Moultrie Products
Broadhead for Cape Buffalo
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Contributors to this thread:
Bill V 19-Sep-18
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Sep-18
BullBuster 19-Sep-18
Franklin 19-Sep-18
Ucsdryder 19-Sep-18
Buffalo1 19-Sep-18
Ucsdryder 19-Sep-18
Dale06 19-Sep-18
Buffalo1 19-Sep-18
olebuck 20-Sep-18
huntinelk 20-Sep-18
APauls 20-Sep-18
Bill V 20-Sep-18
Tyler 20-Sep-18
APauls 20-Sep-18
Ken Moody Safaris 20-Sep-18
Bill V 26-Sep-18
Treeline 26-Sep-18
Dale06 26-Sep-18
Bill V 27-Sep-18
Dale06 27-Sep-18
c5ken 28-Sep-18
Spiral Horn 02-Oct-18
creed 02-Oct-18
Bill V 04-Oct-18
Spiral Horn 07-Oct-18
Trial153 07-Oct-18
Robear 08-Oct-18
Ken Moody Safaris 02-Dec-18
Too Many Bows Bob 02-Dec-18
12ringman 02-Dec-18
Dale06 03-Dec-18
Dale06 03-Dec-18
tradmt 03-Dec-18
Dale06 04-Dec-18
c5ken 04-Dec-18
tradmt 04-Dec-18
Dale06 04-Dec-18
c5ken 05-Dec-18
Tilzbow 18-Jan-19
GF 18-Jan-19
Matt 18-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 18-Jan-19
altitude sick 18-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 18-Jan-19
Beendare 18-Jan-19
Highlife 18-Jan-19
ground hunter 18-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 18-Jan-19
Zbone 19-Jan-19
ground hunter 19-Jan-19
FullTime 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
t-roy 19-Jan-19
Tdvorak 19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 19-Jan-19
c5ken 20-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 20-Jan-19
c5ken 20-Jan-19
Dale06 20-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris 20-Jan-19
Dale06 20-Jan-19
krieger 20-Jan-19
c5ken 21-Jan-19
Ollie 21-Jan-19
Muskrat 21-Jan-19
Highlife 21-Jan-19
KSMike 21-Jan-19
KSMike 21-Jan-19
Zbone 22-Jan-19
c5ken 22-Jan-19
Ucsdryder 22-Jan-19
KSMike 22-Jan-19
Waterfowler 22-Jan-19
Zbone 22-Jan-19
KSMike 22-Jan-19
Tyler 22-Jan-19
David A. 23-Jan-19
David A. 23-Jan-19
David A. 23-Jan-19
altitude sick 29-Jan-19
altitude sick 29-Jan-19
altitude sick 29-Jan-19
altitude sick 29-Jan-19
Firehuntfish 30-Jan-19
c5ken 31-Jan-19
c5ken 31-Jan-19
Bou'bound 03-May-19
Scar Finga 03-May-19
altitude sick 04-May-19
Tdvorak 04-May-19
Ken Moody Safaris 04-May-19
altitude sick 04-May-19
altitude sick 04-May-19
Tdvorak 04-May-19
altitude sick 04-May-19
altitude sick 04-May-19
Tdvorak 04-May-19
Ambush 04-May-19
Glunker 04-May-19
Ken Moody Safaris 05-May-19
ground hunter 05-May-19
Ambush 05-May-19
Ken Moody Safaris 08-May-19
From: Bill V
19-Sep-18

Bill V's embedded Photo
Bill V's embedded Photo
I'm considering designing a broadhead for Cape Buffalo, similar to our Iron Will S-Series (solid blade), but without the bleeder blade for maximum penetration. My question is: What broadhead weight do most hunters use for Cape Buffalo? Any other considerations specific to this animal are also welcome.

19-Sep-18
200-250 grains is a good weight. Solid steel no aluminum and extremely sharp. We’ve shot many buffalo this year and the best head we’ve found for the job is the original German Kinetics. Good luck. Interested to see what you come up with.

From: BullBuster
19-Sep-18
300 for me

From: Franklin
19-Sep-18
Go over to Leatherwall....a guy just took one with a longbow. He posted some good info on his broadheads and how well they stood up.

From: Ucsdryder
19-Sep-18
Ken moody, I’m using those GK for elk. I’m amazed how well they perform and how sharp they are after cutting bone.

From: Buffalo1
19-Sep-18
My last PH that I had raved about GK Silver Flames ( the original ones) being the best BH that he had seen being used by bow hunters.

From: Ucsdryder
19-Sep-18
Buffalo I’m shooting the 125XL’s out to 100. They are BIG and still fly amazing! I’ve necer messed with the Alaska ones, but heard they were inferior.

