Seriously though, I also questioned the need, but last year I watched a javelina shot well back with a 2 1/2 cut head, and he was dead in 40 yards. I really didn't think that javelina would be recovered, but I do believe that big cut head made the difference.
Whether that would transfer to a larger animal like a deer, I don't know, but I certainly don't think it would hurt in those instances when a less than desirable shot happens
I was pretty impressed and would use them on deer sized game
I think they appeal to mods peolle because of the large cut for blood loss and if your shot is off it might catch something vital
Those who have killed deer have likely experienced how little resistance ribs present for a broadhead. I've shot quartering deer with 2 1/2" 2 blade MBH's and cut 3-4 entering and 3-4 exiting and still achieved full penetration.
I've shot ~70 animals with 2"- 2 3/4" Vortex broadheads, and one thing I have observed is a 2" 2 blade (2" total cut) hole is preferable to a 1" 4 blade (2" total cut) hole in the vast majority of cases in terms of blood on the ground.
And FWIW, I think that's ridiculous. The only thing dumber is if they think they need the bragging rights for the shortest, bloodiest trail. Actually, no.. The WORST is if these knuckleheads start believing that these heads are the next best thing to a Pod, and it really doesn't matter where you hit 'em, so go ahead and shoot....
JMO, using an oversized mechanical is really rather foolish, because they put huge stresses on relatively fragile, moving parts. The wider the cut, the more leverage that blade has with which to redirect the path of your arrow or snap itself off. And not-for-nothin' but what is the cutting diameter of a 2" blade with one blade snapped off???
It's like using a highly frangible bullet and/or over-powered cartridge for big game - no amount of Magnum Whoop-ass or bullet fragmentation is going to pull your fat out of the fire when you've already screwed the pooch. Not on a regular basis, anyway, but of course you only hear the stories when the expandable somehow saved the day; when the critter disappears, nobody knows how good the shot really was, and nobody has any idea whether the head failed to open, or broke, or performed flawlessly and it still wasn't enough BECAUSE THE SHOOTER HEFFED UP.
And using standard-sized mechanicals is just incredibly stupid in its own right, because they don't do anything that a conventional blade won't do... except fail to open or break.
Short blood trails... Really? I know a guy from the UK who was a professional deer hunter; killed literally thousands of deer with assorted rifles, favored a .270 Win, and he fully expected a well-hit deer to go 80 yards, every single time. Shorter is convenient, but these animals aren't all that bright, and sometimes the fact that they're dead doesn't actually register with them right away.
So let me ask you... How much blood do you really need in order to follow it across the forest floor? Are you really incapable of seeing where leaves were scuffed up, or grass trampled, or twigs snapped? Did you not know that you can stick your fingers in a track and feel the cool, wet earth in the bottom of a fresh one vs. the warmer drier tracks that are more than a few hours old? Are you sure that you want to use the head that gives you the greatest chance of failure to get an exit wound - AT ALL, sometimes - in exchange for getting way more blood on the ground that you could possibly need in order to follow it the rest of the time?
Would you rather follow 10 80-yard trails that are moderately bloody, or 9 30-yard Stevie Wonder Specials and one really sparse one with no way of knowing how far it will go?
Yeah, OK... If you're hunting in the suburbs on undersized properties, maybe you really do want them to expire absolutely as fast as possible. And if you're shooting moderately high poundage at fawns and young does and you keep your shots right at the zero for your first sight pin... It'll probably be a long time before you have a problem, so Cull Away.
But really, I think these things should be considered a specialty tool, rather than the glamorous go-to option that they seem to have become....
And one last thought... If you normally hold back into the middle of the lungs, where the blood vessels are not so large or densely packed, then yes, you might occasionally save yourself 20 yards of tracking with the wider slash, and you're not liable to snap off a lot of blades on the ribs.
But if you typically aim for the 10-ring on the 3-Ds, where the blood vessels are EVERYWHERE... AND they're the high-pressure circuits, AND you run a much higher risk if clipping a scapula or a leg-bone, or hitting into (or above) the spine in "no-man's land"... Did you ever think that maybe in the part of the animal with all the hard stuff in it, you would be better served by something just a little bit narrower, but a lot closer to bomb-proof???
So yeah, I'm on a first-class rant and yes, I'm needling you a bit. So try to keep your sense of humor... But if these aren't a brilliant example of a massively marketed, highly problematic solution to a non-existent problem, I really don't know what is....
i love them for Turkeys ! i'm my opinion they are the best for body shots because alot of the energy is absorbed upon the blades opening.
The key to shooting the rage, or rage extreme, schacker, or similar heads are arrow weight.
if you shoot the newest, fastest bow with a 350 grain arrow you can expect to have penetration issues. But a whitetail is not a huge animal and is relatively easy to penetrate, until something goes wrong.
i would recommend at least 450 grain arrows and 65lb draw minimum, a slightly weighted insert will help as well.
I am a bonified fixed blade shooter, but if i were shooting a mechanical it would be the Rage Hypo 125 grain +p - it doesn't have the really broad blade angle.
The advantage to me, is that if I screw up and hit back (lots more deer to hit that direction than the shoulder, where more blade is going to worsen things for sure), the odds of a relatively quick passing for the deer go up. That's my theory. Thankfully only once have I needed that theory and it didnt matter because I took out the renal artery and kidney, that was a fast kill, but luck would have happened there with any head.
Hopefully I dont find out if my theory is good. I'd rather stick to lungs.. But overall, they have worked great and stuck in the ground on passthrough for me.
