Rifle cartridges — for reasons unbeknownst to me — possess a sort of magical quality. The sort shared by a stray puppy, in that once they are brought into the home, they become family. Make a disparaging remark about someones beloved cartridge of choice, and you will see what I mean.
I learned to hunt and shoot from my uncles. All but one, farmers. Like most farmers or ranchers, they had a connection to the land that few can grasp, unless they were raised in similar circumstances. Naturally, they loved to hunt, and fortunately for me, passed that love on to their nephew.
Is there a way to predict, not infallibly, but with a high degree of reliability, the ability of a particular bow/arrow/broadhead combination to penetrate real animal tissue (hide, meat, fat, connective tissue, etc., and bone) under real hunting conditions? The answer to this question becomes of particular importance when truly “big” game is hunted with the bow and arrow.
Kinetic energy, momentum, mechanical advantage and coefficient of resistance are a part of the basic terminology of physics. All are used and often misused, in attempts to predict the terminal performance of various bow, arrow and broadhead combinations. Much of the misuse originates from a lack of understanding of what, by definition, these terms mean and what it is they measure.
In recent years, the trends in our industry have increasingly focused on getting hunters into the backcountry. Public land access concerns are a focal point in conservation conversations throughout North America, and hunting companies are continually pushing to provide lighter, more breathable, and durable equipment for the backcountry. More and more, our closets and gear rooms are filled with Gore-Tex, carbon fiber, treated down, and ultralight sil-nylon materials. Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars are invested on the best products to keep you in the field longer and during increasingly inclement weather.
There are countless websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, and articles dedicated to the use and review of it. I have seen grown men get into fist fights over the pants that they wear and who made them. My usual take on gear is this; most high-quality companies today produce great items that will fit a hunter’s needs to keep you warm, dry and successful on your adventures.
This second article in the series presents a synopsis of the data from the broadhead evaluation of the Natal Study and some of the associated information that surfaced during that study. It also examines arrow shot placement as a factor in lethality, and how broadhead selection impacts on the effectiveness of the various hits. The full report is too voluminous for presentation within the confines of limited space. The graphics presented in this article are drawn directly from the report and are numbered as in the original report. Some graphics, not directly related to this synopsis, have been omitted.
In today’s hunting world, where politics frequently affect hunting opportunities more than game populations do, such information becomes highly important. Many would see all hunting, of all forms, banned worldwide. Logic and factual information will never sway their opinion. Factual information, leading to sound hunting policies that support sustainable utilization of the renewable resource through the humane taking of surplus game can, however, do much to influence the majority of the population, those who are neither pro nor anti-hunting.