Are Advantages of Lighted Nocks Unethical?

Earlier this year, Montana legislators voted on a bill that would prohibit Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission from banning the use of lighted nocks by hunters. After the House of Representative approve the bill – with a vote of 77-21 – it looked like Montana hunters would finally be able to use the advantages a lighted nock offers. But even as the bill glided through the house, the Senate stop the bill from moving forward – rejecting it 26-24.  

Montana’s failure to allow lighted nocks is just another case of the government’s lack of common sense and their misunderstanding of the sport of bowhunting. Because of the advantages a lighted knock gives a bowhunter, it is not unethical. In fact, it can be more ethical to the animal. Below are three advantages to using a lighted nock. None give the hunter an unfair advantage.

Advantages of Lighted Nocks

1. Lighted Nocks Help Accuracy

Before a shot presents itself in the field, lighted nocks help archers tune their bows for accuracy. A lighted nock highlights issues of arrow flight such as fishtailing and porpoising. Once bowhunters know they have a problem, they can consult a bowtuning guide to help fish the issue. Recurve hunters especially like using a lighted nock at the range to study the flight of an arrow shot at slower speeds and longer distances.

All bowhunters want to make lethal shots – ethical shots that will kill an animal cleanly – and not injured an animal if they can help it. Of course, there is no law preventing a hunter using a lighted nock while practicing, but in states where they are illegal, finding lighted nocks can be a challenge.

2. Lighted nocks helps hunters track a deer better

From the time you release the arrow and the LED light of the Vesta lighted nock is activated, it becomes a tool in tracking your shot and ultimately your harvest. We know many shots are taken at the fringes of legal shooting hours, when natural light is lacking in the woods or on nasty weather days when it’s hard to track your arrow’s flight. After a shot, bowhunters rack their brains trying to access the situation. Did the arrow graze a branch? Did the wind push it off target? Where exactly did the broadhead enter the animal? All these questions are easier answered when using a lighted nock.

The more information a hunter has about the shot, the better he can plan a solid recovery plan. If the arrow passes through the animal, hunters can find their arrow with the help of a lighted nock. The arrow will have valuable clues about where the animal was hit – hair samples, body fluids, etc. If it helps a hunter make better educated decisions following a shot and located his arrow to interpret sign on the arrow, then it can do nothing but yield higher recovery rates.

3. Lighted Nocks are Fun to Shoot

Wasp Archery has been around for a long time and we have seen archery equipment evolve since 1971. We have taken part in the evolution. One of the main reasons we hunt is because it is fun and we enjoy ushering kids, girlfriends and  buddies into the hunting community. Lighted nocks are just plain fun to use. They look cool flying downrange, they may get kids excited about shooting their bows and they make for great video of hunts you try to capture on film.

If lighted nocks can help a bowhunter be more accurate, recover game and have more fun without violating fair chase standards, what’s the big deal? Comment below with your thoughts on the lighted nock debate.