Alaska Bowhunting Supply has some very valuable information. Click the following links for more information.
Top 12 Arrow Penetration Enhancing Factors
The Power of Momentum
I used this information to build my arrows for a moose hunt in September. Here is what I built.
GrizzlyStik Momentum U-FOC 250 cut to 28 inches
Monarch 200 grain forged single bevel broad head
20 grain brass adapter weights added to the insert
4″ Gateway feathers right helical fletch
Total weight is 650 grains with a 23% FOC I’m shooting a Mathews NO CAM HTR set at 70 lbs. and 28″ draw.
According to OnTarget2 my momentum will be .615 at 20 yards. OnTarget2 is software that will help you determine the correct spine for any bow and arrow combination you can think of. I’m not even going to post K.E. because it has nothing to do with arrow penetration. The bow companies would like for you to believe that K.E. determines how much penetration an arrow gets. The most important aspect of this arrow is that it weighs 650 grains. Dr. Ashby has determined that 650 grains is the bone breaking threshold. Speaking of 650 grains you should check out the 650 challenge
I know people are going to freak out when they hear 650 grains. OMG you will never be able to hit anything with an arrow that heavy. Most arguments you hear about the light fast arrows revolve around “flat trajectory”. With all the sophisticated range finders on the market it really makes yardage judgment a moot point. Now if you’re just shooting foam targets then by all means shoot the lightest and fastest arrow you can build. For hunting I’m not worried about hitting the 12 ring. For most big game animals you have at least a 6″ circle to make a perfect shot. Also when you consider most shots are 20 yards or less the flat trajectory becomes even less valid. There has been a very bad trend happening in bowhunting. Taking longer and longer shots up to and including 100 yards. This is bowhunting not rifle hunting. One of the most rewarding aspects of bowhunting is getting close.
In my opinion the whole light fast arrow just doesn’t work. As a guide for Illinois Trophy Bowhunters I’ve seen these light fast arrows fail on numerous occasions especially when they hit bone. This is an actual quote from one of my hunters “It ricocheted off his shoulder”. I know what you’re thinking. It’s all about shot placement. To some extent it is but bad shots happen and when they do I want an arrow that will penetrate bone. Even standing in the yard practicing we all occasionally make a bad shot. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Do yourself a favor and read the Ashby reports It’s the only scientific study I know of about arrow penetration. I can’t stress the word scientific enough. We’ve all seen the so called broadhead tests but you have to remember these are usually backed by the broadhead companies. So surprise guess what their conclusions are going to be. Plus you can’t evaluate the performance of a broadhead on anything but animal tissue and bone. Most of these tests are done in ballistic gel.
First the bad news. I did not draw my New Mexico elk tag. Now the good news. I had a Yukon moose hunt booked with Macmillian River Adventures for 2017. Just a few days after finding out I wasn’t successful drawing my elk tag I was contacted by my booking agent Bowhunting Safari Consultants and was told there was an opening for 2015. I jumped on that in a heartbeat. Even though not drawing my elk tag was a bummer getting to go on a Yukon moose hunt more than made up for it.
My wife recently bought me this bow. Yes I do have the best wife in the world. I haven’t shot it much due to all the bad weather but I’m very impressed with it so far. I loved my Z7 but so far this bow is even better. For my needs (hunting) it is the best bow on the market. If you’re looking for a speed bow this isn’t the bow for you. If you want the most accurate, quite, vibration free bow there is then this is the bow for you. For my accessories I’m using Sure Loc lethal weapon red with retina lock, B stinger hunter extreme stabilizer, Archer Extreme Vapor Hyperlite quiver, Easton carbon injexion arrows, Firenock lighted nocks, Strickland archery Helix broadheads 125 gr, Specialty Archery peep with verifier, and Carter chocolate lite release. I’ll be doing a more in depth review on these products as the year progresses.
After spending some time with the NO CAM I can say without a doubt this is the best bow I’ve ever owned. My setup has changed a little since my initial setup. The NO CAM is amazingly easy to tune. I’ve had bows that were quite but this one is the most quite bow I’ve never heard. I will have to say my 650 grain arrow does contribute to it being quite and vibration free.
I exchanged the B-stinger stabilizers for a stokerized SS1. The B-stinger provided better balance but I felt it was to cumbersome for hunting. Especially considering most of my shots are 20 yards or less.
This wouldn’t be a proper review without mentioning a negative. I have seen some bows that had the wrong cam spacers installed at the factory. This will cause cam lean and the Teflon protector on the cables will touch the cam. I’ve also noticed if you torque your bow enough the Teflon protector will rub the cam. Both issues are not caused by design issues but rather human error. Some people would also call the lack of speed a negative but in my opinion speed is highly over rated. In my list of important factors for a hunting bow speed doesn’t even make my list. If you’re into speed do not buy this bow. If you want a great hunting bow I would highly recommend the NO CAM.
