The question by Shutterbugbowhunter about 3 blades broadheads brought up some thoughts I’d like to run by other hunters. Over the years I’ve used quite a few different 3 bladed broadheads. Different weight snuffers, Rocky Mountain razors, G5’s, just to mention a few. In many situations, using the vented heads has caused me poor blood trails because they had a tendency in my experience to pull fat and tissue through the exit wound and plugged the hole. Especially on shots from above where the exit wound was low. I can’t say that I left game unrecovered, but many times this was just because I knew my area so well after hunting there for many years and knew where to look for an animal that was mortalily wounded. I’ve never had that problem with any 2 bladed head. Someone told me years ago that they thought it was the fletching that pulled fat and tissue through, and I suppose it can be true some times, but I don’t think it’s the major cause.
Please share some thoughts.
In the case I saw above, I think the five inch plastic fletch was the clue, it may have been coming off the shaft, fouled the straight arrow flight and snagged the deer on the entry. As far as the tales of failures with those tin hi-precisions, I would be more surprised if they were sharp than if they were butter knife dull. Most guys around here tried to sharpen them with those little grey pocket stones. I have some on pheasant arrows, I can get a sharp bur on them, but is not a head that can stay very sharp in a back quiver. I have also heard of some failures with Pearson Deadheads, again, I do not know how sharp they were or were not or if they were flying straight. One story of a Deadhead was how the arrow turned on impact and just traveled under the skin and poked out on the same side shoulder. In comparison a 140 grain Hill is a deadly beast. The first deer I shot with one, I filed it, then used a kitchen knife multi carbide disc sharpener, then a light file serration to finish it. I had zero confidence, until i saw blood squirting out of the deer as it ran away. We have never lost a deer shot with either a 140 grain Hill or a 160 grain Hill.
After nearly 60 years of bowhunting the vast majority with 3 blade heads like the Snuffer have never seen a fat/hair matted broadhead. Even the 3, 4 and 6 bladed Wasp broadheads I used for a couple years back in the early 1970's never had of this happen to them
Unless maybe the shot was taken at a very oblique angle and the broadhead blades actually rubbed / gathered fur going in. Fat and tissue should not be an issue as described. in my mind.
I wonder if there is a burr that is left from the machining process in the vents? If it was smooth I don't see how it could grab tissue and pull it through. I don't like vents anyway. So Im just switching solids next year.
In my experience I don’t think it has anything to do with blad sharpness. Also I’m not talking about hair, I’m speaking of fat and tissue getting pulled through by the vents. The worse for me has been the big Snuffers, and yes they were sharp, but not the inside of the blade
I dunno. Any blade that matts up with hair or pulls hair into a wound can't be very sharp, IMO. I shot Zwickey 4-blade deltas for years and a number of two-blade Zwickeys and STOS and Abowyer single beves, and have more recently incorporated Woodsman 3 blades, which are vented. Have never had problems with any of them with hair matting on the blades or in the wound opening.
I shot 10 deer this year with different broadheads. I shot zwickeys (solid), bear paw jager (vented), grizzly single bevel (solid), and dirt nap 2 blade with bleaders (vented). I sharpen all my heads on an angle guided system, (lansky) then hone with ceramic and strop on leather. The best blood trails were from the 4 blade, they left gapping holes, very impressed. The worst blood trails were from the single bevel grizzly, followed by the jager, which left holes slaller than the width of the blade. Then came the zwickeys. I do not have any three blade heads to test as of right now. I acquired some ace heads and bear razor heads that I will use next year as well.
I did not see any significant amount of hair pulled into the wound channel from any of the heads. also there was more variation within the heads than there was between them. however, the 4 blade was the exception. I made a bad shot on a deer and hit it in the guts, the large opening caused the intestines to spill out and and the deer bedded in sight, I was able to follow up immediately. likewise i had a poor shot on a deer with the single bevel grizzly and other wasn't a single speck of blood. Not one.
I did strike heavy bone on one deer with the bear paw jagers and had one inch of penetration, the deer walked off like nothing even happened, not even a limp. I struck the shoulderblade where it connects to the humerus.
I do not have a large enough data set to make any real conclusions. However, I do think that if your heads are dragging tissue into the wound channel you have a problem. Either your broad head is not sharp to begin with, or the steel is not hard enough to retain its edge all the way through. The jagers had very poor edge retention while the zwikeys and grizzlys were pretty good, the dirt nap was in between. I shot deer with micro diameter carbons all the way to woodies, with a variety of flatchings including 5" feathers to 3" trad vanes. I have no clue if they add to any of it or not.
This is only my second year hunting so I'm still learning at every turn, this is just what I experienced.
If you want proof of different heads and have instagram follow @thetradlab lots of good pics of terminal performance of different heads in real hunting situations. Also, love him or hate him, Aaron Snyder kills more animals a lot of us ever will and he is rocking rms 3 blades right now as well as iron wills with bleeders.
A number of years ago when I was sharing woods with Toad Smith. I found an arrow with two plastic fletches, attached to a 2419 full length and a ball of deer hair on the point. I pulled off the dry deer hair and came to a wad of matted deer hair covering a Rocky Mountain replaceable blade head, that appeared to sharp. I was wondering if it could have been one of Toad's, it was not. About 300 yards later, going down the same fence line trail, i came to a large doe, with the missing fletch snagged and folded at the entrance wound. Most of my deer have been shot with Hills and Hunter's Heads with serrated edges, not once has a wound got closed up with fat, not once has the head pulled in or drug along hair. I have heard way back in the 60s with hi-precision heads, made locally, that they could pull wads of hair like above. I believe that if a multi blade head is not flying true that a number of compression issues will defeat its cutting action.