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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.

bow hunting hunting arrows

Fletching the Perfect Hunting Arrow for your Bow Hunting Setup

Bow Hunting | Fletching the Perfect Hunting Arrow

There are several components that make up a hunting arrow, but none more critical to its flight than proper 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. Believe it or not, you don’t have to take your arrows to a pro-shop to achieve this!

Chances are, you have experienced the result of shooting an ill-tuned arrow. Arrows that aren’t properly tuned can cause the vanes to graze the arrow rest, which in turn causes the arrow to fly erratically down range. Another likely scenario could play out like this: you have worked hard on form, you are consistently nocking at the same point, and executing a smooth release, but have a couple shots outside your group each time you shoot. Rather than an error on your part, the reason for this inconsistent shooting may be a couple bad arrows out of your practice batch. Properly tuning and fletching your hunting arrows takes a little extra effort, but will result in consistently tighter groups on target and better accuracy in the field.

Fletching Applications

There are three fletching application styles popular with hunting arrows:

  • Straight fletching is applied straight with the arrow shaft. This type of fletching results in the fastest arrow flight and is recommended for close range shots. Straight fletching can cause slight arrow drag and is at a higher risk of the flight being affected by the wind.
  • Off-Set fletching is applied straight with the arrows’ shaft, but are turned at a slight offset from front to back without twisting the vane. The off-set is comparable to the rotation of a bullet shot from a rifled gun barrel. This rotation offers arrow stability with the weight of a broadhead and is recommended for long distance shots. Off-set fletching will result in a slight loss of speed due to air resistance.
  • Helical fletching is applied with a slight curve or helical twist in the vane, often two to five degrees, depending on the arrow stability desired. Helical fletching offers the most stability among other applications and is ideal for shooting broadheads. The rotation of the fletching will decrease arrow speed at a greater amount than the other style fletching but offers great accuracy at longer distances.

Vane Styles 

The style of vane that you apply to your arrow shaft can affect arrow flight and should be taken into careful consideration. There are pros and cons to each style of vanes, but tuning and matching your hunting arrow vanes to your style of broadhead can greatly improve your shooting consistency and accuracy. A variety of vanes are available in different shapes, lengths, thicknesses, and colors.

Vane types vary, from small, long, and low profile vanes to short, high profile vanes. Higher profile vanes have more surface area and will offer more correction of arrow flight than low profile vanes. However, more surface area will slow an arrow down slightly. If you are shooting fixed broadheads, a higher, larger surface vane will offer the greatest stability for that style broadhead.

Smaller, low profile vanes offer less flight stability of an arrow but offer more clearance with the arrow rest and bow shelf. Lower profile vanes have less surface area allowing minimum wind drag for more speed.  Low profile vanes offer more stability of arrow flight with mechanical broadheads, blunts, or field points.

The “original” Nock Out® lighted nock.

Vane Adhesion

Secure adhesion of the vane to the shaft is critical to the proper flight of an arrow. Not all adhesives are the same. Taking into consideration the typical weather you plan to hunt in will give you some guidance as to which type to use. There are quick-set glues, thicker gel type glues, and glues that are similar to epoxy. Solvent based adhesives will take longer to bond and dry but offer a durable adhesion that can withstand varying degrees of weather and temperatures. Cyanoacrylate glues are fast setting, however, the brittleness of the glue is more susceptible to the vane breaking free of the shaft in different weather conditions.

Hunting Arrow Nocks

Nocks will often need to be removed to use some styles of fletching jigs. It is important to use the correct nock for your arrow diameter and the style of nock that works best with your bow string. Press-fit nocks will be labeled by common size, for example: G and F nocks fit shafts with a .166-inch inside diameter, X and A nocks fit shafts with a .204-inch inside diameter, H and H.E.  nocks fit shafts with a .234-inch inside diameter, S nocks fit shafts with a .244-inch inside diameter, and G nocks fit shafts with a .246-inch inside diameter. Smaller pin nocks are snapped onto a small pin on the nock end of an arrow. This allows for damaged nocks to be replaced with minimal effort in the field. The pin nock is mostly used in target competition because its purpose is to protect shafts from being damaged by other arrows.

Lighted nocks are favored by many hunters and are legal to use in most states, with the exception of a few out west. Not only do lighted nocks help you tune your bow before the hunt, they also make it easier for you to see your bow shot placement on game animals. Gone are the days of frustrating lighted nocks that came off in your quiver, were difficult to turn off, or added extra weight to the back end of the arrow. Nock Out Lighted Nocks are lightweight, extremely bright, and feature an easy off and practice mode. Each pack of Nock Out Lighted Nocks come with bushings to fit the five most common carbon arrow diameters for a custom fit.

