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Pope & Young Club to Allow Lighted Nocks, Bow Mounted Cameras

(Photo courtesy Pope & Young Club) (Photo courtesy Pope & Young Club)

By: Lynn Burkhead

Beginning August 1, the Pope & Young Club (www.pope-young.org) will allow standard lighted arrow nocks and bow-mounted cameras to be exempted from the Club’s previous “no electronics attached to the bow or arrow rule” concerning record book admissions.

Archers should note that the new rule change does not allow for the use of lighted sight pin housings on a bow.

According to a P & Y press release, the change concerning nocks and cameras comes as a result of bylaw changes passed by the group’s Board of Directors. The measure was also ratified by the Club’s voting membership.

Previously, the Club’s “Rules of Fair Chase” prohibited lighted nocks and bow-mounted cameras. A part of the group’s bylaws constitution and record book entry affidavit since the 1980s, no animal could be entered into the archery record books if taken with equipment containing such devices.

P & Y says the change follows much internal discussion and member debate in recent years.

Jim Willems, president of the Pope & Young Club.

Jim Willems, president of the
Pope & Young Club

“I was pleased to see such a large percentage of our voting members chose to change our by-laws to allow lighted nocks and bow mounted cameras,” said Jim Willems, president of the Pope & Young Club.

“It is generally accepted that such equipment does not aid in harvesting an animal and can actually enhance the overall hunting experience. It's good to get the issue behind us and move on to other important matters.”

According to a news release, the P & Y Fair Chase rules now read:

  • “RULES OF FAIR CHASE #7: [Not] by the use of electronic devices for attracting, locating or pursuing game, or guiding the hunter to such game or by the use of a bow or arrow to which any electronic device is attached, with the exception of lighted nocks and recording devices that cast no light towards the target and do not aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow.

  • DEFINITION OF A HUNTING BOW, EXCLUSIONS #2: Electronic or battery-powered devices shall not be attached to a hunting bow, with the exception of recording devices that cast no light towards the target and do not aid in rangefinding, sighting or shooting the bow.

  • DEFINITION OF A HUNTING ARROW, EXCLUSIONS #1: No electronic or battery-powered devices shall be attached to the arrow, with the exception of lighted nocks.”
Ed Fanchin, records chairman for the Pope & Young Club

Ed Fanchin, records chairman for the Pope & Young Club

Fair chase bowhunting is at the top of the list for the Pope & Young Club,” said Ed Fanchin, records chairman for the Pope & Young Club.

“This rule change does not in any way change the definition of fair chase bowhunting, nor does it assist the bowhunter with taking an animal. The integrity of the records program must always be maintained and is not compromised with this rule change," he added.

"The Pope & Young Club has a responsibility to protect the primitive aspects of bowhunting and at the same time we must also embrace change.”

Why is P & Y waiting until August 1 to enact the rule?

So that the Club will have time to get new record book entry documents printed up and in the hands of their 800-plus volunteer official measurers.

The Club also indicates that that the lighted nock and mounted camera rule change is retroactive, meaning that animals taken with such devices before the new rule change will be now be eligible for entry into the P & Y record book.

While the new rule will allow for entry of an animal into the Club’s archery record book, archers should note that the rule does not supersede state laws in some places that prohibit electronic devices from being attached to a bow.

Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Oregon are among the states that currently do not allow for the use of lighted nocks on hunting arrows.

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