Hunting rules vary depending on the state and country you’re hunting in.
When it comes to bow hunting though, one aspect that is standardized is the type of arrowhead you can use, especially when hunting big game like deer.
What is the only arrowhead that may be used for big game hunting?
The only arrowhead that is approved for big game hunting is the broadhead arrowhead. This regulation helps keep the kill of big game animals as humane as possible since broadheads result in more instant kills. Many states also have regulations around the build quality, sharpness, diameter, and the number of cutting edges of arrows.
When it comes to bowhunting, there are a few different styles of broadhead arrowheads you can choose from.
Before we discuss that, let’s first look at what qualifies as a broadhead arrow.
What is a Broadhead Arrowhead?
Broadhead is a general term for a specific style of an arrowhead. There are variations within this style, each having its own perks and uses.
The main thing to look for when shopping around for a big game arrowhead is that it is razor-sharp and solidly built. This specific style of arrowhead is used for big game hunting because they give the most penetration possible.
Finding the best combination of bow, broadhead, and arrow is crucial if you want the fastest and most humane kill possible.
There are 3 basic broadhead arrows: mechanical/expandable blade, fixed blade, and removable blades.
Broadhead arrowheads must be durable, sharp, and rated for the equipment and size of the animal you are hunting. It is important that you sharpen the heads after each day of practice so they continue to perform well.
For lower poundage bows and prey, you can use the cut-on-contact style of broadhead.
How to Install a Broadhead
Installing the arrowhead onto the arrow is an easy process. All you need is your arrow and a broadhead wrench. The wrench is crucial because it covers the blades and holds the head securely so you can screw it onto the arrow.
If you choose not to use the wrench, you run the risk of your hand slipping. Due to how sharp these arrowheads are, even just a slight slip can cause serious cuts and injuries.
In order to determine if your broadhead is ready for your next hunt, there is a simple test that can be done.
- Make a small square frame out of wood.
- Stretch several rubber bands over the frame, covering as much of the opening as possible.
- If your arrowhead cuts through the rubber bands easily, it is ready for hunting.
- If it does not easily cut them, sharpen the blades more and retest.
3 Types of Broadheads
There are 3 main styles of broadhead arrowheads. Each of them is ideal for various situations.
1. Fixed Blades
This is is the most common style of broadhead that is available. They are often used by traditional-style bowhunters and are ideal for bows with lower draw weights.
The fixed blade style of broadhead is ideal for most situations since they are the strongest style.
Due to the one-piece construction, there are very few weak points, which is great because you don’t have to worry about the blades breaking off or becoming damaged.
Installation of the fixed blade broadheads is easy. There are two styles that are available:
- Screw-in: These fit most screw in ferrules and are best to be installed with a broadhead wrench to avoid injury.
- Glue on: This style is glued directly onto the shaft of the arrow
2. Removable Blade
The removable blade broadhead is a fantastic choice for target practice since the blades come off easily.
If you shoot your target and only the blades are damaged, you can simply replace the blades rather than the entire head. This is beneficial because it is much more affordable to replace just the blades.
3. Expandable Blade Broadhead
The mechanical, or expandable, broadhead is a great choice when it comes to big game hunting. These heads have blades that retract before you shoot them and remail that way until the point of impact.
Once they come in contact with your target, the blades expand, thus exposing the cutting edges. These are especially helpful when you are hunting game larget than 50 lbs.
They can also only be used with bows that are rated at 50+ pounds since extra energy is needed in order to open them up once contact is made.
All in all, big game hunting has several rules and regulations to keep the experience easy on both the hunter and the animal. So, what is the only arrowhead that may be used for big game hunting?
The broadhead style of arrowhead is ideal for several reasons. Not only is it super sharp, it comes in a few different styles so that you can find the right one for each hunting situation.
It is important that you choose the correct style of broadhead so that you get the most humane kill possible. There are 3 main styles that you can choose from.
For big game larger than 50 pounds, an expandable or mechanical broadhead is the best choice. This style uses more energy so it’s important that you use a bow that is rated at 50 or more pounds.
For big game that is under 50 pounds, you can use the fixed blade style or the removable style. They both have perks and which one is better depends on the situation and personal preference.