Next to your brain, your broadhead is the single most important piece of equipment you take with you hunting. Your broadhead is what causes the damage and has the potential to make or break any shot. The arrow system, and especially the broadhead, is one place no hunter should ever spare expense, ever! Nothing else matters if your arrow or broadhead fails.
A sharp edge is needed most after the arrow penetrates through the hide and ribs and enters the body cavity where the major blood vessels are. A broadhead with poor quality steel dulls after initial penetration and does little to cause blood loss from that point on. To compound the problem, when these dull edges get forced through tissue they promote blood clotting and reduce penetration.
This is a huge problem with many of the broadheads on the market today. Often they're designed for a low price point, whitetail hunting demographic which is what drives the majority of the archery industry. When people unknowingly attempt to use them on larger game such as elk or moose, these problems only escalate.
This is one topic I won’t pull any punches on. Not because I have an agenda or am egotistical about my views, but because I am tired of seeing great hunters who do everything else right, come home empty handed when their broadhead let them down. Worse yet, many of them never even realize an inferior broadhead was the biggest reason they didn’t recover that animal! High quality steel that holds a good edge throughout the entire wound channel will increase penetration, create rivers of blood loss and result in more recovered animals.
Does it sound like I am promoting high end broadheads? Yes I am. As well as brazenly denouncing the use of soft, weak, dull, or poor quality ones. Out of respect for the animals we hunt, and in the interest of our own success, “Don’t use flimsy, weak broadheads!” If your arrow system fails you, it doesn’t matter how much work you put into the hunt, you still fail -- and wound an animal!
There are some excellent quality heads out there, so pick one and build your entire arrow, bow and accessory system around it. Whatever brand you choose, good broadheads won’t be cheap; there’s no way around that. High quality steel, proper heat treating, and tight machining tolerances all cost money -- but they are without a doubt worth it.
Once you make the initial purchase, these heads can last for years, as long as you don‘t lose them. I know guys that have had the same quiver full of broadheads season after season. They are resharpened each year and are a permanent fixture in the hunter’s gear, similar to a lucky hunting knife or “Dad’s Old Meat Gun.” I’ll skip a new piece of gear every time if it means the difference in affording quality broadheads.
Here is a broadhead that passed completely through an elk and is still sharp enough to shave the hair of my arm. Quality steel will hold an edge and still be sharp when you need it the most – inside the animal!
Ready to find out more?
To learn more about what defines a quality broadhead, pick up a copy of the book "Can't Lose Bowhunting" by Jeremy Johnson