How to Choose a Broadhead

Choosing broadheads can be a very difficult task. You will get a large array of varying opinions that people are often very passionate about. When it comes to choosing a broadhead there is several things to consider. How much weight am I pulling? How heavy are my arrows? What kind of game will I be hunting? All of these factors play a very important role when it comes to choosing the best broadhead for you! Lets start with the different types of broadheads.

Fixed Blade Broadheads

Fixed blade broadheads date back to the stone age. People long before our time used them to take down huge game! The Native Americans used them to hunt buffalo, deer, and other species to survive. A fixed blade broadhead means there is no mechanical or moving parts on the body of the broadhead. They are built into one solid piece making them very reliable and durable.  As the old saying goes, “if its not broke, don’t fix it”. Many hunters today still rely on fixed blade’s.  Hunters today that choose to use fixed blade’s typically do so for a few reasons.

  1. No fear of mechanical failure.
  2.  Typically they get great penetration cutting through ribs, and bone well.
  3.  Cut on contact, as soon as the broadhead touches an animal it will begin cutting anything in its way.
  4. Tough and durable. Fixed blades are very tough, it takes a lot to bend blades or warp the form of a fixed blade broadhead. This allows for the broadhead to be re-used after sharpening. You can also find fixed blade broadheads that have replaceable blades such as the Thunderhead Nitro.
  5. They are extremely sharp
  6. Great for lighter poundage bows or short draw lengths.

On the contrary there are also reasons that you may not want to choose a fixed blade.

  1. Smaller cutting diameter compared to mechanical broadheads.
  2. Do not always shoot the same as field points. With fixed blade broadheads it is imperative to shoot the broadheads to confirm they are hitting the same as your field points. It is not uncommon for your broadheads to hit slightly different than your field points. A well tuned bow is most likely to produce the same impact points from both heads.

As you can see fixed blade broadheads have many positive attributes to them. When it comes to reliability it is tough to beat the fixed blade broadhead.

Mechanical Broadheads

Mechanical Broadheads  are much newer to the hunting world. Shockingly the first mechanical was created in 1959 but they didn’t really catch on until the last 20 years or so. Mechanical broadheads are composed of  a tip or ferule, the blades, and the body of the broadhead. Mechanicals work by holding the blades inside of the body of the broadhead until impacting an object. Upon impact the blades will then expand. There are two main benefits of a mechanical broadhead. One, they are typically very accurate and fly much more similar to field points. Two, they often provide a much larger cutting diameter. Most fixed blade broadheads will have a cutting diameter around an inch and a half or smaller, mechanicals on the other hand often have cutting diameters of two inches or larger. Many hunters love the mechanical for a variety of reasons.

  1. They typically fly exactly the same or extremely close to field points.
  2. They offer larger cutting diameters.
  3. Typically provide great blood trails due to the large wound channels.

The same as fixed blades, mechanicals also have drawbacks.

  1. The possibility that the broadhead does not function properly. For instance not opening, opening to early etc.
  2. Penetration. If you are pulling lightweight or have a very short draw length it will be more difficult to get good penetration out of a mechanical due to the extra force used to open the blades.
  3. Durability. Many mechanicals are very durable but their is times where you may only get one use out of a broadhead. Since the blades are not built into the body of the broadhead they are much more susceptible to bend when encountering ribs/bone.

As you can see regardless of the broadhead you choose there will be pro’s and con’s to each. It is imperative to choose the best based on your situation.

Different Broadheads for Different Game? 

The animals that you are hunting can also play a large role. Many people will say you shouldn’t hunt elk with mechanicals. We have taken several elk with mechanicals that all died quickly and ethically. At the end of the day an effective broadhead is only as good as the shot placed on the animal. If you have a draw length of 25″ inches a draw weight of 45 lbs and you plan to hunt elk. It would be wise to explore fixed blade broadhead options due to the fact that Elk are very large animals, penetration is ideal and a fixed blade is by far the safest option. If you have a 29″ draw length pulling 70 lbs, this person has an option of fixed blades or mechanicals. With the right shot either will do exactly what it needs to.  When it comes to big game species we aim to get the most penetration possible or a  clean “pass through”. This is true for all big game species across North America with the exception of Turkeys. Turkeys are the only animal we hunt that we don’t want a clean pass through. The reasoning for this is turkeys have the ability to fly. If you shoot a turkey in the vitals, get a clean pass through and he flies off you will likely never recover the bird. For this reason we want the arrow to stay in the bird, this makes it very difficult for them to escape. Broadheads that “reverse open” like the one below take away a large amount of inertia preventing the arrow from passing through.

