Contributors to this thread:
If fixed blade fly as well as field tips why shoot expandables?
They don't fly as good as FPs, but they can fly the same spot as FPs
Why? Because it's fun to shoot heads that you can't sharpen, or practice with, and have a 100% greater chance of not opening correctly compared to a fixed blade. But hey, that's what bowhunting's about right? The challenge! It's the unknown that makes it so exciting!
One reason some give is that they have bigger cutting diameter, although there are fixed blades that have the same cutting diameter, so that doesn't hold.
Wind is a reason. If you're taking long shots and there's significant wind, the wind will affect the expandable less than the fixed blade, especially if it's non-vented. You posted this in the white tail section, so it doesn't relate as much since longer shots in wind are more a product of open country animals like mule deer and sheep.
Forgiveness in cold weather clothing or “buck fever” type situations
"If fixed blade fly as well as field tips why shoot expandables?"
this used to be the catch phrase of Wac 'em broadheads ... till they started making mechs .... I still favor fixed heads (Slicktricks), but will occasionally shoot my Steelheads or the XL version.... why, because I like 'em and they work !!
Same reason why some men need to take the little "blue pill"....lol
I make sure my bow is tuned as well as I possibly can. I like to have fixed blades hitting with my FP's to at least 70-80 yards. At that point and past there get really touchy with bow torque, wind drift and just plain drag. A good expandable, much less so. Although I'm not hunting deer at those ranges I have made plenty of follow up shots for myself and others on the North side of 80 yards. Even if I'm hunting with fixed heads, I'll always have a mech in the quiver. Every year I go back and forth between fixed and mech heads and it's always a toss up for me. Mostly the bigger cut but the chance of less penetration on heavy bone vs small cut and less damage on a hit towards the guts. It's about a draw. I've killed about 125 deer with spitfires and have never once had a failure. So it's not like a good head is a coin toss if it's going to work... just use it properly. Change the blades and hardware after every shot. Mechs shouldn't be shot over and over. The last 3, years Vipertricks have had the lead spot in my quiver though.
When you have tried/tested many different heads both fixed and mechanical you will figure out it’s just a personal preference or specie/equipment decision as to which works best for your particular hunt. Way to many great choices:) Enjoy!
Charlie Rehor +1.
Choices are why Baskin and Robbins has been a successful company.
70-80 yds in the woods at real live animals with a bow shooting over 330fps and usually towards dark or first light. How do you even see where the arrow went? usually equates to lost animals.
Barebow- if the 70-80 yard comment was in reference to mine, I said I want the heads to fly well that far and I want to be able to shoot accurately beyond that for follow up shots. I specifically said I'm not hunting at those ranges. Obviously, ethical shot distance also takes into account factors like cover and available light. In broad daylight you can see where your arrow hits at long ranges pretty well, a lighted nock makes your impact unmistakable.
I never want a hunter to take a shot they are not 100% capable and confident they will make on an animal. The one exception is follow up shots. I've helped a lot of people track there deer and when you're tracking a gut shot and it stands up at 90 yards, I want to know that I can end the track right there instead of backing out another 6 hours and hoping the coyotes don't eat it while it dies. In short that's why I always have fixed and mech heads in the quiver
“If fixed blade fly as well as field tips why shoot expandables?”
Beats the snot out o’ me!
I've shot long enough and killed enough animals to know that your at a disadvantage shooting a mech at elk and moose and also your at a disadvantage shooting a fixed at deer and bear sized game. I've hate shooting fixed heads cause a little torque can throw the arrow way off, but I wouldn't chance shooting a mech at an elk or a moose. As soon as my moose hunt is over those frickin fixed blades will go back in my archery box till elk season next year. If you have to shot a fixed shoot exodus, they fly better then any head i've seen
You should consider mechanicals over fixed blades (for white-tailed deer) because, on average, bowhunters who use mechanicals are more likely to recover their deer than bowhunters who use fixed bladed broadheads. However, if you use fixed blades and are confident in their performance, then stick with what works for you...
