Which Broad Head Will You Use?

One night while driving down main street with a friend, a black cat emerged from out of nowhere and crossed right in front of us.  We were in mid-conversation when the abruptness occurred and I was so taken back that I just hit the breaks, made a u-turn, and re-routed to the next block over.  For a moment it turned really quiet in the truck as my buddy turned and stared at me in pure amazement.

“Oh you have got to be kidding me right now,” he said, as I hopped the curb and turned around.  “Are you really turning around because of that stupid myth about black cats crossing the road?”

I turned and smiled back at him saying yes sir, I surely am. Because we have all night long to get to where we’re going, and there is absolutely no sense at all in gambling with the odds.  So why would we chance it?  He just shook his head and said boy, you beat everything.

Now with that said, had we held the course that night and ignored the warnings, sure we probably would have made it out of there alive.  But I can promise you this much, if the odds weren’t in our favor, and they rarely ever are, we may just as likely had gone around the next bend and had a big gnarly oak tree come crashing down across the hood of the truck.  See why it’s smart to air on the side of caution?

I like to apply the same concepts in deer season when selecting a dependable broad head for hunting.  This is the part where many of us will become divided, and for those of you on my side of the fence I commend you.  Personally, I despise mechanical heads.  Anything mechanical is likely to break down at any given point.  Yet a fixed blade will perform its duty every time, a fact that can not be disputed.  Sure, a well placed shot is everything and that can not be disputed either.  But in my experiences along with countless others, sometimes a well placed shot doesn’t coincide with the right kind of angle.

I have been cussed up one side and down the other by friends of mine who disagree, but it wasn’t they who lost one of the biggest deer in their life either.

I was first turned on to the NAP Bloodrunner when I witnessed the pure amount of gore that it’s wounds produced on big game animals.  After watching several highlight reels on youtube, I went straight to the archery shop and purchased my first 3-pack of triple blade NAP’s.  The first morning out went like clock work.  An old fat doe came waltzing in broadside at 25 yards and as she walked behind a tree, I drew back.  Within moments she was in clear view and I released, smashing her right through the arm pit with a perfect heart shot.  The wound was devastating as she ran a short distance and killed over.  After assessing the damage, I was very pleased with my results to say the least.
nap hit


It’s important to note what I said about the shot angle she presented me.  She was 25 yards, presenting a perfect broad side shot.  Just the kind of shot we all practice down range.  Fast forward one month to the first week of November.  I was hunting in an old grave yard stand underneath a brushy pin oak without the least bit of activity happening around me. It was warm, the wind was howling, and by 9:30am I’d had enough.  After standing up to stretch my bones I was shocked to see a massive 11 point standing directly under me, stretching out from end to end as if he had just arisen from his own bed as well.  Immediately I froze, careful not to bat an eye as he checked his surroundings.  Slowly I reached for my bow as he walked away, disgusted with myself for not being any more patient.

I could see nothing but hindquarters and horns as he walked straight away from me.  Eventually he put his head down to feed and I came to full draw, praying for that one moment that he may take one hard step to the right and give me his ribs.  Finally, after holding a long stance with his head held high, he took one slight step to the right, exposing enough of his ribs that if I should hit his back rib just right, it would surely angle right through his chest and out his opposite shoulder.

POP! I nailed his back rib as perfect as you could hope for, but what happened next has haunted me every since. Instead of holding true path, the arrow instantly whipped to the flank side as the rib deflected the mechanical and sent it streaking up the side of his rib cage.  It ripped all the way down his side until the broad head hit his right shoulder and stopped, flimsily hanging out of him with more than 3/4 of the shaft showing.  Instantly the buck humped up and took off in a short stepping fashion, obviously hurt but not going down.  We gave him two hours before going in on his trail and was relieved to find a massive blood trail for the first 60 yards, but it slowly dwindled to drips and spots until we could no longer follow him.