Summary 

At the end of the day it all comes down to shot placement. If you don’t put your arrow in the vital organs the broadhead you chose won’t save your bacon. Understand your bow, your capabilities, as well as those of your equipment. Regardless of the broadhead you use, you should only take shot angles that are ethical and high percentage shots. Fixed Blades and Mechanicals are both great broadhead options! Each will work great assuming you have taken the above factors into consideration!

David killed this large mature bull with a mechanical broadhead.

Wild Turkey Recipe Raised Hunting feature

Wild Turkey Recipe

Grilled Turkey Breast  

Serving Size 3 1/2 oz 

  • Calories 163 
  • Fat 1 
  • Carbs 0 
  • Protein 26g 

Cut turkey breast into thin strips and put them in a gallon ziploc bag

Add the following sauces or your own creation:  

  • ½ cup Soy Sauce 
  • ½ cup Teriyaki Sauce 
  • ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce  

Shake bag so that all turkey is covered, let it marinade for 24-48 hours in the fridge.  

Pull pieces out and place on grill rotating every 2-3 minutes in order to keep them from burning.  

Wild Turkey Recipe Raised Hunting feature

Raised Hunting Podcast Appearances

Have a listen as the Holder’s have been busy spreading the good word about hunting, conservation, and their faith in Christ.

David and Karin join Carol of Dr. Carol Ministries to discuss how a love for the outdoors was the catalyst for building and growing their faith, strengthening their marriage and transforming their family all for God’s glory.

 

David recently sat down with Richard the host of Conspiracy Unlimited.

EPISODE #252

Richard speaks with the star of a reality tv show about a family that uses hunting as a platform to impart values and ethics.

GUEST: Dave Holder is founder and CEO of Raised Hunting TV, Raised At Full Draw, and Raised Outdoors. Raised Hunting is the parent company and tv series that currently airs on Discovery Channel.

David, being an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman from the early age of ten, loves spending every moment hunting or thinking about hunting. While serving the city of Great Falls, MT as a firefighter captain, David started his public speaking career by conducting seminars across the nation teaching Elk, Whitetail and Turkey calling as well as hunting techniques. After accumulating hundreds of archery kills on video, David retired from Firefighting in 2009 and turned his focus full time to producing high quality, heartfelt stories that inspire, motivate and teach the viewer a hunting message, life message or both.

How to Get the Most Out of Summer Pics!

Proven Tactics to Get Great Summer Pics

Big velvet summer bucks is arguably one of the most exciting times of the year! Seeing deer with massive potential is always exhilarating. Watching a buck develop and grow into the deer of your dreams is hard to beat. Spending countless hours learning his habits, hoping to give yourself the best opportunity come fall.  The only thing better than an awesome summer picture of a giant buck, is a picture of a giant buck with you in it! So, here are some tried and true tactics to help you get the best summer pics. Part of getting great pictures is having a great camera. Before you buy any cameras, check out Raised Outdoors! You can save 50% on Stealth Cams through the site and app!

Water

Water can be a great source for awesome pictures. If you have a dry year, or a convenient water source where animals frequent, you may have the perfect spot to catch great summer pics!  On dry years, it will obviously be much easier to choose a water source, as the amount of available sources will be far fewer.  On wet years, you must be far more selective. Make sure not to rule out water sources on a wet year due to the thought process of ,”There’s water everywhere, why would they drink here”. Water sources in the right location can still be proven productive. Try not to overlook these areas due to a little more rain than usual. If you don’t have a good water source where your deer are spending the majority of their time, it may be wise to provide one. We have also used small, pre-made ponds that work great. In the photo you see below, this deer had just finished getting a drink from our man made pond just below him.

