Quartering away bow shot, 4.5 inch penetration

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Vincent DeFlorio, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Folks IMO cannot refute much of Ashby's reports, where justified criticism comes in is if what he advocates is necessary. You're a hundred percent right and unless the broadhead is surgically sharp it takes more than just a bouncing broadhead to lacerate the lungs further - even a surgically sharp one may not do the damage one may expect as the lung tissue is amazing and flexing and giving of course.
     
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  2. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I also believe your arrows are way too light at 60 lbs to be driving a 2" expandable. That is a lot of cutting surface and 400 grains (or less) just isn't enough momentum to drive that clear through a deer in 100% of situations.

    Unfortunately you lost a deer, but this is a good time to learn from that and build a bit more forgiving setup if the shot isn't ideal. I would highly recommend going with Justin's advice of a 450-500 grain arrow for expandable broad heads, him and everyone else that make up the BHOD team have a lot of experience shooting deer with expandables. Real world experience that you can even watch yourself on video if you need further proof.

    Your current arrows would likely be fine if you went to a cut on contact fixed broad head, but they do require a well tuned bow to fly well. A good way to check how well your bow is tuned is to shoot a field point and a fixed blade broad head at 20 yards. They should group together if the bow is tuned well. (Shoot the broad head arrow first to not shave fletchings off your arrows)

    You're not a 32" draw length unless your bow is setup up with quite a bit longer d-loop than normal. The Carbon defiant and Carbon Defiant Turbo only go to a 30" draw length and the Carbon Defiant 34 goes to a 31" draw length (I don't know for sure which one you have). We really don't need to know your draw length though, just need to know the carbon to carbon length of your current arrows. That will help us to determine really close to what your current total arrow weight (TAW) is, as well as recommending a new arrow setup with the proper spine for a heavier TAW when completed. I'm not knocking you in any way here, but your not knowing what your draw length is tells us that your not really that much into archery. You just want to do it for the hunting advantages. Or you could just be really new to it. Nothing wrong with that but some knowledge is needed on your part to ensure you have an ethical setup.

    You can stay at 60 lbs if that is the most comfortable for you. Accuracy is more important. Bumping the poundage up also changes the spine requirement for your arrows. It is highly probable that if you cranked the poundage up your current arrows wouldn't have a stiff enough spine anymore.

    As far as your shop goes, that is up to you to decide if they have your best interest in mind. Some shops just want to sell and get you out the door. Some don't have that experienced of techs, especially for hunting setups. Some are super busy, especially this time of year. Some want to tune your bow with them doing the shooting so the process is stream lined and they don't have to deal with shooters that have improper or inconsistent form. Many people that aren't that into archery and just want to do it for hunting a better season or similar aren't going to be able to see a good hole through paper due to any number of setup or form issues. Shops see this all the time. It is a can of worms they don't want to open.

    You have to tell them exactly what you're after. Did they set you up with a light arrow knowing you were going to put a 2" expandable on the end of it for shooting deer? Did you just tell them you wanted to buy a bow you could do some hunting with and needed some arrows for it? Most shops will just put together arrows that are heavy enough to not be dry firing the bow and are just over the spine needed for the draw weight and length unless you tell them otherwise. You have to be very specific with them or they're just going to give you a minimal setup.
     
  3. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Excellent post @Mod-it happy someone could spare more than a minute to write all that!
     
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  4. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

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    Didn’t read though all the comments, so if what I am saying is redundant…sorry.

    The bad news is it Sounds like you hit to far forward and it angled into the shoulder. The good news is that deer may survive. You might want to rethink your set up is getting only 5 inches of penetration on a whitetail at ..well any angle for that matter.
     
