Home Forums Friends of FOC Lower Bow Weights, The Ashby Report and Whitetail Hunting.

Viewing 35 reply threads
  • Author
    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Lower Bow Weights, The Ashby Report and Whitetail Hunting.

      I could also name this thread “Overcoming Hunter’s Reluctance Trying Ashby Suggestions”. OR “Using the Ashby Report to better your existing set up…..a Step by Step Study”

      As I started saying in the thread in the Campfire Forum on my NEAR disaster small deer kill last week, I am in the midst of using Doc’s UNbelievable resource of information to compile my own “test” geared ONLY towards Whitetail hunting. One can easily assume such would hold true for Muleys and other medium sized game.

      I will, reluctantly, admit MY NECK is on the chopping block in this thread. Openly I am discussing NOT using Dr. Ashby’s TOTAL arrow set up suggestion but possibly using certain factors suggested and still make radical penetration improvements on your current or any lighter weight hunting set up but using certain factors Doc found beneficial for such.

      My reason for this is simple. Most of you know there IS a HORRIFIC amount of reluctance within the traditional hunters numbers to “jump on the Ashby Band Wagon” as one nay sayer stated.

      Many long time hunters and new trad converts alike have, what they feel are, justifiable reasons to NOT use Doc’s report, AT ALL, simply because ONE of the suggestions or another is not something they feel they can either shoot well (still the number one desired result of any set up) or requires them to abandon their old “tried and true” broadheads of lower cost.

      Without even asking for a show of hands, I know for a fact EVERY one of you have heard ” I’ve used X arrows, Y grains per pound and Z arrowheads for several decades and DON’T SEE A REASON TO CHANGE NOW”. Humans, as a whole, reject change,,,,,, ANY change right from the start. Think not? Watch the reactions at your work place when a “change” is anything is about to be implimented by the employer!!
      Few are willing to retain an open mind nor willing to wait and see if maybe said change IS and improvement. Most prefer ” The Devil You Know” to “The Devil You Don’t Know”.

      Even as supporters of the total arrow suggestion from Doc’s studies, we HAVE TO REALIZE, the entire package of 650 grains and heavier, 20 percent EFOC or higher, AND single bevel heads is a RADICAL change to just dang near everyone who has shot trad equipment for more than a year. To someone who has successfully killed game with a “standard” setup for decades and decades……..well, let’s just say I’d rather not repeat some of the comments I’ve heard!

      These three factors are NOT the only suggestions made due to the multitude of Doc’s testing but are, IMHO, the main three that are most often discussed online and off so these three are the focus of my own testing out of all of them listed in the Ashby Report.

      These three factors create improvements in penetration by their own merit. I believe most hunters are rejecting ALL the information based on ONE that they don’t approve of……yet.

      Too often I have also heard “Well if I was going hunting for Buffalo……yeah, Id give it a try” or something along that line. More comments like “you don’t NEED it for whitetail sized game” often come up in discussions and ” I only shoot 45lbs and won’t be able to hit anything with that kind of trajectory”.

      Along with a couple gazillion other traditional hunters, I only have the option to hunt Whitetail. The number of whitetail hunters in this nation is astounding due to their numbers and availability in a huge number of our states so here I will concentrate my own tests out of necessity AND curiousity.

      Please do NOT take any of this as a “rebuttal” or “contradiction” to the Ashby Report. It is in fact, an ADDITION that I hope may enlighten at least a few of regardless of game sought and bow weigh that the information within is there and WILL help you gain improved penetration EVEN IF you choose not to subscribe to the ENTIRE package.

      Perhaps the single objective of overcoming the “bone penitration threshold” while very important for errant shots is being viewed as the ONLY reason to utilize the Ashby Report information. In addition to the things I’ve listed above, I am positive you all have heard ” shoot well and you wont hit bone” by either VERY lucky hunters or some just living in a world that we do not?? The fact remains that INCREASED PENETRATION is desirable REGARDLESS of shot placement and especially on poor shots NOT hitting bone. An easy example of such would be a “quartering away” shot that strayed to the side centering a ham. Increased penetration surely would be a blessing for such a hit!!

