to make sure that the arrows are properly tuned, not only for the draw length and draw weight of the bow, but also that the vanes are tuned to shaft weight. Not only would this allow for consistently accurate shooting, but it also goes a long way in building the confidence of the bow hunter.
The nock of the arrow is available in several designs and can easily be removed and replaced. It is important to use the correct nock for the diameter arrow and the right tension on the bow string to prevent it from falling from the bow string when being drawn. A nock that is too tight or too loose can affect the accuracy of an arrow.
The proper fit of the nock will result in a click of the bow string but still allow the nock to turn freely on the serving; not allowing the arrow to torque the bow string when the string is pulled back to full draw. If the nock is too tight, it can result in a late release of the nock from the string, causing the string to pull forward resulting in an erratic arrow flight. Or, if the nock is too loose, it can cause inconsistent arrow flight or can result in the arrow falling off prematurely.
The press-fit nock is the most common nock used on arrows. The design allows the nock to be easily turned so that it can be positioned in alignment with the fletching to clear cables and rests. Nocks are available in diameters to fit snugly in the shaft. These diameters range in increments from .166-inch to .246-inch in diameter and are marketed in common sizes of G, F, X, A, H, S and GT. A bushing can be added to ensure that the nock will not damage the arrow shaft.
Another popular nock among bow hunters is the lighted nock. This nock incorporates a lighted end when it is shot from a bow, allowing the hunter to have a visual representation of the shot and assists hunters in being able to retrieve the arrow for inspection on a pass through, or for finding downed game in the dark. Using a lighted nock during practice can also assist the archer in seeing the arrow’s flight to the target.
A lighted nock will affect arrow accuracy, just like adding a new broadhead would. The fact that a press-fit nock weighs 11-16 grains depending on brand; whereas a lighted nock such as Nock-Out Lighted Nocks weighs 21-24 grains, means there is a significant difference.This also does not mention the fact that you may be adding more length to your arrow, shifting FOC. When adding a lighted nock to your setup be sure to install and tune the lighted nocks correctly.
Nock Out Lighted nocks feature a practice mode. This mode allows a hunter to shoot the nocks without having to waste the battery life. This allows the bow hunter to ensure his/her hunting arrows are hitting their mark with the lighted nocks attached.
Knowing the anatomy of your hunting arrows will provide you a foundation to build from. This will inevitably lead to a more accurate arrow build, tighter groups, and an effective arrow that can punch through the game it is designed for.
https://www.nockout.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/EF9D36E8.png10801920Stone Roadhttps://www.nockout.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Nock-Out-Lighted-Nocks-for-Vertical-Bows-and-Crossbows.pngStone Road2017-07-26 17:40:372018-06-18 15:11:54What You Should Know About Your Hunting Arrows
Lighted Nocks | Practice with Them for Better Bow Hunting
Feature: Flatline Whitetails
Practice makes perfect, right? Isn’t that how the saying goes? Unfortunately, it’s only true to a certain extent. If you practice your archery hunting skills with sloppy form and different hunting gear than you’ll use in the field, you’re really just setting yourself up for failure. But you’ve no doubt heard the adapted version of this phrase too: perfect practice makes perfect. The better and more realistic you are in practice, the better you should be at the real thing. This is why you should be using lighted nocks on your arrows as you practice this spring and summer. But let’s back up a little bit first.
Using the right hunting gear helps ensure that you’re ready for the real field conditions you’ll face. One, it simulates bow hunting on a very real level so you can get in the right mindset from the get-go. The more you get used to this simulation and the conditions, the more comfortable you’ll be in the field. Two, it helps develop muscle memory so that you will be freed up to think about the situation itself, and not worry about the shot mechanics. To that point, you’ll gain confidence in your hunting gear that you could only get from repeated usage of it. Different arrow nocks produce slightly different shots, so it makes sense that using a consistent nock will produce a more consistent and accurate flight path. If you use them from day one of practice, you shouldn’t have to adjust anything later. And finally, using lighted nocks for arrows in the preseason months helps you identify any form or gear issues before it can become a problem. If you start now, you literally have several months to tweak your gear or perfect your form. That’s much better than realizing it the week before opening day, isn’t it?
Why Should You Use Lighted Nocks?
If you don’t already use lighted nocks, you won’t believe what a game changer they are for hunting scenarios. Think about it – some of the best deer hunting action we face takes place in low light conditions (e.g., dawn, dusk, shaded woodlands, foggy/cloudy/rainy days, etc.). But knowing exactly where your arrow hits a deer in these low light hunting conditions is difficult to impossible. Will your knowledge of where it hit the deer in any way change the shot once you’ve released the arrow? Of course not. But it will really help you to know how to proceed from that point. For example, taking up the blood trail within 10 minutes in the case of a true heart or lung shot is fine, but it would be foolish in the case of a known gut shot. Illuminated nocks really help you weigh your options better to ensure you recover your deer.
The Nock Out® lighted nocks come in a few different options and are excellent additions to your archery supplies. The 3 pack is a great deal, as you’ll definitely want more than just one. Everyone has their own best lighted nock color that they prefer, but these ones come in green, yellow, or red colors. They all stand out extremely well when being fired on the back of an arrow through these low light conditions. If you’re not familiar with how they work, the sudden force of the bow string against the lighted nock when it is fired basically switches the powerful LED light on. To turn the light back off, simply pull the nock straight back until it clicks and the light goes off. They are built with bushings to fit the five most common carbon arrow shafts.
How Do Lighted Nocks Help in Practice?
Of course, practicing with these nocks in the preseason does help your archery form in a few ways too.
Taking time now to practice with lighted nocks on your arrows will help you get more confident in your archery equipment. As we said, practicing with the same gear you would use on a hunt helps you to be consistent over time. You can use these lighted nocks on your arrows during practice sessions by simply switching it to practice mode. This specific mode deactivates the LED light to save on battery life, and is turned on by rotating the activation collar. During most of the preseason and for daytime practice sessions, you have no real need to use the nock light. Therefore, you can easily switch to using this practice mode at these times. Though you’d be amazed how much they look like a rocket flying through the air even in daylight!
But once in a while, it helps to turn the practice mode off. Turn the light back on and take a few shots in low light conditions to get the real feel for it. You’ll be amazed at how well the arrow stands out after it’s released from your bow. It practically paints a line of light through the air on its way to the target. On spring and summer evenings, try setting a 3D deer archery target up at various distances in your yard, and dress up in your hunting clothing (yes, even if it’s 80 degrees out). The idea is to make your practice session feel as realistic and true to a hunt as possible. Raise, draw, and fire your bow as quietly, slowly, and stealthily as you can, just like you were in a tree stand or sitting in a ground blind. Then observe your arrow’s flight path, made easy by the bright LED light. Make any adjustments to your bow that you need to based on the first few practice sessions. Once it’s dialed in, continue with at least a weekly habit of dressing in your full hunting gear to repeat these realistic low-light shots. Come next fall, you’ll be amazed at how natural it feels to make them in a pinch.
If you’re not already using light up nocks, you really should be for the reasons listed above. Give them a try and see how it affects your hunting down the road.
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