One look through any hunting magazine and you’ll see that there’s never a shortage of new products. The moment I feel comfortable that I have everything I need in order to have a successful bow hunt, I see another gadget that makes me wonder, “Gee, do I need that?” I receive so many hunting catalogs in the mail that I could burn them and heat my home for an entire winter! Hunters and inventors are always coming up with the latest and greatest ‘fill-in-the-blank.’ Some of those products turn out to be very useful and advantageous, while others end up in the corner of the hunting closet or in the rummage sale pile.
While attending the annual Buck and Turkey Show in Madison, WI this past winter, I came across a booth selling a product called “NIGHT TRACKERS.” They are small, LED lights that have a clip on the end and are used for marking a blood trail. They flash extremely bright light, either red, green or white and come in a package of 3. They’re powered by small watch batteries and simply twist to turn on and off.
One of my favorite aspects of hunting is tracking. Ideally your animal would drop where you shot it, but more often than not, you’re backing away quietly only to return in hopes of finding a good blood trail. I love the anticipation and excitement during the track and it’s here when a lot of hunters say a prayer… “Just give me one more sign!” I’ve been in situations when we’ve had to mark the last spot of blood with toilet paper but that means being smart enough to remember t.p.. Or one unlucky friend has to stand back holding a flashlight so we can estimate the direction in which the deer might run. I decided to buy the Night Trackers in hopes of getting to use them come fall.
Driving home after an evening hunt this Sunday, I got a phone call from a friend who just shot a nice buck. “Want to come help us track?” is one of my favorite questions anyone could pose! I rushed out the door with my head lamp, flashlight and Night Trackers. We started from the point of entry where the arrow lay completely coated. I was thinking this wasn’t going to take very long but when the bloodtrail led us from a soybean field into a thicket with long grass I got out the Night Trackers. They were incredibly bright and easy to clip onto the grasses or bush twigs. We used all 3 and would bring up the rear light when another drop was spotted. It was convenient to look back in the dense, thick brush and see the path the buck took blinkling brightly.
After discovering a sharp turn the buck had made, we found the beautiful 9 pointer lying in the tall grass. He was a four year old Wisconsin whitetail that any hunter would be proud of. Being my friend’s first bow kill made it all the more exciting.
Not only were the Night Trackers handy during the track, they illuminated our path back out of the thicket. They were extremely easy to use, even with hunting gloves on. The average battery life is 60 hours and with 3 extra sets of batteries included, I think the Night Trackers are very affordable. What I thought might be a gimmick turned out to be a future Christmas gift for every hunter in my family. I won’t track again without them!