From: Dale06
19-Sep-18
Bill, a friend and I shot Cape buffalo with bows in 2014. And we shot several head of plaines game with the same set up. We both used 315 grain Ashby single bevel broadheads. Those broadheads were a total failure, for both of us. In several cases, the tip 3/8” or so broke off I guess when it hit bone. I had one of these BHs shear off even with the end of my arrow. I suspect this breakage was due to defects in the metal, improper hardening that made them brittle, or something along those lines. Additionally, penetration was way below what I expected, on the Cape buffalo and even some of the plaines game. I believe that the single bevel design contributed to the poor penetration. I think the rotation of the single bevel uses some of its energy rotating and cutting a nasty wound channel and that sacrifices the depth of penetration. Getting only 18-20” of penetration on smaller animals is not much of a problem, but it is on a Cape buffalo. My input for you to consider on an IW Cape Buffalo head would be- 200-250 grains, double bevel, 1” width, no bleeder, a steeper blade ange than on your current heads ( I shoot the 125 vented), and shaving sharp. Thanks for asking.

From: Buffalo1
19-Sep-18

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Bone is going have to be busted to get to vitals. Only a lucky quartering away shot could slip thru “Venetian blind” rib cage design that a cape has.

I’ve killed a water buff; it has “traditional structure ” rib cage design, but animal is a little wider body. I used a 125 gr. Zwickey 2-blade with a 100 brass insert. My problem was getting enough penetration to take out both lungs with an arrow. Had to “pin cushion” shots to properly penetrate both lungs to take animal out.

From: olebuck
20-Sep-18
Bill V - i think you are on the right track with your design. i have never hunted big game other than whitetail and elk - so take that for what its worth..

i have dozens of the original GK XL's and they are fantastic broad heads - but they are not better than yours. The sharpness and strength of the Iron wills is second to none. i would target 200 grains, maybe go a little longer and a little wider it being just a 2 blade.... once those PH's in africa see it - they will add the iron will to the list of BA broadheads.....

i'm still wishing you would make the ultimate white tail head. 175 grains 1 5/8 - 1 7/8 wide.

From: huntinelk
20-Sep-18
If you get one designed and need some field testing, I would be willing to make the "sacrifice"....I'm going to Australia for water buffalo next year.

From: APauls
20-Sep-18
Tyler has a lot of experience on water buffalo, from what I understand Cape Buffalo are different. I'd still talk to Tyler anyways - actually Bill he's a buddy of mine I told you about. I think he was hoping to try your heads on buff this summer. Not sure if he was able to or not. He's just guiding moose in Newfoundland and killing crankers every couple days.

I was going to shoot the solid 150's this year for moose out of my compound and my longbow, and I did simply take the bleeder off to look at it, and was wondering about shooting it just like that. I didn't look at it in detail yet to see if that allows the main blade to slip around or anything if the bleeder isn't in there. Just something I was debating if I was worried about penetration with the stick.

From: Bill V
20-Sep-18
Thanks for the replies everyone. Ken Moody, thanks and I agree that German Kinetics makes a fine broadhead, but you know the ferrule is aluminum right? I will be using hardened stainless steel. APauls, you can shoot our current broadheads without the bleeder, but it reduces the weight by 10 grains. I may start with just the 200 grain and see how many requests I get for a 250.

From: Tyler
20-Sep-18
For water buffs I like to see 175 heads or heavier, personally I think your design would work fine especially without the bleeder blade. Obviously everyones setup is going to be different, we can always shoot lighter heads with heavier inserts or outserts to beef up the setups as well. Was planning to shoot a buff with your heads this year but didnt get any hunting time in personally so hopefully this year ill test them out. Your heads look great and shouldn't have any issues. I do like solid one piece construction a little better compared to a ferrule with blade and screws, thats just an opinion though I feel the more parts the more chance of breaking but as you say strong as science allows. At the end of the day if its gonna break its gonna break, it doesn't matter what it is, and I have seen all the best brands of heads break and fail at some point its just going to happen. I wouldn't hesitate to contact Neil Summers as well he would have some great input and lots of experience harvesting big boned critters, I cant remember what heads he was shooting with me this year in camp Alaskan I think 300 grains... I was extremely impressed with this head all broadheads hit bone and you wouldnt know it .

From: APauls
20-Sep-18
My longbow groups won't change inside of 30 yards with 10 grains removed off 650 grains :) Thanks Bill.

20-Sep-18
Yes, the GK has the aluminum ferrule. Go with all steel (I’m sure you are).

From: Bill V
26-Sep-18

Bill V's embedded Photo
Bill V's embedded Photo
After discussing with Ken, I'm now planning 200 & 250 grain options, solid blade without bleeders. By the way, Mark Reed sent me this photo and comment today. "Broadhead worked great!!! The Cape Buffalo went about 80yds. I shot it with your Iron Will S175 with bleeders removed and FMJ Dangerous game arrow with 50g insert. Total arrow weight was 811g .Shot with a Mathews Halon set at 68#. Great penetration and I used the same broadhead 2 days later on the Eland."

