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I am currently shooting a 400 grain arrow using qad exodus broadheads. My mq1 bow is set for 58 pounds. I shot a doe 2 weeks ago and hit the front shoulder somehow where the arrow only penetrated about an inch. The doe snapped around and the arrow fell out. I don't know how but the arrow was completely covered in bright red blood. I know my shot placement was about 2 or 3 inches off. I am thinking about buying new arrows and going up to a 450 to 475 grain arrow. Do you think this weight gain would significantly increase my penetration on a marginal shot. I have bowhunted for 40 years and have never seen an arrow not go in at all.I wish I had a slow motion camera to see if the arrow deflected on the way to the deer and hit at an angle. It looked like a clean shot to me.
I would say your setup is more than adequate, and something else happened along the way. I shoot a 350 grn arrow, and with the same broadhead at 68# draw, i broke the femur bone of an antelope at 54 yds and still got a complete pass thru.
I would of thought I would of gone right thru too. It blew me away when I saw the doe turn around and the arrow fall out. There was one 1/4 inch branch about 3 feet from her. Did I hit it with the vane and send the arrow in at an angle. Not sure. I already had this deer butchered and half eaten since it was only a 15 yard broadside shot but her front leg on my side was in the back position, should of waited for one more step.
Could you have glanced/missed the front leg and hit the brisket bone and thought you hit the leg? Being that close, either way, i would bet you deflected prior to contact. Your setup is more than enough.
I don’t think 50 grains is going to make a difference. 200 might.
Is it a possibility that your arrow penetrated more than you think and her moving pushed it back out ?
What dry creek said. I shot a gemsbuck, broad side. He bolted and ran straight away. The arrow was sticking in the “entrance” side and it appeared I only god 4-5” penetration. We tracked it 100 yards and found it dead. The arrow had gone trough and punched a small hole in the hide on the off side, but as the animal turned, the arrow apparently pulled out.
I’ve seen lots of deer get hit in the shoulder and get almost no penetration with a variety of broadheads, bow poundage’s and arrow weights. I think it depends on what part of the blade you hit, it varies in thickness. I think you would have to increase your grain weight by 100+ grains to make much of a difference and probably 200+ grains to make it 100% pass through on every part of the shoulder. If you never shoot more than 25-30 yds why not?
I never understand all of these bowhunting videos with such poor penetration? Why shoot a light arrow unless you shoot long distances and want a small pin gap on our pins?
I shot a buck once where he was quartering slightly away. Perfect hit but the arrow bounced out. The arrow went through the chest and hit the opposite front leg. The arrow snapped off about 6” from the broadhead and the rest of the arrow bounced back out. I was worried when I seen the arrow come out but turned out it was a good shot.
You sure it didn’t whip around so fast that you saw the arrow fall out the exit side? How could an arrow get 1” penetration and be completely covered in blood?
Going up to 450-475 will help for sure.
It's a deer with a 58# modern compound. Your equipment is way above adequate.
All sorts of odd stuff waiting to happen when trying to kill stuff with a sharp stick.
I'm in the "hit the off leg and bounced back " camp on this one. I've had it happen a couple of times. The bloody arrow is the tell IMO.
I think that there is zero reason to blame your setup.
400 grains is more than adequate for deer. Now I personally like heavy arrows for a variety of reasons but you always have to weigh the pros and cons of the two.
In archery you never get to make a change without giving up something!
“I already had this deer butchered and half eaten since it was only a 15 yard broadside shot but her front leg on my side was in the back position, should of waited for one more step.”
I think that this statement captures the real issue so I would focus on that fix which is in your control and could affect the outcome regardless of arrow weight!
I have found that the lessons in bow hunting come hard and for me most of my lessons have been of the mental variety.
Your set up is fine, the extra weight will hurt you more than help by slowing your arrow speed. If you want to go up to 475gr also go up 10 pounds on your draw weight, now your into a shoulder busting setup
If that's what happened I think you hit the spiny processes of the vertebra and didn't penetrate.
Did you find her? Track her? What was the trail like? As many here, I suspect your peno was greater than you thought.
Also was it an Exodus swept head or the non-swept version? I don't see the swept version backing out easily so it matters. Even on a vital hit, you don't normally have blood all the way down the shaft unless the shaft has been inside the cavity. I've seen many arrows go in and out, so that's the most likely scenario I think. Just not with a swept.
Just a little farther back and you would be eating backstraps!
Considering the <60lb draw, I 100% agree with Carcus - except if we’re talking about a scenario where your only shots will be known/short distances. When someone asks me what weight of arrow they should hunt with, My response is: - what’s your dl and dw ?? - what style of hunting will you do ?? Here’s why.
