Hank Parker is a professional bass fisherman who brings his hard-hitting “bubba bait” tactics to the field when he bowhunts. He also has taken a serious liking to faster bows after he switched to a PSE X-Force bow several years ago.
An elk will rarely give you a perfect broadside shot. Often you may have a bull of a lifetime in close enough to take, but you’re not sure you can make the shot to put that bull down. I went to Oregon to hunt a Roosevelt elk when the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife put together a dream hunt for a youngster with the Outdoor Dream Foundation. The officials at the hunt told me to bring my bow, because if this young man had the opportunity to take an elk, I could hunt after his hunt was complete–and that’s exactly what happened.
Before my hunt, I was out shooting my bow to get it dialed-in and building confidence that I could make a shot if an elk presented itself. The wildlife officer came up to me and said, “You can’t shoot that Swhacker broadhead. Expandable broadheads aren’t permitted in Oregon; you have to shoot a fixed-blade broadhead.” So, I had to go into town and buy a fixed-blade broadhead.
Later, as luck would have it, I had a trophy-book Roosevelt elk looking straight at me at five yards. There was no question as to whether I could make the shot. I put the pin right on its throat and released the arrow. That broadhead went through the entire length of the elk’s body and came out the back side, but I never recovered that elk. My PSE Omen bow had done its job, and my 470-grain arrow had done its job, but the broadhead didn’t do enough damage to allow us to find that elk. No one likes to lose a trophy animal like this, especially me. Later in the season, my son Billy experienced the exact same scenario when he was hunting a Rocky Mountain elk. Billy made the same shot with his own PSE Omen, but he was using a 2-1/4-inch mechanical broadhead. He nearly cut the elk’s head off. The elk hardly went any distance before we recovered it.
I shoot a fast PSE bow, so I can shoot a bigger-cut broadhead with a heavier arrow to create more trauma and put an animal down faster. I know many bowhunters shoot little broadheads because their bows don’t have enough energy to break bones, pass through ribs, or shove through deer’s shoulders. Let’s face it, big broadheads with more energy delivered from a fast bow will enable you to take animals you can’t take with a slower bow or a smaller broadhead.
I believe the size of the broadhead’s cut and the speed it’s traveling have a tremendous bearing on how efficiently you can put an animal down. Remember, with a broadhead, you don’t get any damage to the animal except what the broadhead breaks and the blades cut. I’ve learned when you only cut those little-bitty holes, the trophy elk will get away from you. When you cut those great big holes, you often can walk 60 yards or less and put your hand on the downed elk. When you shoot a PSE bow, you can shoot giant broadheads, because you have adequate energy to deliver not only a hard, fast punch, but also a large hole.
To get “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” by John E. Phillips, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Image courtesy Hank Parker