The mountains were steep and tough to navigate. Even with fresh legs and light packs. Lon was determined. It was obviously apparent how much it meant to him to get a ram. He had no thought of not following me, if it meant a chance at a ram.
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.
Throughout my childhood years, I was frequently infatuated by various books involving wild outdoor adventure. I would read a classic such as Robin Hood or The Last of the Mohicans and then spend the ensuing days consumed by the adventures created within my imagination. It’s impossible to count how many pretend bad guys or animals I’ve arrowed in my life. Needless to say, my pretend jails and dinner plates were always full. I imagine that many readers of this publication have similar experiences.
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.
As I stood motionless like a soldier in the lineup waiting for the sun to paint its beautiful morning picture in the Virgin morning sky, I listened carefully to the deep, throaty bugles off in the distance. The New Mexico mountains had captivated me and my drive to kill a good bull elk in these mountains was indescribable with words. My mind was made up that I was not driving all the way back to Ohio empty-handed, my Gold Tip arrow was going to get bloody and my tag would be punched.
With the mountains and trails still held tight in winter’s icy talons, I obliged to begin my new lease on archery at the only available indoor range in town. I figured significant change wouldn’t occur overnight, but taking the approach of one arrow at a time, I could begin to eventually see a gradual improvement. I was about to be proven wrong.
The low-lying Alaskan sun began to feel warm on my neck as we slipped into a moss-covered boulder field from the thick alder patch below. Arrow nocked, I glanced at the sparse grass blades rustling beside me, indicating that the morning thermals continued to strengthen.