I have two arrows. I hunt with my “every day” ~500g arrow whenever my feet are on the ground, also for 3D and practice. (70lb/29” fyi). But I also have a bonecrusher arrow that is 150 grains heavier - it flies perfectly, and my bow is sooo quiet. All of my wt tree stands around home are set up for 18-20 yard shots. The bush is so thick, there’s no chance of a shot that’s any longer. I set my single pin slider at 22 yards and never adjust it. There is literally ZERO downside to using the heavier arrow in this scenario. We can calculate time to target if you like, but the couple nanoseconds isn’t going to save the life of a string-jumper …
How many people choose their arrow based on being able to have a 100 yard sight tape, when all they ever take are 15-25 yard shots in hunting situations - think about that for a minute.
One time I shot a deer and the arrow never came out the other side …………..:…………… just kidding - never happened.
I would not be surprised if you got more penetration than you think as well. I am not one who thinks I need the latest greatest bow on the market. With that said you are shooting a bow that probably 15+ years old. Also not shoot what I call low poundage but certainly not high poundage either. If you picked up a newer bow I guess you would gain 30+ fps everything else being equal. You can find a lot of bows that are two or three years old for less than half of new cost if your like me and finding a new bow prices painful.
I’m in the heavier arrow camp, personally, and shoot a 2 blade Kudu point. Just about guarantee it would have punched through. Like WTF said, if you shoot close yardages why not? Long distances? Probably stick with what you’ve got.
If it turned around and then you saw the arrow fall out then it was a pass through that hung up momentarily on the exit side. Which explains the blood on the entire arrow.
“I never understand all of these bowhunting videos with such poor penetration?”
A friends of mine shared a hunting camp with a couple of huntertainers and they were shooting 2” Rage at 50#, with the low draw weight so they could hold longer for video purposes. They shot light arrows to flatten the trajectory given the low draw weight. Who knows how well they tuned.
Neither made holes in the offside of the deer they shot and if memory serves one left their deer overnight due to the lack of a blood trail. You can imagine what the coyotes left.
I am starting to go with the arrow may of gone deeper then I thought. But as soon as I shot I clearly saw the arrow only go in what looked like to be about an inch,,unless it bounced back so quick I couldnt tell. I shoot non swept exodus. I saw exactly where the deer ran for about 75 yards. There was zero blood on the ground. I was on my hands and knees looking for blood. I got my buddies to join me two hours after the shot to help me search. We grid searched and checked every deer trail in the area, walked every creek valley and found nothing. I wish I had access to a tracking dog to see what it would of found.I wish I would of waited just a few seconds more for that front leg to move forward.
nchunter, you did all you could and more than most would. Even more you learned from the experience.
Yep. It happens. It’s happened to everyone in the context of being unsure about what happened. All you can do is exhaust the search then move on.
I agree with Mike. If you would only shoot a deer at less than 40 yards, then why would you not go heavy? The only way to get more momentum or kinetic energy to the deer is to increase speed (by increasing draw weight) or by increasing mass. The only downside to more mass is that you won’t shoot as far, but you and I aren’t going to do that anyway. What is the argument for a lightweight “good enough” most of the time?
Arrow Speed (fps) 250 Arrow Weight (grains) 400 Results Kinetic Energy 55.46 KE Momentum 0.4437 M
Arrow Speed (fps) 225 Arrow Weight (grains) 475 Results Kinetic Energy 53.34 KE Momentum 0.4742 M
Arrow Speed (fps) 200 Arrow Weight (grains) 500 Results Kinetic Energy 44.37 KE Momentum 0.4437 M
That’s a much better answer than I was expecting. And you are probably giving too much speed to the heavier arrows.
How much energy is retained after impact?
I wouldn't know how to begin figuring the after impact retained energy.
I wouldn’t either fdp.
I can say that my about 14 bucks shot with 100gr muzzys and bear razorheads had complete pass throughs about half of the time (some with lighter draw weights) and both bucks I’ve shot with 200gr vaylkires had about 1/3 of the arrow buried in the dirt behind the deer. Small sample size.
Formulas aside, just about every experienced bowhunter I know has bumped up their arrow weight over the many years…and all have been happy with the decision.
Yeah, its anecdotal…but Its a lot of guys. You get a quieter and smoother setup for sure…and though its hard to quantify most guys -including myself- say we get better overall performance/ penetration.
Is it 5% better? Or 10%, 20%- I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there will never be a math equation or an accurate way to quantify this as it relates to effectiveness on game due to tradeoffs on trajectory.
I know a lot of experienced guys…and think its no coincidence they are all in that 430g to 500ish arrow range.
Beendare Dundat … apparently he has.
If you look at Ashby's data. No doubt heavier arrows are going to win in penetration. However the most important thing when it comes to recovering game is shot placement. Sometime I can range an animal put down rangefinder draw bow and know exact range. Many time/most of the time you are hoping you got it with in 2-3 yards. If you are shooting a slow bow and heavy arrows and not knowing the exact yardage can lead to a high or low hit. If you are above or below the vitals it really doesn't matter how deep your arrow buried in the dirt. Moral of the story make sure you can hit the spot you picked. If you can do that and shoot arrow that has the weight of rebar even better.