      My own testing, hopefully on going for several years, will be with lower weight bows and again, only on Whitetail. I believe this is a field of study that 90 percent of the traditional hunters can relate more closely to. Perhaps these tests will not surpass the “bone threshold” in whitetail but will indeed provide information for the nation’s deer hunters to improve upon their own set up’s penetration without TOO much of a radical change for them, using the Ashby Report.

      It is my belief that successful testing of such setups will gain the attention of more traditional hunters, allow Doc’s information become more universally accepted, and help recover more game.

      Being wrong will not be found humilitating but will indeed add additional information offered as continued proof of what works best….and what does not. With this in mine I invite you to comment, add to this thread, Pro or Con (no offense will be taken).

      First up for this year and longer I am sure, and following below, is EFOC and Arrow weight, for light weight bows. What CAN you live with and increase penetration?

      God Bless!

      Steve Sr.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Light weight bows. What CAN you live with and STILL increase penetration?

      While many “poo poo” the single bevel advantage, the largest complaint or reason to NOT use the information kindly provided by Dr. Ashby is the increased trajectory of a 650 grain or higher total arrow mass.

      I am here to confirm that while “doable” this arrow weight is quite difficult to master, as far as the trajectory, out of my 43lb Super Kodiak. I’ve read post after post from those shooting even high weight bows stating that the increased trajectory of such was “less than they would accept”.

      TRUE, shooting “instinctively” our noggin computer adapts to the trajectory increase in time and I can easily see that out of a tree stand where less than 15 yard shots are normal, such an arrow is and would be a HECK of an advantage but also see where MOST lower weight bow shooters are rejecting it due to the pronounced trajectory and the time needed to master it. It IS a very radical change in trajectory and FOR ME, past 20 yard is dang difficult. Perhaps this is a personal flaw but I can only use myself and a local hunting buddy as “guinea pigs” in my own testing.

      Everyone of us KNOWS that the “average” big game taken with traditional equipment is UNDER 20 yards and the suggested arrow weight will provide an “acceptable” trajectory.
      The fact remains that most of us shoot and practice at longer ranges than our normal hunting shots. Beyond 20 yards, 650 grains of arrow mass does create a difficult to master increased trajectory and the majority of hunters I’ve chatted with find it unacceptable.

      Some of these are “compound converts” that are used to speeds 100-150 fps faster than our traditional set ups. The increased trajectory of traditional equipment is and always will be a nemisis they must overcome and few, if any, will accept such an arrow weight that tremendously increases that trajectory. They are just flat not going to do it and even if doing so, COULD increase their poor shot placement percentages.

      ARROW PLACEMENT is, always has been, and always will be the “numero uno” mandatory result from anyone’s chosen set up. Many will not or are incapable of successfully doing so with a large trajectory even though it CAN be done by some.

      My 660 grain Grizzlysticks, with Abowyer Brown Bear heads, steel adapter, brass insert and 25 percent EFOC out of my 43lb recurve (15.35 GPP!!) will undoubtedly perform awesomely on shots where close range, even on precarious angle shots if they present themselves. Beyond 20 yards even at broadside unaware whitetail they do, however, provide me with a “self doubt” situation I feel quite nonproductive for confident arrow placement. I know from experience that doubt in myself or my ability drastically increases the odds that I WON’T shoot well. Therefore I DON’T SHOOT! This is a factor I feel is universal and includes everyone shooting any weapon. Confidence is a killer! Things CAN go wrong even when all seems well at the shot. Increasing the odds of a bad shot by shooting when NOT confident is just a bad idea.

      It’s quite easy to sit back and “decide” you wont take shots over that, yet I for one am quilty of flat NOT KNOWING how far an animal is. I don’t use the unneeded, in my opinion, rangefinders and go as uncounted hunters have for a millenium. It’s IN RANGE or NOT and it’s a “feeling” I have not a “measured” distance. Increasing the occurance of a deer being “kinda in range” is not a good thing, FOR ME. I believe others will agree.

      Hunting along hay fields or picked crop fields a deer “out there” is pretty rough to judge and the different sizes of whitetail increase that difficulty. While our “instinctive” abilities negate some of that “automaticaly” there is still an increased error possibility.

