For those of you who are gearing up for your first turkey hunt (here in Idaho ours begins in mid-April), you might be surprised to know that turkeys can be tricky. Not only do they move quickly, but their plumage could rival a medieval knight’s armor when it comes to blocking arrows. Couple that with the need to release a shot with just enough finesse to hit the right arteries and vitals (sign up for our March newsletter for more on this), the needs to have just the perfect estimation of yardage, and you have a recipe for one gargantuan gobbling conundrum. Luckily for all of us hunters we are a smart community who learn as we go and love to share our knowledge with the world; resulting in lots of knowledge about how to bring home a delicious wild turkey.
Now, we all know how imperative it is to aim your shot correctly, to pull the correct draw weight, and (particularly with animals that like to flee swiftly or fly like our feathered friends) to emit the correct force to penetrate that pin-feather armor to hit the soft spots underneath. However, before you can worry about where you’re hitting and the force you need, you have to find the perfect something that can penetrate that tricky hide: your arrowhead. We, like many of you in the hunting community, are split as to whether a mechanical or a fixed braodhead is better for hunting a turkey. So, we decided to start off our awesome Talkin ‘Bout Turkeys blog series, we would check out the pros and cons for each to help see if we could determine if one was, in fact, better than the other.
To start off, let’s check out the stats on our fixed broadheads. With a fixed broadhead, you have the advantage that there is no risk on the arrow deploying improperly if the impact angle or necessary force are wrong. Fixed broadheads can also be just as accurate and deadly as their mechanical counterpoints, but they will also enhance any issues you might have if your bow isn’t tuned properly often resulting in either a poor or missed shot. There is also a potential with a fixed broadhead for the head itself to break off if you hit bone, but they generally survive a rib or shoulder blade impact better than their mechanical friends. The biggest advantage of a fixed broadhead though, is that since they have been around longer than the mechanical broadheads you generally have a wider range of selection when it comes to arrow size and diameter coupled with lots stability and reliability as well.
Grim Reaper Hades broadhead. You can purchase this here.
Now tolook at the other side of the coin and examine the pros and cons of a mechanical broadhead. Mechanicals often provide a larger cutting diameter, which means with turkeys in particular that you are more likely to hit the correct arteries and soft tissues to ensure you drop your bird. The mechanical broadheads also tend to lessen any issues that might have otherwise stemmed from a bow that isn’t perfectly tuned. The blades in a mechanical broadhead can be larger since they will not fully deploy on impact, ensuring the size of the blades don’t hinder the shot. Unfortuntately, there is no guarantee that the blades will open properly, particularly if the impact angle is off. Another issue is that in order to open the blades, force is pulled from the arrow itself lessening the overall power of the shot (though this is generally fairly negligible overall). If you happen to hit ribs, or bone these arrows are more likely to break or have damage that prevents the blades from opening fully. The larger cutting diameter, while a great benefit, can also be a hindrance since it increases the potential of hitting bone.
Spitfire Gobbler Getter. You can purchase this here.
Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons, we have to admit we are still split. Though, after several discussions we did manage to (grudgingly) get the fixed broadhead supporters to admit there are some definite pluses to the mechanical heads, and vice versa for our mechanical broadhead lovers. We decided (at the moment, based solely on the pros and cons) that a mechanical just might surpass the fixed ever-so-slightly when it comes to turkeys, but that we wanted to try hunting with both this season to see what we thought out in the field. So let us know what you guys think: Are fixed or mechanicals better for turkeys? Also, what are your favorite brands to shoot?
The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.
The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. Our Aluminum Carriers are made from a 7075 aluminum alloy which is typically used in aerospace programs. It is the strongest aluminum alloy in the market and made to resist high velocity impacts.
The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on an easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker® System
The Pro-Tracker® Custom Carrying Case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.
This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.
The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your trophy with durable state-of-the-art technology.
The compact receiver can track up to 6 different transmitters at once. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read backlit LED screen. By watching the receiver you can even determine if the animal is moving or is stationary.