For the next 4 days we searched and we combed, bringing two different dogs in along with an experienced alaskan brown bear guide for good measure. We found old carcasses of hogs that had been lost and  plenty of bones from other years past, but no sign of Brutus.  That happened in 2011, and now going on five years later I haven’t shot a mechanical blade since.  I always thought that if I had been using a fixed blade head, such as the Magnus or Steel Force design, my arrow would have kept its path and drove through the ribs like I had intended too.  Mechanical designs can be devastating for broadside shots, but absolutely worthless for quartering away shots due to their flimsy blade designs. Its also important to point out that a large number of mechanicals are no longer useable after smashing through a deer because of the damage brought on to their blades.

That’s only one of the many horror stories out there about the one that got away.  Last week I had a good friend lose an awesome buck to a perfectly placed Rage Hypodermic broad head at 20 yards.  The only problem was that he was angled slightly, and it cost him a great buck because of it.  They never found him either, and I have countless more stories of deer that got away due to the performance of the Rage broad head system.

So in my opinion, your better off to air on the side of caution and go with a solid broad head design.  The 100 grain Magnus Buzzcut Stingers are mine of choice and have delivered devastating results, time and time again.  It offers four, thick iron blades with a 1  1/16″ cutting diameter.  So if you choose to hunt with mechanicals this year, you must first ask yourself the age old question.

Are you feeling lucky?

Kayak Hunts


When you’re ready to take  your  hunting adventures to new levels, think kayak.  This is a fun and easy way to ensure success on every different level. My kayaking began in the fall of 2013 when I purchased a deer tag in Kansas.  After a short scouting trip through the country it was apparent that if I was going to reach the places I had found on my maps, water craft would be absolutely necessary.  I needed a cargo style kayak that could carry all my gear that included a tree stand, sleeping bag, back pack, bow, in addition to enough room to haul out a deer.  I found my package in the Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak – Camo.

After the purchase, I was ready to load my gear and head north out of Oklahoma.  The area I was hunting was riddled with coal pits and secluded peninsulas and trying to walk the long way around these jungled havens was a sure fire way to bust out every deer who called it home.  The great thing about this style of hunting was that it virtually cut off all human traffic to these areas and within just a few hundred yards of paddling, you suddenly realize you have everything to yourself.

If you are lacking experience in the kayak field, I would first advise you to practice in a pond or a shallow creek before embarking on a coal pit or lake trip.  That time of the year often has water temperatures at or below freezing, and depths will often exceed 60′ in places.  The last thing you want is to come home for thanksgiving dinner and explain to the family why you lost all your gear and nearly froze to death trying to swim back to the bank.  I have all to many of these kinds of stories that I will gladly touch base on at a later time.


After you have scouted your target areas from aerial photos and maps, find your nearest access points and unload.  Make sure all your gear is strapped tight with the bungee cords provided and take off.  If you’re planning an early season hunt such as September in Kansas, it’s important to remember insect repellent.  My last excursion was handicapped severely due to my lack of OFF and it literally forced me to break camp and paddle hard for the truck, where i gladly slept in the back seat.  After enduring a miserable night in the back seat I eventually drifted off into sleep and to my dismay, awoke to the sounds of voices and doors slamming at the boat ramp.

As soon as my eyes opened I could see grey dawn creeping through my windows and I knew right then I had overslept my alarms, by two hours!  I raced to my kayak and strapped my gear down as I pushed off the boat ramp.  There was no time to hang a stand at 7:30am so I was forced to still hunt, and slowly ease my way into the wind as I worked towards a ridge.  My mission was simple, take down a doe and butcher her out to supply meat for the upcoming elk hunt in Colorado.  I landed the kayak on the opposite bank while cussing my inability to wake up and slipped through the briars.  Slipping through briars is humanly impossible by the way because when you find yourself in the center of a briar patch, every barbed vine for 10 feet has coiled itself around your legs and it sounds like newspaper shredding with every step.

The best technique I have found for working your way out of this predicament is the hot wire high steps.  Imagine that you’re trying to  step over a hot wire one leg at a time, and you got it.  Every time you drag a barbed vine up your crotch, count it as getting shocked.  You’ll eventually get the hang of it and start going around the hot wire instead of through it.  At any rate I spotted three does feeding along the ridge within 20 minutes of my hunt and I crouched behind some buck brush to assess the situation.  The lead doe caught movement but couldn’t quite make out my figure as she began stamping her feet.  And as good fortune would have it, curiosity killed the cat as she brought her investigation within 30 yards of my position. I aimed for the back rib and sent the Magnus Buzzcut careening through her chest, watching her fall within 40 yards of impact.