      Should I just flat NOT shoot when in doubt? Heck yes!! Doing so does increase my odds of NOT getting “my deer” each fall and while all of us accept that as a possibility FEW if ANY are willingly going to switch to a proven set up that increases penetration if it reduces our number of acceptable shots.

      That said, I am in search of my “holy grail” in arrow set up out of my 43 lb Super Kodiak.
      At what arrow weight am I (personally for each of us can only decide for ourselves) comfortable to take shots within my own limits of plausable opportunities? Is there something else I can INCREASE that may counter balance some of the loss in arrow mass?

      Just HOW MUCH does EXTREMELY high FOC help out?

      No bone other than a rib contacted but my first shot with a 565 grain (just weighed) carbon arrow with a grizzly broadhead performed beyond my expectations on a whirling small whitetail.

      Another case in point was a post by another gentleman that pushed things to the extreme. For ME, it really got the wheels turning!! Using a 40lb bow, high MA 3 blade heads he shot completely through a whitetail buck, at 15 yards and the arrow stuck in the ground on the far side. The radical part IMHO was the fact that the arrow weighed 420 grains and had a EFOC of 30 percent. Talk about things that make you go “HMMMM!”

      Decidedly NOT a bone buster, penetration was STILL surpassing what I got for decades using a 62lb custom recurve with either wood or aluminum arrows and a TWO blade head!!! Needless to say the trajectory of his set up would far surpass my own current one.

      WHERE or IS THERE a “middle road” of greatly increased penetration and acceptable trajectory out of light weight bows? These are the questions for which I seek answers and will test accordingly searching for such.

      Before I get bombarded with ridicule over my chosen bow weight, I ask you to recall that about 80 percent, if not more, of the bows sold at the peak of traditional sales history was or very close to 45lbs. Any quick search for bows manufactured in the mid 60s bows will find the vast majority of them being just that.

      And…….they worked!! IMHO for every 10 people shooting heavy bows, about 4 or 5 of them are overbowed and incapable of consistant accuracy. For those “new” to traditional archery, that percentage is dramatically larger. Those converting from compounds feel they are “taking a cut” going to a 60lb recurve and far too many are shooting bows that will not only teach bad habits, result in increased poorly hit game animals it will also be a very DISCOURAGING endeaver for them……and often they switch back for just that reason.

      There is also the younger, as well as us older and even those just less stout of frame traditional hunters that find bows of increased poundage are just not within their physical limitations.

      Some of you may not agree. Perhaps even the majority, but all in all I DO BELIEVE the Ashby Report is providing us with information that can further be utilized to DRAMATICALLY increase the penetration capabilities of light bows……..EVEN IF, the bone threshold barrier is not breached.

      I, for one, feel any improvement for MORE traditional bowhunters is a justifiable goal obtainable by utilizing and further testing Doc’s findings.

      Even IF they “have no need” to breach the bone threshold there still is, within The Ashby Report, information we can pass along to others. Regardless of chosen bow weight, many will not give up the trajectory of their liking…..for anything. I believe there are still vast improvements that can be made that they WILL accept from Doc’s report.

      Without a fear of being WRONG, this is my quest. Even if I find myself in the position to admit defeat the information will still then be an additional compilation of factors tried.

      Hopefully, the findings of such testing strictly applied to whitetail deer will be of interest of a few now………and tomorrow.

      More to come. Wish me luck getting shots!! LOL~!

      God Bless
      Steve Sr.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Much food for thought there Steve

      Taking a few of your points in no particular order, I think by adopting any of the good doctors suggestions you will increase the lethality of your arrow set up,as you have proved, more overall weight means more retained energy, more weight up front gives more stability, single bevel gives greater penetration and tissue damage, all good things.

      There are those that will never consider change for personal or commercial reasons, some will eventually see the light others may be to blinkered.

      Trajectory is going to be down to each individual bow and arrow set up, the variables:
      Arrow weight
      Arrow weight distribution
      Arrow speed
      Anchor relative to line of sight
      My guess is though at the distances you quote and most of us accept 5-25 yards the arc of the arrow will be relatively shallow……..but as I type this I know it’s not correct……..to determine the path the arrow takes can only be done by trial and error, by shooting at 5 yard intervals and recording the data it can then be plotted on a graph.

