Bowsite.com Logo



broadheads and blood trails



By: Nitro1970
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Just out of curiosity what about broadhead design makes one produce a better blood trail than another? Wouldn't it have more to do with shot placement and what you hit and how you hit it than anything? A cut is a cut is a cut right, or is there more to it?


By: Northwoods
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Shot placement is the most important aspect. Some other variables could affect the blood trail, but if you hit them in the right spot it shouldn't matter much.


By: seamus4
Posted: 15-Dec-09

So many variables. A pass through with a low exit hole ususally means a good blood trail.

A pass through from the ground with a higher exit hole ususally means it takes a little bit for the blood to fill up the chest cavity.

A good hit on a hard quatering away shot with no exit hole usually means a poor blood trail.

My best blood trail was with a 1" cut steel force cut on contact head, my worst blood trail was with the same head, both double lung pass throughs????

My 2nd best blood trail was with a 1 1/2" mech head that hit the opposite leg and didn't pass through. I took out the top of the heart.

By and large though the larger cut mechs have given me better blood trails.

A deer with a shaggy winter coat can leave less blood than a Sept. deer with a summer coat. A Sept. deer with lots of fat can plug up an extit hole......

A ham shot that cuts the femoral artery can leave a better trail than a deer shot square in heart.

Do you see what I'm getting at??


By: 13 points
Posted: 15-Dec-09

A sharp head.


By: CAS_HNTR@UC
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Good shot placement "should" result in good blood trails....beyond that, it's a crap shoot like seamus64 was describing.


By: Nitro1970
Posted: 15-Dec-09

That's what I was thinking but with some of the threads I see on different forums about one broadhead producing better trails than others, I thought I must have missed something in bowhunting 101.


By: bill brown
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Highly variable. I shot a breeder doe yesterday morning. Quartering away and pretty close to the stand. I hit her high in the right side, through the heart, and a low exit wound on the left. No blood for thirty yards, then pretty good blood for thirty yards, then no blood again. I walked down the way she ran and found a dead deer and blood all over the place. The shot placement could not have been better, but the blood trail was pretty sporadic. The best blood trail I ever saw was from a buck a buddy shot in the neck. The deer went about 300 yards before it died, but there was blood sprayed everywhere.


By: thesquid
Posted: 15-Dec-09

First, hit um right - a good spot. Second, SHARP head. Vains and the such are a bit rubbery, to cut them you need a sharp broadhead.

(Sharp and shot placement)


By: Les Welch
Posted: 15-Dec-09

I've shot a couple of deer along the way, and as stated there are a lot of variables. That said, there still are some heads that leave better blood trails than others, not sure why.


By: HunterJoe
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Big sharp ones in the right place. I have learned that the blood trial is not a good determination of what kind of hit one has put on the deer. Some poor hits bleed a lot. Some great hits bleed very little. Unless we see the deer go down - We treat them all the same. Wait longer than we think we need to then wait some more. Go slow and mark every drop of blood with TP.


By: Huntsman
Posted: 15-Dec-09

I too echo the good shot placement / sharp broadheads. I’ve had broadside shots where I’m glad I was able to watch the critter crash because the blood trails were skimpy. By far the best blood trails I’ve been involved with were frontal chest shots. The last bull elk I harvested was with a frontal chest shot and the trail was ridiculously heavy. Most any broadhead will do the job providing it goes in the right place and is sharp.


By: XTEC
Posted: 15-Dec-09

all 5 of my deer this year including 1 buck ran no more than 22 yards. All shots were either broad side or quartering away.

MUZZY MX3 I to feel shot placement is key. Also a sharp blade.


By: blackeagle
Posted: 15-Dec-09

shot placement and a magnus 1 with a inch and a half cut sharpened with a file gave me the best blood trail I have ever seen in my 24 years of hunting with a bow. I called it my first running blood trail. deer went 50 yards and died on its feet.


By: Beendare
Posted: 15-Dec-09

Obviously shot placement and from all of the fan boy reports almost any head will work.

To disect it a bit more, I have had instances where the "Short" heads must have dulled enough on contact with muddy hide[ pigs and elk] to not cut as much as the longer heads I use now. So is blade angle and edge retention important? I think it makes a difference.YMMV


By: Mike Sohm/Magnus
Posted: 15-Dec-09

take a look


By: Mike Sohm/Magnus
Posted: 15-Dec-09

here is another


By: Mike Sohm/Magnus
Posted: 15-Dec-09

first two posts are extensive testing woody sanford magnus technical engineer has conducted. just a start of extensive testing being done everyday.


By: Nitro1970
Posted: 16-Dec-09

Mike, what exactly am I looking at in the first video? What does the top arrow and bottom arrow represent?

Let me put it this way. If I have 3 broadheads, like a G5 Striker, Slick Trick Mag and Muzzy MX 4 and all are "sharp", what would make people say one would draws better (or lack of) blood than the other? Maybe they just based their opinion on one shot? I just used the heads above as an example cause to me they appear similar.


By: bill brown
Posted: 16-Dec-09

Same request as Nitro1970. I shot that doe with a Snuffer SS. Where did my arrow go? It zipped right through the doe and I can't find it.