 

Food Sources

In the midwest, deer will spend large amounts of time in beans and cornfields. Alfalfa fields are great nationwide. I would go so far as to say Alfalfa is my #1 favorite food source in the summer time. Alfalfa is phenomenal for seeing deer and getting great pics. Beans are my second favorite and corn being third.  Make sure to scout your food source before setting up your camera to make sure you know where the bucks are coming out. If you do not have the ability to scout first, focus on field corners and main trails. Try and give your camera a large field of view. This will help you get pics that distinguish exactly where your camera needs to be.

 

A big bachelor group taking advantage of a lush alfalfa field.

 

Mineral/Feed

Mineral blocks and supplemental feed can be one of the most powerful tools for getting great summer photos. When choosing a location to place a mineral block or feed, we are very selective. We want to be in an area where the bucks are hanging out, but not be invasive. Often times this will be near the edge of a field, or timber. If you are going to use a mineral block, make sure that you have checked the local laws. In Iowa you are not allowed to hunt within 300 yards of a mineral location. If you do hunt within 300 yards of a mineral location, you must bury it. We have had great luck with the Big Tine block and 30-06 cherry rush!

Digital Camera

Send Us Your Pics!

There are lots of ways to get amazing summer photos. These are a few ways that have worked for us year after year. Let us know what tactics you use and more importantly, send us pictures of your big velvet bucks! The time for drooling over velvet bucks is among us my friends, savor every moment!

Tree Stand Placement for Early Season Bow Hunting

Early Season Hunting Tree Stand Placement

Deciding where to hang tree stand early in the bow season can be difficult. Deer seem to be everywhere eating as much as they can from the grain fields and food plots. But, sometimes all this food can cause a hunter to second-guess the best location for a tree stand. Add to this the fact that fall home ranges and acorns can cause even more problems by the time season rolls around. There are several things to take into consideration as the season approaches, but generally knowing where and what the deer are eating, and where the available water sources are located should be your biggest concern. These can be found through summer scouting and trail camera tactics. Once you have these two things considered out, it is then time to start hanging your stands.

Think About Concealment

Early in the season when the trees are still full of leaves, hunters can get away with not climbing high just to find cover. Concealment ranks high on the priority list of most hunters when choosing a tree to hang a stand in. Hunters don’t want to pick a tree that is bare, but also don’t want a tree that will prove difficult to climb. Most trees in the whitetail’s range offer 12 – 20 ft high hanging opportunities, but most hunters want to be less than 23-25 ft. high. A hunter might get lucky from time to time if they hang on the low end of the spectrum (12-15ft), but more times than not they will get busted before a deer ever presents a shot opportunity.

Another way to stay concealed is to pick a tree with multiple trunks. Not only will this provide that all-important cover, but it will also give you the hunter plenty of places to hang your gear.

If you cannot find a tree with cover, or multiple trunks, and you would rather not climb to 22ft + all is not lost. Consider hanging your stand on the backside of the tree that is along the trail you want to hunt. Stand in your tree stand facing the tree keeping an eye on the trails in front of you. This will allow you to hide behind the tree above the deer while still giving you shot opportunities.

Hunters need to take into consideration the angle in which the stand is going to be placed. For right-handed shooters, place the stand so the prevailing wind hit’s the left side of your body, and vice-versa for left-handed shooters. This will make it easier to draw your bow on any animal upwind of your stand.

 

Find Water

If the ground you are hunting has a water supply do not ignore it. While the weather is warm whitetails will get thirsty throughout the day. They will not only visit it at midday to quench their thirst, but also in the mornings as they return to their beds and again in the afternoon before they start to feed. Place your stand downwind of the trail leading to the water supply. It doesn’t take a lot of water to pull a deer in. If there is a small stream running through your property, find where the deer are crossing it. The white-tailed deer is an animal that likes to do things the easy way. Rather than cross where it is steep they will walk out of their way to find an easy crossing. Often, before they cross the creek they will usually pause for a few seconds giving you time to get a shot off.