Be prepared to work when your hunting via kayak because after making the kill, you realize you’re a long ways from all the comforts of home.  The easiest way to tackle this process is with a pack frame, where you will quarter your deer right where it lays and pack out everything but the carcass.  I knew this before hand, but opted to leave mine in the truck in order to save time. That ended up being a terrible idea because I had to hoist her over my shoulders like a sack of feed and wade through all the briars in order to get back to where my kayak was ditched.  All in all, it was a lot of fun looking back and I completed my mission for a meat supply.  As for the elk hunt that followed, it turned out to be one of epic misery in unmeasurable proportions including broken pack strings, lost horses, broken bones, and much more.  I’ll touch base on this adventure at a later time as well.  Until then, good luck hunting and break out the kayaks!  K.S.

packout 2

Don’t Be A Perry

“Good news boys, I filled the ‘ol buck tag last weekend over on Jack Casey’s place.”

Atta boy Perry! Y’all hear that? Ol’ Perry here knocked one down on the Casey place the other day! How big? And was he chasin’ any does when you seen him?

“Well he ain’t the biggest fish in the pond but he’ll fill the stringer if you know what I mean, Jim. I was sittin’ the ridge over behind Jack’s pond and saw him trot across the creek after some does and then hit a scrape on that east timberline. Dropped him right in his tracks with that 30-06 Springfield boys and I do mean aired him plumb out too by golly. He’s only got a little basket 6 between his ears but boy, he sure had a big body.”


Congratulations Perry, you just killed a fine young pup. Although this scenario has no validity to it, including the names, you can count on the fact that’s it’s based on a million true stories. The moral of the story is what’s most important, Perry killed an immature 6 point that likely was 1-1/2 ~ 2-1/2 years old. The other part of the story is what really gets my goad, he passed on all the mature does just to kill a young buck. Relatively speaking, Perry was completely legal in this instance according to Oklahoma wildlife laws in addition to most other states laws. But shame on Perry for knocking a limb off the family tree before it was fully budded out. That said, there’s stipulations to the rules in my theory.

Say it’s Perry’s fourth year to hunt and he just flat out sucks as a hunter. Perry is 22 years old and likes to wear his wrestle mania t-shirt to the stand and probably smells like cheap cologne mixed with a little cigarette smoke for cover scent. Perry finally got lucky and killed his first ever buck that morning with his grandpa’s Springfield rifle.

Well in that case, good for Perry! We all knew he’d get the hang of it sooner or later. Perry was just about to give up all together when he got his lucky break. Now that Perry reached a mile stone, he’ll probably hunt for a heavier set of antlers the next season.


But that wasn’t the case. Perry is accomplished enough to be a good hunter, he’s just to impatient to be. So instead of filling his freezer with a tender doe, he pulled the trigger on a young buck and wiped out what could have been a great gene pool and the sire to a lot of fawns in future generations. Shame on Perry. What Perry didn’t know was there very likely could have been another buck standing just inside the timberline sporting a set of horns like something out of a horror movie. But we’ll likely never know because that big guy just received a Harvard education for free and slipped silently back into the mangroves. The worst part about all of it is that after Perry left the diner that morning, Jack Casey’s neighbor, Billy Thomas, came in and heard the news about the buck. His response?

” I sure wish he hadn’t done that. My little girl has passed on killing that same little buck a half dozen times this season waiting on a bigger one to come in to the feeder. Boys we ain’t never gonna grow these deer big around here if these neighbors don’t quit shooting everything that walks.”

Now look what you’ve done, Perry. You just broke the code and let down your fellow neighbors to boot.

So in conclusion, if you just want the meat, please help the population out and kill some does this year. If you want the horns, be patient until one steps out worth telling the boys at the diner about.

Billy Thomas was right when he said, “we’ll never grow them big if everyone keeps shooting them while they’re small.”