Contributors to this thread:
Hey Guys - New on your forum. I have been bowhunting since a kid 40+ years. Put the guns away 10+ years ago. Have killed my share of deer with the bow. Decided to raise the bar and start traveling for bigger deer. Hunted Kansas and Illinois this year and last year. Last week I shot a Kansas Bruiser that was probably 275-300 lbs at 8 yards. He was quartering to me very slightly, made good shot, as close behind the shoulder as possible with steep angle from high treestand. The rage chisel tip broadhead collar did not break so I got only partial diameter cut. He made a 40-50 yard circle and I launched another arrow at around 50ish and missed. That broadhead which landed in the hard dirt, didn't open either. Very disappointed. Had mediocre blood trail for 100+ yards, where he stood and clotted up. Then nothing. Feel like if the broadhead had opened, it would have been a diff. story. So I return home, and all I can think about is researching big hefty fixed blade broadheads used on bigger animals. I have just gotten started but ran across a few videos - found a couple of broadheads that are in the mold of what I am thinking ….and would love to hear thoughts from others. I am not sold on anything yet. Was looking at Solid Broadhead Company and also, Grizzly Stick Silver Flame XXL which they make is some large grain versions. I guess I just feel I need a BIG, STRONGER broadhead. Some of these make the Rage mechanical look flimsy. Thank you in Advance.
G5 Montec. If you hit them in the vitals with any fixed blade, they will die.
It's a deer, don't overthink it. Any sharp fixed blade head out of a tuned bow in the correct placement will take care of business. I like Radical Archery Designs heads, specifically the Rival 100.
I should add that, I have killed my share of deer here in the Carolinas (smaller deer) that were perfectly broadside, used Rage mechanicals and opened some hatchet sized holes. But this conversation is more about, when your dealing with larger animals, and when shoulders and big bone is involved. Thanks.
Slick Trick.... Viper Trick/Wicked Trick/Magnums or Standards .... 4 of the most dependable broads heads around ...
Don't blame the broadhead for you making a bad shot. If he was truly quartering to you "very slightly" and you put it "as close behind the shoulder as possible" you would have double lunged him and a field tip would have killed him quickly.
These have only been around since the ‘50s, but hey, time will tell, right?
How the heck are you setting up rages that they don’t open even when hitting the ground.
You shot two rages in a row that did not open? The odds are huge against that. Very strange. Certainly anything strange can happen once, but 2 in row, one on a broadside animal and one on the ground and the blades did not deploy.
Heck if anything with Mechanicals the issue is they open too early not they stay locked shut under heavy resistance. Those collars are basically nothing more than a perforated paper thin piece of a soda straw in terms of resistance.
I can't keep mine FROM breaking and you can't get yours TO break.
Any chance a buddy in deer camp was playing tricks on you and super glued the heads in the shut position?
Dont have much experience with Rage, but I shoot Montec 100 CS and if or when I shoot a mechanical, I'll go with the Deadmeat 100's.
Have had minimal exposure to early Rockets and the Tekan II they were very good but noticed better penetration with Tekans over the Rocket.
That was my question bou. The ones I bought from you are killing machines. Very pleased. G
Woodslayer, did you kill the deer and recover him or not? Just curious. That said, while a strong fixed head will have a better chance of getting through the shoulder, it isn't a guarantee. Especially not knowing your bow/arrow combo specs. There are some less expensive good options out there. Give VPAs a look. Also, Montec/Hellrazor/Snuffer type heads.
Welcome to the forum Woodslayer. I’m in the fixed blade camp myself, but I prefer replaceable blades. Wasp Hammer, G5 Striker, Slick Tricks, or Muzzy are, IMO, superior to mechs under conditions less than perfect.
I live in Kansas and have a decent track record on mature whitetails. Broadside or quartering away is how I was taught for a reason. You can kill anything from any angle, but part of our skill as bow hunters is waiting for the correct shot. Get another broad head so you have more confidence, but the mistake wasn't the broad head choice. We have all made this mistake also (me included a couple times) and it doesn't take long to learn.
There's too many good heads I wouldn't even know where to start. How in the world does an expandable not open hitting ground? Has to be some operator error. Something wasn't set up right.
Yeah, probably twenty plus popular heads that will do what you want reliably. Everybody had reasons for choosing theirs.
The only thing I insist on in a head is a Trocar style point. others would disregard my choice because it isn’t COC.
Do you want COC, yes or no?
Replaceable blades, yes or no?
Two, three or four?
Steep angle or not?
That should narrow it down.
If your shot was where you said it was a field point would of killed him . Vortex always open.
Exodus, second to none flight and strength wise and cut a huge hole 1 1/4", i use mechanicals on deer but if i didn't id use these, ive killed 6 moose and 8 elk with the exodus so ive had some experience with them
I have had great luck the last two years with Wasp Drone's and Ramcat's. Both fly excellent and leave blood trails Ray Charles could follow.
“Some of these make the Rage mechanical look flimsy. “
JMO, almost ANY fixed-blade design makes ALL of the expandables look flimsy. Comes with the territory when there’s a pivot point.
You wouldn’t happen to have pics of those two heads after the shot, would you?