Find Mast

You might notice that the deer are not going to the fields and food plots as early as they once were. You can probably blame acorns on that. The deer are still visiting the fields, but only after an appetizer of acorns. Deer prefer the sweet tasting white oak acorns over the bitter red oak acorns. But, if the reds are dropping fruit and the whites are not, the deer will go to the red oaks. When both the white and red oaks are dropping fruit, the deer will devour the nuts from the white oaks before moving to the red oaks.

The best advice a hunter can get is to set up close to a hot oak that puts you within shooting range. Deer will mill around as they feed on the nuts. Always make sure the wind takes your scent away from the oaks. And as soon as oaks start dropping in good numbers, be ready. It might only last a couple of days, or it could last for weeks.

Don’t forget about the soft mass either. Apple and persimmon trees produce fruit that is well-liked by deer. If you have either tree on your property, hang a stand downwind. Once the trees start dropping their fruit, deer will walk long distances for the sweet treat.

Morning and Evening Considerations For morning hunts, hang a stand on a trail between the food source and a known bedding area like a swamp or thick ravine. It is a good idea to stay within 50 yards from a food source. Any further and you run the risk of bumping the deer from the beds. This is a great tactic to sneak in without spooking deer off the food if any happen to be feeding.

On an afternoon hunt you can often get away with hunting on the edge of a food plot. Try to position your stand about 15 yards downwind from the entry trail or funnel into the food source. Unpressured whitetails will feel safe enough to enter to enter a food source with plenty of shooting light left. Pressured deer may feel the need to stage in thick cover or feathered edges if entering large open Ag fields or food plots.

Conclusion

Early season bow hunting means targeting food and water, yet also playing it safe to ensure you keep the deer herd unpressured. Watch your wind, concealment, entry and exit routes, and shot opportunities. Tree stand placement in the early season is critical for success for those particular hunts and even keeping the deer unpressured for later hunts in October and November.

Our Top Picks for Fall Food Plots

Fall Food Plots Puts the Odds in Our Favor

Food plots have become the craze for the hunter wanting to grow and kill monster whitetails. Plots that were once no more than a quarter acre of land, today, are expensive, well-designed, and well managed acres and acres worth of food. Food plots can be made as small, or as big as you have the ground for and the varieties of plots that can be made seem endless.

The opportunity to plant a variety of seeds in different plots that will give wildlife every thing they want and need should be first and foremost on the minds of anyone serious about hunting whitetails and other game. There are several good seed mixes on the market, but these work well for our needs.

Ease of Planting

Deer Delight is a great seed for deer managers and hunters because of its unique properties. Because of the high protein levels in Deer Delight, deer are receiving everything they need during the fawning stage for does and the bucks are getting the nutrients they need to grow big racks that hunters will brag about.

The great thing about Deer Delight Food Plot is that it can be planted in the spring to bring deer and other wildlife in during the summer and it has the strength to keep wildlife on the plot well into late winter. When other food sources have dwindled to nothing during the winter months, Deer Delight will still be healthy and producing the food deer crave and need.

Added Security

There is a lot of talk of funneling deer and how man-made funnels can really put the odds in the hunter’s favor. Also, planned exit and entry routes to the stand are so important that they can often make or break a hunt. Especially when a food plot near a stand or blind is likely to be holding deer. These are just a couple things that the Green Screen Food Plot can help with.

Growing at heights to 14-feet, this seed mix is strong enough to last well into the winter when other similar plants are dying off. There are so many uses for this seed that it is hard to mention all of them.

A favorite thing to do is to create a funnel to a food plot. By planting Green Screen around a plot such as the Krunch N Munch Food Plot you end up with a tall barrier, but by going in and mowing a path you create an entry and exit route for the whitetails. This will often dictate the path deer will take to gain access to the food. Whitetails will almost always take the path of least resistance which in this case would be walking down the cut path rather than through the tall Green Screen. This makes it a lot easier to place a stand especially on plots where deer seem to enter and exit from every direction.