By: Sage of the Sage1
Posted: 16-Dec-09

I've put a couple of 3 blade spitfires through deer hearts, shooting from the ground, pass-throughs. That produces a blood highway.

Pretty much any broadhead in the heart/lung area will result in a blood trail you can follow without crawling on your hands and knees, in my experience. A pass-through helps, obviously, because the animal is leaking out of 2 holes instead of one. Shot placement is the most important thing when hoping for a pass-through. A good COC broadhead helps when hunting bigger game, but on deer-sized animals, I always get a pass-through with my spitfires.


By: im-ocd
Posted: 16-Dec-09

Given equal shot placement, larger mechanicals ( 1 1/2''- 1 3/4'' three blade) have left more blood on the ground than 1 3/16'' three blade fixed heads. If you shot a deer through the lungs in exacly the same spot, same angle, exit, blade sharpness, ect... a larger hole would leave more blood on the ground. However, can we be sure the larger head (I'm thinking mechanical) will make a full size entry hole, do we have enough KE / momentum to ensure a pass through, will the blades bend or break?

Specific examples: I shot 3 deer with the Muzzy 100 3 blade, all double lung pass throughs. None of the deer made it past 75 yards, but the blood trails were very disappointing. I shot 5 deer with Miniblasters and had very good blood trails, none went over 60 yards, but small entry holes (and bent blades). I double lunged a deer with the ST standard and had an excellent blood trail for the first 60 yards, got spotty for the last 40. I got pass throughs on 4 different deer with 1 1/4'' four blade Rocket Steelheads / Wolverine (the four blade models are now discontinued) and the resulting blood trails were not as good as the larger heads, plus the entry holes were small.

After 22 bowkills with various broadheads I either want a 4 blade fixed head like the ST or Stinger, or a mechanical that I have not tried yet like the Spitfire or Jackhammer. The fixed four blade head is going to provide a full entry hole and more tissue damage than a 3 blade 1 3/16'' head. The mechanicals I mentioned may or may not provide a full size entry, but I'm willing to try those proven models.


By: Mike Sohm/Magnus
Posted: 16-Dec-09

i posted the first one to show the broadhead efficiency, to show to all just some of the testing which is being done everyday at magnus. We will have continued testing which will be posted at the appropriate time. thanx


By: C2
Posted: 18-Dec-09

Anyone that says that no fixed blade head can produce a bloodtrail close to that of an expandable has never seen the bloodtrail left from a good hit made with the biggest Snuffer made by Magnus. Or that of a Wensel Woodsman or VPT Terminator either for that matter. All these broadheads mentioned are much more likely to get a complete passthrough than an expandable even with a traditional bow with less thsn 43ft/lbs of KE. The Snuffer broadhead has been making bloodtrails you could slip and slide in for over 30 years; and they are some of the shortest bloodtrails you'll ever follow.


By: Nitro1970
Posted: 18-Dec-09

Thanks for all the info guys.


By: Nitro1970
Posted: 18-Dec-09


By: pops
Posted: 19-Dec-09

This is pretty much a NO Brainer - The only way a broadhead kills is by Hemmoraging. The bigger the cut the more it bleeds the faster it dies!!!!!!!!!!! I noticed a few IFs in the threads.If you make a bigger cut and you make a bad shot or the animal jumps your string you're going to be wishing you had a broadhead that cuts a foot wide slot, but 2-3/4", 2-1/2"or 2" would do just fine!


By: Ironbow
Posted: 20-Dec-09

In my experience from 36 years of this, I don't find blood trails with 2 blade or 2 blade heads with small bleeder blades to be all that good, sometimes poor. Too often the wound closes over. I like a hole, and sometimes those trails are really good, sometimes they are OK, but always better than 2 blade heads.


By: Apprentice
Posted: 21-Dec-09

pops, I hate the break it to you, but that is NOT the only way a broadhead kills. Put it through the lungs, and they suffocate.


By: Seminole
Posted: 21-Dec-09

Apprentice good point: I believe you are refering to a Pneumothorax and yes it is very quick. Quicker than most people realize.


By: Spiral Horn
Posted: 21-Dec-09

There are very strong emotions on both sides of this discussion.

There is also an incredible amount of marketing hype, and endless hunting show comercials, about all of the new and revolutionary stuff the sponsors insist that we just cannot be without each and every year.

Sold on fixed blade heads (used expandables for a time, but after several field experiences of failures and poor penetration, switched back). If my acutal experiences with expanables were different, I'd probably still be using them. Have taken numerous species all over the world and based on actual field performance, fixed blade heads just give better consistent results. Personally, I use Shuttle-Ts -- they fly like darts out of my bow at extended range, do not whistle in flight, and have a solid steel furrle/blades. I will use them until I find another head that works better for me -- tried Slick Tricks this past year, as I really like the design and component quality. Just couldn't get them to fly as well (you're actual mileage may vary). Also, agree with those who make the point that it is about putting an arrow through the vitals -- Amen! It just needs to hit there and penetrate through intact, under hunting conditions.