It’d be interesting to see what the guys who use them think about what might have happened,
Just seems very strange to me that you would get even a partial opening without doing enough damage to stop the buck in short order....
I’ve killed a couple dozen animals with the rage and have had nothing but great luck! Amy chance you were using the red crossbow collar? (I wouldn’t think they would matter either, but want to ask) I have been shooting the hypodermics for years and can’t say enough good about them.
you didn't say what weight head your looking for I shoot an abowyer bonehead lite they are super tough & 120 grain glue on so you have to figure for an adapter also. they are a bit wider than most other single bevel heads. 2 friends of mine shoot rage & both of them had poor broadhead preformance both deer were recovered neither had an exit hole & the head actually broke on a hard off side shoulder hit on one deer both put big holes going in no exit & very poor blood trails but killed both deer
VPA 175 Grain 3 blade easy to get crazy sharp with a jewel stick. I have been shooting them 10 years or so and they are one of the best coc heads out there. Shawn
I would check out Magnus Broadheads excellent heads and a great company.
X2 ^^^ I went with the 125gr Black Hornet....extremely accurate, tough and sharp.
Original poster are you saying the collar did not break on the second shot either.
Based on the pictures below the blades did deploy and if they were properly put under the collar then the only way the got outside the collar was to go through the collar. Very confusing
I shoot a Black Eagle Deep Impact shaft with a 100 grain outsert and 175 gr. VPA non-vented head. I picked this combo after doing a ton of research specifically for good penetration. I’ve killed a lot of deer with many heads/arrow combo. This combo is pretty bad juju on a big whitetail.
I’ve personally seen 5 deer shot with slick trick standards and every one had an awesome blood trail and died within 100 yards.
i've shot alot of broadheads - my favorite for killing big game is the German Kenetics XL or XXL. They are super sharp - accurate as a field point (literally), and durable. i have killed 25+ deer with the XXL 1 7/8 175grain cut and they destroy deer. i don't care how they are standing - they go in deep....
If you want to take the shot and not worry about shot angles - buy them...
If the broadheads did not open, maybe he was using the fake ones from ebay? I like solid 3 blade heads, lots of good ones to choose from. My wife and I have been successful with VPA, Montec, and Hell Razor.
Here's the arrow and broadhead I used to kill my buck yesterday. It sliced thru a rib, both lungs, and the top of the heart, then stuck 8" into the ground beyond. The buck died 15 yards from my stand in about 5 seconds. There's not a nick on the blade. A few swipes on a sharpening stone, and it will be ready to kill again.
Montec G5s have never disappointed me.
Most fixed blade BH's will do the job. I shoot trad gear and use Eskimos amd wensel woodsman, both are deadly and will fly well out of your bow.
I have been using the Thunderhead since the 80's. Both 100 and 125 grain are tough hold together and the blades are scary sharp out of every pack. If your bow is tuned they will fly with your practice points, NAP started making the Thunderhead in the 70's There must be a reason they are still around.
Rage Chisel Tip
Rage Chisel Tip
Gentlemen, I am original poster. I appreciate each of you that has chimed in. I agree with everything your saying. Yes, I really feel I should have killed him with a field point at that close range, angle etc.. Let me reiterate, the angle wasn't that bad, I mean slightly quartering to me. I put the arrow exactly where I aimed, and I know this because he circle out into the open so I could see the arrow stuck in him. Please see the attached photo. I left both arrows in the field until the following morning when we went to find him, so that the land owner (father and son) could see for themselves both arrows, exactly how I found them. I had not even pulled the second arrow out of the dirt until we were all 3 standing there. And for the guy(s) that asked....NO, neither collar broke...see photo. And look, I know how to set them up. I know that you dont match the slit in the collar with the blade...they must be offset. I'm telling you it doesnt make sense. I am coming to you guys to try to figure it out. It could have been something I did...I just dont know what that was and just cant believe that 2 out of 2 collars didnt break. Again, thanks for any thoughts, and thank you for the suggestions on the fixed blades. I have been reading a bit about the heavier grain heads and for what its worth, there is a very interesting read if you google up the article Peterson's put out about why we should all consider using heavier grain broadheads. Thanks in advance for any further comments you can provide. Lastly, I have been watching some videos on deflection, and was a little surprised at what I saw just in general. And for a few who have commented about not shooting anything quartering towards you. Yes, of course, I know that, Ive been bow hunting along time. But I think we have all had a situation where we have a MATURE deer that we think we can kill, and we have a shot that is now or never. If this particular deer had taken one more step, I wouldnt have had a shot due to tree branches. It was a perfectly ethical shot. The question is why the broadheads didnt work and could another broadhead have closed the deal. I would think that chisel tip alone would have penetrated enough to do the job. Abnd just so you are clear, I backed out and we didnt return until morning. He We searched on foot and with 4 wheeler all over that farm. I am just waiting for him to show up on camera again, or possibly the landowner finds a coyote meal at some point. Woodslayer.
With so many stories like this, and so many examples of poor penetration with mechanical heads that we see on virtually every hunting show on TV, it amazes me that bow hunters still use them. I like two holes and a dead animal within sight, instead of a wounded animal running off with an arrow flopping out one side.