“because, on average, bowhunters who use mechanicals are more likely to recover their deer than bowhunters who use fixed bladed broadheads. ”
Just two words on that:
That is false fshafly…..the odds of recovering a deer jump exponentially when you have a complete pass thru and a good blood trail. A pass thru with a fixed broadhead is probably 2 to 1 with a fixed broadhead.
GF - yes, I have data.
Franklin - I disagree with your statement. Do you have field data to back up your assertion? I have published scientific data to back up my position (http://www.seafwa.org/26Pedersen_et_al_163-166.pdf). If I include unpublished data gathered since 2012, the deer-recovery data base now exceeds 1500 deer hit with either fixed or mechanical broadheads. The data clearly shows that bowhunters who used mechanical broadheads averaged statistically significant higher deer recovery rates than bowhunters who used fixed blade broadheads (p<0.001 for you geeks). -fsh
Here is the link to the paper. -fsh
Interesting study and I am honestly not surprised.
Now that I'm done elk and moose hunting I switch back to mechs, big advantage over fixed on deer sized game especially if your hunting very cold conditions wearing heavy clothing and you loose it a bit when you see a big buck. My taxidermist sure liked when I switched to mechanicals!
A study like that cannot be that accurate. If either head had bad placement then naturally that head would be lower percentage. The only way for this study to be legit would be if every head hit the exact same spot.
Because they are the better choice for some setups on certain animals.
You’re missing the point Spike.
I'll weigh in here. All I shoot anymore are Mechanicals. I have killed 9 elk and countless deer with them and all but 1 on an elk was a passthrough. My setup is heavier than most and with a high FOC which is the reason im getting pass through with my equipment. I am in the camp of having big holes. In fact, the bigger the animal Im hunting the bigger the hole I want punched through them. I am not in the camp of long distance shots other than a back up shot over 40 yards. All my animals have been killed inside 40 yards and most closer to 20. Shooting mechnicals is to understand how they are designed and function. It is also to understand the wider the cutting surface the higher the need for more momentum. Some Mechanical are better than others. I choose a head that is open to its max potential on entry as well as exit. I also carry one Slick trick in my quiver for small game such as yotes, fox, bobcats etc. etc.. My Taxidermist appreciates the smaller holes in them. But smaller animals like that don't need a large hole. Lastly, I stopped using fixed heads on big game as I had seen too many holes plug up, specifically on elk, from muscle or lung tissue and not allow very good blood trails if any. Do not expect pass throughs with a mechnical with your fixed blade arrow set up!!! Those arrows are generally too light for such a wide head. This is the biggest mistake I see people make and then the mechanical gets a bad rap. Have a great day!
No I’m not missing the point. Let’s assume 10 Rages hit the lungs naturally that would be 100% kill. Now let’s assume 5 fixed hit shoulder and 5 hit lungs now your talking less kills.
Spike - I have two blood-tracking dachshunds. If every bowhunter hit the heart/lung area, it wouldn't matter what broadhead they used, and my doxies would be unemployed and bored. Perhaps bowhunters don't always make the perfect shot. Sometimes a deer jumps the string, sometimes target panic foils the shot (me!); regardless, there are an infinite number of variables that affect the shot and subsequent deer recovery. I did not attempt to account for all these variables. All I did was look at the recovery-outcome of >1500 deer that were reportedly hit with either fixed blade or mechs in a very controlled and monitored hunting environment. It was a surprise to me to find out that bowhunters who used mechs enjoyed a higher recovery rate than bowhunters who used fixed blades - I had been a life-long fixed blade user. Assume whatever you want if this disturbs your world view...
Amazing comments , that’s all I can say.
Lol it doesn’t matter to me as I’m trying both this year and I know it’s all in the placement.
I never ever looked at it this way. I looked at cutting area, which (at the time) wasn't available in a fixed head that had any meaningful quality to it.
When doing suburban hunts, where deer are into the next guys yard in 40 yards, massive damage was what I needed and that's why I used a NAP Spitfire which never had a deer go out of sight. Never had a failure with that head either.
Flight has nothing to do with it, if you know what you are doing.
There is no way you can produce a "study" on a variable such as hunting and shooting of an animal. A "study" requires the exact, repeatable motions and conditions. Then it would require that to be done over multiple times with the same conclusion. What you read was a half assed "poll".