      However none of that’s relevant when you look at your chosen target and think ‘yea that’s mine’ no science just instinct based on practice and confidence in your gear.


    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762


      I’m enjoying this thread, but there is one major issue that seems to stand out to me in discussions of this sort: bow tuning.

      Ashby cites proper tuning as #2 on his top 10 list of factors influencing penetration. Yet, in probably 100 or more Ashby threads I’ve read over the years, this fact seems to be consistently overlooked. To date I have yet to read a thread or hear a discussion where someone says, “I just read the Ashby Report and would like to learn more about bow tuning.”

      As a result, I suppose I could assume that proper bow tuning is a non-issue because people have already achieved that goal. But after spending a lot of years at various large traditional shoots, watching a number of hands-on bow tuning seminars, and reading countless internet posts about broadheads wind planning or not impacting with field points, I think I can safely call that assumption false.

      I remember a few years ago at one such shoot I met a gentleman with a new radical high-speed carbon-limbed R/D longbow. He was pulling upper 60’s for poundage and shooting at least 10 gpp. He said he used 2-blade heads but didn’t like the setup after failing to get pass throughs on two consecutive broadside lung-shot whitetail does.

      This confused me quite a bit since by any calculation his setup, at least on paper, was far more lethal than what I used to shoot completely through my bull moose. After watching him shoot, I had my answer; I’ve seen snakes slither with less gyrations than his arrows made in flight. That was yet another example of what I’ve seen time and again throughout the years—otherwise excellent setups getting poor penetration due to a lack of proper tuning. Again, Ashby ranks this as #2 out of 10. One can’t try to run and expect to get anywhere without first learning to crawl.

      With respect to your chosen bow weight, you are 100% correct. Poundage in the forties was the standard utilized by whitetail hunters for decades. For anyone to say it’s inadequate, unethical etc. would only demonstrate that person’s tremendous lack of historical knowledge.

      My outdoors mentor growing up was my paternal grandfather. At the time of his death in 1988 he had been bowhunting for nearly forty years. His freezer was never empty, and the man’s knowledge of deer and ability to hunt them are things I could only dream of one day approaching. I can still hear the words he told me when I was very young and first took up bowhunting under his guidance, “You don’t need but forty pounds to kill a deer.” He was right.

      That being said, my grandfather’s hunting bow for the last twenty-plus years of his life was a 1960’s Root Game-Master pulling 42# at his 26” draw length (Dacron string, of course). I just ran the specs on his last set of hunting arrows; here’s what I found:

      Swaged Easton 2016’s (i.e. tapered at the front end with no inserts)
      125-grain glue-on 3-blade cut-on-impact heads
      460 grains total weight
      10.3% FOC

      Those arrows are nothing fancy, and actually quite normal.

      Your friend’s results with his 40# bow and MA3’s do not surprise me in the least They match my grandfather’s experiences with Wisconsin whitetails over nearly forty years of bowhunting. He killed dozens of deer in his life (hunters were only allowed one per year back then) and rarely ever did anything but blow completely through them.

      His equipment was the norm for his hunting group, as were his results. Why? His arrows flew absolutely dead straight—proper bow tuning. And that may be why I have shot through a bull moose and heavy bone on the off-side of big game animals consistently while others with more statistically lethal setups have failed to do so. I’m somewhat fanatical about my tuning.

      I fully agree with Ashby’s placing of proper tuning at #2 on his list. Without that, the remaining eight factors become a series of Band-Aids to cover a gaping wound. It’s been my experience over the years, listening to fellow bowhunters, that a poorly tuned arrow incorporating all of the rest of Ashby’s guidelines will not even meet the penetration of a normal arrow that flies perfectly straight.

      Perhaps this is why I’ve read instances where heavy, EFOC arrows with single-bevel heads are credited for results that some of us with straight-flying standard arrows view as perfectly normal. It’s kind of like when someone says they need a sixty-pound bow because they can’t shoot through a deer with a fifty-pound one, when your friend and most of the people I grew up around shoot through them with forty pounds. Their problem isn’t their draw weight, and it certainly isn’t the animal. There’s another variable in play.