Once activated upon impact with the target the transmitters have a 12 hour battery life. They are also waterproof and rechargeable so they can be reused over and over again. They come with a charging station that can be plugged into wall outlets or vehicle USB ports for extended hunting trips.
The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic and lightweight design of the carriers and transmitters.
Tests have even shown the system does not impact the level of penetration the arrow has. The Pro-Tracker® System has the durability and precision to recover your trophy.
Not only does the Pro-Tracker® system not interfere with ethical shots, but numerous wounded loss studies have shown just how much it is needed in bowhunting. According to one study done by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, 50% of deer that were shot were never recovered.
There are many reasons why it could become nearly impossible to recover an animal. Sometimes game only bleed internally and don’t leave a blood trail, or flee into impossible terrain. Sometimes the weather takes a sudden turn.
Whatever the reason, the Pro-Tracker® System is designed to overcome these obstacles and recover the animal without detracting from the method in which you choose to hunt. Whether in a tree stand, ground blind, or stalking your favorite game, the Pro-Tracker® System is the one sure method for the ethical recovery of all wounded game.
Q. Is the Pro-Tracker® Legal in my State?
A. ‡ Indicates states where we believe based on our reading of the State regulations the use of the Pro-Tracker System are prohibited. In no way is this considered to be a legal opinion.
‡ Alaska: No
Arizona: Use at your own discretion (unlawful to use electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering devices, thermal imaging devices or laser sights; except for devices such as laser range finders, scopes with self illuminating reticles, and fiber optic sights with self-illuminating sights or pins that do not project a visible light onto an animal. I is unlawful to use tracking devices to aid in the taking of wild game).
‡ Arkansas: No (It is unlawful to use electronic tracking devices to locate wildlife or computer assisted hunting equipment)
California: Use at own discretion (has several municipalities, most of which have their own additions or addendums in regards to legal hunting equipment)
Colorado: Use at own discretion (Colorado does have specific restrictions in regards to battery operated equipment on bows and arrows. Tracking devices, specifically, are not mentioned in the regulatory manual).
Georgia: Use at own discretion (it is unlawful to kill or cripple game without reasonable efforts to retrieve. Unlawful to use electronic communications equipment to aid in the pursuit of game).
‡ Idaho: No (cannot take big game with aid of radio telemetry)
Illinois: No (electronic devices, including but not limited to those that use radio telemetry, are not permitted)
Iowa: Use at your own discretion (it is unlawful to use dogs, domestic animals, bait, radios, handguns, rifles and crossbows , automobiles, aircraft, electronic calls or any mechanical conveyance or device to hunt deer. You cannot use a two-way mobile radio transmitter to communicate the location or direction of game or furbearing animals, or to coordinate the movement of other hunters).
‡ Kentucky: No
‡ Minnesota: Yes
‡ Montana: No (electronic or battery-powered devices attached to a hunting bow. – A bow sight or arrow which uses artificial light, luminous chemicals such as tritium, or electronics).
Nevada: No (it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive, or electronic devices attached).
New Hampshire: Yes
New Jersey: Yes
New Mexico: Yes
‡ New York: Yes
‡ North Carolina: Yes
‡ North Dakota: Use at your own discretion (Telescopic sights, range finding devices, battery- powered or electronically lighted sights or other electronic devices attached to the bow, or the arrow, are not permitted (exception: lighted nocks and recording devices which do not aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow are permitted). Handheld range finding devices are legal).
‡ Oregon: No (electronic devices may not be attached to bow or arrow).
South Carolina: Yes
‡ South Dakota: Yes
‡ Washington: No (It is unlawful to have any electrical equipment or electric device(s), except for illuminated nocks, attached to the bow or arrow while hunting).
West Virginia: Yes
*Disclaimer: This research was obtained by the staff of Pro-Tracker and is not to be considered a legal representation as to law. When using the Pro-Tracker system the user must assume any responsibility as to the State regulations that they are in. This is only a guide.