My other thought was that you were using a light arrow, but I see the fmj so too light an arrow is not the problem. Where did you get the broadheads? Are they Rage or a possible fake from ebay?
more than 25 years hunting using Muzzy and Thunderheads. Both work very good . not complain at all
Ok, I'm confused. They both look like they're open.
I'm with Midwest, both of those broadheads look deployed to me. . . .
Both of those broadheads look like absolute garbage to me.
I kill several deer (northern and southern ones) each year with a 2-bladed, 125 g. Hypodermic Rage broadhead. Arrow weighs about 450 g. Blades are resharpened, to stay hairpoping sharp. Marginal hits with a 2" blade makes for a good hit. Good hits > great hits.
3-bladed mechanicals aren't known for great penetration. Also, best to have animal broadside if possible. I've killed four so far this year. None were perfectly broadside. Buck ran his death run for about 125 yds. Does ran between 30 and 50 yds.
I have zero experience with the broadhead Woodslayer has had issues with so I'm not going to say it's junk or it's great or it's his fault. Also have no reason not to take his word as to what he saw after the shot. None of you were there to see it so you don't know either.
What I do know is Woodslayer has come to a site with a ton of accomplished bowhunters looking for positive advice. Most of the comments have been constructive and maybe those with experience using the type of head he's looking for could continue to prove how great of a resource Bowsite can be. I personally shoot Vortex but if ever in a situation where I can't use them I will be using Iron Wills. I would recommend you look at those if you haven't already. Good luck in your search, Jeff.
Interesting that I watched a YouTube vid this morning of a tracking dog recovery where the Rage broadhead was found with the collar still intact and in place. They found the buck all right, not very much farther than the hunter had given up on the trail, but I only mention it because the same thing happened to the OP. I’ve never used a Rage or any other mech except on turkeys.
Looks like you’re shooting FMJ’s, so the heavier arrow is there. Slide on a Ramcat and you will be lethal.
Sorry to hear about you losing this buck, Woodslayer. After reading your original post, my only thought is that you did not have the right broadhead for such a steep shot angle. I took the exact same shot at a doe ( 8 yards, very, very slightly quartering to me), with a 3 blade Rage a couple years ago. I watched that arrow hit my intended mark, only to skid down her side and cut a swath of hair from her hide. She bounded away, stopped at 20 yards, and began to lick the patch where there was no hair. After a few moments of her looking around and trying to figure out what just happened, she trotted out into the field and began to feed. When I got down to retrieve my arrow, I found my Rage deployed, a bunch of hair, and not a drop of blood. My conclusion to what had PROBABLY happened, was that because of such a steep shot angle, one blade deployed before the other two, and caused my arrow to re-direct itself along the outside of her hide. After this incident, I switched to 2-blade mechanical broadheads, and have not had a single issue. Good luck in choosing a new broadhead, as there are many good ones to choose from. I highly recommend the Wasp Jak-Knife (2 blade mech), and the fixed blade Drones...both made right here in the good ol' USA!
Notice in original photos that I posted, the black collar is still there. In this new photo I removed the collar from the broad head that ended up in the dirt and you can see it next to these heads. I manually opened the blades to maximum, to show what we expect in terms of cutting swatch, per the Rage company. Any of you that shot the original Rage mechanicals will remember they use a rubber grommet, which resembled a thin rubber band. I thought those worked great, killed several deer with them, but they changed it years ago to this harder plastic collar. They keep changing them each year. My buddy says he has a version that uses both. I have been sitting here trying to break that little black collar and it is more substantial than i thought. I would go as far as to suggest that if you hunt with these, take a hard look at them. This may just save you some agony. I certainly dont wish any ill will to the Rage company....I mean there broadheads have done me right in the past. I just think there is something to learn here...I just haven't quite put my finger on it. I gotta say, I am leaning toward the fixed blades and in a beefed up version. Keep your thoughts coming and please dont disregard comments just because its not your first thought. There are alot of smart people on here, I know. Thanks for the private messages as well, and suggestions.
I don't think this is the first negative experience I've read about with the plastic collars. I think I'd move on from that head. I switched to fixed heads a year ago due to dropping to 50 pound bows although I still use 125 grain Rocket Steelheads out of my 60 pound bow. Love that head, and the rubber bands to be honest. Have no fear of them not deploying.
I found a video on the net that showed a guy pushing a Rage Chisel Tip broad head through a piece of paper stretched over a cup. That particular version of the Chisel Tip used the rubber grommet I mentioned in the previous post. When the broad head was pushed through the piece of paper it had enough resistance to cause the blades to function/deploy as designed - and open up causing a large cut using all blades. When I tried that same exercise, my blades dont deploy. I swear its the different "harder" collar that is keeping it from working correctly. And I am still using the same collar from the original arrow, which should be barely hanging together and should break easily at this point. Again, my thoughts are, if your using this design...you may want to take a hard look at it. See photos
If the blades didn't deploy, then how did these notches that lock the blades behind the collar get past the collar? I guess I'm not familiar with how the 3-blade Rage works. I'm only familiar with the Trypans.