      I think all this talk about increased lethality is great. It shows a genuine concern for one’s responsibility to make clean, quick, and humane kills. But one thing we should never do is confuse a person’s reluctance toward our particular change (whatever that may be) for a lack of concern or a lower placement on the ethics or morality scale. The fact of the matter is that you can’t get any more penetration than a total pass through with your arrow stuck in the dirt. When a person consistently gets that result, he’s arrived; he’s at a place for which others are striving. And the last thing we should do is criticize him for taking a different road or driving a different car.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      An EXCELLENT point, and yes one I omitted myself simply because I am guilty of ASSUMING that most everyone does indeed fine tune their setups.

      I also know it doesn’t APPEAR like I did. Quite the contrary.
      While some of the arrows I made myself, the bulk of my arrows were custom made for my draw length and bow weight by Kelly Peterson of Kelly’s Customs back then.

      HOURS were spent with each dozen tuning for perfect arrow flight and I’ve never ever hunted with an arrow that I could see anything but a whirl of feathers without a trace of horizontal or vertical movement.

      It was almost an absolute that I would get penetration to my feathers…..period, which was of course, satisfactory but it was always a “sore spot” for me because that penetration was almost identical to my main hunting buddy’s 43lb set up and I was shooting 62 lbs the bulk of the time.

      The tuning process I used then is the same one I use now and this year was the first time ever I had a pass through. The buddy mentioned previously shooting 43lbs for decades has had a grand total of ONE in dozens and dozens of deer taken even though he shoots heavier arrows than what most consider normal and also refuses to hunt with anything but perfect arrow flight.

      While others have approached this point with me before, and also while I am tickled with those getting pass throughs on deer with light OR heavier set ups…….I still have to stay with by belief that it is NOT a real common occurance with standard arrow specs.

      In fact, I don’t even recall HEARING the term “pass through” until the popularity of compounds grew. In additon, I have to refer back to the previously mentioned past business I had for 15 years butchering deer. Regardless of the bow type, very few got complete pass throughs. In fact very VERY few.
      A large portion of them never got even an exit hole.

      Perhaps you are correct and the majority don’t have a finely tuned set up but I do know dozens and dozens of archers that have hunted deer AND shot 3D for decades. They are hardly a group that is ignorant of proper tuning and most spend hours shooting league inside a local archery store where there is even more people helping each other with set ups. Some of them compete and place quite well in state shoots.

      I’ve also seen a lot of them shoot and the arrows didn’t have flight issues or I too would have said something, yet they still don’t get pass throughs on deer repeatedly.

      While not many of the TV programs HAVE traditional archers, and while I HAVE seen traditional archers get total pass throughs on TV and in videos, I see many times more on those same shows that do not.

      It IS a confusing subject for me for all the reasons above. While a “pass through” doesn’t KILL any better than when just the head goes through, it does indicate that more than ample penetration was achieved.

      Some I hear about on-line repeatedly have gotten such penetration, yet I have yet to see it myself locally.

      I have this in mind a lot when out hunting now with my “new and improved” set up (even though I am in the midst of testing) and am more than a little bit curious to see if the trend of shots giving enough penetration has been gained to consistantly give me such. Not only that, but if so, what CAN I change to gain something else, like a better trajectory, and RETAIN that penetration performance?

      Again, your point is an entirely valid one. No type of set up will give anyone top of the line penetration if not tuned for proper arrow flight.

      Rest assured that at least for me personally, nothing tested will have any flight problems. That constant is mandatory in my eyes for a fair comparison and I wouldn’t attempt to hunt with anything less simply out of the need for an accurate and merciful shot.

      This is something I’m sure will come up again! It does merit repeating and will be included while we continue comparing killing shots.

      Your comment: ” And the last thing we should do is criticize him for taking a different road or driving a different car.” is totally accurate as well.

      Hopefully, I am not coming accross attempting to do such????

      This personal testing using Doc’s report to find an arrow set up that gives ME superb penetration AND acceptable trajectory is in no way going to be heralded as what anyone else should use, yet I also hope some of the results provides food for thought for those also searching for their own “Perfect Arrow”.