From: Treeline
26-Sep-18
Damn good performance right there!

From: Dale06
26-Sep-18
Interesting. What draw weight, and arrow weight?

From: Bill V
27-Sep-18
Interesting video, Pat. Those are some thick ribs!

From: Dale06
27-Sep-18
And that is some high energy in your set up.

From: c5ken
28-Sep-18
I killed a Cape Buff last year. I used a: Mathews Halon 32/6 set at 65lbs Easton FMJ-DJ arrow & Bishop single bevel two bld broad-head. Total arrow weight was 965gr. I shot the buff at 22 yards & got 25" of penetration.

From: Spiral Horn
02-Oct-18
Hi Bill,

After using just about everything at one time or another and taking more than my share of big stuff I’ve found original German Kenitcs (not Silver Flames) consistently reliable on a wide variety of big stuff. Just love their quality of steel - easy to keep razor sharp. The game seems to be very impressed. They’ve also given me the best penetration of any heavyweight head despite the aluminum ferrule.

For weight - I’ve played with both the 220s and 180s with both bow and crossbow. Developed a T-Rex capable setup for my Scorpyd which loves the vented 180s with spectacular results. Wouldn’t hesitate to take world’s biggest and toughest with it.

Anyway, this is my actual experience on taking “big” stuff with an arrow. Others my have their own favorites (and that’s OK with me). GKs will be on my arrows and bolts when pursuing big stuff.

From: creed
02-Oct-18
My boss had a complete pass thru on a buffalo at 25yds shooting a Matthews bow set at 70 lbs, 425 grain arrow with a 125 grain slick trick and 300 fps. Guess he was fortunate.

From: Bill V
04-Oct-18
Spiral Horn, thanks for the input. I agree German Kinetics makes a fine broadhead. Many PHs have told me they work well. I used to shoot them and have always been impressed with their sharpness. I would occasionally break a tip or bend a ferrule. This drove me to use a shorter tanto style tip and experiment through 5 different steels on my broadhead until I found one that could get at least as sharp yet have higher impact strength (A2 tool steel). Changing from aluminum to hardened stainless steel also keeps ferrules from bending with side impacts like a glancing hit on a bone. German Kinetics is a fine choice though in my opinion as a mechanical engineering. I don't think you will see any issues from the aluminum ferrule with good shot placement.

From: Spiral Horn
07-Oct-18
Hi Bill,

Completely agree that if you can find and use similar quality steel to the original GKs and put that on a steel or titanium ferrule that would be simply devastating.

Blender blades - I used to use the SS Muzzy Phantoms years ago and would remove the bleeder blades which vastly improved flight characteristics, but really weakened the structural integrity of the head. So, they would often break when hitting bone. For my money, no bleeders. They just don’t fly anywhere near as well - especially if you can mantain serious arrow speed. My crossbow does, and I see quite a difference. So, the juice just doesn’t seem worth the squeeze.

My 2 cents

From: Trial153
07-Oct-18
why would anyone want 440 C?

From: Robear
08-Oct-18
Bill, for what it's worth, I killed mine with a 210gr Steel Force head. Arrow weight was 900gr. Very good penetration. Right in the "golden triangle" thru the top of heart with broadhead and 2 inches of shaft sticking out the opposite side. Bull was very dead very quickly.

02-Dec-18

Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will Buff200 Broadhead
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will Buff200 Broadhead
I've been getting a few questions asking when we are making broadheads for Cape Buffalo. The design is complete and parts are being built now for 200 & 250 grain heads without bleeders. They will be available in January at the latest. We may add a 150 grain also.

02-Dec-18
Let me know when ready.

02-Dec-18
My friend used a Tuffhead, about 200 grains on a cape buffalo and an elephant. He was shooting a 75 lb Black Widow, and killed them both nicely.

The only suggestion I would offer besides grain weight is to look at Hill's recommendation of the 3-1 ratio to increase penetration.

TMBB

02-Dec-18
Thanks. The problem I have with the 3-1 ratio is that it results in a weak tip. Our blade is shortened with a tanto tip to add strength. By measuring penetration force, I've found that extremely sharp edges and edge retention are a bigger factor in reducing force to penetrate and increasing penetration.

From: 12ringman
02-Dec-18

12ringman's embedded Photo
12ringman's embedded Photo
Have you looked at the Cutthroat broadheads? They go up to 250 grain on the one piece screw in or go with the glue on and a steel adapter.

03-Dec-18
12ringman, I have and Cutthroat makes a fine broadhead. I think the Iron Will double bevel will actually penetrate further, since it doesn't use up energy rotating like a single bevel, but we will find out.

