Does Arrow Diameter Matter for Bow Hunting Whitetails? Testing Large and Small Diameter Arrows


GRANT: As the opening day of Missouri’s archery
season approaches the entire GrowingDeer Team has been slinging a bunch of arrows. GRANT: Last summer, we shared the results
of a really cool experiment that showed how much a deer could drop once they heard the
bow fired. GRANT: Our friend, Darren Cummins from Pennsylvania,
designed a very sophisticated piece of equipment that, simply put, it hears the bow fire, calculates
a deer’s reaction time at 20, 30 and 40 yards and then drops a deer when that sound reaches
a deer and it’s had time to react. In this case a water-filled balloon. GRANT: I was very interested in this subject
because we’ve shared several hunts that showed deer responding to the sound of a noise and
dropping several inches before the arrow arrived. We’ve tested multiple bows, different draw
weights, different weight arrows and discovered that even at 20-, 30- and 40-yards deer can
react even with fast bows and drop several inches before the arrow arrives. GRANT: It dropped. GRANT: This information made a huge impact
on me, so I’ve been working to have as quiet of a hunting rig as I can. GRANT: This year, I’ve reduced a draw weight
on the bow I’m using, using a heavier arrow and a few other odds and ends to decrease
the overall noise resulting from a shot. One of my areas of prime focus was the arrow. GRANT: The entire GrowingDeer Team is super
excited for the start of deer season, so we’ve been shooting a lot, and while we’re shooting,
we’ve noticed a bit of difference between how my arrows are penetrating and how Tyler’s
arrows are penetrating. So I want to tell you the setup. I’m shooting 28 1/4 inches at 52 pounds and
I’m shooting a Bloodsport 350 Evidence, the micro diameter shaft. Tyler what are you shooting? TYLER: I’m shooting a 30-inch draw length,
65 pounds, the Justice, which is not a micro diameter, more of a fatter arrow, 300. GRANT: So, we want to compare penetration
because it’s my theory that a micro diameter arrow even with a little bit lower draw weight
will get about as good if not better penetration. GRANT: We got brand new Morrell High Roller
Targets, super quality. Not saying this is the same as a deer, going
through muscle tissue with liquid, body fluid in there, but at least we’re comparing apples
to apples. GRANT: Good arrow penetration is important
for any deer hunter. The goal is maximum hemorrhage. That allows hunters to be extremely humane
when tagging a deer. This same principle results in an easy recovery
of the critter. GRANT: A pass-through shot, especially with
the Bloodsport arrow, is always great because the way the Bloodsport is designed it lets
the hunter interpret where the shot was and lets them know where to take up the trail
or back out for a while. ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Morrell Targets, BOG, Hook’s Custom Calls, Montana Decoys, Summit Treestands, Drake Non-Typical Clothing, RTP Outdoors, Yamaha, Fourth Arrow, onX Hunt, ScentCrusher, Scorpion Venom Archery, Bloodsport Arrows, Code Blue, D/Code, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds. GRANT: I want to state upfront. This is not a scientific test, so before I
get a bunch of hate mail, there’s no regression, there’s no coefficients. We’re just a couple of hunters out here that
we noticed something while practicing together. GRANT: So, we’re 20 yards away. We’re not worried about accuracy. We’re just trying to shoot two to three inches
apart in the new target. We don’t want to shoot side by side because
if we do that foam may be a little condensed from one shot to the next. So we’ll shoot two to three inches apart,
shoot around the target, different corners, as we go through the test. GRANT: I’ll shoot first, then Tyler can just
shoot a few inches away from my arrow. GRANT: All right, Tyler. GRANT: The arrows we’re shooting are about
the same weight. Tyler’s all rigged out is 459; and mine rigged
out the same is 479. But I don’t think 20 grains at 400 plus grains
is a big difference. GRANT: So, it looks likes Tyler’s is about
an inch more, but his arrow is about two inches longer. So, the only way to get an accurate measure
is for us each to pull our arrow, and we’ll put our thumb right here at the edge of the
target. Don’t let it slide. And pull it out and then we’ll measure the
amount of penetration. GRANT: Tyler, grab that arrow. GRANT: So, just a quickie look. We can do this. Just stick ‘em right there and right there
and Tyler got I’m going to say close to an inch, about an inch more. Remember he’s shooting 65 pounds, a little