  5. Vincent DeFlorio

    Vincent DeFlorio Newb

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    Hi thanks for all this info. Yes i got into bowhunting mainly to lengthen my season and I do enjoy the challenge of getting close to prey and just shooting for fun. Ive taken 2 bucks 1 doe and 1 bear in my bow hunting experience. I personally thought my shop had done it all for me and clearly they have not. When i am back on my property i can measure my arrows for you but i dont believe they cut them down at all as im pretty positive im nearly at max draw length for the bow probably around 30. they put 100 grain field tips on it and told me those were good, at the time i didnt know much about the difference in weight. Should I get bigger arrows or tell them to add weight or what exactly am i supposed to do here? I thought they had my best interest in mind but that was probably naive. You guys on this forum or way more helpful than someone i gave hard earned saved up money to and i appreciate that greatly. I feel awful i injured that deer and its the first time its happened and im hoping it never happens again so whatever it takes i will do, just need some pointers
     
  6. Vincent DeFlorio

    Vincent DeFlorio Newb

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    I also didn't think it took this much thought behind set ups and arrow weight, everyone ive spoken to about bow hunting has been get a 60lb bow at least and you can kill anything...which has worked for me so far. I am the first in my family to bow hunt and being in NY i dont know many hunters since i live more in the city and head upstate to hunt.. i figured it would be like rifle season, bring in a big enough caliber like a 30-06 and you will be fine
     
  7. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    I've read a lot of Ashby's work and recently listened to several hours of him talking on Rinella's podcast. I'm certainly no expert on everything he's worked on through the years, but my understanding of his thoughts on this topic is somewhat different than yours. I believe what he says is that many folks believe a broadhead inside of an animal will continue to cut and do damage as it runs away when, in fact, that's not the case. The arrow and broadhead move with the animal as it runs and does little to no damage. He's essentially saying that you want a pass-through shot each and every time and the idea of having a broadhead sloshing around inside the animal is far less effective than most people believe.

    While it may be semantics, I think that's much different than "just getting a broadhead into the lungs.". In my experience, if you shoot a broadhead, any broadhead, into the lungs of an animal, it's going to die pretty quickly. I would say that is the most effective way to kill an animal, and a far cry from "not effective at all."
     
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  8. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    You're opening up a giant can of worms with all of this arrow talk. I hope you're prepared to dive down a rabbit hole from which you may not escape. :lol:

    Your arrow setup is perfectly capable of killing deer with a well-placed shot. You've already seen that yourself with the previous deer you killed. Your shop didn't necessarily lead you astray or do you a disservice. They've likely sold thousands of arrows to archers just like you and most have done a fine job of killing stuff.

    The issue becomes what happens on a shot that isn't well-placed. Seemingly like the one you just recently made. Many folks with advocate for a heavier arrow (not necessarily more draw weight) and a more stout fixed-blade broadhead to help overcome some of the obstacles you face when making a less-than-ideal shot. As a general rule, heavier arrows will continue along their path for a greater distance in spite of encountering obstacles such as bone or thick muscle. They tend to penetrate better and provide more pass-through shots than lighter arrows.

    With all of that said, a heavier arrow and fixed-blade head very well may not have saved you in this situation. If you shoot a deer quartering away and hit it too far into the shoulder, even a heavy arrow setup isn't going to kill it. The absolute most important thing is shot placement. Focus on that first and foremost. Everything else outside of that is just noise.

    So before you run out and start changing your setup during the middle of the season, focus on fine-tuning the one you have now. Make sure your bow is tuned and shooting straight. Practice and make sure you're proficient with your equipment. All of that is more valuable than any arrow you're going to shoot.
     
  9. Vincent DeFlorio

    Vincent DeFlorio Newb

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    i have never done the paper tune test and just stay around 20-30 yards as my woods is extremely thick and its hard to get a further shot than that. When shooting targets at this distance my groups are right ontop of eachother and i even broke a fletching off due to that so i always thought i was decent with the bow at the distance ive been shooting, but it could be possible the arrows are flying a bit sideways without me even knowing? I will try tuning when im back up but like i said its hard in live in a suburbs and cant just shoot in my yard here so the extent of my practice is whenever i am up at my property. I will continue working on groupings and maybe even doing push ups before shooting to get the heart rate up because when i saw that buck i 100% got buck fever and my heart was pumping lol
     
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  10. Vabowman

    Vabowman Grizzled Veteran

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    Personally, I would just tune the bow, leave it at 60 lbs and shoot a fixed head like slick trick standards or muzzy or really any of them. Go hunt and know that you have the set up to kill any deer with a good shot. keep it simple for now.
     
