Lighted Nocks. Are there any downsides?
photo credit: Josh Hanson
Lighted nocks are pretty damn ingenious! I can only think of one downside to using them, well...make that two. We’ll get to that shortly.
I remember when lighted nocks first came out. They were all the rage for bowhunters. Not much has changed. Most hunters that I know use them. The reasons are plentiful.
A lighted nock allows you to see the path of your arrow much better than a standard nock. Being able to watch your arrow during flight helps you better see the point of impact. When you are hunting, this is extremely helpful. Knowing where your arrow impacts an animal gives you immediate knowledge of what to do next. Did you make a great shot? Did you hit it too far back? Could you still see the arrow in the animal as it ran off? All of this information makes you a better hunter because now you know your next step. Can I give it 20 minutes and then start the recovery process? Should I wait an hour or two? Maybe I need to wait until tomorrow morning and bring a couple buddies to help me track? That is lot of info provided by an inexpensive little piece of technology.
Ok...a minor downfall, and a major one.
So the minor downfall to using a lighted nock is weight. Weight at the back of your arrow, specifically. Regular nocks are going to weigh somewhere around 8-15 grains, whereas a lighted nock can weigh upwards of 25 grains. This creates a couple of issues. One, if you like to run high FOC, you will need to make up for that weight at the front of your arrow. Two, and this one is super critical, you MUST practice with what you shoot! Do not practice with a non-lighted nock and then throw one on when you head out to hunt!
Major downfall...It can be illegal. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, there is still at least one state that does not allow lighted nocks to be used when hunting. COME ON IDAHO! Get it together!
Lighted nocks can be incredibly helpful in so many scenarios, but it is a personal choice. Hopefully this little bit of info will help you make your decision. Just remember, practice with the same setup you hunt with, and stay away from lighted nocks if you live in Idaho!