In some cases, Green Screen can be planted as a barrier that will allow a hunter to get to or from his stand undetected by sight. So many hunts are ruined before they ever begin when a hunter tries to get to or from a stand and deer are feeding nearby. By having this tall barrier between a travel route and the plot, movement can be made unnoticed.

Other uses are to plant small patches around the base of tripod stands that help break up the outline of the support legs. Another great use is to plant small patches where ground blinds will be placed later in the season. It is so simple to snug a ground blind in to the tall cover and the blind blends in so well it is hardly noticeable to the deer. This is great if you need to move a ground blind from one location to another without giving whitetails time to get accustomed to the unfamiliar sight. Also, this is a great mix to plant around an entire plot that is not being used as a kill plot but rather as a sanctuary type of plot. Deer will feel secure enough within the confines of Green Screen to stick around and gain the nutrients needed to grow big racks and put on the weight to make it through the winter.

A Great Kill Plot

Brassica Plus Food Plot is a great mix of brassicas with annual ryegrass mixed in. The added edition of ryegrass will provide forage for deer to eat while the brassicas are maturing. Without the ryegrass it is likely the brassicas would be devoured before growing to their full potential.

The great thing about Brassica Plus is that it can be planted in the spring which will yield a higher forage volume, or it can be planted in August which will result in a higher quality of food which makes this a great mix for an awesome kill plot.

Morning Hunt Tactics

Try not to hunt directly on the food source on a morning hunt. Deer are probably feeding nearby and what makes an early morning hunt so great is that the deer have not been pressured by hunters. Climbing in your stand that sits on the edge of the food plot is likely to alert deer that you are close. This is where knowing what trails deer are using comes into play. Through your summer scouting and the use of trail cameras, these trails should be well-known by now.

Hang a stand on a trail between the food source and a known bedding area like a swamp or thick ravine. It is a good idea to stay within 50 yards from the food source. Any further and you run the risk of getting too close to the bedding area. This technique will allow you to sneak in undetected. Another reason to hunt this far on the inside edge is to intercept bucks who want to go to bed a little early.

Travel routes to and from your stand are just as important as where you position your stand. Always keep the wind in play. If walking to your stand is going to spread your scent across the plot, do not hunt that stand. Always keep downwind of where the deer are feeding. Never cut across a food source to get to your morning stand. If you have to leave home thirty minutes earlier in order to get to your stand undetected, do it.

Evening Hunt Tactics

On an afternoon hunt you can often get away with hunting on the edge of a food plot. Try to position your stand about 15 yards downwind from the entry trail or funnel. Unpressured whitetails will feel safe enough to enter a food source with plenty of shooting light left. You might even get a crack at a deer walking the edge of the plot.

Something to consider though is your exit route when leaving the stand at dark if it is holding feeding deer. This is a great way to ruin a good spot. If the wind is good you should be able to leave undetected under the cover of darkness, just take it slow and easy.

There are so many opportunities for food plots. It is hard to mention them all, but these that we have mentioned work well. If you have always wanted to build a food plot but haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?

6 Summer Hunting Chores for Getting Kids Involved in Hunting

Ways for Getting Kids Involved in Hunting Over the Summer

Hunting doesn’t stop at the end of the season. In fact, most of the time, the work you put into hunting occurs during the offseason. Summer is a prime example. There are many hunting chores that need to be done over summer that also serve as opportunities for getting kids involved in hunting. The amount of work over the summer is amplified if you’re lucky enough to be hunting with kids this upcoming season. Summer hunting chores such as preparing your tree stands, creating better shooting lanes and improving habitat quality are all exemplified when acting as a youth hunting mentor.

Getting kids involved in hunting takes a lot of work. The key is starting early with youth hunters and incorporating them as much as possible in any and all hunting activities. The more you take them with you and get them involved the more chances they’ll see game and build a lifelong love for the outdoors. No better time for keeping the interest of youth hunters than summer. There are numerous tasks that need to be done over summer in preparation for deer season, but these six summer hunting chores are ideal for increasing the youth hunting experience.