Regardless if this broadhead didn't open, I would think there should be more than enough blade diameter to kill a deer if it went through vitals.
I tested a similar collar a few weeks ago on my old style Rage Hyp. They normally use a black collar that is designed to break the two tabs. Friend gave me the new, crossbow collars that are red. Much stronger than the black ones.
I shot a doe a few days later, complete pass-thru. Collar was dented, no broken tabs. There was definitely more resistance for the blades to open due to the stronger collar.
I gave the red one back to my friend and don't plan to use them again.
Years ago I swore I would never use a rage broadhead, but some guys I hunt with finally convinced me to use them. Well over 60 deer later I have no plans of switching. However, I only use the 2 blade version. Somebody mentioned about you possibly having crossbow versions, they definitely have a harder plastic collar than the regular version, but in my experience the crossbow collars are red, not black. If you want to stick with rage heads the new no collars have been working very well for me. There is no doubt you have to have confidence in your broadhead, and I can certainly see why you would lack confidence in a rage head. Have you contacted rage? 2 years ago I had some hypodermics (purchased from a certified seller, not ebay) where the ferrules snapped on 2 occasions after killing deer. Rage sent me replacements and wanted the bad ones back to look at. That won't change the outcome of your recent episode but maybe answer some of your questions. Good Luck!
WS. I only tried Rages one season and from all the practicing that year and killing one deer with them, I never had the collar break apart. The blades just jumped over or pushed over the flimsy collar upon impact. I would just turn the collar and reseat the blades to practice with. Are you asking why the collar didn’t break apart on yours? Maybe I didn’t have enough experience, but I didn’t think the collar was supposed to break apart at impact??
The collar doesn't break, the notches in the blades simply pop out over the tabs on the collar. I don't use them personally but I have shot enough turkeys with Rage over the years to know that the broadheads appear to have deployed in your earlier pic. A lot of times the blades push back after they do their job and give the impression they never opened.
Maybe you’re already answered this, but did you buy them online? Another words could it possibly be an off brand than rage? Also were the tabs facing up or down?
Based on the pictures the blades did deploy and if they were properly put under the collar then the only way the got outside the collar was to go through the collar. Very confusing, but the collar does not have to be cut through, it only needs to be pushed outward enough to let the tabs be free. collars are very often reusable as they are often not severed completely.
I did not even know that made a 3 blade head. the 2 blade hypos +P are awesome on deer and bear.
The bloody one definitely looks like it opened. I am also not a fan of 3 blade rages. I just plain don't like the design. For a lot of mechanicals, when they are backed out of the medium they are shot into, or fall out. it essentially makes the head look like it never opened. I am not sure if that is the case here. You hear that all the time from people on heads that have actually opened, but close when they pull them out of the mud. To me it looks like one of yours opened and one didn't.
I also used to be anti-large mechanical and was all about two holes. I've since changed my stance after pumping a ton of broadheads into the offside shoulder. Dead animals, but also one (smaller) hole. My reasoning to going to a larger head is as follows:
1) You are only guaranteed one hole, no matter what head you are shooting. You are never guaranteed a pass-through. (like an offside shoulder shot - which happens a lot) 2) I would rather have one 2" hole than two 1" holes. The larger hole simply seems to leak more. Therefore, I am content with one large hole, but we can still often even get two large holes, and two 2" holes is certainly better than two 1.25" holes, or two 1.125" holes 3) If I hit the guts, a 2" hole seems to be way way deadlier than a smaller fixed head. I have yet to hit the guts, but if I do, I will be much more confident in a recovery with a large hole. 4) I believe the likelihood of needing the larger cutting diameter in a gut/liver situation outweights the potential penetration issues caused with a large mech. Near side shoulders are rarely penetrated regardless of head. I'm not worried about scapulas on animals smaller than elk.
I guess the fixed versus mechanical debate will always rage (pun intended).
I've experienced and seen too many horror stories of mechanicals failing on angled shots to ever consider using them on big game. One blade deploys before the others, causing the arrow to deflect in an unintended direction.
As for the 1 big hole vs 2 little hole theory, I just have to laugh. Above are the 2 little holes I punched in my buck yesterday. The shot was 5 yards slightly quartering away from a treestand. The blood trail wasn't impressive, but it didn't matter because the buck only went 10 yards and piled up. It was over in 5 seconds.
edit: I have no idea why the second pic won't rotate properly. Matt
My bad, to those several people who asked about where I purchased them....I purchased them from a great bow shop in Great Bend Kansas. My string slipped last year and took it there to have it put back on. I felt obligated to purchase something from them. The shop owner showed me photos of a deer he blew up with these, so I said, of course, I;ll take em.
My bad, to those several people who asked about where I purchased them....I purchased them from a great bow shop in Great Bend Kansas, not an internet purchase. The collars were put on correctly per Rage company videos.
Little holes and little blood is fine when you hit them perfect.
Here's one thing I've pondered, but is never discussed in this debate. Many of us have witnessed clean pass-thrus where the animals bolt a short distance, then stops, looks around as if pondering "what the hell just happened", then they get woozy and topple over within sight. How many deer exhibit the same behavior with an arrow still lodged in their body? I've never seen it. They usually run as far and as hard as they can.
