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I used to hate having my pull-up rope tangled when I pulled it out of my pocket. There is nothing more frustrating than needing to quickly and quietly get up in your deer stand and then have to spend extra time untangling your pull-up rope.
Something had to give.
So, for years I used a gadget called a hunting hoist. It worked well enough, But, it was an extra 1-2 pounds of gear that I didn’t want to be weighed down by when walking to my stand. Also, the thing stip-like nylon material made a very unnatural noise when retracting.
It’s hard enough to kill a deer. I don’t need any extra noises making it more difficult.
I needed a pull-up rope for my bow that wouldn’t get all knotted up
I wanted to get rid of the unwanted noise as well as the extra weight. So, here’s what I use now and it works like a charm.
No tangles, no mess, and I don’t have to deal with any unwanted noise.
How to make your own tangle-free pull-up rope for your bow or gun [step-by-step]
So the first thing you’re going to need is some paracord. I like to use 1/8-inch paracord. It’s big enough to do what I need to do, but it’s also not so bulky that it can’t be handled easily.
Now, I cut the paracord to 30-feet, simply because when I’m using a climbing stand, I like to climb a bit high in the tree when bowhunting. The last thing I want is to have 20 feet of this rope and climb to 25 feet in the tree and have my bow hanging 5 feet off the ground because I didn’t have enough rope.
So, keep in mind how high you typically climb or how high your fixed tree stand is when making this rope.
Deer season is coming up. You know you need to get out and shoot your bow but you can’t seem to find the time. There’s just so much going on with work and/or with family.
So, you don’t get in the reps in shooting your bow like you need to.
The next thing you know, deer season is here. You’re in a deer stand and Mr. Big walks by and you let an arrow fly.
You either miss, or that arrow does not do exactly what you thought it was going to do and you make a bad shot on that animal.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
I’d like to share how the flight of one arrow made me pay much more detailed attention to each of my arrows prior to hunting with them.
This is the story of how I decided it was time to start nock tuning my bare shaft arrows.
Did the arrow fail? Not quite, but it wanted to!
Shooting at a deer is not a good time to find out that your arrow is not flying true.
On one of our bowhunting retreats to South Georgia, my business partner, Josh Wells, was able to take a whitetail buck, but it was not without a little bit of drama.
When we reviewed the footage of the shot, the lighted nock allowed us to notice some pretty severe corkscrew movement on his arrow. Thankfully, the fletchings did their job and the arrow found its mark.
But, this really got us thinking hard about bare shaft tuning our arrows.
We had not nock tuned our arrows in the past, but we knew folks who did and who recommended it highly.
Just give me one dozen arrows and let’s go hunting…
To be honest, like many of you, in the past we had just gone to our respective local bow shops, ordered a dozen arrows and went hunting.
We had taken for granted that that arrow was going to fly true. After all, when it comes to bowhunting we just need to be a “good shot,” right?
Well, we were reminded of an important lesson on this hunt… when it matters most, no one wants that arrow to fly better than the person that’s actually releasing it.
So, as good as your bow shop is (and we have some great bow shops in our area), the truth is that they don’t grip your bow like you do. They don’t necessarily have the same anchor point as you, and they may not have the same release of the arrow that you do.
So, while your bow shop can get your bow in center shot and “in tune,” there is much about yourpersonal shooting method that can affect arrow flight.
So, it’s your responsibility to be sure that each arrow has the best chance of finding its mark when shot from your bow, by you!
Now, when you start using words like “witchcraft” in regards to bowhunting, you have my attention.
If you are still reading, and are wondering what nock tuning is all about, I’m going to take you through the process step-by-step, so that you too can do this for yourself.
Why is nock tuning your arrows necessary for great arrow flight?
Nock tuning has much to do with finding the stiffest part of the arrow, known as the “spine.” The arrow most often flies best when this portion of the shaft is facing up when shooting.
The goal of nock tuning is to gradually turn the nock of your arrow to different positions on the shaft to find the one where the arrow flies the straightest. One of the best ways to do this is to shoot a bare shaft (unfletched) arrow through paper until your find the position on the shaft where it shoots a “bullet hole.”
This will give us a very good indicator that when this arrow is fletched and shot, the fletchings will have very little to correct. After all, you may have gripped the bow too tightly during the shot, or even released the arrow abnormally.
Those fletchings will have all that to worry about without adding an arrow that is not properly tuned.
We could certainly go in-depth about arrow spine, but we’ll keep it simple here.
When arrows are shot and released from a bow, a tremendous amount of stored energy is transferred from the limbs of the bow to that arrow.
The arrow will flex during the shot and the stiffness of the spine is what determines how much that arrow will flex. To fly properly, your arrow needs to flex, but it needs to flex the right amount. That is why having properly spined arrows for your bow setup is critical.
So, as I walk you through the process of bare shaft nock tuning your arrows through paper, I’m going to assume a few things right off the bat. I’m going to assume that your bow is already in center shot and that you have properly spined arrows for your bow setup.
The N-Tune™ arrow wrap and how it makes the nock tuning process easier
Please hear me.
I am not trying to argue for or against arrow wraps.
Many of you may have also gotten interested in the nock tuning and paper tuning bare shaft process by watching the Ranch Fairy.
But, Troy Fowler will tell you, he is not an arrow wrap guy. In fact, he is not for anything that adds extra tail weight. And as it pertains to high FOC, we totally understand why.
What we are saying is, we have found that in the process of bare shaft and paper tuning is tedious. It can take several, if not dozens of shots, and can knowing where you are and where you have been on that arrow shaft is critical to figuring out where the stiffest part of the spine is.
So, we wanted to come up with a way to make the nock tuning process a little bit better, so that you can easily reference which parts of the shaft are tuning better through paper, as well as a way to indicate which arrow you’re working on, so that you can reference that without having to mark up your arrows too much.
