Talking ‘Bout Turkeys : Should you use a Fixed or Mechanical Broadhead?

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?

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