Do you shoot fixed OR mechanical heads? Our answer is we like BOTH. Here’s the argument for each.
Some of us use fixed broadheads throughout the season, and we have all shot them at different times throughout our lives. The brands we’ve used include Slick Trick, Exodous, Muzzy, Thunderhead, and G5 to name a few.
The main reason I shot them last year was because they seemed like a better choice for hunting on the ground. Having a fixed blade at the end of your arrow is much less stressful than trying to keep a mechanical head from opening on vegetation. Once I switched to using the fixed head while hunting from the ground the problem was solved and I was no longer having issues keeping my broadhead in tact. When you hunt from the ground, odds of shooting through vegetation goes up. This isn’t to say we’re trying to shoot through tons of stuff, but if there is a little grass or a leaf in the way owe want to have a broadhead that will drive through without being altered. Our fear with the mechanical in this situation is that the broadhead will expand prematurely and cause for flawed arrow flight.
Ground hunting aside, another pro of using a fixed broadhead is that the penetration is going to be better than most large mechanical heads. If you watch any broadhead test on YouTube you will see that fixed heads consistently get better penetration than mechanical heads. If you are like me and have a tendency to tuck the shot close to the shoulder where there is more bone, then a better penetrating broadhead will likely be a better option for you.
One knock on fixed heads is the small cutting diameter. This means less room for error and smaller wound channels. Accuracy is also an issue. Fixed heads need extra tuning for proper arrow flight vs mechanicals. If you are going to shoot fixed blades it is worth trying different heads to find the ones that fly best for your bow setup.
Our entire crew has also shot mechanical broadheads. The brands used recently include Rage, NAP, and several Rocket models.
A large cutting diameter is the number one reason that we choose to use mechanical broadheads. A large cutting diameter is more devastating on gut and liver hits allowing for better blood trails and faster recoveries.
Arrow flight with a mechanical broadhead is almost always exactly the same as your field points. Obviously you should test your broadheads before hunting but generally speaking most mechanical heads will fly true with no adjustment needed.
The biggest issue with mechanical broadheads is deflection. Especially when the shot isn’t perfectly broadside. A sharp fixed head will have less risk of deflection and higher odds of penetrating in line with the arrow’s flight path.
Another con of mechanical heads is the risk of them opening prematurely. Whether that be during flight or catching on vegetation as mentioned earlier, this is a real risk when shooting mechanical heads.
In conclusion, as a group we can all agree that everyone has different tendencies and preferences when selecting broadheads. The main thing is to find which type you personally like and try different brands to see what fits best.
For me, I like to have both in my quiver. I have found a fixed head and a mechanical that shoot exactly the same out of my bow setup and I like to have both as an option while hunting. If I am on the ground in a bedding area where I think the shots will be close I will be using the fixed blade. If I’m in a tree stand or even open habitat where the shots could be longer I will likely use the mechanical blade.
One last note, always make sure your broadheads are SHARP! This is something many people overlook when choosing broadheads. There is no better broadhead on the market than the one that you know is sharp and have confidence in.
From Ryan Updike – What app or weather website do y’all use to find out prevailing winds/wind direction?
We use wunderground.com. It shows detailed graphs at what the wind is doing throughout the day. Actually it shows detailed graphs of everything. Here is an example of a 10 day forecast. You’ll notice wind direction and speed is at the bottom, barometric pressure in the middle, and temperature at top.
Historical weather data is something we pay attention to as well. Many of our trail cameras are left up throughout the season. When we get a photo of a mature buck we’ll check the historical weather data from that day. It not only helps us know what conditions the specific buck was moving in, but we also learn more about deer movement in general when relating to weather patterns. Check it out here.
Here’s an example. We got this photo of a buck on September 15th at 6:40 p.m. He was moving out of a suspected bedding area and we wanted to know which wind direction he was bedded there on.
Here is the historical weather data from that day. I’ve highlighted the time frame the buck was in front of the camera. Also pay attention to the wind direction for the remainder of the day. Since we know the bedding area the buck is likely coming from, we can determine which wind direction he was bedded there on and look for patterns to emerge in the future.
Mature bucks will be more consistent in their movements than the rest of the deer. If you see one moving through an area, think about all these factors. There’s a good chance he or another big guy will do it again on similar conditions.
From Harvard Smith – “When y’all are hunting public land, is it mostly WMA’s or random areas? Which type of areas do you hunt most?”
It’s pretty random honestly. Each public area has something slightly different to offer. The thing to keep an eye out for is changing regulations on different areas. Some are walk-in only for example leading to less hunting pressure. One WMA we hunt in Alabama has different seasons than the surrounding areas. Takes extra research to figure this stuff out but you can use it to your advantage.
Say your planning an archery hunt to Kentucky public lands and having trouble deciding on a location. With so many options how do you narrow it down? In Kentucky, there are a number of areas that are open to archery only. These can be great areas to target because of the lack of gun pressure. In a situation like this, we might try WMA’s like this over a large state forest for example. Many states have areas like these that can be overlooked and provide excellent opportunities.
Time to schedule our fall hunts. We plan on hunting several states and are debating where to go. It’s possible we hunt Kentucky, Nebraska, or the Dakotas early. Then hit Wisconsin from mid to late September. We’ll likely spend October hunting in Iowa and travel again during the rut. Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Michigan are all on the table.
It’s possible we can get 6-8 states so long as our vehicles make it!
It’s also time to get out scouting again.
When it’s hot like this, the early mornings are a great time to scout. It gets light VERY early in summer so it’s possible to scout for an hour or two in the mornings before work and still clock in by 8 or 9. We’re also becoming a big fan of permethrin to keep ticks off. It’s kind of a process to apply to your clothing but it’s well worth it. There are some pants out there that have the chemical built into the fabric.