The Perfect Arrow And The Bacon Harvest
As many a good hunt begins, it is COLD! We are not talking North Dakota cold, with -60 degree wind chill or anything, but this is GA. When it is 30 degrees with 15 mph winds, in this humidity, it is uncomfortable to say the least. Deer season has been over for 8 terrible days. My Ashby-esk, big game killing machine of a setup has 8 boring days of dust collected on it. Well… had dust on it. The sucker is in my hand right now, as I begin my quest for some pork!
As I quietly creep through the woods, with unparalleled sneaky ninja-like abilities, my heart flutters at the sound of a distance squeal. Today is the day!! Before I can go forward with this tale, we must travel backwards to a little over two years ago…
Ok, so back then, I was just a 28 year old, Ashby-like apprentice, green in the ways of FOC and arrow weight. All I knew was that when I switched to Muzzy 3 blades that season, my arrow accuracy went from really good to TERRIBLE. What in the world is up with my arrows? That is when the research began. I started scouring the internet for a suitable solution to my quandary! You know what I found? Right helical fletchings, with 4” plastic vanes. Yep, that was the answer (according to all of the forums). Did it solve my problem? NO! Those dang arrows wouldn’t listen to a single word of reason! I tell them to go right, and they go left. I tell them to go left, and they go farther left. What? Come on guys… During this time, I paper tuned, broadhead tuned, and bow tuned to the best of my ability. I FINALLY got the arrows to group, but the field tips were hitting a good 10” high and right of where the broadheads were hitting. I finally got my bowed tuned up, and I killed some stinking deer.
One of the biggest issues was that I had to sight my bow in using my broadheads. That is frustrating, because if you group too closely, you’ll wind up shaving fletchings off your arrows. The second issue was this, during my 3 blade escapades, I shot two different does, quartering towards me. The arrow killed the deer, but it barely made it through the first bone. Luckily both of those thoughtful ladies dropped; otherwise there would have been no blood trail. What I learned was that penetration with the muzzies was unacceptable, but what else was I to do?
I received my answer, just over a year ago, in part, because of Donnie Vincent!! Have you seen his stuff on YouTube? He has done some amazing videography, capturing the essence of hunting. It was in one of his YouTube promos that I first spied a two bladed beauty of a broadhead. It was the Alaskan Bowhunter Maasai Broadhead. Boy was she pretty! It was there that I began the journey. I spent hours and hours of internet studies, phone calls, more studies. I learned about FOC, EFOC, UEFOC. I learned about tapered arrows, perfect flight, bare shaft tuning, mechanical advantage, feathers vs plastic. I learned A LOT! After all of my research I knew I wanted a tapered arrow, a two blade broadhead, with the appropriate dimensions (mechanical advantage), feather fletchings, UEFOC, and 650+ grained arrow. It took EVEN MORE HOURS to find the perfect match for each of these categories. I ordered over 10 different tapered arrows from different companies, makes, models, spine thickness. I then sorted through and began bare shaft tuning each of these arrows to my 2003 Mathews Legacy compound bow, that has a 28” draw length and a 70 pound draw weight. I literally spent several full days sorting through the different arrow shafts, figuring out the correct weight tip, the appropriate length, the FOC measurements, and the overall arrow weights of each arrow, once it was perfectly spined and tuned. Eventually, and finally, I had it!
All of those weeks, days, and hours of research and study provided, in my opinion, the PERFECT arrow set up for my bow. I found the best tapered arrow I could find, and no, it is not a GrizzlyStik. It is a Quest Thumper. Price sensitivity was not the main goal, but it turns out that these arrows afforded a greater FOC than the GrizzlyStiks, AND they were half the cost. Oh yeah!
The best broadhead on the market is by far the TuffHead. I compared to the Ashby broadheads from GrizzlyStik, and once again, the GrizzlyStik swag is much more expensive even though it has a lower mechanical advantage, and only a one year guarantee. I also compared to well over 15 different two bladed single bevel broadheads on the market. TuffHead has the highest mechanical advantage of all of them, as well as a lifetime warranty. I am personally responsible for the purchase over 30 of these for various hunting setups. I have both of my parents, brother, wife, brother-in-law, and several other hunting buddies outfitted with these broadheads.
The feathers I use are Gateway Rayzr feathers, and are beautiful, with a price point that is not bad either. They only weigh 1 grain each, and help aid my quest for UEFOC. The end product for my setup is an arrow that is 657 grains, with a 315 grain TuffHead, 75 grain brass insert, and an FOC of 30.5%. Man those things “fly purty!” A huge bonus is that the field tips, as well as the broadheads, magically hit in the same spot every time! No more broadhead tuning!
Now we can pick up the hunt again! So here I am, stealthily moving through the woods with the grace and swiftness of a cat, yet the terror and ferocity of a grizzly bear! Well, in mind, that is how I am moving. My wife, who is hunting with me, informed me that my stealth was that of a squirrel. You know the kind, right? The squirrel that has you shaking in your stand, because you are absolutely certain that a big buck is just about to step out and make your day! That is the kind of stealthy squirrel I am, according to her… Regardless of the noise factor, we just heard a hog, and we are going to try to sneak up to the oinker and test these “perfect arrows” on that thick skin behind his shoulder, called “the shield.”
Three hours later we have given up, and are heading back to the truck. We are quietly whispering about Rainbow Vacuum cleaners and Mexican food, when we hear a squeal less than 50 yards to the left!!! It is from there that we jump back into stealthy ninja squirrel mode, and work our way towards the commotion. There he is! He is about a 250 pound big black boar, which is just itching to let me skewer his unsuspecting vitals. After about 20 minutes of playing the wind right, and working my way closer and closer, I am finally within 30 yards! Suddenly I see a smaller boar, about 150 pound walking straight towards me. I figure, “Heck, this one will taste better!” As the boar steps out at 20 yards, quartering towards me, I pull back, aim, and release. SQUEEEEAAAAAL! He jumps up, and falls right on his back! I dropped him! He squeals and squirms and makes all kinds of a racket. Of course my tender hearted wife is feeling sorry for him, so she asks me to shoot him again (first shot was perfect, double lung and heart). In order to appease my wife’s sweet innocent, doe like worries, I fire another arrow into his body, and this time he is quartered away (lying on the ground). The penetration on both arrows was awesome. The first one was sticking a good 20 inches out the back side of him, and the final arrow went completely through his body, and lodged in his front leg. As he floundered about, he broke both arrows, but prior to that, they were in fantastic shape.
I have attached some pictures of the hog, as well as the broadhead that is lodged in the bone. I had to use pliers to retrieve it, and guess what… IT IS IN PERFECT SHAPE. All I need to do is slap a fresh edge on that TuffHead, and it is good to go! So far my tally is one big swamp rabbit, a 6pt buck, a big doe, and a decent hog, with these broadheads. Trust me; you can’t go wrong with this setup! I promise you that I have spent way more time than the average person doing research and field tests. There is no better broadhead (for the money or not) than these TuffHeads.