It’s an all too familiar feeling — you set a target in your sights and send your arrow flying true only to be off by a hair, just enough to never see that loaded-up arrow again.
But now, those troubles may soon be a distant memory.
Here’s what you need to know about this game-changing technology.
Fully-loaded arrows affixed with a broadhead and lighted nock aren’t cheap, and losing one (or 10) can put a serious dent in your bowhunting budget. But Breadcrumb’s trackable Bluetooth nocks solve for that by communicating with a hunter’s smart phone via an app. With a range up to 150 yards, these nocks can set off light and sound to help you locate them. They are also equipped with a replaceable battery that provides more than 35 hours of tracking power.
Additionally, the nock features a small Process Control Block (PCB) processor that controls the light, sound and Bluetooth-tracking capabilities. Even better? It’s waterproof.
Here’s how it works:
Now, some might think — this sounds like cheating. While it’s unlikely, what if the arrow doesn’t pass through its target? Does the Breadcrumb nock then become an animal-tracking device?
Not at all.
As all bowhunters know, an arrow very rarely ever stays in an animal. Bates’ goal with the nock is that it could help you find that arrow or any pieces that may have broken off and even assist with bloodtrailing downed game.
“Arrows are expensive, and when practicing we don’t always hit our mark,” Bauserman said. “Losing a $16 arrow is frustrating. This technology, if truly sound, should help bowhunters retrieve lost shafts. In addition, there is nothing more important than finding an arrow after it goes through an animal. The blood on the shaft and vanes tells us so much. Technology like this should lead to more recovered deer.”
Hunters know just how easy it is to get turned around in the woods. Before you know it, you’ve lost sight of your stand, trail cams and gear. Even with a two-man team, making your way back to home base can be difficult. That’s where Breadcrumb’s Bluetooth location tracker comes in.
The case is compact and durable, and it can be easily attached to your gear, pack or stand. Its microprocessor enables you to track locations through an app on your smart phone. This lets you activate light beacons with five ultra-bright LEDs as well as a sound beacon when needed.
“If you have one of them on your stand and if you can get within 150 yards of it, you can press the button and make it flash at you so you can see it and have the confidence and ability to go directly to your stand,” Bates said.
This device can track locations more than 150 yards away and was built to withstand the tough conditions hunters endure from season to season. Check out the video below to see how it works.
So, what exactly does this mean for hunters?
According to Mark Olis, the editor of Predator Xtreme magazine, this technology essentially lets solo hunters implement the trusty two-man system where one guy shoots and his buddy tracks the downed game. With the Bluetooth nock technology, one hunter can release his arrow, locate it via the trackable nock and make his or her way back to the stand safely using the location tracker with his dinner in tow.
However, as Olis cautions, it’s crucial that bowhunters use this technology as a tool to assist with the hunt and following blood, and not solely rely on it in the field.
“I would hope this technology wouldn’t become a crutch to newer hunters where they might give up pursuit of a downed animal in case the technology fails or it is too far out of range to locate,” Olis said.
Bates said the company is constantly working on improving its products and including new features that would benefit the outdoor industry. Breadcrumb plans to release more options this fall, and it is accepting pre-orders for both the nock and the location marker now. The estimated delivery date would be later this fall. Click here for more information.
Important Note: Some states may view this product as an “electronic device attached to the bow or arrow,” which would make it illegal to use for hunting in those states. Also be sure to understand how record-keeping organizations view the product and how it may effect eligibility for entry into record books. Find information about record-keeping organizations and how scoring systems work, go here.
What do you think of this new tech? Would you use it this fall? Let us know in the comment section below!
All photos credit: Breadcrumb