If the OP upgraded his old Mathews. He would get best of both worlds flatter shooting arrows and more penetration everything else equal. I am a guy that hates spending money saying that.
Ashby's data should be approached with both eyes wide open, and each person should test the results themselves.
Thanks everyone. I have bowhunted for over 40 years now and only owned 2 bows- martin cougar magnum and my current matthews mq1. I have killed about 50 or 60 deer between the 2 of them and with me its a confidence matter attained by practice and results. My current arrow is the lightest I have ever shot but also very accurate out of my bow. I was shooting heavy carbontech rhinos with a 125 broadhead. I may crank it my poundage a bit on my mq1 and go with a heavier arrow.
fdp, Well said….
I took a look at the weighted soda straws and rubber band sling shot Ashby used to prove his (and Ranch Fairy’s) EFOC theory….and tossed it in the circular file.
I'm wondering where all the fixed head humpers are. Can you believe it didn't work? I commend the OP with sharing all this and asking the tough questions.
APauls ‘fixed head humpers’ ???
Not sure I’m catching what you’re pitching. Do U think this was a broadhead problem?
I wouldn’t let one instance contradict years of proven success. Without high speed video and without the recovered animal there’s no telling what happened, as it stands it’s an anomaly. BUT if it makes you feel more confident, by all means go for it… but not mid season during the rut.
Have always been a proponent of heavy arrows for whitetails until recently. I have seen mature bucks drop several inches when the bow went off causing me to hit high or miss. Heavier arrows are quieter though. Changed fletching type and configuration and went to a slightly lighter shaft. I think that the answer for whitetail treestand hunters is to shoot a heavy arrow and aim low. I would be hesitant on taking shots between 30 and 50 with a heavy arrow setup as that is a distance window where you typically see more string jumping.
Not being tuned right will rob all your energy also.
The MQ1 is a sweet and quiet bow, but slow (ibo 308fps) and especially at 58#. I think you’d be sacrificing a lot of trajectory with added weight. You know your ability and situation far better than us, but it’s definitely something that should be taken into consideration.
With 400gr arrow you’re about 245fps but with an extra 50gr you’re below 230fps. With the severe loss of speed overall you’d be splitting hairs on whether or not you’re improving anything.
Ohiohunter you mentioned trajectory. Wonder how far he was the deer? His setup should work fine on deer. Just check tuning and paper tune and,practice with broadheads and go hunt.
Agreed, it is. I say his situation bc some guys won’t shoot past 20. But if he slings a 475gr arrow it’s gonna look like the Golden Arches at 30 and beyond. Which is fine for some but a huge handicap for most. There’s several details missing from his hunting preference list.
Though he is shooting an awesome bh, there may be a few better choices… but not many imo.
You’re saying 300 fps is “slow”?
(“S” is for Silly, if you’re wondering. )
So just to keep Adam happy, I guess I will stand up to Represent…
We are not shooting rifles here. If you hit a deer in the thicker portions of the shoulder blade (recognizing that the shoulder blade is not attached, bone-to-bone, to the axial skeleton), I don’t know that it makes one damn bit of difference whether you hit it with a 165 FPS two blade COC or a 380 FPS expandable, whether it opens or not. It’s conceivable that somebody around here has tried both, but I don’t think I will hold my breath waiting to hear from him
Physics Says; If the shot angle is quartering away or quartering to, half of your kinetic energy is going to do nothing but move that scapula sideways across the rib cage... It’s a soft catch.
IOW - when you have well and truly screwed the pooch, it really doesn’t matter which Implement was used to do it.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I think mechanicals are just plain Stupid unless you’re limiting yourself to optimal (aka broadside) shot angles at close range for the express purpose of dropping an animal inside of a small piece of private property.
For any other application, a standard 2 or 3-blade fixed-blade head will kill as well as you can shoot. It just might take an extra 50 yards, or in some cases it could save you 100 before the animal piles up. Whether you can track it or not will vary depending on your personal skill set.
I guess most people measure their success in inches of antler and others measure by yardage on the shot and others by yards traveled to recovery. And ne’er the twain shall meet. Anyone who puts a great emphasis on Blood On The Ground is basically acknowledging his own ineptitude as a Tracker. And if you can’t get fixed-blade broadheads and field points to hit to the same POI, then that is evidence of your inability to tune properly. It has nothing to do with the arrow, and everything to do with the archer, who is tuning to said arrow.
So only only conclusion that I can draw is that YOU should employ the rig which works best for YOU, or which is the best for YOU Aesthetically and functionally. And all I can ask as a fellow hunter is that you pass up the shots which you know are low percentage in the first place, regardless of what you’re using.
If we all do that, everything is going to work out just fine.
If that’s all you understood from my post your ability to comprehend has me LMSAO