My theory is a clean pass-thru is less alarming, and perhaps less painful to an animal, therefore the difference in reactions.
Grey Ghost, it happened to me this fall for the first time. have had several act that way with pass through shots, but this fall I shot a buck that was quartering away and did not get a pass through. arrow was sticking out in front of right shoulder about 8". buck did a mule kick and then trotted about 40 yards, stopped, looked around, then fell. I think head sharpness plays a huge role in the animal's reaction too.
G5 strikers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, show me a sharper head, and I will buy it....................... most rage shots on TV have 3/4 of the arrow still hanging out,,, all poor penetration,,,, to be honest its a good head, with proper arrow weight and bow weight,,,,, I watched buck commander this am, for the first time, what a bunch of pampered dopes
My thoughts are I tried a Rage for one hunt two falls ago. It was the Hypodermic, I hit a cow elk through the chest behind the front shoulder, which I thought was a dead elk. I gave her some time and followed up on her expecting to find her dead. Instead I found her laying down with head up with a lot of life left in her. Arrow still in her about half the shaft penetrated. She stood up and offered me a sharp quartering away shot and I slid it in front of her back hip thinking that would be the end of it. I tracked her another 100 yards where again I found her in her bed with life still left. I slipped in and put another Rage in her and finally ended the ordeal. 0/3 arrows passed thru and that was the only and last time I will ever shoot not only a Rage but any mechanical. IMO why would you not shoot a fixed? Sucks about your buck, sometimes we hit them "perfect" but in reality maybe it wasn't as perfect as we thought?
Please send me any of your junky Rage Hypodermic broadheads that you don't want, just make sure they're 125 g. : )
The handful of deer I've killed with a mech bolted a short distance but didn't stop and look around. They just piled up at the end of a 4 ft. wide blood trail.
"Please send me any of your junky Rage Hypodermic broadheads that you don't want, just make sure they're 125 g. : )"
Send me your address, I have some that were given to me while I was outfitting. Never used.
Thanks Matt. PM sent. Seriously, I was running low on these broadheads.
Slick tricks. They fly great, little to no adjustment from your field points, and they do the job. You don’t need a 4 ft wide blood trail when you watch the deer fall over in front of you. That’s my regular experience with ST’s
“My theory is a clean pass-thru is less alarming, and perhaps less painful to an animal, therefore the difference in reactions.
I think you have a lot of distinguished company; that has been observed since before any of us were born. A protruding arrow has got to be perceived as an attacking predator and probably acts like a whip. And you think about whitetail habits - if spooked by an unknown, and absent a pursuer, how far do they typically run? Maybe 50-70 yards, tops. Around here, anyway. Just into good cover. Gun-shot deer will run ‘til they crash, of course.
But if a deer is going to bleed out internally or otherwise leave a faint trail, I’d prefer that it travel slowly and not too far.
Mechanical heads are like one of those fences that just gives off that steady hum.... and I’m not about to pee on it to find out.
Montec g5s are my pick. I’m not saying it’s the be all/end all, but I (personally) think these perform perfectly from my set-up and will break ribs hard if needed.
I won’t badmouth any deployment styled broadhead, but simply say, “good luck.”
I like trying different broadheads. Always playing and have a couple different heads in my quiver most days. 2 blade rage is a deadly head..
I agree with Adam on the 3 blade . Shot one deer with it . Not impressed !! Good luck on your search!! Hunt
GG, I shot my buck this year and did not get a pass through. Slightly quartered away. I centered his heart and broadhead lodged in opposite leg. I used a 100 gr Vortex with a 2.75" cut on a FMJ arrow. The arrow was bent and snapped. I didn't see it but I'm guessing he struck it with a hoof. So, this deer had about half any arrow stuck inside, ran about 40 yards, stopped and tipped over dead. I do agree though, if the arrow is slapping them as they run they probably are less likely to stop before they are dead.
"Mechanical heads are like one of those fences that just gives off that steady hum.... and I’m not about to pee on it to find out."
LOL! Unlike you, I have peed on that fence, and didn't care for the result. Fixed cut on contact blades for me ever since.
Just get some VORTEX BROADHEADS. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!
I Have killed 17 deer with Grim Reaper heads (loved the old Muzzey's) But tried something different a few years back.... had one bad hit on a mature doe that I could not recover..... have friends who tried the rage ….. not very happy with the results: Shot placement is everything.
No offense but I’m with JohnMC. I shoot rage Hyperdermics through elk, mule deer, whitetail, bear, and mountain lion with no issues. Can post about 20-30 pics of me standing next to a dead animal thanks to the devastating damage that Rage makes. Not saying that there are not other great Broadheads out there but can definitely attest to what a “Rage in the cage” does!!!
Qad exodus, kudupoint and deadringer rampage 2" 2 blade my go to heads killed mtn lion, bear, deer, alligator, wild pigs with those heads all performed great on tough animals
What makes vortex better than rage
The fact that you don't have the Drury's ,Drunk Winkelman and others grinning like a slow possum , chanting " IT'S LIKE THROWING AN AXE THROUGH AN ANIMAL!", for starters...