From: Dale06
03-Dec-18
Bill, to your point on the 3:1 ratio and loss of energy on single bevel, I and a friend hunted Cape buffalo in 2014. Both of us used the long Ashby single bevel. I don’t know the length to width ratio on that head, but it’s long and thin. Both of us shot Cape buffalo. The tip of my Ashby head broke off. Penetration was marginal. The poor penetration in my view was both the point being gone, and the extra energy that the single bevel uses making a spiral wound channel. I do recall that my friend also had the tip of his Ashby break off. I do not recall his penetration. But recovering his buffalo was a multi day rodeo, that involved a helicopter, so one can make an assumption. No way I’d ever use a single bevel or long narrow head on extra large game like Cape buffalo. Been there and done that.

From: Dale06
03-Dec-18
Bill, to your point on the 3:1 ratio and loss of energy on single bevel, I and a friend hunted Cape buffalo in 2014. Both of us used the long Ashby single bevel. I don’t know the length to width ratio on that head, but it’s long and thin. Both of us shot Cape buffalo. The tip of my Ashby head broke off. Penetration was marginal. The poor penetration in my view was both the point being gone, and the extra energy that the single bevel uses making a spiral wound channel. I do recall that my friend also had the tip of his Ashby break off. I do not recall his penetration. But recovering his buffalo was a multi day rodeo, that involved a helicopter, so one can make an assumption. No way I’d ever use a single bevel or long narrow head on extra large game like Cape buffalo. Been there and done that.

From: tradmt
03-Dec-18
People were breaking Ashby heads on deer, they were defective in manufacturing, not design.

That said,..Ed Ashby probably shot more heads through buffalo ribs than all of us combined ever will X10 during his Natal Study.

From: Dale06
04-Dec-18
Tradmt, you may be rifgt.right. But when a BH fails on a $10,000 trophy fee animal, that got my attention.

From: c5ken
04-Dec-18
Several years ago, I was in SA hunting plains game. Two guys in camp hunting Buff's with Ashby heads. Every head broke when shot. Some even broke on plains game. Just passing on my limited exposure to Ashby heads.

I hunted buffs in SA last year with the following setup: Mathews Halon 32/6 set at 65# Easton FMJ-DG arrow with Bishop 315gr broad head. Total arrow weight was 965gr. FOC was 21.42%, K/E = 83.07 and momentum was 0.842. I got 25" of penetration on the buff I shot.

From: tradmt
04-Dec-18
Dale06, I bet it did! Tuffhead makes the same profile head and they don’t break because they are built differently.

From: Dale06
04-Dec-18
Hey, Ken, that was me in that camp with you. Hope you are doing well. You are right, we broke some Ashby’s on plains game as well as buffalo. Guess the Ashby heads ought to be saved for smaller stuff, cottontails, grouse, etc.

From: c5ken
05-Dec-18
Hi Daie06, Nice to hear from you. My regards to you & john...i

17-Jan-19

Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will buff200 Broadhead & Impact Collar
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will buff200 Broadhead & Impact Collar
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
buff200
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
buff200
We decided to go forward with two sizes, the buff200 & buff250. They start shipping in about 2 weeks.

From: Tilzbow
18-Jan-19
Nice looking head! Is it razor sharp out of the box?

From: GF
18-Jan-19
“ The problem I have with the 3-1 ratio is that it results in a weak tip. ”

Only if the head is built that way.

It would be easy to get a 3:1 L:W ratio and have a stronger tip than the Iron Will head just pictured above here; all you have to do is move the ferrule closer to the front and extend the blade further to the rear.

Simmons used to do something like that, but I think people disliked losing the effective shaft length... so the obvious solution is to price the heads so high that buying a half-dozen shafts an inch or two longer than usual becomes no big deal ;)

But FWIW, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any evidence supporting the belief (which some here have expressed) that a single-bevel head somehow squanders energy through rotation.

If that were to be the case, then it would logically follow that double-bevel heads must “waste” energy by halting the natural rotation of the arrow.... without which you can’t get a Broadhead to fly straight.

Six o’ one; half dozen of the other. Ideal solution would be to angle the single-bevel such that the rate of rotation of the shaft would go absolutely unchanged, which would require a custom grind based on the fletching job....

Honestly, I can’t imagine that it could amount to a dime’s worth of difference in tissue as spongy as lungs or even muscle. Just doesn’t pass the sniff test either way...

From: Matt
18-Jan-19
How much energy are we thinking is wasted when an arrow stops spinning? If you spin an arrow tip down, it takes almost no side pressure to stop the spin.

I don't think the situations are at all equivalent.

18-Jan-19
I’ll be doing some extensive testing on Cape Buffalo with these heads this coming season. I am extremely optimist that they will perform as advertised.