After waiting a month I finally got my machine. My wife paid for assembly but after learning it would take them 10 days to get here I decided to put it together myself. It was actually pretty simple and easy to assemble. Let me say this thing is awesome. If you use it you will get in shape. My first attempt at the MAX INTERVAL setting only lasted 6 minutes of the scheduled 14. It will give you a great workout in a short amount of time. It adjust intensity based on your age weight and heart rate. Oh yeah it comes with a heart rate monitor. On my first fitness test I scored 9.8. I have no idea what that number means it just said to compare it to my next test which I plan on doing weekly. Here is an answer provided by a reader. The Fitness Test uses the age and weight values from your user profile to calculate a maximum heart rate, then measures this against your power output to determine a fitness score. In this test, you build up to a Target Burn Rate Range that keeps your heart rate at close to 75% of the calculated maximum. Once your reach this stage, the Burn Rate is maintained for 3 minutes, after which your score is displayed on screen.The idea is that as your fitness level increases, you will require a higher Burn Rate setting to reach the same 75% heart rate level, which results in a higher power output. You can then use this score as a benchmark to measure your improvement over time.
On another note I put in for a New Mexico elk tag. If I keep working out on this thing I might just take a knife and run down my elk.
I’ve been trying to average 3 workouts per week. I can now do 20 minutes on the preprogrammed workouts and I can make it the full 14 minutes on the MAX workout. My fitness score is up to 20. Still have no idea if that’s good, bad, or average. It does show improvement over my initial 9.8. I haven’t really lost much weight but my fat percentage has dropped almost 10%. I figure once hunting season starts my workouts will dwindle down to nothing.
Update January 2, 2016
As predicted I stopped using my bowflex the entire hunting season. I gained 15 pounds and I can only do 10 minutes. I’ve started counting my calories again using my fitness pal. It’s an awesome app I highly recommend it. I’ve already lost 2 pounds. My New Years resolution is to get healthy. It’s painfully obvious that being healthy isn’t something you can do part time.
UPDATE: November 12, 2018
I’m still using my bowflex on and off mostly off. My weight has been like a yo-yo. I lose 50 lbs and gain 30. I’ve got my son working out with me in anticipation of going on an elk hunt. I still haven’t drawn that New Mexico tag yet.
Almost every review you read about the tight spot quiver will tell you how great it is. While I agree it is a great quiver it isn’t for me. If you take your quiver off when you get to the tree their are lots of cheaper quivers that will do the same thing. If you keep your quiver on the bow this one is heavier and makes more noise than a 2 piece quiver. It is probably the most versatile one piece quiver there is but for my purposes I prefer a 2 piece quiver. The tight spot is very adjustable and claims it will help balance your bow. True it will give you more options for balancing but the only way to really balance your bow is with a back stabilizer.
The first thing you should do is throw away all your heavy socks. Why? Because heavy socks make your boots tight which causes your feet to get cold. So the real key to keeping your feet warm is wearing boots that fit properly. To do this put on a pair of normal hunting socks. The best socks I have ever worn are First Lite Mountain Compression socks. Trace the outline of your foot on a piece of paper. Hold the pencil parallel to the sides of your feet and don’t angle it towards the bottom of your foot. Compare the measurements to these charts. http://www.shoesrx.com/menssizes-1.aspx
Pay close attention to the width. For years I wore 10 regular width but after taking these measurements I found out a 9 EE was what I should be wearing. Let me tell you I was amazed at how good my feet felt wearing shoes that were actually the right size. After this it’s just a matter of buying boots with the proper amount of insulation to match what you’re doing. A new gadget I discovered this past year are the Thermacell heated insoles. I highly recommend these. They don’t necessarily warm your feet but they will keep them from getting cold. I have uninsulated, 600, 1200, and 2000 gram boots that covers from -40 to 90 degrees. If I had to pick an all around boot it would be 600 grams with the Thermacell heated insoles which can be removed for warmer weather. Some people have cold feet and others never get cold but the key is boots that fit.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally fell for the hype and tried the Rage hypodermic this year. I was very disappointed in them.
Let’s just say I’m going back to fixed and I’m never going to try mechanical again. In fact I’m using a 2 blade single bevel head next year. I’ve done some research and found some interesting things about single bevel broadheads. First they continue to spin as they go through an animal second they penetrate bone like you wouldn’t believe. Here is a picture of a cow femur shot with a single bevel broadhead.
Try that with a mechanical.
Imagine how much damage a head will do spinning through an animal. The single bevel also helps the front of the arrow spin in flight so it is more stable. My motto is hope for the best but plan for the worst like hitting a bone.