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Fixed Blade or Mechanical Broadheads?

We asked the age-old bowhunting question on social media, and here are some of the responses.

Fixed Blade or Mechanical Broadheads?

Editor’s Note: In an effort to try something new, we posed the following question on social media, and we chose to publish some responses below. We have also included our own comments regarding each response. Look for upcoming questions on our Instagram page and follow us @Bowhunter.

Question: Do you typically hunt with a fixed blade or a mechanical broadhead?

Answer 1: “In general, I prefer mechanical broadheads. I have been using them for a few years with good success. I use multiple ways of tuning and shoot fixed heads to verify they fly well, but then I gravitate toward a mechanical head. They offer larger cuts for better blood-trailing, have less planing on longer shots, and are not affected by wind as drastically. I think you need to have a setup that allows for the use of a mechanical head. And above all else, shot placement is key.” — Jordyn Doud (@jdoud33)

Our response: Jordyn makes a great point about tuning his bow to ensure fixed heads fly well, because that forces you to end up with a well-tuned bow. If you can get arrows that have “wings” on the front to fly well, most any broadhead you choose will fly well, including mechanicals. We also agree with the larger entrance and exit holes created by wide-cut mechanicals. However, should you choose to shoot large, two-inch-cut mechanicals, be sure you’re shooting sufficient energy to drive that wide cut through an animal.

Answer 2: “I prefer mechanicals for deer, bears, and turkeys; fixed blades for bigger game like elk or moose. You can also kill any animal with any broadhead. A tuned bow and proper shot placement is most important!” — Eric (@reezen05)

Our response: Eric’s philosophy is a good one. Broadhead choice should be tailored to the game animal being pursued. A contributing factor is the energy generated by the archer’s draw weight, draw length, and arrow weight. That combination of factors is a major consideration in broadhead choice. And it’s true that any sharp broadhead from a tuned bow will kill an animal, if the shot placement is perfect. However, broadhead choice should not be based on what it will do when the shot is perfect, but what it will do when the shot isn’t perfect. I must also say that in 42 years of bowhunting, I have never had a bad outcome that I could unequivocally blame on the broadhead. And I’ve never witnessed such a failure. The cause was either poor shot placement or the archer chose the wrong broadhead for the job. That is not the broadheads fault. Choose wisely, based on the aforementioned factors.

Answer 3: “Fixed-blade — I’m a true believer in the rawest of fundamentals.” — Bobby Deis (@cleared_hot_bowhunting)

Our response: Thanks for the comment, Bobby. Any bowhunter with a few years of bowhunting in the rearview mirror will agree that simple and fundamental is a good approach. Injecting variables into your bowhunting comes with a price. You may experience improved performance, but those variables can come back to haunt you when the going gets tough. It is somewhat ironic that the one broadhead design that will always...I repeat, will always give you deeper penetration is also the simplest design. The cut-on-contact, two-blade head, where the sharpened edge goes all the way to the tip, has been the best-penetrating head since archery was invented centuries ago. Simple still works best for most things in life.

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