^^^Haters are going to hate. The bottom line though as previously stated is that any of these Broadheads on the market today including the Rage will kill the intended target when properly placed by the Indian. Afterall it’s the Indian not the bow, the arrow or the Broadhead right guys? No offense to any Native Americans but you get my point.
G5 Montecs. In the 7 or 8 years I've used them they have never let me down.
I always laugh at the Vortex comments that come up. If you search the net, plenty of failures on them as well as a lot of heads out there. We are shooting live animals and things happen all the time that result in less than ideal results with an array of heads. Shawn
Downhill Quartering-to shot two days ago. Died in sight. Used the same IW head that killed my bull with the same shot placement.
Downhill Quartering-to shot two days ago. Died in sight. Used the same IW head that killed my bull with the same shot placement.
Since I started shooting Iron Wills I don't worry about the "slightly quartering to" angle anymore. The last three animals I've killed with that angle, mature elk, whitetail, and muley, all died in sight with two holes. I shoot in front of the shoulder to blow through the front of one lung, plumbing, and back of the other lung. Shooting behind the front leg at that angle usually results in a lost gut shot animal, maybe one lung, or liver if you're lucky.
I've killed a lot of big animals with 15 different heads. Three-blade 125 Muzzys were my go-to until I discovered IW.
Tall order for a stickbow!
But if you have the horsepower, that’s the placement... that or wait it out.
Call me tight wad. I really liked the G5 montecs but don't like paying that much. So I went back to the muzzys. This is last years deer. Same shot as Jaq. quartering to me. Went in just on the inside of the near side shoulder joint. I was shooting downhill at him. His closest leg was back, so arrow got to the heart. He never took a step, just fell over right there. This years deer was about the same shot except his front end was higher than back end so broadhead ended up just sticking in the offside shoulder. Guessing only got top of offside lung.
I’m not saying this has anything to do with the OP’s issue. But I would guess there is a lot of guys shooting mechanicals because they can’t get fixed blades to fly and group with field points. That tells me their setup is not tuned to its potential. All that fishtailing arrow flight robs energy, and poor penetration is a result. Now add a mechanical head and maybe a less that desirable shot... the Broadhead gets the blame. I’ve never had a bow that I couldn’t get fixed heads to fly out of. By shooting and tuning your bow with a bare shaft you can find out how good your form and tune really are. Getting a bare shaft to fly straight out of your bow insures maximum energy transfer to your target. I know there are some great bow tuners reading this probably thinking I’m stating the obvious. But I see it a lot, a guy blows 2k in a bow shop on a new rig then gets a pat on the back and a pack of rages in his bag. To me that’s BS. We live to hunt and kill stuff with sharp sticks, and it’s serious business. We need do the best we can with our equipment and shot selections. And things can still go wrong, but we need to protect what we have.
do you think overall recovery rate is higher on fixed or mechanical?
figure it does not matter at all on great or terrible hits. the end result is the same with both.
on the margins which of the two styles lead to more recoveries?
NG String Puller, Amen brother!
I fixed a guys bow a few weeks ago that was way out of tune. (arrow pointing downward) He said he didn't have time to verify that broadheads flew the same as fieldpoints. He also complained about losing deer that were hit poorly. I told him he shouldn't be bowhunting until it can be verified with each arrow.
I broadhead tune with a solid 3-bladed VPA. Once tuned, I verify my the practice broadhead (Rage Hypodermic) I'm hunting with shoot the same.
Good question! I’d have to say fixed heads though years have led to more recoveries.
Based only off personal experience, I’d take penetration over cutting diameter. No worries of my fixed BH failing to deploy.
Still having a well tuned bow and moderate width mechanical has proven itself over and over. But I wouldn’t rely on it bailing me out of a bad hit.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Much of the popularity of mechanicals is because fixed blades require more precise tuning, especially as the speed of bows continues to increase. Back in my competitive 3D days, I worked as an archery shop technician. It always amazed me how many arrow flingers had no concept of how to tune their bows.
Labeling all mechanical shooters the same is kinda like labeling all trad shooters the same.
Or labeling all of anything the same
Too many variables to compare loss rate. Part of me thinks many guys shooting mechs might be prone to taking longer shots because of perceived accuracy. But they may make more good shots because of the accuracy. OTOH someone shooting a poorly tuned fixed blade will wound animals no matter how close.
As far as tissue damage on a marginal shot, if penetration is the same, a good mech wins hands down. But there are obvious penetration variables with mech vs. fixed. I've never shot an animal with a mech but the TV hunters sure seem to get poor penetration with them sometimes.
But then the team of searchers, dogs, etc.. find the animal the next morning and they film a fake recovery sequence of "Old Smoky" being found at the end of a presumably short bloodtrail, with the star hunter doing the "Thank You Jesus Happy Dance", and creative zoomed camera angles showing only the head and rack and the admiring celebrity because coyotes ate all the rest of the deer in the night, so all is good. It also reaffirms that Jesus is a big fan of TV hunters, and that God created the Rage just for them.