      Thanks again,
      Steve Sr.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762


      I certainly applaud you for spending 15 years butchering deer for people. I have an acquaintance who does that, and after hearing his stories I think I’d have to be nearly destitute to put up with some of nonsense he sees every year—deer not field dressed or looking like they were gutted with a garden tiller, rotting deer, and hunters who get angry when they don’t get 100# of meat from a 110# doe. Every year I teach a few people how to butcher their own deer, but I refuse to do the work for them and won’t accept any money. You’re a more patient man than I.

      With respect to tuning, I remember when Ken Beck gave a seminar at Comptons a few years ago. After his talk he offered to spend time on the practice range with anyone wanting tuning help. He had a huge display of wood, carbon and aluminum shafts—all spines, lengths, and point weights. All folks had to do was tell them what arrows they were shooting and Ken could hand them an identical bare shaft.

      For the better part of a few hours I watched a steady parade of archers veer bare shafts is every possible direction. At 10 or 15 yards, very few hit within a foot of their fletched arrows. On the whole, I’d have to say that properly tuned setups are much more the exception than the rule.

      Compound users don’t fare much better, in my opinion. I remember 20 years ago when every local range had a paper-tuning frame, and there was usually a long line of people waiting to use them. These days, bow tuning seems to consist of having a shop employee level the nock point, eyeball the centershot, and declare it tuned. And we wonder why people can’t seem to get an arrow through a whitetail?

      I think it’s commendable that you tune your setup with such precision. I wish everyone did that. Unfortunately, far too often, folks simply use whatever arrows someone tells them are correct for their draw length and weight, and finish up by tinkering until they “look” like they’re flying straight. Then we see a plethora of threads about how this or that broadhead wind planes, which should be a glaring red light that the shooter has a huge tuning problem. Why do you think highly vented broadheads are so popular? Because they are more forgiving of poor tuning, thereby giving the impression that they “fly better.”

      One of the things I appreciate about forums such as these is the ability to read about and learning from other peoples’ experiences. I completely believe your accounts of hunters you know who do not routinely get pass throughs on deer. Assuming we’re not talking about poor arrow selections (300-grain arrows and 2” mechanical heads, for example), I have to honestly admit that I’m at a loss to offer an explanation. They just don’t match my experiences or those of most people with whom I hunt.

      But if those experiences were mine, I would definitely be in search of a solution. So with that, I again commend you on your quest and look forward to reading your updates. If your journey helps others along the way, as I’m sure it will, then your time will be all that much more well spent.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      A quote from your post: “hunters who get angry when they don’t get 100# of meat from a 110# doe”… I had to chuckle at that one. Your friend has THAT right. After about the first two years I INSISTED the customer WEIGH his deer at my shop BEFORE he left it AND tell him within 5lbs of how much boneless venison he would get.

      The number of “200lb does and 250lb bucks” they “JUST KNEW” they brought in dwindled , no wait, ENDED when I started doing that.

      A couple stories, not on subject, I have to share.

      One gentleman looking at the barrels and barrels of bones, hide and fat asked me ” Once you throw out the hide, head, bones, fat, tendons and muscle……..what are we eating?”

      Recall I live in the middle of farm country. I was dumbfounded and even more so when I told him that we EAT the muscle he told me to “keep it, I am NOT eating no blankety blank ANIMAL MUSCLES!!” 🙄 😆

      Another is relative to your quote above. In my shop I had the option of hunters having “summer sausage”, jerky or smoke sticks made.

      AT LEAST 30 times a season I would get a hunter bringing me a 110lb doe or 150lb buck and tell me “I want all my steaks,chops, roasts and burger and 100lbs of summer sausage”. Uhhh. Ok. How many deer did you bring and what meat is it I am supposed to use for ANY summer sausage??

      Some even got mad because they refused to give up any cuts at all and still wanted summer sausage. Due to the amount of time I spent “discussing” customer’s choices I made out an “order form” for each hunter to fill out and SIGN. These forms specifically requested WHAT meat the client wanted used FOR smoke house items and broke down the available meat in a list per hanging weight of a deer.

      It got to the point where either they completed the form and signed it, or they would be requested to take the deer with them.

