The Making of a Bowhunter: Part 3


Sponsored by: Whitetail University, Atsko Products


By: Wade Nolan bowhunting biologist

Mike, my new bowhunter, like all new hunters was captured by the “killing end” of the arrow shaft…the broadhead. “Wow”, he said, “Will that go all the way through the deer?” Mike is shooting 60 pounds and yes it will likely go all the way through, we call that a pass-through, in bowhunter jargon. A broadhead has to do a number of things well to be a good choice. Here is the list.

First it needs to fly straight. That is why I’m a mechanical guy. I have done as much or more testing of mechanicals as anyone in the industry and I can tell you that mechanicals are the choice if accuracy is high on your list. Winged broadheads are busy trying to defeat the aerodynamic facts concerning wings as they fishtail toward a target. Put a wing on the front of a shaft and that wing will try to steer your arrow…period. You can defeat the aerodynamic characteristics with a lot of drag in the rear, i.e. feathers, but why put wings up there in the first place. Mechanicals open after hitting the target and you get the best of both worlds. Plus a mechanical can carry and deploy a bigger blade if it is not going to mess up the trip between the bow and the buck. The argument is simple but old habits die slowly. I still have some friends that shoot aluminum shafts.

Mike was enthralled with the mechanical design. He noticed the engineering immediately and asked if they were strong. I explained that many of them are incredibly strong and have all the integrity of a fixed blade due to the composition of the steel, angle of the blades and the attachment to the ferrule. We screwed on a practice collar and shot a few. To his amazement they indeed shot just like his field points. I explained that we are looking for the maximum linear cut available as the linear cut is how a broadhead kills. It is the hemorrhaging that kills and that means the broadhead needs to cut the tissue as it passes by. That includes the rubbery arteries and veins.

After a few confidence shots with the mechanical Mike was set.

With bow, arrows, broadheads and shooting form addressed we were getting closer to the ‘go’ button. The part of the trip between a beginning and arriving is called the journey. Don’t underestimate the value of the journey. I recently climbed a mountain in Alaska and the climb was just as valuable as the summit. Don’t forget that fact when you’re growing a bowhunter.

We also discussed shot placement and authentic practice so we were ready for the recovery phase of the hunt. This is the most under discussed and maybe the most important. I have done a lot of writing and video work on this topic and I’m still learning. Here is what you need to teach your new bowhunter.

The shot placement is everything. Encourage the new bowhunter to wait for the PERFECT SHOT and not a “pretty good” one. If he is successful in recovering the first deer he shoots this effort will probably stick and he will become a passionate bowhunter… like you. If he wounds and looses a few deer he will probably quit, so take your time and encourage a perfect shot.

Let’s cover this topic with a list of bullet points concerning deer recovery.

Enjoy the journey because not all hunts will end with a freezer full of meat. Remember any deer taken with a bow is a major trophy so don’t worry about the Buckmania that is promoted on TV. Most of that is phony.

Sponsored by: Whitetail University, Atsko Products 

For more from Atsko go to : Scent Control and be sure to get more information on:  Wade Nolan


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