With the 2016 hunting season approaching, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has once again introduced some new rules and regulations for bow hunters to follow. While many of these rule changes relate to small logistical issues, there is one major change that will likely alter the way bow hunters all over the state enjoy their pastime.
On October 9th, 2015, the ODFW approved the usage of lighted nocks when hunting with a bow and arrow. As any bow hunter is aware, a nock is the small notch at the end of an arrow. A nock becomes a lighted nock when a small light is attached to that end, and hunters typically use them to track their shots and find wounded game when hunting at dusk or dawn.
While there is some debate in the bow hunting community about how useful lighted nocks are, this decision from the ODFW will certainly shake things up next hunting season. From your archery store in Central Point, OR, here is a quick rundown of the facts related to this new rule.
Why lighted nocks were banned
The ODFW’s decision was largely swayed by supportive testimony from the Oregon Hunting Association (OHA). In the past, the OHA has mostly sought to avoid any change in the rules and regulations surrounding bow hunting that would take away the sport’s inherent primitive nature.
As the OHA wrote in its report to the ODFW, “Historically Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) has opposed the introduction of technology and electronic devices that enhance and increase the effective range of archery equipment. We have opposed the introduction of many proposed devices that would advance archery hunting from its current status of a primitive weapons season.”
In other words, there is a reason that the bow hunting season and the rifle hunting season are different, and the OHA feared that allowing lighted nocks would modernize bow hunting to the point that it would throw off the balance.
Why they are now allowed
Although the OHA has always led the way in keeping bow hunting primitive, the organization had a change of heart this year specifically regarding lighted nocks. This shift was caused, the organization reported, due to a realization that nocks are used more as a simple, practical tool than as a complete modernization of bow hunting.
“We do not see where lighted nocks will have any impact on range of the current bows approved for use in Oregon,” the OHA’s report stated. “It may in fact assist archery hunters in the recovery of game hit by an arrow. All hunters are concerned about the wounding of an animal and then not being able to recover it whether using archery equipment or firearms. The lighted nock will assist the archery hunter in identifying the point of impact on an animal and assist in the recovery of animals.”
Finding lighted nocks, advice and information
If you have never used a lighted nock before, now is your chance to become educated before the 2016 season arrives. Come visit Southern Oregon Archery, LLC, your archery store in Central Point, OR, for more advice, information and top products.