 

The Fletching Process

The supplies you will need to self-fletch your arrows:

  • Fletching Jig
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Lint-free Rags/Paper Towels
  • Vane stripper
  • Fine grit sandpaper or scrub pad
  • Bare arrow shafts
  • Vane adhesive
  • Fletching
  • Nock Tool
  • Wraps (optional)

Fletching your Hunting Arrows

  1. Spine tuning arrow shafts is one step many archers don’t complete when self-fletching their arrows. Spine tuning helps you to find the weighted side of an arrow, allowing you to adhere the vanes in the same way on all of your arrows, making for a more consistent grouping. A small variance in shaft weight is common and normally does not make a significant change in the point of impact on the target. Matching the configuration of vanes on each shaft, identical to the other, will greatly improve consistency.

Using the float method is the easiest way to do this from home. Fill a bathtub up with about 6 inches of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent to make a few suds for buoyancy. Place a bare shaft in the tub, making sure that the point and nock ends are not touching the side of the tub. Spin the arrow with your hand once, allowing it to stop. Then spin one more time and mark the top side of the floating arrow with a grease pencil or marker. This will be the light side of the arrow; you will place your cock vane on the opposite side of this mark.

  1. Prepare your arrow shaft by wiping the entire shaft down with a lint-free cloth saturated in denatured alcohol. One of the main reasons vanes do not adhere to the surface properly and pop off easily is because the shaft and vane surfaces were not clean at the time of application. Denatured alcohol is fast drying, however, you should still make sure the shaft is completely dry by wiping the shaft down with a dry, lint-free cloth. Never use a cloth that was washed with water softeners or dried in a dryer with anti-static/fabric softener dryer sheets.
  2. With the broadhead you will use in mind, select your ideal style of fletching in your preferred colors for your shafts and place them aside in groups of three. Make sure not to get body oils from your fingers on the adhesive edge.
  3. Your next step will be the actual fletching application.
  • Load the vanes into the fletching jig that you have chosen, making certain that you don’t touch the portion of the vanes that you will add glue to.
  • Place a thin, solid line of adhesive known as a bead along the base of the vane from end to end.
  • Place the shaft into the jig as instructed by the jig’s manufacturer, keeping in mind the correct tuning of the cock vane; in alignment with the heaviest side of the shaft.
  • Close the jig, placing the vanes against the shaft. It is important that you be patient and wait for the proper set time for the adhesive you are using before opening the jig.
  • Once the adhesive sets, carefully release the jig revealing the newly fletched arrow. Clean off any excess glue. Add a droplet of glue on the leading and trailing end of each vane for a strong, secure adhesion to the shaft.
  • Always wait several hours before shooting freshly fletched arrows.

Ultimately, choosing the style of vane and the application of those vanes will vary among archers. Some archers are more concerned with higher accuracy than faster speed because while speed may matter in the equation of kinetic energy, it is not as forgiving as accuracy. Deciding on what is good for your bow hunting setup will depend on what you are trying to achieve. By fletching your hunting arrows, you have the opportunity to experiment with different style vanes and fletching applications, giving you the advantage of having the best hunting arrow for your bow hunting setup.

What You Should Know About 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.

 

 

 

Point

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.

The Insert

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.

 

 

Arrow Shaft

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.

 

Fletching

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

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.

 

Lighted Nocks

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.

3 Key Objectives for Your Summer Bow Practice

Bow Hunting | Summer Bow Practice Priorities

 

Among the most important things that a bow hunter can do in preparation for the season is not only to prepare their equipment, but to prepare themselves physically for shooting strength, stamina, and accuracy. Accuracy is key to an ethical shot and a successful hunt. Being physically fit, shooting a perfectly tuned bow, is the textbook recipe for success. With opening day being less than three months away in several states, now is the time to make sure your bow hunting equipment is up to par and to start physically training for the season. There is no worse feeling than not having the confidence that you and your equipment is prepared on opening day.

 

Where to Start

Inspecting your equipment is the first place to begin. Make a physical inspection of the condition of strings, bow riser, cams, arrow rest, fiber optics, stabilizers, and vibration dampeners/suppressors. If anything looks worn or needs to be upgraded, now is the time to do that. Many archers perform their bow maintenance, but the majority of bow hunters use a bow technician to work on their bows. Taking your bow to the archery shop as early as possible will ensure getting it back with plenty of time to practice shooting it while physically preparing for the season. Once the bow is tuned, the timing rotation of the cams are in sync and the center shot alignment is paper tuned, the bow can be added to bow practice.