Say what you may but it’s totally a preference thing. I don’t hunt with Rage because some celebrity uses them, I use them because they get the job done and cut a devastating hole through your intended target. I’ll bet Iron Will is a great Broadhead and I’ll bet Vortex makes a great Broadhead as they look very sturdy and well built but I have to say that regardless of all the criticism, I’ve killed a ton of game with a Rage and they’ve done a great job for me. Think I’ll need to go buy some Iron Wills and some Vortex Broadheads to understand what you guys are talking about but it’s hard to justify to me since I’ve had such a great experience shooting Hyperdermics and Trypans, both by Rage. I’m down to experiment to find a truly superior product if that’s what people swear by but I thought I’d found that in the Rage tips that I’m currently using. To me it’s like getting your hair cut, once you find a barber that cuts your hair the way you like every time then you keep going back. Same with the Broadhead, once that sucker proved that it works well, I’ve stuck with what works for me.
I dunno about you guys, but I’m getting really tired of seeing Jesus being used to sell stuff without his permission.... Pretty sure he said something about being careful around those who make a big show of how pious they are.
And JMO, to follow up on the speed thing. I find it ironic that so many guys worship speed the way that they do. A guy like Jaq knows his apples and kills a pile of Elk at very modest range (by modern standards) using a bow that’s giving up 100+ feeps to a typical Compound and guys will stand around and discuss FPS as if it were all that really matters. I’ve seen the equivalent in rifle guys who end up using what are basically varmint bullets to hunt Elk; then they hit a big slab of meat, blow a crater in it and can’t figure out what went wrong??
And flyweight arrows tipped with mechanicals are the varmint bullets of archery. They’re fast, they’re light, and they depend on inflicting a great deal of trauma at or just below the surface, rather than being designed to create a substantial amount of damage all the way through in a straight line.
And the irony is that if these guys would work on their tuning and add enough arrow mass to bring their speed down to where they had no problems shooting fixed blades, it would cost them exactly nothing. You get past about 30 yards and 90% of even the speed-freaks are going to be responsible enough to use a rangefinder, at which point velocity is almost a non-issue anyway. They don’t make .50 BMG sniper rifles because of the muzzle velocity...
"Labeling all mechanical shooters the same is kinda like labeling all trad shooters the same."
Please note I said "many" not "all".
I had a prime example this year at elk camp. I met 2 young first-time bowhunters who were camped near mine. One day, one of them returned in almost a panic, claiming he had ruined his "#1 arrow" shooting at a grouse. When I asked what he meant by "#1 arrow", he explained it was the only arrow in his quiver that would hit where he was aiming.
They were both shooting brand new Mathews bows with fixed BHs. I asked if they had ever bare shaft-tuned their bows, and they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language, so I decided to give them a lessen in tuning. When we first started, neither of them could even hit the target at 15 yards with a bare shaft. After about 45 minutes, I had both of them stacking their bare shafts alongside their field and BH tipped arrows. Suddenly, all of their arrows were "#1 arrows". They were elated and very grateful for the help.
The OPs question was about broadheads when encountering shoulders and big bone. I think everyone knows the answer to that, but Elkman and others have killed a pile of elk with mechs, so...? Ghost, you know by now that this is a religious discussion. No matter how much jaw-jacking, keyboard- pounding, or Jesus-thanking goes on, any reputable broadhead will do the job if the variables align.
Fixed blades sacrifice some cutting diameter and accuracy (for those who can't tune) to trade for penetration. Mechs sacrifice penetration in many cases for improved accuracy and cutting width.. And those hybrid things are just...weird. Hermaphrodites.
Rage makes a very good mech head, bought Muzzy which makes a very good fixed blade, and does a great job of marketing to the gullible masses by sponsoring lots of attractive celebrities to use their products. Hats off to them.
Adding, Rage should rename that mixed up, half fixed, half mech thing as the "Rage Hermaphrodite" to compliment the Hypodermic and Trypans (what the heck is a "Trypan, anyway? Sounds like "Bedpan".)
“Ghost, you know by now that this is a religious discussion. No matter how much jaw-jacking, keyboard- pounding, or Jesus-thanking goes on, any reputable broadhead will do the job if the variables align.”
Amen to that!
(You see what I did there? LOL)
But to No-Dak’s point -
“We live to hunt and kill stuff with sharp sticks, and it’s serious business. We need do the best we can with our equipment and shot selections. And things can still go wrong, but we need to protect what we have.”
It’s those damn variables. To me, a mechanical head is a variable I can’t control. Much like an animal ducking the string or just casually taking a step while the arrow is on its way. Cutting diameter is all well and good, but not at the expense of in-line penetration.
More is more, but enough is enough.
The solution is really very simple. Make it illegal to hunt with an un-tuned bow. Many side benefits too.
Prevents over crowding, over harvest, slows point creep, brings down wounding rate, better public image, fewer obnoxious celeb hunters, WAY less internet bitching, and I’m sure there’s more.
Turns out this one is fine out to 20, but shows weak at around 25.... That’s OK, though, because it was an inch longer than I wanted.
Only study I've seen shows mechs with a significant advantage in recovery rates vs. fixed blade.
