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Real life penetration test
I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my pronghorn shot this year. Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails and the hit was similar to some whitetail hits due to the resultant angle, so it should be pertinent to many bowhunters.
This is how he ended up. That is the front of the arrow sticking out. Not very impressive until you see what was hit, and the fact that he was already bugging out when the arrow arrived.
Initially he was drinking in about the same location and stance as this little guy at about 22 yards. He was already gathering himself to leave as the arrow arrived, causing the hit to be a little high, and slightly quartering to.
The arrow went through the back edge of the shoulder blade.
Then through the center of the spine. I put the BH back into the hole after removing the back strap.
This is the view from the inside. You can see the 150 gr VPA is almost completely engaged in bone, and the spine is completely broken.
The arrow exited the body cavity after cutting through the second to last rib.
This is a photo of my BH, on the left, after recovery, and after it had been thrashed around in the muk for a while.
The one on the right was my wife's, a 125 gr VPA. Her hit was through the lungs at about 25 yards. However, her buck was also gathering himself to leave and after exiting, it re-entered the offside leg and shattered the femur.
Neither show any damage after hitting significant bone, and will be ready for service again after a quick touch-up.
You can't beat a VPA broadhead. Forrest
Hard to beat VPA broad heads. If you would quit taking those 101 yard shots the goats wouldn't have time to move.;)
I am not seeing the arrow in the first pic? It looks to me that your setup worked pretty darn good!
bowfreak, I think the arrow is the muddy thing sticking out the side of the lope
LOL!!! It is obvious now....I thought it was a leg at first.
Bowfreak. It's that wad of mud sticking out to the right (his left) in the photo. That goop is more like some kind of foul putty. We call these water holes, but cesspools would be more accurate. Every time these guys come in for water, they just wade out, drink, pi$$, and $hit before leaving. Fortunately, I was able to lasso his horn and didn't have to wade out to get him.
Sorry, a non-vented fixed blade head cannot be tuned out of a modern compound and they don't get sharp enough. Obviously an elaborate photoshop job :^)
"Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails "
Maybe if you're hunting in Florida! With the exception of the deep south, an average whitetail doe weighs 115-130 dressed out. The average antelope buck weighs that much on the hoof. I am still amazed how small pronghorns are compared to even an medium sized whitetail.
Regardless that's a great goat, and great result. Congrats!
I think it is a more fair comparison given that Pronghorn bones are so strong. I don't think they are as tough as deer but nonetheless the information is pertinent.
More of a tribute to quality arrow flight IMO...
The 150 VPA is the m1 tank of broadheads. Great job!
I think it's pretty cool that you were able to lasso him, instead of getting muddy in the retrieval!! Did you actually pack a rope with you for that reason?
I always carry some strong cord in my kill kit, and that did the job on only the second throw.
Some thoughts on my set up. While arrow flight is very important, that kinda goes out the window if the target is moving rapidly when the arrow arrives, as is often the case, especially with some species like pronghorns. The force vectors change instantly, similar to an untuned arrow hitting a stationary target. My approach is to do everything to minimize the consequences of that.
First, by starting with proper tune. Then selecting a quality BH. The BH must not fail. Any edge or point damage during impact will severely impede further penetration. Design is also important. Vents do nothing to improve arrow flight out of a tuned bow. In fact, they create turbulence in flight. Turbulence increases drag. Extra drag at the front of the arrow is a destabilizing force. More significantly, they impede penetration by fowling in every tissue they penetrate, especially as the arrow starts to deflect from several forces at impact and while cutting. An un-vented head has no holes to fowl, resists deflection better, and is stronger.
How you drive that BH is also important. You need enough mass behind it to keep it moving. Mass is more important than speed. I target about 9 grains per pound of draw weight as a good compromise. My set up is about 8.5 and my wife, who shoots a much lighter bow so it's more important, is at about 9.5. A stiffer shaft also transfer energy more efficiently, aiding penetration.
Where that mass is concentrated is also a factor. Higher FOC creates more stable arrow flight and helps to minimize deflection at impact. I'm at about 15% and my wife is at almost !7%. All the weight in the tip would be ideal, but obviously that's impossible.
It's impossible to create the "perfect" arrow. All you can do is make compromises based on what you think is important, and the results you're willing to live with. Point integrity and arrow deflection during penetration are the two things that have the most impact on penetration. While the things you can do to improve terminal performance are limited and have to be balanced with other attributes, they add up when taken together. I don't do anything, no matter how trivial it seems, that negatively effects terminal performance without good reason.
I also bias my efforts to mitigate what I can't control during a shot. I have control up to the point the arrow is released. But no matter how disciplined you are in shot choice, you simply can't control what happens once the arrow leaves the string. That's why I bias towards terminal performance when making equipment choices.
Thanks.. Great info! Good job on the antelope!
Brought to the top in response to 'Antelope scapula' thread.
Love my vpa. Shot an elk frontal at 16 yards. Arrow was right against back leg between hide an guts when it stopped. They penetrate amazing!! Gives me confidence to take those types of shots! Good stuff
congrats on your goat,,,,, nice pics..... shoot what you believe in,,,, for me its a 125 grain Ram Cat,,, shot a ram last year, 42 yards, downhill shot, went thru the right quarter, thru and out the left shoulder.... VPA are very good heads, lots of good heads out there........ I shoot something that flies well for me,,,,,,,
your correct on the mass, that's why I shoot a fmj....
FYI Lopes are bigger than Florida deer... But so are most german shepherds. Mike
Ziek Great shot on the goat. Can you share your total arrow weight and speed for additional reference? Thanks Dave
Total arrow weight - 550 gr., FMJ 300. 238fps out of a 65# Hoyt CE.
These Texas does will average 85 to 100 lb. field dressed, but I think whitetails are tougher than pronghorns normally. Always an exception to the rule though. My buddy busted one right through the lungs last year that ran 300 yd. before he gave it up. Of course, on the prairie, he was still in sight when he fell. I would have hated to track a whitetail in a thicket that far.
"Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails " I think this is very accurate for southern whitetails. Where I hunted in Southern Virginia we would weigh all the deer killed WHOLE. On average the does weighed 90Lbs "LIVE" weight, and the 2-3yr old bucks 120lbs "LIVE" weight.
Midwest and Canadian whitetails will be bigger for sure.
I have noticed poorer penetration on Pronghorn than whitetails though with the same equiptment.
Ziek... thanks for sharing your thoughts on broadheads. I concur. I'm shooting 150 grain unvented three blade VPAs and they are tough.
... oh, congratulations on the pronghorn!
Genesis brings up a great point about perfect arrow flight.
Midwest whitetals = 2x pronghorn.
Nice post still though; enjoyed your pics.