Summer Hunting Chores Perfect for Involving Kids

1. Sight in your gun and/or bow
2. Deploy and monitor trail cameras
3. Conduct tree stand maintenance
4. Implement a summer deer feeding program
5. Start preseason scouting for hunting season
6. Organize and inventory hunting gear

Sighting in Your Gun and/or Bow

Summer is a great time for sighting in your gun or bow. Depending on how last season transpired, you may have added a new scope or sight or possibly even be in the market for purchasing a new gun. Take kids with you to the shooting range and teach them range etiquette and firearms safety. It’s a great time to also teach kids to shoot. Start with a small caliber like a .22 rifle or a youth bow from Bear Archery. Don’t rush this process but teach them and help them learn so they are ready to hunt or hunt more effectively this season.

Deploying and Monitoring Trail Cameras

Summer trail camera strategies provide a wealth of information. Using trail cameras in the summer also provides a great opportunity for getting kids involved in hunting. Part of the youth hunting experience is learning all aspects of the sport. With trail camera maintenance, they‘ll learn why using a game camera is important, how to properly hang and check a camera and get to observe plenty of deer and other game when it is time to look at the results. Plus, a second-hand makes for quick work with this summer hunting chore.

Conducting Tree Stand Maintenance

Tree stand maintenance includes both permanent and portable tree stands. The most important part of tree stand maintenance is safety. You want to check items such as degraded straps, rusty bolts, faulty cables or anything else on your tree stands that have the potential of failing while you are hunting this season. Also, summer is a good time to learn the ins and outs of a new tree stand or add accessories to existing tree stands. As a youth hunting mentor, your first priority is safety which is why this summer hunting chore is so critical. Emphasize this when hunting with kids and even incorporate them into these maintenance activities. They can help replace straps and check stands for signs of wear. In addition, now is the time to teach them how to properly use a tree stand and show them how you and your kids will be hunting out them in the fall.

Implementing a Summer Deer Feeding Program

A summer deer feeding program implemented correctly is time-consuming. The more help you have the better and in turn the more successful it will be. Food plots will not only provide critical forage for summer deer, but they also make for great youth hunting opportunities come fall. Besides food plots, a good summer feeding program will use mineral stations. These may be used in conjunction with your trail camera surveys or simply on their own. Either way, they will need regularly checked and resupplied.

Starting Preseason Scouting Now

Scouting can and should be a year-round activity. Remember, however, that summer deer patterns are not the same as fall. Deer in summer are more predictable and make for easier observation. Not hugely valuable come fall but an ideal scenario for getting kids involved in hunting. This builds excitement for the kids but also keeps you in the woods making notes of how deer are developing and utilizing a property. Glass and observe from afar then again you want to be close enough for your kids to get a view. Work on sitting quietly and staying still as practice for hunting season.

Organize and Inventory Hunting Gear

Fall hunting season always sneaks up on us. It is a good summer chore to get your hunting gear organized and inventoried now. Starting now gives you plenty of time to replace any items you have used over the past season and also purchase any new hunting gear you may need. Don’t forget to check your youth hunting gear also. More than likely youth hunting clothing from last year isn’t going to fit this year as fast as they grow so you will have to prepare for that. If you’re thinking about how to get kids into hunting this season, what gear might you need to have in addition to your own? All things to consider when organizing and inventorying your hunting gear over summer.

Impacts of Getting Kids Involved in Hunting Chores During Summer

Kids are a sponge for learning. That is why the impact of getting them involved in hunting chores over summer is so important. Cultivating the outdoors from a young age instills that passion for it for a lifetime. Some of the best and most remembered memories as kids are the ones where you are checking mineral stations or sitting on the tractor tending a food plot. Youth hunters are born and future hunters are educated through these undertakings.

Youth hunting opportunities start with getting kids involved early and often with all aspects of hunting. These six summer hunting chores are some of many ways for getting kids involved in hunting. Include your kids in all aspects of hunting, including the many chores needed each year for making a successful hunting season.