18-Jan-19
I just preordered the 250s Ken:)

18-Jan-19
Great. We’ll certainly put them to the test provided you don’t stalk like a drunken sailor, don’t frighten easy, and can at least hit a grapefruit sized spot at 20-25 yards :^)

From: Beendare
18-Jan-19
I like the smooth tapered design of the VPA's. There is no bump in the ferrule to get hung up on bone....its a smooth ramp.

Funny how the little things matter with these buff. My arrow got hung up on the offside ribs of my buff due to the stiff vanes...left the arrow sticking 24" straight out the off side of the buff.

I shot a Steelforce 210 dangerous game head back in the day [a higher grade of tempered steel].....SF discontinued that head. A buddy curled the blade on one of their regular heads killing penetration.

From: Highlife
18-Jan-19
Why the disparaging comments on a drunken sailor? :)

18-Jan-19
German Kinetics end of story.... not that complicated,, talk to any PH a guy from my club is going to Austrailia, this year,,, its the only head they want to see and they told him what his grain weight and arrow should be etc........ listen to the guys that know,,,

18-Jan-19
Those of us who do actually know look forward to Bill’s entry into the DG broadhead market. The more quality heads we can recommend the more options our clients have.

From: Zbone
19-Jan-19
Ken Moody Safaris - "I’ll be doing some extensive testing on Cape Buffalo with these heads this coming season. I am extremely optimist that they will perform as advertised."

Ken, what heads will you be testing?... Thanks...

19-Jan-19
very interesting post,,,, lots of good information, from those of you who have been there,,,,,, I will be hunting moose, so that is why I like to read this...... I only shoot 55lbs, and the outfitters said that is plenty, just need to build the arrows and head, for great penetration,,,, and of course hopefully, get a close shot

From: FullTime
19-Jan-19
The guys at Xpedition archery just shot a Super Trophy bison with archery equipment. I'm not sure the broadhead they used but the blood trail it left was astonishing. You can probably check it out on their website. It looked like several gallons of blood spread out over 200-300 yards. The bison are bigger than cape buffalo although not known to be as aggressive. The bison has thicker skin and much more hair for the broadhead to penetrate. Not sure it is a good comparison but it is something to think about.

19-Jan-19
Our first buffalo hunter is coming in April and it looks like he’ll be using these new Iron Will 250s. We will put these heads thru their paces. I will also see how the 200s perform. We have a couple of dozen buffalo hunters this season so lots of opportunities to really give both of these IWs a good go. We need as many high quality dangerous game heads available as possible. Right now we only recommend the original German Kinetics but they’ve gone out of production once already. A consistently available pre sharpened alternative is most welcomed.

19-Jan-19
A bison is not really bigger than a cape buffalo. They are taller but thinner with much thinner skin. I’ve guided around 100 bison hunters in my day and you can easily kill them with average archery tackle and they bleed like a faucet. A Cape Buffalo is a completely different beast. They are thick skinned and that hide is extremely dense plus, their bone structure is like internal armor. I place them on the top of the dangerous game chain for bowhunters, even above elephant.

19-Jan-19

Ken Moody Safaris's embedded Photo
Ken Moody Safaris's embedded Photo
Bone structure of a bison.

19-Jan-19
Bone structure of a cape buffalo.

19-Jan-19

Ken Moody Safaris's embedded Photo
Ken Moody Safaris's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
19-Jan-19
Wow! No comparison between the two.

From: Tdvorak
19-Jan-19
The bison I shot haven’t seemed to bleed at all and their hides were super thick with lots of hair to soak up what little blood cane out. The biggest ones were quite a bit larger than the Cape buffalo I’ve taken. It might just be my specific animals. A bow kill of either would be AWESOME.

19-Jan-19
A bison can weigh more but generally both animals average about the same in weight. A cape is far more massive and hide much thicker. Additionally, as you can see front the bone structures of each, a bison is brittle and spindly as compared to a cape. There really is zero comparison between the two with regards to toughness.

From: c5ken
20-Jan-19
Question for Ken Moody, Based on your experience, what percent of bow/arrow shot Cape Buffalo require a follow-up shot with a rife to complete the kill?

20-Jan-19
Well over 50%.

From: c5ken
20-Jan-19
Ken, Thank-you so much for being honest.. I have very limited experience bow hunting Cape Buffs. I shot one. I hit it low and It carried about 18" of my arrow for two days before my PH had to put it down with a 500 mag rifle. I know of three more guys that hunted the same outfitter as I and they also had to have follow up shots with a rifle. As you know better than most, hunting buffs with a bow is a challenging sport.... but what a great experience... Thanks-you again....