 

Objectives for Summer Bow Practice

Physically preparing for the season has three key objectives: gain strength, improve shooting technique and form, and enhance accuracy. Form issues need to be addressed during bow practice such as torquing the bow, punching the release trigger, dropping the bow arm, not properly seating the bow grip in the V of the hand, and not allowing the bow to roll forward with the shot.

Pay attention to shooting form. If you are having issues in shooting true and you don’t have someone to critique you, you can video yourself shooting. Using Nock Out lighted nocks can allow you to see the flight of your arrow and placement on the target.

 

Gaining Strength and Improving Form

The areas that an archer will want to focus on are the upper back, latissimus dorsi muscle, posterior deltoid, lower traps, biceps, triceps, wrists, and abs for core stability. All of these areas have an importance in archery. A weak back will cause strain on the rotator cuff. A weak core will cause strain on the back. Practicing with poor posture and weak muscles will cause sloppy form resulting in overuse of joints. The overuse of joints will eventually cause joint inflammation and ultimately injury. To improve the range of motion in joints, it is important to proceed at a pace that will not overuse any muscle to exhaustion.

 

There are several exercises to strengthen and develop the muscles important to archery; these exercises can be done without having to join a gym and with minimal time involved. Physical training should start well before ever drawing a bow for the first time in practice. This is recommended for heavier draw weights that an out of practice archer cannot comfortably pull after storing the bow since last season. An exercise that is recommended for working the deltoid, triceps, biceps and the latissimus dorsi is the push-up. An upright reverse pushup will strengthen and stretch the upper back and latissimus dorsi muscles and the pectoral muscles. This upright reverse pushup can be performed by standing in a corner, facing the wall and placing the right hand at shoulder height about 10” from the corner and the left hand in the same manner on the left wall. Lean into the corner as if you plan to touch your nose in the corner. Slowly press and hold. The muscles you feel stretching and the muscles that you feel scrunching together are the same muscles used in archery, and more so, for a back tension release.

 

Nock Out lighted nock Pro Willi Schmidt of Pure Hunting has recently supplied a hunting workout playlist. These workouts are geared towards preparing your body for hunting!

Check out his full blog here! – Western Hunting Workouts

 

 

 

There are various other exercises and stretches that will strengthen and develop the muscles important to archery that can be found with a little research online. Yoga improves stability, strength, and balance for archers and can be found on the Internet. For simplicity, search for the exercises for the gym equipment and location available to you.

 

Using Archery Tools

There are several archery aids on the market to assist bow hunters in preparing for the season, increasing draw weight, strengthen the bow arm for a steady aim, perfecting an anchor point, and a smooth release.

 

The AccuBow is the most realistic archery training device available that not only offers draw weights from 10 to 70 pounds, but it also incorporates a laser for honing in on precise stability and accuracy. The AccuBow has a release adapter for use with any style release, and the AccuBow can be dry-fired over and over without harming the bow or archer. This training system not only increases strength, stability, and stamina, it ingrains mind-muscle memory. The archery training device replicates an actual bow incorporating a bubble level in the riser and stabilizer adapter for proper form. The ergonomic and ambidextrous grip makes this training device available to all archers.

 

The Firing-Line is a release training aid that simulates the draw and release of a bow string. The compact device is designed to practice the perfect release, time after time. This device doesn’t aid in strengthening and stamina, but it does help train for stability, accuracy, and mind-muscle memory important for a smooth, effortless release. The draw length is adjustable from 24 inches to 32 3/8 inch draw by positioning the slide handle on the tube. The Firing-Line release aid is the perfect training aid for those bow hunters who suffer from target panic or punching the trigger.

 

Archery and Summer Bow Practice

There is no better conditioning than actual practice with a bow. The best bow practice in preparing for archery season is drawing your bow. This should never be done with a bare bow. Always practice with an arrow nocked and standing in front of a target to safeguard against dry-firing, causing damage to the bow or injury to you. Drawing the bow, holding the draw for a minimum of 15-30 seconds, let the draw down, rest for double the time you held the draw. Increase the length of time held as needed. Doing this exercise for 30 minutes equates to shooting 100-125 arrows.

 

Once an archer can safely and comfortably pull the draw weight of their bow, it is time to start shooting arrows down range. It is important that the archer is not over-bowed; this occurs when the archer pulls the draw weight with marked resistance. This will cause fatigue, poor form, and frustration which leads to bad shots. Proper form and repetitive shooting will further develop the muscles in the back and shoulders ingraining mind-muscle memory for a strong draw and consistent anchor point. Always stretch out the upper back muscles, deltoids, and triceps before any bow practice. Flexible muscles will ensure against injuries, inflammation, and muscle fatigue.