bit plus. I’m shooting 52 so 13 more pounds. You would expect a little bit more penetration
on 13 pounds, but would it had been more if he’d a been shooting the same skinny diameter,
micro diameter as I was? So, we’ll figure that out when we both shoot
each other’s arrow. GRANT: All right, let’s measure these and
see what we got. So, from the thumbnail – nine and an eighth. Yep, and about eight. An inch more for 13 pounds more draw weight. GRANT: Tyler and I have each shot our own
arrow, but now we’ve swapped arrows, and we’ll compare penetration based on what we already
shot. I’ll use Tyler’s arrow and Tyler will use
mine. GRANT: Tyler’s arrow, larger diameter, out
of my bow. We’ll do a measure and compare it to what
I shot with my first arrow. So, my arrow has a smaller diameter than Tyler’s. I had eight inches of penetration. With Tyler’s arrow, I got seven and a quarter. So, not a lot but three-quarters of an inch
of penetration into the High Roller Target. It might’ve been more of a difference going
through a deer because you got all that body fluid, a little bit slicker than this foam. We don’t know that for sure but certainly
lost a little penetration with the larger diameter arrow. GRANT: We wondered if the trend would be the
same when Tyler shot my arrow compared to when he shot his arrow previously. GRANT: The trend remained the same. Tyler got three-quarters of an inch more penetration
from my smaller diameter arrow than he did with his arrow. The results made sense and they weren’t really
surprising. Just think about it. It’s much easier to stick a pin through a
piece of paper than it is your finger. Smaller diameters are gonna penetrate a substance
much easier than a larger diameter. GRANT: There are many factors of penetration
in a critter versus a target. On a critter, you might hit bone, or a really
thick hide, or a hog that just wallowed in mud or something like that. But overall a smaller diameter arrow, all
else being the same, is going to give better penetration than one with a larger diameter. GRANT: There are some other considerations
that might tip the scale in favor of smaller diameter arrows. For example, with the smaller diameter, there’s
less surface area; therefore, less resistance and less noise generated when the arrow is
flying downrange. GRANT: I’m not advocating for most whitetail
hunters, especially let’s say in the central and eastern states, to take longer shots. In those areas, whitetails have a lot of hunting
pressure and they seem to become conditioned to reacting to an archery shot. GRANT: Many western game species live in areas
where hunter density – the amount of hunters per square mile – is much less than the average
range where whitetails are hunted and, in this case, it seems they don’t get conditioned
to reacting at the sound of a shot. GRANT: Is an additional three-quarter of an
inch of penetration going to make a big difference when trying to tag most big game species? Probably not. Like most hunters, I like gathering as much
information as possible so I can make good decisions before season and during the season. GRANT: I believe there’s another very important
take away from our observations. A lot of guys I know are practicing with the
heaviest draw weight bow they can shoot several times in a row. That sounds good in a practice situation,
but it’s not the same as sitting in a cold treestand for two or three hours and then
trying to pull the bow when you haven’t been moving for a long time. GRANT: A very important takeaway that my bow,
set at 13 pounds lighter than Tyler’s bow and about an inch or so shorter draw length,
got almost the same penetration just because I was using a smaller diameter arrow. A lighter weight bow makes it easier for hunters
to practice more; it’s probably a lot quieter than one that’s heavier and allows hunters
to stay at full draw longer in case the shot isn’t developing as they thought it would. GRANT: Ultimately if we are enjoying the hunt,
putting some venison in the freezer, it’s all good. GRANT: If you enjoy these types of hunting tips, please check out our quick tips playlist. If you like this type of content, please subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon so you will receive notifications every time we release a new video. GRANT: Maybe season has already opened where
you hunt or you’re still going out behind the house and doing some practicing. Either way, I hope you get outside and enjoy
Creation. But most importantly, no matter where you
are, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.

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