From: Dale06
20-Jan-19
My friend had a similar experience to Ken, had to be dropped with a rifle a day after he arrowed it. I had two arrows in one, both pretty well placed. Shooting Ashby BHs. The penetration was poor, 18” or so. After the shots, we tracked and spotted my bull at abut 75 yards. His head was down and some blood dripping from nose and mouth. It was abou 20 minutes from dark. The buff was about to go into some very thick stuff. My PH said if he goes in there, we are not tracking him in the dark. We will come back tmw. We were two hours from camp. We watched him another few minutes and he just stood there head down and bleeding. I took the PH 404 Jeffrey and dropped him on the spot.

20-Jan-19
It’s a subject that most safari operators don’t want to openly discuss as it might have a negative impact on business but it is the truth. Most bow shot buffalo will inevitably be finished with a rifle. Shot placement is the primary reason but equipment not up to the task is another. You see so many photos posted of guys with their “bow” shot buffalo and how they were able to get it done with marginal equipment and this leads many to believe that they can also hunt with a lower poundage bow and unproven broadhead. While most of these hero shots don’t show the bullet hole(s) that are highly likely to be there, almost anyone who’s done this for longer than a minute knows that they probably are. Clients won’t admit to it and operators will never and should never out their clients. It just perpetuates the problem though. Cape Buffalo are tough and dangerous. They are hard enough to kill outright with a rifle let alone a bow. There are so many factors to consider when lining up the shot that anything at all can turn a potential triumphant moment into a life and death situation. A hunter must be mentally prepared to get in close and get that arrow into the vitals and even then must count on his equipment to be up to the task. Of course I personally love it and am spending the rest of my life hunting as many buffalo as I possibly can.

20-Jan-19
Ken, thanks for the skeleton photos and all your knowledge. Looking forward to hearing how your hunts go this year.

From: Dale06
20-Jan-19
Ken Moody, very accurate and to the point post.

From: krieger
20-Jan-19
I think the new head looks great, should perform well. I would use the impact collar, if I were shooting them...that definitely becomes the weak point of the delivery system, if not reinforced.

From: c5ken
21-Jan-19
Ken, Again I thank-you for your candor regarding hunting Cape Buffalo with bow/arrow...

From: Ollie
21-Jan-19
For those who have been successful on Cape Buffalo and for those who did not get adequate penetration it would be interesting to know you bow draw weight, broadhead used, and total arrow weight.

From: Muskrat
21-Jan-19
With your safety and respect for the buffalo in mind, any broadhead will do...carry it in your pocket for good luck, and hunt Cape Buffalo with a very big gun. There are a couple of other species for which this is good advice, you can guess what they are.

From: Highlife
21-Jan-19
Yup

From: KSMike
21-Jan-19

KSMike's embedded Photo
KSMike's embedded Photo
Hoyt Carbon Spyder 72 lbs, VPA 300 grain head, FMJ DGs, total arrow weight 900 grains. One arrow kill. 200 yard recovery. (no bullet holes)

From: KSMike
21-Jan-19

KSMike's embedded Photo
KSMike's embedded Photo
Center punched near side rib and penetrated enough to get both lungs. I had them save the rib for me.

From: Zbone
22-Jan-19
KSMike - That rib display is really cool, but don't understand, you say "near" side? How it penetrate both lungs? What am I missing?

From: c5ken
22-Jan-19

c5ken's embedded Photo
c5ken's embedded Photo
Mr. OLLIE, I'm one of the guys that required follow-up rifle shots on my arrow shot cape buff. My equipment was a Mathews Halon 32/6 set at 65lbs. Arrow was Easton FMJ-DG with Bishop 315gr (actually 320gr) broad-head. Total arrow weight was 965gr. This set-up genarated momentum 0.850 & K/E of 84.40. Arrow flight was excellent. When the buff was butchered it has about 18" of arrow/Broad-head in the chest that it carried around for two days. After the bull was down & set up for pictures, I shot it again ay 20 yard to check penetration. I shot it above the front leg & got 25" of penetration. The B-Head was sticking out the exit side about 2". My equipment was not the problem. It was all on me. The shot was too low & far back.

From: Ucsdryder
22-Jan-19
I’m surprised they don’t require minimum poundage for Buffalo. If 50+% of them require a rifle follow up, why take a chance with a 65lb bow? Not sure if 90lbs would have made a difference, but it sure couldn’t have hurt!

From: KSMike
22-Jan-19
Z It was a double lung shot that entered chest cavity through that rib. I just stuck the broad head in the crack in the rib for the display. Make sense?

From: Waterfowler
22-Jan-19
Where do water buffalo and banteng fall compared to Cape buffalo? I'm assuming slightly thinner skinned but similar issues with penetration .

From: Zbone
22-Jan-19
Way cool KSMike, thanks for clarifying... What broadhead may I ask?... Thanks...