 

If a bow hunter wants to increase their draw weight, it will be easier to do so after they have become comfortable and physically fit with their bow practice. The archery aids mentioned above can be used in conjunction with physical bow practice in efforts of conditioning for a heavier draw weight. Always keep in mind that increasing draw weight should be done slowly and only to the point that the archer is never over-bowed.

 

In the months leading up to opening day, the confidence that a physically prepared bow hunter has will go a long way in planning a successful season. The earlier a bow hunter gets started in physical preparation for the season the more confidence they will have when that important moment comes when they are at full draw with that trophy animal standing broadside in front of them.

 

If you plan on taking your bow practice to the next level check out Nock Out Lighted nocks. With the practice mode, you can now stay technical and shoot your hunting nocks without wasting the battery. Check out the video below!

 

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Nock Out Lighted Nock Reviews

Lighted Nock Reviews | The Pros Review Nock Out Lighted Nocks

Since they first came out, lighted nocks have supplied hunters with something that has truly revolutionized bow hunting. This is the ability to accurately see where a game animal has been hit. Whether from memory, or reviewing footage when filming a hunt, lighted nocks allow a bow hunter to make a well-informed decision about the recovery of a game animal. The concern now is which lighted nocks are the most efficient, which the brightest lighted nocks are, and simply which lighted nocks are the best on the market.

Best Lighted Nocks on the Market?

While some companies focus on one particular feature such as brightness, dependability, battery life, or function, the true best lighted nock on the market beats out the competition in all aspects. Don’t take it from us that Nock Out® lighted nocks excel in all categories, but from the bow hunters that have experienced it first-hand!

Check out these lighted nock reviews to see for yourself!

Nock Out Lighted Nock Reviews

Pure Hunting’s Willi Schmidt Reviews Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

Paul Maeda Reviews Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

Antler Geeks Review the CleanShot Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

ScoutLookWeather Review of CleanShot Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

Great Outdoor Pursuits review of Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

Whitetail Obsession Nock Out Lighted Nocks

 

Ike’s Outdoors Review of the Nock Out Nocks

What’s All the Rage About?

Nock Out® Lighted Nocks are the frustration free lighted nock. If you have experience with any other brand of lighted nock you know the niche wide frustration that seems commonplace. From delayed activation and poor fits, to the struggle of turning the nock on and off. So why is Nock Out® different?

Practice Mode: A simple 1/4 turn of the silver activation collar deactivates the LED. Now, you can decide if you want the LED to light or not.

Easy Off: Simply pull the nock straight back until you hear a soft “click” and the LED turns off – no tools, no magnets, and it remains indexed to your vanes. Lighted nocks shouldn’t take longer to turn off than they take to shoot.

Universal Fit: Each 3-pack includes 3 sets of precision orange bushings to fit the 5 most common carbon arrow shafts on the market (total of 9 bushings per 3 pack).

If you use a variety of arrow shafts sizes, or have a family of archers, you won’t need to purchase multiple lighted nocks. Perfect for gift giving! If you are concerned about Nock Out® lighted nocks matching your arrows click the installation guide below to match up!

 

best lighted nock colors hunting

Which Lighted Nock Color is the “Best”?

What is the Best Lighted Nock Color?

The hunting industry is ever changing, moving, and growing. Lighted nocks are becoming more and more of a practical tool for the modern archer who is moving and growing with the industry. While the industry might be taking the first steps, it is up to the hunters to carry the innovations and products into the field. Once this occurs, improvements, competition, and reviews are inevitable. Centered on this critical pivot, the discussion between hunters of the “best” product starts to occur. The same can be said for lighted nocks. While this blog won’t dive into the discussion between lighted nock brands specifically, it will deliver even better insight for hunters…what is the best lighted nock color to use?

Lighted Nocks in the Outdoor Industry

New products are constantly being designed, tested and adapted that are intended to help sporting folks afield. Two of the critical key driving factors for the archery industry are accuracy and shot placement. Accuracy in the field and accuracy in practice are paramount to ethical hunting practices and the hunter’s confidence in shot placement. The responsibility of accuracy and practice is no more imperative than in the pursuit of archery hunting. This pursuit has led to a multitude of archery improvements that seem like a world away from a primitive stick and string propelling a wooden dowel through the air. Compound bows, fiber optic sights, carbon arrows, mechanical broadheads, the list goes on and on when you begin to list improvements to accuracy for the archery hunter. One development designed to improve accuracy, shot placement, game recovery, and improve the value of time invested in practice and hunting is the lighted nock.

