Ed, indeed there was plenty of blood-shot tissue. I just finished the butchering the morning and more meat than I would like went to the dogs because it was full of black blood clots. And obviously this head was sharp. Not only did Ron Swartz sharpen the head, he basically created it by grinding all the correct angles from a blank. Sorry, I neglected to investigate the extent and location of the spine hit … I was concentrating on trying to trace the path of the arrow after it hit the spine and turned downward. Only one edge of the head is nicked, and the point slightly dulled. The latter does suggest a direct impact but it must have been below center of the vertebra or it would have stuck in rather than deflecting down.
As a PS to this story, on last year’s Coues I used an even heaver wood arrow and — testing the idea that on a small deer almost any sharp broadhead will do the job — a big 3-blade of considerable fame and popularity. Of course FOC was not high. I wanted to see if all the anecdotes about “massive exit wounds and blood trails” with 3-blades were valid. Never found out, as the shaft got less than half penetration. Part of the problem was that I had some shoulder pain and had unknowingly gotten into the habit of short drawing. But also, I, like most folks, sharpened my 3-blades with a flat file and stone, netting three blades with 60 degrees of bevel each = 180 degrees … as opposed to a two-blade single bevel with 25-degree edges = 50 degrees … in effect, more than three times as “sharp” so far as slicing ability and penetration friction. (If my math is wrong, which it often is, please correct me.) I’d had those heads for years for turkey hunting, but after that experience I threw them all away. I now own nothing but single-bevel two-blades. To each his own. For me, if I’m to continue hunting at this late stage in life, I can’t bear any more wounded animals. While I can only try and try to get everything just right in my shooting, now, thanks to your tenacious and no-BS work, Ed, I know exactly how to built the most lethal possible arrow set-ups. No spine hit on my bull elk this year, just a standard double-lung hit, yet he went only 15 yards. The single-bevel magic works!