From: KSMike
22-Jan-19
VPA 300 grain

From: Tyler
22-Jan-19
Yup this will work on a water buff! Water fowler Water buffalo are slightly larger then Cape buffalo skin is similar but bone structure is slightly different ribs are not as big. As a whole the same setup would be required for both species.

From: David A.
23-Jan-19

David A.'s embedded Photo
David A.'s embedded Photo
Paul Schafer used a Zwicky two blade...I think he told me his recurve was 75#, but I sorta' recall it might have been a bit more.

From: David A.
23-Jan-19
Here's an article about his buff': https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/bowhunting/paul-schafer-part-2

From: David A.
23-Jan-19
My memory may be a bit fuzzy on this, but after the kill I think Paul S. did some additional penetration tests and got more good results with his setup. I don't recall his arrow he used, but it likely was a double aluminum shaft with just the Zwicky broadhead...

29-Jan-19
I just shot the Iron Will 250s. 29” FMJ 250s with two 75 grain insert and 8” of weight tube inside for a total weight of 999.4 grains. The combo flys like a dart. My target is a McKenzie black hog in front of a large bag target and a block target as back stops. I was dialing in my sights to this weight combo and stepping back accordingly. When I stepped back to 50 the arrow dropped below the foam 3D and went through the bag and stuck in the block. With only the fletching sticking out. I shot that Broadhead many times into the McKenzie and it is still saving sharp. It’s a piece of art.

29-Jan-19

altitude sick's embedded Photo
altitude sick's embedded Photo

29-Jan-19
Try shooting a Broadhead through a bag target.

29-Jan-19

Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will buff250 broadheads
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Iron Will buff250 broadheads
Great to hear they are shooting well for you altitude sick. We just started shipping, but everyone seems happy with them so far.

29-Jan-19
I’m pretty confident it will perform very well on large animals.

From: Firehuntfish
30-Jan-19
"I’m surprised they don’t require minimum poundage for Buffalo. If 50+% of them require a rifle follow up, why take a chance with a 65lb bow? Not sure if 90lbs would have made a difference, but it sure couldn’t have hurt!"

If you can draw an 80-90lb bow then by all means use it as an advantage as part of the overall equation. However, the biggest reasons for poor penetration on large game is not lack of draw weight as much as it is lack of of total arrow weight and more specifically, the arrow build in regard to front of center weight distribution as well as the integrity of the arrow and broadhead components themselves. Draw weight is only one component of the overall momentum equation. 65lbs. of draw weight is the low end of the acceptable spectrum, yet many have proven it to be enough to ethically hunt a Cape buffalo provided that the arrow build and broadhead are up to the task. At 65-75lbs., the minimum total arrow weight to be considered should be at least 950 grains. Of that, 30%+ of the arrow mass should be front of center....And, even with the 950+ grains, if the broadhead and arrow shaft cannot support the momentum generated, some part of the build will fail. Arrow shaft and broadhead selections are key factors in building arrows strong enough to hunt large dangerous game animals. Standard whitetail shafts and broadheads with weighted inserts will not cut it in these situations. Heavy duty shafts and beefy broadhead designs like the Iron Will are necessary to get the job done. A dangerous game hunt is not the place to go the cheapest route and cut corners on equipment.

Although I have not been on nearly the amount of Cape buffalo hunts as Ken, I have been lucky enough to be party to many, and I have seen several buffalo successfully taken with one arrow with bows in the 65-75lbs range utilizing the proper arrow & broadhead combinations... While I would also agree with Ken's assessment that at least half of all bow hunts resulted in a rifle being used at some point to finish the animal, I would also add that there were a multitude of different reasons for this including poor shot placement, component failure, or an instance where it was simply too dangerous to attempt another arrow shot.... Bottom line is that hunting Cape buffalo with a bow is serious and a dangerous, and you had better have the right equipment and the right outfitter. With all of that, you also need to realize that there is a 50% possibility you may need to finish the hunt with a rifle for any of the reasons listed above. If this is something that you are not okay with going in, then don't do the hunt... The safety of the hunting party and ethics toward the animal have to supersede your ego.

From: c5ken
31-Jan-19
Mr. FireHuntFish Excellent synopsis Could not be more accurate in my opinion...

From: c5ken
31-Jan-19
Mr. FireHuntFish Excellent synopsis Could not be more accurate in my opinion...

03-May-19

Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Retrieved from Cape Buffalo
Bill V - Iron Will 's embedded Photo
Retrieved from Cape Buffalo
Congratulation to Jay Vanconant (a.k.a. altitude sick) for taking the first cape buffalo with the Iron Will buff250 broadheads while hunting with Ken Moody and Fritz Rabe. Thanks a lot guys for trusting in the broadheads getting some needed field testing. Well done!

