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September 03, 2018

The pace at which archery tackle is technologically changing boggles my mind. But, for me a Traditional Archer, a couple different types of bows, and the right arrow/broadhead set-up has been set-in-stone since 2005.

I was just one year past my first Traditional kill, using a 125Gr. Two-Blade Eclipse Broadhead (from my friend Blake's line of Broadheads), on a fine Mule Deer.

I had been proto-typing our Binocular Harness and One is All/Greengate first generation pack (1st generation iteration of the WholeShabang!) on this hunt.

I had been building my own 350 grain arrows with a 125 gr. Two-Blade Eclipse, Broadhead (from my friend Blake's line of Broadheads), to take a fine Mule Deer Buck. 475 grain arrows for Mule Deer seemed O.K.

This set-up flew well and it had made a complete pass-through on this buck at 25 yards--what else could you ask for right? Hells Canyon traditional killed mule deer

Well, in 2005, my follow-up opportunity for a Trad. kill became a poor hit on a satellite-six-point Bull Elk, at 14 yards. He whorled at my release, getting at least 24" of penetration from my full-length arrow (32"). I never found this Bull after tracking over three days once snow/rain set in erasing his trail. My first big game loss in thirty years of hunting--I was outraged at myself for thinking Elk could be thought of like Mule Deer.

The Traditional Bowhunter magazine had been publishing Dr. Ashby's broadhead studies. I consumed every ounce of wisdom from those articles.

So, now my arrow of choice is cedar, cap-dipped, stained and about 678 gr. (200 grains more than my first hunting arrows!!) with a single-bevel two-blade, 160 gr. Grizzly, from my Fox, 56# High Sierra, take-down Recurve--11.6 grains of arrow weight per pound of pull.

This is a weight-forward (F.O.C) set-up that flies well and gives spectacular results when things go bad--a worst-case-scenario! ALL archers should be prepared in this manner! I don't care about feet-per-second, even though the bamboo-limbed Fox High Sierra Recurve shot 212 FPS with the 475 grain arrows.

I may soon try 190 gr. broadheads if I can find they fly well. It's all in the momentum. If you were hit at a railroad crossing, which would you rather be hit by? A freight train, or VW Bug? I know which one, and don't tell me "kinetics"!!

I also own and shoot longbows but, haven't decided my arrow/broadhead combination to be hunted with yet. 

The photo below is a Spike Elk that took a 678 gr. single-bevel Grizzly through the right upper-leg. The single-bevel spiral fractured the Humerus, proceeded through his heart and on into the opposite shoulder, breaking the cedar-shaft and leaving the broadhead in the opposite humerus. 

 Heavy Arrow Weight damage

Note, the incredible hemorrhage, the incapacitated front shoulder--the right side. (The rear leg incapacity on elk can allow an animal to travel many miles). See the hit, then the spiral fracture below...

 Single-bevel broadhead performance

The end result, a quick and humane kill in a worst case scenario hit!

Spiral fracture

A  worst-case-scenario that ended quickly due to the right arrow/broadhead. If you look closely at the picture below, there is a small hole that finally stopped the arrow in the opposite shoulder.

Opposite shoulder of elk

I should also add, I have guided three years for a Bend, Oregon-based outfitter, and I'm sad to report the losses from lightweight arrows and 100 gr. broadheads are sickening.

Hunting elk with expandable broadheads and lightweight tackle is just irresponsible. I will fight for heavier arrow weights/draw weights however I can, as well as keeping expandable broadheads out of the field for archery elk hunting in Oregon.

Additional photos of the "Quick-Quarter" process, or as some call it, the "Gutless" Method, in a future Blog.

I've given seminar's on meat care, meat hauling and proper care of wild game. If you don't  know some of the principles of game care, especially as a solo-hunter, or a backcountry hunter, then look for another Blog post on, Backcountry Meat Care, in a few weeks.

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