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.
I’ve learned from years of bowhunting that I have no chance of taking a deer, if I don’t release that arrow. Once I see a deer I want to take that’s within range, then I’m concentrating on making that shot and taking that deer. I want to be as ethical as I can be as a bowhunter. One of the reasons I can take shots that other hunters may not take is I spend an awful lot of time shooting my bow and tuning my arrows and my broadheads, so that the bow in my hand feels like a part of my body. Many hunters in the East won’t take a shot over 30-50 yards, since many eastern bowhunters don’t practice taking shots over 50 yards. But the mule deer, elk, and antelope hunters of the West often make successful shots of 50-100 yards with their bows, because they practice at those distances. Since my boys and I hunt all over the U.S., we have to make long shots from time to time, especially when hunting in the West.
I shoot a Swhacker broadhead, which is a mechanical broadhead with a tremendous cut. This broadhead is to me what a .300 Win Mag is to a rifle hunter. With that Win Mag, you may not get a perfect shot on a deer, but because of the trauma a big bullet traveling fast has on a deer, you’ll probably still take that deer. I believe my PSE bow is much like that .300 Win Mag, and my Swhacker broadhead is like that big bullet the .300 Win Mag pushes. The shaft I have behind that broadhead weighs 470 grains and gets a speed of 328 feet per second coming out of my PSE bow.
In 2012, I was hunting in Canada with my PSE Omen. After sitting out in the cold for five days, I finally saw a monster buck that would score 170 on Boone and Crockett. The temperature that day was 15 degrees. Snow was coming down, and I felt like I was about to freeze to death. I hoped I’d have shot at this deer in daylight, but the sky began to gray, and night wasn’t far from arriving. I’d seen this buck within 100 yards twice and didn’t take the shots. Finally, this deer came in at 48 yards and didn’t give me a perfect broadside but did give me a quartering-away shot. I drew my PSE Omen. When I released the arrow, I hit him right in the knuckle of the shoulder. I think you could shoot through a steel drum easier than the knuckle of a deer’s shoulder. I watched the deer run out in the field, stand for minute and then fall over dead. I don’t believe there are many broadheads, arrow shafts, and bows that can deliver that much force, penetrate that much bone, and affect that much damage to put a buck down quickly.
The Swhacker broadhead I shoot expands to 2-1/4 inches, so I get a big cut. Naturally you’ll think when you shoot a broadhead with that big a cut into the knuckle of a deer’s shoulder, you won’t get much penetration. With most bows, that arrow will bounce off then it hits the bone. But when we took the deer back to camp and cleaned it, I saw the broadhead had demolished the buck’s shoulder, and the entire shoulder blade was crushed. I got about 7-1/2 inches of penetration with that Swhacker broadhead being pushed by my PSE Omen. I shoot big broadheads, heavy arrows, and a fast PSE bow. The results are harvested bucks I wouldn’t be able to take with a smaller broadhead, a lighter arrow, or a slower bow.
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