      While the above was somewhat annoying my “pet peeve” of all of them was the “I’ll be back tomorrow to pick up my venison” group. The fact that they could see 100 or so deer hanging brought in before theirs…they wanted the meat NOW. Again, they were politely asked to find another processor. Even after explaining that there were others in front of them I knew this would be one calling every day, sometimes twice demanding their meat. The more they called, the less I could complete.

      Back on track, I believe I will do a bit more research on the “average” penetration gotten for years by long time bowhunters. I hear enough from others like yourself that state “pass throughs” to be a common occurance that it may be interesting to see a couple “polls” placed about.

      I did make a call to three bowhunters with an average of 40-45 years hunting per hunter and each have taken at least 50 deer and put this question to them, in these exact words.

      “Of all the bowhunters you know now, and have known, how many of them have gotten “pass through” penetration on the majority of their deer?”

      One lives in another state and two live fairly local and were bowhunting even before I was. One of them placed second for, if I recall correctly, three consecutive years in state indoor PAA competition “way back when”. Proper arrow flight and bow tuning was a way of life for him in competition for almost 10 years and has remained so bowhunting.

      The reply was identical from all three. “I don’t know anyone at all that ever got that kind of penetration on a regular basis”

      Interestingly, BOTH of us are going by what we see and have seen as well as those we know. The fact that what we have seen and experienced is dang near totally opposite begs for further investigation, if for no reason other than curiousity sake.

      While we AGREE that poor arrow flight hurts penetration, our differences are that even with proper arrow flight, I and my friends still feel a pass through with what is considered “normal” arrows to be a rare beast for dang near a half century of observation.

      So at this point, we have a friendly “agree to disagree” situation 😀 and I thank you for allowing that to be the case. I’ve left sites where any type of disagreement, regardless how respectfully it was offered, ended in a heated, insulting reply.

      I do wish to thank you for NOT being of that type and for not replying in that manner. I admit, I feared the worst simply because that too has been the “norm” for replies in other sites.

      Thankfully, that is another feather in THIS website’s cap as well as your own.

      I’ll attempt to keep some type of record on any bow kills I hear about or see this season, and probably others too. As you stated, we do learn from others…even if they are doing something different than we do personally.

      More later!!
      God Bless,
      Steve Sr.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      I am not ignoring your post, Mark! 😆

      I just got in to a rare thinking mode.:idea:

      All points you have listed are, of course, accurate and it’s true that each of us must choose from many variables to gain our own personal goal.

      Being an “old phart” I have a strong reluctance to “graphing” anything let alone my arrow trajectory.

      My own process of determining if I can or cannot accept the trajectory of a certain arrow mass is simply shooting them for weeks on end.

      FOR ME, there is indeed, a “Point of NO return” where the arrow tip, when at the elevation needed for an accurate shot, is simply “in my way”.

      While a “point on” distance is something a few of us find informative, I for one simply and strongly dislike the distraction of the arrowhead being a large part of my sight picture.

      While admittedly it is a “human error” I find myself still lowering the arrowhead out of my direct vision to heed concentration, yet this same act causes my longer shots to be low.

      Regardless how much I attempt to shoot REALLY heavy arrows from the bow and bow weight within my own testing/hunting, my own personal “aiming” method simply won’t allow for the arrowhead to obstruct part of my MAIN sight picture.

      Many shoot a gap method far better than I can shoot ANY method but I simply have no interest in changing my method of shooting to enable me to shoot incredably heavy (to me) arrow weights.

      NONE of the methods nor the information I post here is or ever will be offered as any kind of “cure all” for others.

      What postings and information I share while I search for my OWN “perfect arrow” are being offered to others should they wish to read them and / or consider any or all for their own quest for the same out of the bow and bow weight of their choice.

      Thanks for your post! I believe you hit the nail on the head!

      God Bless,
      Steve Sr.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Steve, there’s getting a few of us ‘old pharts ‘ about and I know what you mean about graphs, life’s to short.

      J.Wesbrock’s comments about tuning are valid, I consider myself a competent archer but earlier this year a friend took me on one side and suggested I raise my nocking point, reluctantly I did so and immediately saw an improvement in arrow flight. He then increased the braise height possibly by about 1/4″ and the bow became significantly smother and quieter. I guess standing behind the bow does not allow me to be completely objective.