How to nock tune your bowhunting arrows | Step-By-Step
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Here’s how to nock tune your arrows through paper using the N-Tune™ arrow wrap (estimate: 15 min per arrow):
Align hole/mark on nock with line on the arrow wrap
Line up the center of the hole in the lighted nock (if you have one) with the number 1 line on the wrap. If your nock does not have a hole, you can mark any place on the nock with a dot as a reference point.
Shoot bare shaft arrow through paper
Shoot the arrow from about 10 feet away through paper (be sure you have a heavy target, such as a speed bag or crossbow target behind the paper that will stop the arrow. Also, be sure that your target is behind your paper more than a full length of your arrow, so that the arrow will not impact the target until it has fully passed through the paper).
Mark corresponding wrap number next to hole in paper
Next to the hole in the paper, write which position on the N-Tune™ arrow wrap you were on when you shot that hole.
Mark your arrow shaft
Once you have shot using all 8 positions on the wrap, examine the holes and see which one is closest to a “bullet hole.” Once you determine this, make a mark on the shaft with a sharpie or other marker and be sure to shoot the arrow with this mark facing up. (Note: If you are fletching your own arrows, you may need your fletchings pointing a certain direction in order to clear your rest of cables. Just be sure that t this mark can always be facing up when shooting.)
Repeat steps 1 through 4 on all shafts
Continue the above process for all 8 positions on the N-Tune™ arrow wrap. (You may have to do this process more than once on each number if you know you had a bad irregularity on one of the shots that was not necessarily the “arrow’s fault.”
If you are going to fletch your own arrows, be sure that you fletch them so that the mark you have made on your shaft is pointing UP when you nock the arrow.
Nock tuning your arrows [step-by-step]
So maybe you’re still asking, “why are you so worried about all this bare shaft nock tuning through paper stuff? That’s what’s the fletchings are for, to correct arrow flight!”
Well, that’s true. But if you’ve bow hunted long enough, you know that a lot of things can happen when you release that arrow.
Maybe your stance wasn’t exactly right. Maybe you were wearing baggy clothing and the string slapped your sleeve when you released the arrow. Maybe you had hand torque when you released the arrow. Maybe you had facial pressure on the bow string.
All these things can negatively affect arrow flight.
Yes, when these things happen, the fletchings will help correct the flight of that arrow. But, you want them to have to correct as little as possible.
Minimal correction is best
Would you rather your fletchings be correcting lots of imperfection because the arrow was not properly tuned? Or, would you rather the fletchings be correction small imperfections because you had taken every precaution to ensure that the bare shaft was flying as true as possible before any of that other bad stuff happened?
I’m choosing option 2, because not only do I want to be the best hunter I can be, I want my arrow to have the best chance possible of making an ethical impact on my target deer or other animal. This will result in me having the best chance possible of recovering that animal.
I hope you’ve learned some helpful information regarding nock tuning through paper.
If you are planning to hunt at night, you will need a thermal or night vision scope to be able to acquire the target successfully. But, while both of these devices will allow you to see at night, there are differences between the two.
Each has its own dedicated application, and each has pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at the differences, so that you can easily choose the best option for you.
You need to know the basic difference between thermal scopes and night vision scopes so you can choose the one that’s perfect for your hunting situation. Hopefully, the following section will make the differences between the two clear. So, keep reading!
Thermal Scopes And How They Work
The word “thermal” refers to anything related to temperature or heat.
Thermal scopes detect the heat or temperature of the target and use the radiation to generate the image.
The image can be generated in black and white or various colors depending on the device. The image will becomes lighter or darker with the increase or decrease of its radiation. Therefore, warm objects look brighter through the scope.
Thermal scopes detect the heat of a target and use radiation to generate the image.
Pros and Cons of Thermal Scopes
Unlike night vision devices, thermal scopes can be used both in the day and at night. And, because they use radiation or heat source to render the image, you can easily detect objects even if they are hiding or camouflaged.
In addition, thermal scopes can cover a larger distance than night vision scopes.
On the down side, during extreme cold, thermal scopes become blind.
Additionally, thermal scopes are heavier and more expensive than night vision scopes.
Some thermal scopes render images in colors.
How Night Vision Scopes Work
Night vision scopes work quite differently than thermal scopes. Some night vision scopes render images in a green hue and rely heavily on a light source to render them. The light source can be ambient, like that of the moon, the stars, or the surroundings.
If there is no light at all, the infrared illuminator (IR) is used to generate light. Luckily, the IR is not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, your prey will not be alerted.
Pros And Cons Of Night Vision Scopes
Night vision scopes are lighter and also less pricey than thermal scopes. They are available in various models and generations. Therefore, you can easily choose one according to your budget and requirements.
Since night vision scopes rely on an available light source, an unfavorable environment can affect the visibility. For example, in the fog, rain, snow, and dust, night vision devices are not as effective.
Additionally, night vision scopes can’t cover long distances as well as thermal scopes can.
Night vision scopes rely on a light source like the moon or stars.
While hunting at night, you need to identify the target as your desired game animal, otherwise, you may end up shooting something else. And the choice between night vision and thermal scopes depends on the shooting environment.
Thermal scopes can detect animals from long distances, but could be confusing for hunters if there are other moving targets in the field of view.
Thermal scopes can easily detect animals or moving objects from a long distance whether it is day or night. Their detection is better than night vision scopes. Even in the roughest weather, they can help you see (except in extreme cold).
However, one thing to keep in mind is that thermal scopes render images in black and white, or in shades of multiple colors, which may be confusing for hunters and shooters if there are other moving objects in the target area. If this is not going to be an issue for you, then a thermal scope would work fine.