Expandable broadhead first hand

Duck-Slayer

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great state of Idaho....
So Idaho passed as of July 1st, 2022 that you can use expandable broadheads and lighted knocks. My question I’m thinking about using an expandable for deer and antelope this year. Any of you want to share your experiences/broadheads you have personally taken game with?
Matt
 

Slm864

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Pennsylvania
I personally stopped using them several years ago. Once I found a fixed blade I liked I use it for everything.
Since you asked for recommendations though I’d go with Sevr. They were originally called Ulmer Edge but had to change for patent reasons from what I understand. I had incredible success with them before switching.
In my experience I’d be steering clear of Rage. I’m convinced those things could actually get stuck in the air they penetrate that poorly.

If I can locate the pictures I’ll post the blood trails from deer I shot with Sevr. The blood loss was crazy.
 

GrantK

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I haven't been involved in a good broadhead debate in a while...
I've shot at least 9 elk, all bulls, with mechanicals that I can remember for certain, there are a couple more that I'm fuzzy on what I used, I've shot a couple less with fixed blades, and I've seen probably another 15 elk shot with mechanicals by friends, altogether zero issues with broadhead performance out of mechanicals, I've had 2 fixed blades come apart...

I've used all opening to the rear styles, no over the top, Rages for a while and Rage Trypans for the last 4 I think, all one shot, mostly pass through's on broadside or quartering away, one straight frontal, I've shot Ulmer edge's, don't like them, they work but don't kill nearly as quickly as rages, I've shot two with them and had to shoot both of those twice...a couple with G5 Tekkans, neither good nor bad, blade retention wasn't great so I moved on...

In general, I've had worse results with fixed blades than with mechanical, almost all of the elk I've shot with mechs have gone down in sight, I've had on average much longer and tougher blood trails with fixed blades, shot placement being equal, and if you are hunting where it's windy it's much easier to shoot mechanicals well, I've also had some odd deflections inside of animals with single bevel broadheads, I shot a broadside cow at 3 yards and had the arrow come out facing back toward me on my side, she went 300 yards and was tough to find...

I don't buy the "bone busting" argument for fixed blades, I've shattered the off side shoulder with a mechanical, and I've had a fixed blade explode on a near side shoulder, there are too many factors at play to call that a settled science I think, better to assume that hitting the shoulder will have a bad result either way and not push bad shot angles...
 

JohnCushman

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The only thing I shoot mechanicals with is turkeys. I use rage 3 blades. Inside the bird they look like something exploded, but the blades didn't fare very well. If the blades fold up that badly in a turkey, I would hate to see what they would try to do between an elk's ribs or even into it's lungs.
 

tyhanson

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Jun 11, 2013
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Ive shot ulmer edge/ sevr the last 5-6 years decided i'm switching back to cut on contact. Shot several deer with them only complaint I have is never got real great penetration deer always had 2 holes but usually arrow was still in them for a while after impact.
 

Yooper906

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Years ago I strictly hunted with rage, had very good results. Blood trails were insane. I’ve shot deer, bear and turkeys with Rage. Few years back switched over to fixed when I started hunting out west and started to tinker with archery setup more.

If I went back to mechanical I’d probably look at Sevr, I know several hunters that speak highly of them.

I do think that mechanicals are nice if you don’t have a well tuned bow and you’re shooting at a broadside animal 99% of the time at 20 yards (ie bear bait, deer bait)
 

Kaitum

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I shot four whitetail with Spitfires over the course of two years. All broadside or slightly quartering away shots, all under 15 yards. They worked fine. Complete pass through in the rib cage, none of the deer ran more than 50 yards. That was 18 years ago. I haven't shot an expandable since Slick Tricks came out.
 

Walkathon

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I shot whitetails with NAP Spitfires over a decade ago, can't remember the diameter, but they were the smaller dia style. I think I shot about 6 or 7 deer with them. Longest shot was about 25 yards. All shots were broadside and quarter to / away slightly. All performed well made it through ribs on a couple. Only caught one arrow in the deer. Quartering away shot and the broad head stuck inside on the off shoulder after going through lungs. No complaints, and no lost deer.
 

Shangobango

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On whitetails I have had no issues at all with Rage 2 blades. They have performed flawlessly when judged by quick kills and operating as they should. That is probably a sample size of around 20 deer shot and retrieved with them.

The downfall is longevity. I am on my 3rd 3-pack for my Matthews. Still on the first 3 pack with my Ten Point.
 

Shortbowshot

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I hunted with mechanicals for 10 or 12 years. Mostly T3 or Rage. Killed probably 10 elk and various other big game. Have since switched to a fixed blade QAD. They kill as well. It's like politics just pick your poison.
 