I'm fresh out of "scientific data" but I do a lot of bow hunting for whitetails with a lot of different guys from different backgrounds. Reading all the data in the world will never change the fact that I have witnessed far more pass throughs with fixed than mechs. Which has also resulted in more game recovered with the fixed blades for our groups. However the fixed guys I know are more likely to spend the time shooting and paying attention to detail than mechs guys. They are more likely to wait and take better shots.
Not another fixed blade broadhead snob! Sheesh! Get over yourself already.
And for the record, I use both.
Wow. It's amazing that people are so hard headed that they're willing to completely dismiss such useful information.
All studies that don't tell me what I think to be true are flawed. For sure! LOL.
fshafly2: how dare you bring research and facts to an opinionated debate?
fshafly2, obviously mechanicals haven't been around as long as fixed heads. If you analyze the data for both types of heads for the period of time both were available, does the recovery advantage for mechanicals still hold?
"fshafly2, obviously mechanicals haven't been around as long as fixed heads. If you analyze the data for both types of heads for the period of time both were available, does the recovery advantage for mechanicals still hold?"
We have 11 years of data now where both mechs and fixed bladed broadheads were used; this season will give us 12 years of concurrent data. I have not analyzed all the data, but the recovery advantage of mechs over fixed blades is even statistically stronger than reported in the initial paper. I may or may not do another paper...
For those of you who would like a better understanding how a retrospective study can be useful, here in a nutshell is what we did:
1. First, all bowhunters must pass a Bowhunter Education Class and a pre-season qualification test on the Indian Head Navy Base.
2. A bowhunter signs in to hunt a specific area. (They must also sign out at the end of the hunting day (1 hour after sunset) or a search party will be organized to find them). There is no "freelancing" - all hunting is controlled and monitored.
3. Bowhunter hits a deer.
4. Bowhunter reports to a Hunt Captain that he hit a deer and whether there is a need to look for the deer.
5. Bowhunter and Hunt Captain go look for the deer as necessary. (Tracking dogs became available in 2009).
6. The deer is recovered or is not recovered. (This result is recorded in a data sheet within 24 hours of the hunt, along with other hunt details). If a deer is recovered, general biological data is also recorded (eg. live/dressed weight, lactation, fat indices, etc) in a Harvest Log. (All hunter effort is documented whether successful or not. Bowhunters who do not submit a data sheet within 24 hours of their hunt can lose their hunting privileges; this assures 100% compliance. The Hunt Captain coordinates with the Natural Resources Office to assure data quality).
Repeat the above over 1500 times. Determine after the fact whether there was any difference in deer recovery rates for bowhunters who used fixed blade or used mechanical broadheads. There is no "polling" or opinions in the data base, just the facts: either a reportedly-hit deer was recovered or was not recovered. We found that broadhead choice affected the likelihood of deer recovery.
Fellas, like 'em or hate 'em, you can't really argue with non biased results like he has posted. I don't use them but, I would. And, just might after reading that. But, my idea is different then most who do use them. 500 grain'ish arrow is where I'd draw the line.
Mechanicals are by far superior, choose the correct one for the animal being hunted.
Thanks for taking the time to post your info. I use both fixed and mechs and found the results of the study to be very interesting. I also have had both types of heads "fail", but that my because "i failed" and not the heads. Luckily, we all have options to choose whatever heads we want to tip our arrows with. Good luck to all the hunters for the rest of the season.
Interesting study. I have tried both flavors over the past 20 years. MY preference is a compact 4 blade as I have had better results for ME with them. I won’t argue the flying issue but for me, if my bow is tuned, my fixed hit right with my field points. Bottom line is, use what you are comfortable with and don’t complain about what your buddy uses. Unless it’s a mech! ??
I've trended from fixed heads for the first 25 years of my bowhunting life, to mechanicals for the last ten years to now back to fixed. But the reason is my draw weight is going down as my body falls apart. If I could still draw over 60 pounds, I'd still be shooting Steelheads, or dare I say it, try a Rage!
Casey, That's the study fshafly2 linked above.