From: Bou'bound
03-May-19
That is a spectacular looking Buffalo

From: Scar Finga
03-May-19
Not to mention Jay was using a Scar Finga FMJ Arrow, with some serious Altitude Sick modifications with Iron Will Broadheads while having K114 with him! All a deadly combination:)

Congrats Jay! Anyone looking for information should contact you directly! Incredible penetration, and a quick kill with no rifle shot required!

04-May-19
Those Scar arrows flew true, and the Broadhead could be used on many more animals. Making it very economical. If it held up to that shot, then they should work on dozens of deer or elk. Just a touch up sharpening No replacement blades necessary.

From: Tdvorak
04-May-19
Ken, I’m understand each situation varies but...Do arrows ever actually break those rib bones of a Cape buffalo? Or shoulder bone? If so, how close and what kind of poundage will drive through them. Do the archers have to count on the Broadhead slipping between the bones? Thanks.

04-May-19
Arrows will break thru the ribs, yes. The ribs are thinner towards the front of the buff and a buffalo is shaped like a triangle if you look at it from the top down. If you strike the ribs square on, meaning a quartering on shot, you’ll have the best opportunity to get thru the ribs. On quartering away shots you’ll be striking the ribs at an acute angle given that the ribs are already flaring out (remember it’s a triangle) and these shots are discouraged. Broadside shots still find the arrow striking at an angle but the angle is far less severe. Poundage of bow is irrelevant as is KE. Momentum is your friend so a heavy arrow flying at an acceptable speed is best. (I’m typing all this while sitting under a tree waiting on buffalo to appear now so I’d better get back into the hunt :). Good hunting!

04-May-19

altitude sick's embedded Photo
This was a quartering TO shot angle. Allowing the arrow to hit squarely on the rib. Not at an angle like a quartering away shot . I got an education on this preferred shot angle from Fritz Rabe.
altitude sick's embedded Photo
This was a quartering TO shot angle. Allowing the arrow to hit squarely on the rib. Not at an angle like a quartering away shot . I got an education on this preferred shot angle from Fritz Rabe.

04-May-19

altitude sick's embedded Photo
Note the angle of the ribs as Ken stated. If the arrow hits quartering away it is likely to skip and get one lung at best.
altitude sick's embedded Photo
Note the angle of the ribs as Ken stated. If the arrow hits quartering away it is likely to skip and get one lung at best.

From: Tdvorak
04-May-19
Thanks Ken. Interesting.

04-May-19
This archery buffalo shot placement information is why you hunt with a PH that has killed a lot of buffalo with a bow. You won’t get this info in many places. Most just shoot using rifle shot placements

04-May-19
Thanks for the photo and explanation Jay. Am I correct that the Iron Will broadhead passed through the near side rib (your photo above) in front of the shoulder and then buried in the far side rib back behind the opposite shoulder?

04-May-19

altitude sick's embedded Photo
Bill it hit just behind the shoulder bone slightly angling back and stopped in the opposite ribs
altitude sick's embedded Photo
Bill it hit just behind the shoulder bone slightly angling back and stopped in the opposite ribs

From: Tdvorak
04-May-19
“This archery buffalo shot placement information is why you hunt with a PH that has killed a lot of buffalo with a bow. You won’t get this info in many places.”

Altitude, agreed! Go with somebody who has the knowledge and experience! Great stuff Ken.

From: Ambush
04-May-19
Is there any chance that a completely square on frontal shot from a low position would work? Or is there just too much meat to get through?

From: Glunker
04-May-19
Seems pretty obvious a 70# compound with 70% let off might be a minimum set up. Along with a heavy 2 blade arrow. Any comparison to our American bison is not valuable due to the bison having a thinner body and much different rib gage structure. A 65# Matthews seems like not enough HP.

05-May-19
The heart lies low in the chest and a frontal shot is feasible but you stand a great chance of a deflection off the sternum and missing the heart completely so this is not an advisable shot.

05-May-19
wow, that is one tough animal,,,,,,, impressive to say the least......

From: Ambush
05-May-19
Returning from a game drive in Chobe our “ jeep” was stopped by a long line of buffalo heading to the river. Many were within bow range. I’d seen buffalo farther away, but this close I was very, very impressed with the shear brute bulk of them. Everything about them said tough, even their demeanour!

Whether we were hunting or touring, whenever we saw a new animal, my wife would discreetly ask, “ ..well, where are you imagining you’d shoot that one?” The buffalo just liked like an animal that said “Don’t even think about it buddy.”

07-May-19
Thanks for the photo and explanation Jay. Nice shot!

07-May-19
Ken, how thick are the ribs in a cape buffalo?

08-May-19
About as thick as your hand, an inch. But that’s flat. If you shoot broadside they’ll be angled a bit making it more than an inch. Quartering on is your best chance to hit the ribs straight on. Also remember the hide is thick and tough as well. You have to get thru that and muscle before you even encounter the ribs.

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