Just took the buck of my lifetime last month. Only shot was close, but was through the scapula. Was using a 467 grain arrow @ 73 lbs with a solid steel fixed blade head. Arrow penetrated through the scapula and about 18 inches into the body and the broadhead was intact -- in my experience, there is no way an expanable head could have done this.

Problem is -- there is just too much marketing, leaving the average Joe sold on the message he has been endlessly bombarded with.


By: 12yards
Posted: 21-Dec-09

I've snot 30 something deer and a bear. I've used Bear Super Razorheads, Bear Razorhead Lites, Cabelas Lazer Supremes (3 blade repl. blade broadhead), and recently, Rocket 100 steelheads. I can't say which one produces the best blood trails. I've had light and heavy ones w/ all. The worst trail was with the steelhead which left no blood trail. I shot a doe w/ it straight down and fat plugged the exit hole. Just put it through the boiler room and you should have an adequate trail regardless of head used. Just make sure it is sharp.


By: hntn4elk
Posted: 22-Dec-09

This thread will no doubt go on for some time....

One, a sharp broadhead will cut better...better cutting will cause better internal bleeding.

Better internal bleeding does not always correspond to better blood trails. Most external blood loss, or part of a blood trail may be largely due to exhalation of blood by the animal, and not due to entrance or exit wounds by any particular broadhead design or number of blades.

Blood trails are probably one of the hardest ways to measure effectiveness of broadheads because so much is dependent on the individual animal, the placement and penetration of the arrow and broadhead, the flora through which the animal may travel through;(take a well hit deer in thick waist high wet ferns and weeds, or grasses versus a new fallen sheet of snow on dead leaves or new snow on dry ground)

I have had blood trails that were a drop here and a drop there for 150 fifty yards....thorasic cavity filled with blood. I have had animals fall in sight after passthoughs that went 35 yards and left no blood trail. I have had blood trails a blind man could follow.

Yes, to some extent, broadhead design is part of it, sharpness of the broadhead is in my opinion a big part of it, shot placement is a part of it...horizontal pass through versus high angle shots, quartering away, etc...

The rest is, well....not up to us......

But to say one broadhead, will always leave a better blood trail...is reaching pretty far.....

But for me, a hand honed, every day, two blade Zwickey or Magnus, seems to do the job.

Garo


By: sunwarrior
Posted: 25-Dec-09

When I started out bow hunting I used 3 blade broadheads with much success. Decided to try 2 blade broadheads for a while. They worked fine but I did notice the blood trails were not as noticable and had to trail the deer a lot further. Went back to using 3 blade 100 grain thunderheads for the fact they leave better bloodtrails, even on bad hits, and they seem to bring the deer down faster.


By: im-ocd
Posted: 25-Dec-09

im-ocd's embedded Photo

On the 16th of December I said, "After 22 bowkills with various broadheads I either want a 4 blade fixed head like the ST or Stinger, or a mechanical that I have not tried yet like the Spitfire or Jackhammer. The fixed four blade head is going to provide a full entry hole and more tissue damage than a 3 blade 1 3/16'' head. The mechanicals I mentioned may or may not provide a full size entry, but I'm willing to try those proven models."

Well, on Dec. 23rd deer #23 fell to a well placed shot from a Spitfire. The double lung hit deer ran about 50 yards and dropped. Blood trail was "copious". The Spitfire made an entry hole about as big as a quarter and an exit that, well.... you see.


By: Nitro1970
Posted: 25-Dec-09

I agree with broadheads being sharp and I try to get mine as sharp as possible. Just a curious question: If sharpness is tied to getting better bloodtrails, how does the Atom broadhead achieve this?


By: Dragonslayer
Posted: 27-Dec-09

Have bowshot well over a hundred whitetails, not to mention hogs and other game and helped blood trail hundreds of others. A RAZOR-SHARP, well designed broadhead put in the right place with sufficient kinetic energy will put most animals down for good in under twenty seconds, (usually within a hundred yards of the shot). Where things get tricky is the not-so-perfect shot that happens quite frequently in the real world of bowhunting. I shoot Muzzy fixed blade heads because they fly well in my bow, they penetrate well and they are tough as nails. Through spine, shoulder, leg, and even head shots, I have never seen a Muzzy come apart. Very few, if any, expandables can penetrate like a quality fixed blade and bone contact turns some into shrapnel. Along with penetration comes exit wounds. Without an exit wound, most hits result in skimpy blood trails and many lost animals. You'll notice at the beginning I said, "RAZOR SHARP", instead of just sharp. Well, there's a world of difference. I've got a saying that I tell all my bowhunting buddies and especially the young ones. "IF IT WON"T SHAVE, DON"T SHOOT IT!" Shaving sharp blades cut veins, arteries and capillaries cleanly to reduce clotting and increase blood flow which equals short, heavy trails and dead animals. I've found through the years that it's wise not be too quick to jump on every new bandwagon that comes along. Use what is proven, you owe it to yourself, but more importantly, you owe it to the game you will send that broadhead into.


End of Topic
Bowsite.com Logo