Lighted nocks became a possibility with the advent of translucent plastics used in the design and construction of arrow nocks. Those new nock designs coupled with the availability of smaller and smaller LEDs and batteries made lighted nocks a reality. By adding a lighted nock to an arrow shaft, tracking the flight of an arrow moving at speeds of three hundred feet per second or more becomes much easier. The use of lighted nock during practice provides immediate feedback on your shot and arrow flight. Identifying issues in form during practice such as hand torque become much easier to identify with the use of a lighted nock. The task of identifying arrows out of tune that fly contrary to rest of the quiver is much less time consuming with the use of a lighted nock and the ability to identify each arrow’s flight path before the target. The point of impact on target is also much easier to establish from the shooting position when using lighted nocks both in practice and hunting scenarios.

best lighted nock colors hunting

The use of lighted nocks in hunting scenarios is becoming more and more commonplace. The ability to track arrow flight to the point of impact in low light conditions can be a valuable tool in the field. Considering a shot taken in the field and examining the placement on the game animal is critical when determining the recovery approach. Arrow recovery after the shot, whether a complete or partial pass through, is often critical in the follow-up and tracking of downed game. The use of a lighted nock can make finding that arrow, and the associated blood trail much easier.

What is the Best Lighted Nock Color?

When considering lighted nock selection, don’t discount the choice of color as a key decision point for the application you intend to use the nock and arrow setup for when hunting. While camouflage and concealability are critical components of bow hunting, hunters should consider the visibility of an arrow before, during, and after the shot for recovery. The key advantage to a lighted nock is its visibility and obvious contrast to the surroundings.  Finding the exact location the arrow impacted the game animal and finding the blood trail can sometimes be frustrating and difficult to identify after the shot.  Angles, perspective, entry’s and exits, and even shadows change when you climb down from a tree stand or exit a blind to examine an area after a shot is taken. The ability to locate a glowing lighted nock shining in contrast to its surroundings is a great start to tracking that game animal.

best lighted nock colors hunting

Color choice in a lighted nock can mean the difference between quickly finding an arrow after the shot or scanning the ground in a seemingly endless search for your arrow.

Green Lighted Nocks

Choosing a neon green lighted nock for a spring archery turkey hunt, for instance, may not be the best choice.  A bright green lighted nock attached to a camouflaged arrow may be next to impossible to find in a green feed or fescue field where turkeys are feeding and strutting. That same green lighted nock on the end of an arrow on a western antelope hunt on the high plains, or in the orange and red November woods of the Midwest will stand out like a sore thumb against the backgrounds. Green lighted nocks serve as the best color choice in nearly every scenario that green does not exist in the landscape, at least by majority compared to other colors in the landscape.

best lighted nock colors hunting

Red Lighted Nocks

A green lighted nock color literally serves as the best choice for nearly every season except the spring green up.  The color in its place during this time of year by far, also one of the most popular colors besides green, is red. The green and lush habitat extends from turkey season well into the summer and early autumn, when early season whitetail hunters or elk hunters start hitting the woods. In these scenarios the best color nock for the hunter would be a color that stands out against the different shades of neon green and in some cases yellow grasses/leaves in early autumn. Red nocks in spring and summer are the best choice. This means that a red nock should be used for spring turkey hunting, early season whitetail hunting, and September elk hunting.

best lighted nock colors hunting

Yellow Lighted Nocks

Consider how many times a hunter has mistaken an orange or red fall leaf or turning grass in the fall whitetail woods for a spot of blood after a shot. Many hunts depending on season and ecosystem lend themselves to distinct colors and hues. A neon yellow lighted nock on a hunting arrow shot during a fall hunt is not likely to show up against the autumn browns, reds and oranges of October and November. Again green nocks are the best in this scenario, leaving yellow nocks with not a lot of great options as far as the hunting application. A lighted nock should glow and act as a beacon against the darkness on an early morning or late evening hunt regardless of the color.

So Which Is the Best Lighted Nock Color?

Color, light, and shadow are all critical in the pursuit of game. Camouflage and stand or blind placement should always be cognizant of the surrounding colors, hues and shadows of the hunting area.  Most times we are concerned with blending into the natural environment and to go unnoticed. In the case of a lighted nock, this tool is best served to contrast with the surrounding environment. Hunters work tirelessly to better their odds in the field and to respect the animals they pursue with ethical practices. Improving confidence in shot placement and the odds of arrow recovery with the use of a lighted nock can go a long way to enhance an archery hunt.

As you can conclude, each season, hunt, and environment have considerations for the best lighted nock color. One color does not, unfortunately, cover the spectrum of hunts. Rather two different colors, red and green, perform together as the best colors for lighted nocks.