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!
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