Thunderhead 125 grain I can’t be the only 1
Mechs are better for deer and bear sized game, my form sucks when I am excited, freezing cold, and a bruizer walks by, it just does and the mech hit the spot, my wounding was almost non existent when I made the switch, I love mechs, oh and I paper tune then use a fixed bh to tune my bows before i hunt
I am like Hunt this year I had three different broadheads in quiver, but two will always be rage two blade, I am still shooting the slipcam original's. Also carry two slick tricks and two magnus black hornets. I have shot deer with a lot of different broadheads and consistently the rage leaves best blood trail. Would agree with many on here however that if they are broadside within your effective range a field point will kill them.
JMO, what it boils down to is that they have their limitations when it comes to steep angles and shoulders. The problem is not with peeing outside and it’s not with fences. Sometimes you even get away with peeing on the fence.
Just listen for the hum before you un-zip.
GF, which mech did you use that had problems with steep angles and shoulders?
Like I said - that’s one fence I don’t need to pee on.
I’ve seen PLENTY enough cases of mechs failing to provide adequate penetration - can’t hardly watch a “hunting” show without one - and those guys are shooting bows that produce twice the KE of my heaviest bow.
I’m not stupid.
now I will say that I shoot large fixed 2 edge from my compound & it has to be tuned or they fly crazy. but & not to be a chest thumper I have shot through both shoulders of so many whitetails I couldn't even count. now gf iv heard your theorie in small bullets before & iv been shooting 175gr (pure lead) bullets out of my 45 cal.muzzleloader & this is what they do to deer time after time now that's not an elk but that's undeniabley fantastic preference that was a big doe shot through both shoulders at 100 yards
A .45 bullet doesn’t need to expand. At 100 yards, they probably don’t expand much - unless you have a huge hollowpoint up front, but even then, a short bullet like that has probably shed a lot of speed. And plain lead has a way of only expanding when there is velocity to spare.
But if it works for you, that’s all that matters. Just keep taking the shots that have worked out well and don’t press your luck. (That’s my philosophy, anyway)
Well, I guess watching hunting shows trumps real life personal experience. ;-)
To op's original question....I tried a new broadhead from Day Six, the EvoX. Really happy with it's performance. 1-1/4" cut with small bleeders. Both animals killed with them left good blood trails and quick deaths.
Dude.... I would be an IDIOT to use mechanicals with a stickbow.
And the physics of a very wide mech virtually guarantee a penetration problem on a steep angle - not on every shot, but sooner or later. And you can’t control for it. I don't argue with Physics.
Sorry, didn't realize you'd already done the physics calculations. ;-)
I did lose a deer many years ago on a steep quartering away shot. Looked like it slid along the rib cage and up into the arm pit. It was a fixed blade, though. I since learned to aim behind the ribs on those shots.
I also made a hard quartering shot on a deer with a mech a couple years ago. 25 yards and a relatively light arrow pulling 60 lbs. I pulled it left or deer may have moved a bit since he had smelled me and was leaving. I was aiming back behind the ribs and hit him in the ham. Broke the femur and passed through, out the guts. Watched him die in short order. The mech not only held up hitting some major bone, it practically eviscerated him as it passed through. Got lucky on that one.
The others I shot with a mech last year were broadside, pass throughs, and died within sight at the end of massive blood trails. Just my limited experience so far.
seems like this thread has changed a lot of peoples coming in position so far. That's the great thing about this site. Live, learn, adapt, and evolve.
Those Iron Will S$125.00 heads look pretty wicked. I have heard they do serious damage to deer, elk and your wallet too!
$125 for 3 Iron Wills, or $128 for TWO DOZEN Aces.....
Shoot what suits you!
Iron wills are for guys on welfare compared to these bad boys that come In at $350 for three
Do they come with a metal detector to find the lost ones?
check out abowyer boneheads & bonehead lite very similar in size to the iron will @ 55$ for 3 & lifetime unconditional guarantee you bust it bend beak it they will replace it no questions iv been useing them since 2005 with both compound & trad bows
to date nobody has ever bought one so nobody has ever lost one.
“Iron wills are for guys on welfare compared to these bad boys that come In at $350 for three”
I’ve bought top-end custom bows for that kind o’ money! Second-hand, but I can live with that....
abowyer 120gr bonehead lite with long adaptor roughly 150gr I bought 9 of these in 2005 iv lost 5 still have 4 & couldn't even guess how many deer those 4 heads have killed. very tough heads & slightly shorter & wider than most single bevels
Strong, sharp fixed blade. You have all year to tune or learn how.
Iron Will broadheads are three for $99.95. Since they can be used over and over on many animals and have a lifetime guarantee, this could actually save you money vs. one and done heads. Shipping is free now through Monday by the way.
I have killed 72 deer with 100 grain Jak-Hammers. They open every time and Ray Charles could follow the blood trail. Normally got pass through with my Mathews bow. Now using a Ravin crossbow and a pass through is guaranteed. Shot a good size doe a couple weeks ago and she went 40 yards and was down. I have used Rage, Rockets and Grim 'Reapers broadheads with good luck but my favorite is Jak-Hammer, they work every single time. I am mainly a meat hunter and often let bucks pass to shoot a doe.