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.


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.

Turkey Hunting Tips | How Foul Weather Affects Spring Gobblers

Foul Weather Turkey Hunting Tips for the Spring Season

There is not much you can control when turkey hunting. Weather, particularly, is a factor that you have no control over. Many spring gobbler hunters forego days in the woods when the weather turns ugly, however, you shouldn’t. The turkeys are not going anywhere, but harvesting one in foul weather does take a few additional turkey hunting tips.

Not every day in spring gobbler season will be the best weather for turkey hunting. There will be rainy days, windy days and days of extreme hot and cold temperatures outside of the norm for springtime. Changing weather will certainly affect turkey activity. The spring season is short and the chances you may have to take a longbeard are even fewer. Birds are out there in all sorts of weather, and you need to be also.

“If you could be turkey hunting, you need to be turkey hunting.” David Holder – Raised Hunting

Turkey Hunting in the Rain

On rainy days, especially cold rainy days, gobblers go quiet. Turkeys will opt to stay in the roost longer. Once they do fly down, they will alter their daily routine. Rainy evenings and mornings can also produce fog. Foggy mornings will likewise keep birds in the trees usually until the fog lifts. When turkey hunting in the rain, there are two turkey hunting tips to rely on.

First, turkey habits in the spring are fairly predictable. The same holds true on rainy days, they are different but predictable. When turkeys do get off the roost, they will go to open fields. There are plenty of theories as for why they go to open fields on rainy days, including to keep water off their feathers, to seek out bugs or be able to spot predators from a distance that would otherwise go unnoticed in the soggy woods. Regardless of the reason, if you want to know how to find turkeys in the spring on rainy days head to the fields. Position your set up along the field edge and your decoys out in plain sight. Be patient and wait them out. Hold off on calling until later in the morning, especially if the weather is predicted to clear up. If it is a field you know birds frequent, they are coming to it anyways on rainy days so let them, then make your move.

The second tip is based on how to locate turkeys in the spring. The hardest part of hunting on rainy days is finding birds if they are not in your favorite field already. Here it is best to glass open fields, logging roads and other forest clearings. The rain will conceal your movement if you spot a gobbler working one of these opening areas and allow you to get into position and prepare your strategy for calling him in.

Must have turkey hunting gear for rainy days.

  • Waterproof and quality mouth calls to be able to sound off loud enough for a gobbler to hear you over the rain.
  • Top-end optics that are waterproof and fog proof to be able to find birds utilizing fields.
  • Waterproof turkey hunting clothing to stay dry and comfortable hunting in a day of wet conditions.

Video: Turkey Smackdown? If you aren’t fired up for turkey hunting after this, seek immediate medical attention! You may not have a pulse!

Spring Gobbler Hunting Tips for Tackling Windy Days

Turkey hunting on cold windy days may be the toughest conditions to chase spring gobblers in. Windy days can be very annoying. Wind gust can blow your decoys all around and being able to hear anything it pretty much impossible. Not to mention that the birds during windy days are shut down.

Hunt visually during windy days. The main reason is you simply can’t hear anything. Seek out areas like protected draws, leeward sides of forage rich ridges and low spots in open, protected fields. Turkeys will take cover in these less windy areas where they can see and hear better. Go back to your turkey hunting basics on these windy days. For example, stick to loud box calls to project sound off in the distance in the hope a bird hears you. Also, one of the most taken for granted turkey hunting tips is sitting still. Sit still and ready and expect a gobbler to walk in because you won’t be able to hear a bird gobbling or walking as it approaches.

Turkey Hunting Gear to Help You on Windy Days

  • Use a box call to produce loud but controlled calling scenarios in an effort to cut through the wind at a sheltered gobbler.
  • Have a comfortable seat or chair to be able to sit still for long periods as you wait to ambush an incoming bird.

Turkey Hunting Tips for Extreme Hot or Cold Days

If you are hooked on turkey hunting, you understand and accept that there will be rainy and windy days in the spring. However, inclement weather that can make a turkey hunting day intolerable are days when it is extremely hot or cold.

Turkey hunting cold front birds can be slow. Again turkeys are not going anywhere and their breeding cycle continues regardless of the weather, although gobblers and their activity can slow almost to a stop during cold snaps. For days when the mercury drops to unusual spring lows, three turkey hunting tips are useful to bag a bird.

First, hunt southern exposures. Southern hillsides and southern facing fields are going to warm up the fastest as the sun comes up. Birds will move to these areas when temperatures are cold to take advantage of any additional warmth they can. Second, concentrate calling spring gobblers around quality, high-energy food sources. Food plots and fields planted with calorie-rich Arrow Seed cover crops and food plot varieties offer forage to help maintain energy and heat in cold weather. The third and final tip for hunting spring gobbler season in cold weather is to be patient. Even on really cold days in the spring, the temperature will often rise in the afternoon, which turn turkey activity that was otherwise stifled in the morning back on. Where legal, it pays to wait until the afternoon to hunt when the forecast is for cold weather.

The other extreme you could be hunting in is heat. Hot weather is as miserable for turkeys as it is for us. Just like with cold weather, extremely hot temperatures can slow gobbler activity. Birds will move towards areas close to water sources like deep draws which provide both water and cooling shade during high heat. On hot days, the best time to hunt is the first thing in the morning. The slightly cooler temps at dawn will get birds off the roost at first light and receptive to engage before the sun gets too high.

Turkey Hunting Strategies for Extreme Hot and Cold Days

  • Dress in layers. For cold days, layers allow you to add on if the cold gets to you while you are waiting out the gobblers. Likewise, layers allow you to take clothing off as the sun gets high in the sky and heats things up.
  • On hot days, position yourself near watering holes, small mountain creeks or other shady areas that have adequate water. Turkeys will frequent these areas throughout the day and even if the temps have them quiet you can wait and ambush one when they show up.

The best weather for turkey hunting doesn’t come along every day. Hunting for birds in the spring will have to include foul weather days. Depending on if you are hunting in the rain, the wind or on hot or colds days, different turkey hunting tips and tactics will be more valuable than others. The birds are still there on bad weather days, and you should be there too. The season is far too short to let the weather keep you from turkey hunting.