Elkoholic

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I've shot a few deer with Rage years ago, some with wicked results, some with mechanical issues. For me, the FMEA of mechanicals puts me in the fixed blade use category, especially since my set up is archery elk focused.
 

Valley1320

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I use to shoot rage and wouldn't consider using them again except for turkeys, I switched to magnus stingers and love them. If I ever considered mechanical again I would try Sever like other guys have said as well
 

Redman

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I have used mechanical broadheads on deer and turkey personally I would not use them on anything bigger. I have had them fail on impact and before even getting to my target. I have also killed more deer than I can count with them and have seen them work like magic. I have tried many brands and weights. I can not consciously recommend any mechanical head to anyone.
Do I still carry one in my quiver? Yes and that is for an open country long shot on a wounded animal, no larger than a deer, that I can't get close to. That is because of the larger cutting diameter which allows for a little more wiggle room for wind or less than perfect shot. I have no problems using them on turkey but be aware of blade deployment caused by the unforseen twig or brush.
Over my years of bow hunting I favor a one piece boroadhead and high FOC arrow. Took many years to get there but I believe it is the best set up for big game. Again this is my opinion based on my personal experience.
 

TheTone

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A couple javelina with grim reaper fatal steels, terrible performance IMO. Not sure I ever got a pass through and both required follow ups with fixed blade heads. I don’t plan to use mechanicals in Idaho except maybe for turkey
 

nick87

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I've shot NAP spitfire xp's (not sure if they still make them.) Then I actually switched to rage with great success on several deer. Huge holes complete pass through. Until one time one opened upon release and sent the arrow kitty wompus and just under the buck thankfully. Went home replaced them with my now favorite fixed blade and killed that buck two days later with them. Haven't looked back since.
 

grizzly63

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Shot a buck with a mechanical. Last image burned in my mind was arrow sticking straight forward out of his shoulder. He was quartering slightly away when I shot him. Never recovered that deer. Had a friend shoot a buck with a mechanical and the arrow turned and exited 90 degrees from direction of entry. High hit. We got lucky and spotted the coyote standing over his supper before he started eating. Saw a large whitetail buck early in october with a bachelor group. Something about him did not look right. Found him again first week of rifle in late november. He was avoiding the combine in a cornfield. When the conditions were right, I ended his pain with the rifle. He was down a lot of weight. When I skinned him, I found a mechanical that had hit him the in the shoulder and migrated down into his armpit area. God awful mess. Probably a pretty sad bowhunter who felt he had done everything right and did not get completion. I stick to Muzzy's. They have always worked well for me.
 

Steelsearchin

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I've shot at least three dozen whitetails with 3 blade spitfires over the last 25 years, but now stick with QAD Exodus after dialing my poundage back and tuning my bow. Shots from 3-45 yards broadside or quartering and never had any issues. Good arrow placement resulted in short bloodtrails. Replacing blades is a pain and expensive, but I never had any issues with them.
 

nick87

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I've shot at least three dozen whitetails with 3 blade spitfires over the last 25 years, but now stick with QAD Exodus after dialing my poundage back and tuning my bow. Shots from 3-45 yards broadside or quartering and never had any issues. Good arrow placement resulted in short bloodtrails. Replacing blades is a pain and expensive, but I never had any issues with them.
Sane the qad is the best briadhesd I've found to date and have no plans of changing. Sharp, tough, and fly identical to field points.
 

shannerdrake

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This is going to get good.

I’ve been in on approximately whitetail 100 bow kills in the last 20 years between myself and the guys in my immediate hunting party. Of those 95% or more were with expandables and of those probably 90% of those with Rage heads. All I can say is that the blood trails are amazing and we have as a party failed to recover exactly one mortally hit deer and that was a gut shot and we jumped her in the rain. And if we are being honest, we “recovered” her, just she was coyote food when we did.

My observation is that the guys who claim mechanicals “fail” them are the guys who aren’t very good shots to begin with and don’t practice enough. One guy we USED to hunt with had an expandable “fail” him every year. Strangely he is the same guy who shoots about 50 arrows a year and in 5 years of hunting with him I never helped him recover a single double lunged or heart shot deer.

Rant over.

For deer and smaller I will never shoot anything but mechanicals. But I can very much see the argument for a fixed blade for the bigger stuff. Also pay attention to your KE. If you are shooting a 60lb bow and a light arrow you likely don’t have sufficient KE for a big cut on contact mechanical. In that case look hard at a single bevel two blade.

Also to echo what’s been said, not all mechanicals are created equal. Even Rage has multiple models and levels of head. I like a one piece shank and thicker blades. A lot of guys think of the old Rage heads with fat ferrule, screw in blades and rubber band o-ring blade retention. Nothing wrong with that model but it is FAR from their best.
 

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