Not sure if that would be the case on larger than deer sized animals, but I'm only hunting deer with my bow, so for me, they have worked great.
olebuck - I agree with you, on TV I see such poor penetration, its ridiculous,,,,,, today its accepted, when I started out in archery, penetration like that would never be acceptable
I shoot Slicktrick Vipertricks too, but after putting one through the lungs of a doe the year before gave me a minimal blood trial. So much so, it made finding her in the dark difficult. She only when about 100yds but was in thick treetops and grass.
I like seeing blood on the ground. The more the better IMO. I've got the KE in my setup to shoot any broad head I want, but mechanicals shouldn't be used by everyone. A hunter as got to know his/her limitations.
That is some VERY impressive penetration, and the fact that 1 blade was only bent (vs. snapped off entirely) is quite a thing as well. Of course, NAP does make the old standby Thunderhead, and those are obviously direct descendants...
So was that on the way In or Out? Only thing is that I'm having trouble seeing how either one of the blades got through there, but I have to imagine that if the arrow had been stopped by that bone, you likely wouldn't have the pictures of it... And that deer is very clearly, most sincerely dead....
On the flip side; you kind of got lucky BECAUSE you centered the bone so neatly - just thinking what would have happened if the tip of the head hadn't shattered the bone for you and just one of the two blades had slammed to a stop against it? Safe to guess that that blade would have been bent at the least, , but it would have tried to turn your arrow sideways the process, and that's not too good for penetration....
Otherwise... In an absolute sense, I DO agree that more blood on the ground is preferable to less; I just tend to weigh my risks and rewards, and I'm more likely to accept a fairly high probability of some small problems than a lower probability of something major hitting the fan. Like less blood on the ground most of the time, rather than very little or none some of the time.
Now, I will most likely NEVER use a mechanical, because I have no intention of ever using a compound again unless I'm physically limited to either that or a crossbow... but the same thing applies when I'm thinking about 2 blades or 3 or 4 and/or the design of one of the heads that I DO use. And I've pretty much settled on a moderately wide 2-blade COC that's relatively longer and more slender, because the highest-KE combo that I own puts out all of 35.5 FPE. That SHOULD be plenty enough for pass-throughs on deer and complete penetration on Elk, and as long as I get two holes to work with, I'm a pretty happy guy... because what puts more blood on the ground - two, 1" holes or one, 2-incher??
Especially if you shoot mostly down out of a tree.
And part of my caution about that is that the first whitetail I ever got with a bow was hit through the meaty portions of both shoulders with a Thunderhead-125-sized hole right through the center of the ventricles, and NOT ONE DROP of blood hit the ground until he piled up about 80 yards out. Can't really fault the head design, but I don't think a 2" wide head would have dropped him any quicker, and I might well have gotten a blade hung up on the humerus on the way in, which would have been a wreck. On the way out, at least the damage is done.
Anyway, I guess i'm making the same point twice - Conventional heads work quite well, all of the time, within the shooter's ability to place them properly. Mechanicals seem to be more 1/0 - spectacular, whether in victory or defeat... And it just bugs the hell outta me when people advocate for something that very clearly has a meaningful down-side to it, and yet they act as if there are no potential drawbacks whatsoever.
That is the entry hole from a steep downward angle and not what i intended. I did not get a complete passthrough, but the head did penetrate the ribcage on the offside but not the hide. Not one of my better shots and unfortunately the problem wasnt discovered until after the season was over.
Mechanicals certainly arent for everyone and im in no way suggesting they are. My choice of broadhead was based on company reputation and its recommendation by Aron Snyder in a Grittybowmen podcast. Ive also shot Rocket Steelheads in the past with great results. Im not advacating for or against mechanicals because im not so closed minded that they all are created equal. Certain designs are clearly better than others and the same can be said for fixed blade heads. You really shouldnt let a persons broadhead choice bug the hell outta you. Its just not worth it.
I plan on continuing a new on the side broadhead test/quest for a good 2"+ mech not named rage, heheheh...... IMO the big cut is the whole reason to shoot them. On deer and other medium game the bigger cut should be no issue given a tuned and somewhat high performance rig.
Still not sold on them for elk and REAL big boned animals. Personally tend to crowd bigger bones up front. Deer are not normally as much challenge WRT bones, depending on the head. Bigger animals are.
Thanks for the clarification… I mistook a chip of bone for an almost round hole out the back.
So let me clarify one of my points for you : it's not the matter of which broadhead people use that bothers me - it's when they advocate for whatever they like as a one-size-fits- all solution and act as if there is no potential downside when reality guarantees otherwise.
I'm well aware that the 2-blade COC design that I have gravitated toward has greater potential to create a fairly watertight slit through layers of muscle.... but I had exactly that happen with a three-blade (Thunderhead 125, which would be my top choice if I were to go back to all-replaceable blades). But I'm willing to accept that limitation, rather than compromise penetration. I also accept the proposition that if I do my job right, a 7/8" properly sharpened 2-blade will do everything I'll ever need. There's not a lot of margin for error built in, but that's what makes it worth doing right.
Funny thing - did you ever notice that most people assume that everyone in the Clergy was BORN with that collar around their neck?
"When your hunt of a lifetime hinges on your equipment, don't use equipment with hinges"
"Funny thing - did you ever notice that most people assume that everyone in the Clergy was BORN with that collar around their neck?"
Those are some entertaining comments!!
I am pretty sure he was gay, so not sure anything he learned before entering the seminary at 18 y/o would have benefited me.
Why don't you illuminate us on the experiences you have with MBHs? No reason to be ashamed of your bh-curious moments - we are all friends here.
Never had an issue shooting through deer with rage hypos or extremes 60 pounds or more with arrows weighing in at 380 or more?
The only thing that slowed down the hypos were big hogs, and normally still get exits.