  11. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    Buck fever is a real thing! Most of us know that. :lol:

    For paper tuning, you don't need more than a few yards. I do it in my basement. That will help get you started in the right direction for sure. You can sight in your bow to group well, but you're correct that your arrows may not be flying perfectly straight. This is very important because if your arrow hits the target at an angle you're limiting its ability to penetrate. This is magnified by shooting a light arrow and a big expandable broadhead.

    Keep in mind that your bow may be tuned perfectly fine. Your arrows may be shooting perfectly fine as well. The issue may very simply be that you hit the deer in a bad spot. Quite often we're looking for the culprit and hope it's our bow or our arrow or our broadhead when most of the time it's just us.
     
  12. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    Here is a simple way to check for proper arrow length. The carbon shaft should end just past the riser at full draw. Draw the bow and have someone take a picture of the arrow. If the carbon sticks out further than that, the arrow is too long. Trimming it down, may resolve some tuning issues without having to buy new arrows. See the picture.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  13. Wedes

    Wedes Weekend Warrior

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    Ok let me rephrase bc essentially that is what I meant. Yes things in lungs are no bueno. I listened to that podcast a couple times bc it was very interesting. I guess what I’m getting at is if you single lung an animal it will go a long way. I would argue if you get a couple inches of penetration and only one lung and nothing super vital that animal is a high probability of not being recovered. Because a deer can’t dart himself or put a chest tube in he will eventually die. But lungs aren’t going to keep cutting up just bc you get a broad head in one of them which is what I was getting at. I have seen what trauma lungs can take and what a living thing (human and animal) can do on one lung.

    Sorry I was confusing. I hope that clarifies my comments. If it doesn’t then I guess I quit haha


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    All good, I think we're on the same page! And I agree - one lung shots are never a good time. I've had two of them in my life and have been very lucky to recover those animals. One was by sheer luck and the other sheer determination, a 1.5 mile track job, some very helpful friends, and very nice adjoining landowners.

    Although to play Devil's Advocate, I would venture to guess most single lung hits are caused by the angle of the shot, not lack of penetration. It would be pretty tough to shoot a broadside deer in the chest with a broadhead-tipped arrow and only get enough penetration to take out one lung. Not saying it can't happen, but it has to be pretty unlikely.
     
  15. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    What Justin said above is very true. It may be that no amount of heavier arrow weight may have lead to a recovery in your recent encounter. It sucks but we've all been there because we all make mistakes. We try to set ourselves up for success as much as we can with our equipment but shot placement is king. Period.

    But, in talking about this though, it has been noticed that your setup could be improved to possibly yield a more favorable outcome the next time a not so perfect shot is made. Either a heavier arrow and stay with the 2" expandable you're using or same arrow and switch to a cut on contact fixed blade. Perhaps it helps to give a favorable outcome the next time the shot is a bit off or the deer moves before the arrow arrives. Right in the middle of your season it's more simple to switch heads than it is to get completely new arrows.

    To use your 30/06 reference. You said "bring in a big enough caliber and you'll be fine."
    But would you choose a 120 grain volatile hollow point bullet or a 165 grain expanding bullet with high weight retention for deer?
     
  16. Vincent DeFlorio

    Vincent DeFlorio Newb

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    that is a good point... lets make it 180 grain tho :). 100% going to do more research and paper test and get more into it. i feel terrible about this deer honestly.. hoping to see him on camera doing ok
     
  17. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I’ve done the same and felt the same. It definitely isn’t a good feeling. Unfortunately it is a reality we all face at some point if you hunt long enough.
     
  18. Mark E Staples

    Mark E Staples Newb

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    I shot a buck a few years back and got only about 4 inches. To my amazement he dropped in 20 yards. It was a perfectly placed broadside shot though.
     
  19. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't know why you are all complaining, I always only get 4 inches of penetration. IMG3281789398020652644.gif

    In Venatione Veritas
     
  20. fowcbler

    fowcbler Weekend Warrior

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    So this begs the questions...Was the shot really perfect? Was it really 4"s of penetration? What caused it to only go 4"s?
     

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