-By Brandon Wikman
I remember when I was about 14 years old, tearing through the new hunting catalog; wide-eyed, drooling and ecstatic.
I'd wait months just to tear open that fat book crammed with all the goodies I'd add to my Christmas list. The bow hunting gear was usually my favorite section of the catalog and my eyes lit up like a 200-watt bulb when I saw the array of flesh-slicing, bone-busting broad heads.
The super-big expandable heads that promised to kill deer on the spot and leave a perforation the size of a foxhole fascinated me to a point of shock. Little did I realize, I was setting myself up for nothing more than serious disappointment.
Standing at a proud 5-foot 4-inches and tipping the scales at 120 pounds didn't really help my bow hunting performance, let alone football career either. I could only pull back 50 pounds on a good day. That's with leaning back, pointing towards the clouds and putting all my weight into my right arm to yank the string back.
As cool as I thought I was with my machete-type head, it just wasn't practical. Heck, I thought I'd be able to take down an elephant, but all I really did was wound my first deer. That really made me think about what I was doing.
It takes roughly 45% more kinetic energy to penetrate a deer's body than a chisel point broad head (Muzzy or Thunderhead). And another 40% more kinetic energy for a chisel point to penetrate a deer's hide than a cut-on-contact head (my preference). Using a cut-on-contact head is the way to go, in my opinion. Unlike a mechanical or chisel point styled head, cut-on-contacts keep slicing and dicing when they're in the deer.
A chisel point reminds me of a carpenter's nail. It's more apt to wedge, rather than cut. The point of a broad head is to slash veins, arteries and vitals after it already impacts if it hasn't already passed through.
A mechanical head reminds me of a parachute for some odd reason. They're made for people who shoot at least a 70-pound draw weight. And once they enter the deer, blades are easily busted, deflections often occur off bones - and that's if the head even opened correctly in the first place.
When shooting an animal, we must take every effort to kill it with the most ethical and humane way. The quicker, the better. I will take my odds on the best performing head with the most blade length and penetration ability.
Remember, it's not the speed of the arrow that ultimately results in a kill, but rather the length of the blade and ability of it to rip and tear the innards.