No broadhead is perfect, I believe that the best strategy is to match your broadhead to what and where you are hunting. Here are the strengths and weaknesses I have noticed with different broadheads and where I would use them to hunt.
- Ideal game: Whitetail and Turkey
- Strategies: Stationary Hunting; Blinds, Treestands
- Locations: Iowa, Areas with a lot of Private Ground and Thick timber
Expandables offer the closest thing aerodynamically to a field tip, and the best blood trails of any broadhead. I believe if you are strictly a whitetail hunter expandable broadheads are the way to go. When you know your shot will be clear, and there is a low likelihood of bumping your arrow on anything, an expandable head is perfect.
I recommend them for hunting in Iowa because tracking a deer in Iowa has different obstacles than other areas of the country. If a deer gets out of your line of sight guessing which direction it turned in a cornfield is a crapshoot. Also, there are private landowners that are sometimes slow to allow access onto their land. For a short and easy to follow blood trails expandable heads are the way to go. That said I still question their durability on sub optimal shots especially on bigger game like elk.
Two Blade Broadheads
- Ideal game: Mule Deer, Elk
- Strategies: Spot and Stalk
- Location: Open Country Grasslands
Two blade broadheads are great for open country hunts. First of all, their smaller profile catches less wind than three blade broadheads. They are also more durable for stalking and banging around in grass than expandables. The last reason I like the two blade broadheads is that, during open country hunts, you will be able to see the animal run for a long time. Two blade broadheads are not going to give you as good of a blood trail, but if you can watch the animal
run for a few hundred yards, you won’t have to follow a blood trail at all. Last season I was able to shoot my two blade broadheads into several targets and just pull them out and reshoot them, the durability for practice of a two-blade broadhead should also be noted.
The drawback is a two blade broadhead wound does close up quickly especially on tougher game. In a timber with red leaves on the ground, following a blood trail created by a two blade broadhead trail can be difficult.
Three Blade Broadheads
- Ideal For: Hunting Mule Deer, Whitetail, and Elk in the same season
- Strategies: Stalking in thick timber, Close range shots, Flexible hunting approaches
- Location: New Zealand and Stalking thick timber
Three blade broadheads will create a better blood trail than two blade heads, while not malfunctioning mechanically. This makes them ideal if you are stalking through thick cover and need a good blood trail to follow in order to find the animal. For these reasons I would recommend them to someone who is going to hunt elk, mule deer, and whitetail in one season and doesn’t want to switch broadheads.
You will have to do a bit more tuning with three blade broadheads than with the other options, but if tuned correctly it is the most versatile broadhead option.
If you have any thoughts on broadheads let me know below.
Bio: Harrison hunts in Southwest Iowa. He creates videos and writes blogs for Iowa Slam with his brother Stuart Hoegh. He is currently hunting Red deer in New Zealand. You can follow other articles he has written at IowaSlam.wordpress.com and IowaSlam on Instagram.