      Just replaced the material on the arrow shelf so I’m back to fine tuning the knocking point this weekend.


    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762


      That’s a great point. I know that personally, I can see fish-tailing issues (brace height, spine, centershot etc.) much easier than I can detect porpoising problems (nock height) while watching my arrows fly. Maybe it’s because the natural flight of the arrow takes it up and down through our vision, which may make detecting porpoising more difficult. But if I’m standing next to someone and watching their arrows fly, I can see porpoising very easily.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve watched someone shoot and asked them if they knew their arrows were porpoising, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard that question answered with a “yes.”

      A few years ago I was stump shooting and couldn’t figure out why I kept hitting low. Figuring maybe my distance estimation went haywire, I measured off some basic yardages (20, 25, 30 etc.) and shot. My arrows looked like they were flying great, but I had to add 5 yards to my aim in order to hit anything (i.e. shoot a 20-yard target as if it were 25 yards). After about an hour of frustration, trying to figure out what had changed in my form, I finally broke out a bow square and checked my nock point. It had slid about a quarter-inch up my new super slick Fastflight serving.

      I moved my nock point to its proper location, torqued it down with some nock pliers and found I could still slide it up and down a bit. Right there on the tailgate of my truck I stripped off that slippery Fastflight and redid my string with a serving material I had been previously using called Polygrip (not the denture stuff, I may be growing gray hair but I’m not that old…yet). When I was done reserving my string and resetting my nock point, my arrows were back to hitting where they should.

      I had a major tuning issue, and like a lot of people, I wasn’t able to detect it simply by watching my fletched arrows fly. Lesson learned, and as a result I frequently check both my brace height and nock point, and routinely shoot a bare shaft or two during practice sessions. As a matter of fact, if you ever see me at a shoot, you’ll notice I always have a bow square and bare shaft in my target quiver.

    • IronCreekArcher
      Post count: 79

      Hey I am in college full-time and I don’t have enough time to read all this 😉 Maybe, you guys should become professors as this thread appears to be a rather lengthy lecture…:D When I get the time I would love to come back and read what you guys are talking about here as it applies directly to my own set-up. At a glance it looks like some good stuff…keep it going guys.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762

      Fair enough, so here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

      -We all want the best arrow we can shoot.

      -We sometimes go about finding it in different ways.

      -Life’s good, we’re having fun, and there’s no shortage of venison in our freezers.

      That will be ten dollars, please. 😀

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      10 dollars????? 😯

      …for a full course in 100 percent positive almost, maybe, sometimes usable, state of the art, non-carved in stone information?

      NO WONDER I didn’t become a college professor!


    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762

      Blame it on the economy. 😉

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Old Phart: wisdom of the ancients. 😀


      A timely reminder that our equipment is as fallible as we are and requires constant attention.


      A lengthy lecture, ah the vagaries of youth, so much to do so little time, disseminating information, knowledge and wisdom only to find that two of the three are worthless without the other but which two.
      A lecturer once told me ‘man has two eyes, two ears and one mouth, they should be used in that ratio, shut up and you might learn something’ how right he was.
      Just read my post the last comment is not directed at anyone it was made to me many years ago, I was never a good student, but I did have fun.


    • PagosaBow
      Post count: 61

      Reading this thread kinda reminded me of finding an elk in late afternoon and having to camp out to finish the hunt in the morning!

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      😆 Sorry, Pagosa!

      I don’t have answers even for myself just yet and I suspect they will be a long time coming.

      Again, no disrespect to Dr. Ashby. Without his report and decades of study and endless hours comparing results I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

      While it is only MY opinion that penetration on bone on whitetail can be reached with a lower weight arrow set up than the current 650 grains plus, I could be entirely incorrect and will gladly report that should I find it to be the case.

      These are the arrows being used this fall. Feel free to jump in and add your own LOW BOW WEIGHT, EFOC set up and results in using it on whitetail at any time.

      Arrow One;
      660grains, EFOC of 25.6 percent on a ABS Grizzlystik Sitka 29.25 inches, and a Abowyer Brown Bear, 100 grain steel adapter and 70 grain brass insert.

      Arrow Two
      565 grains, EFOC of 26.27 percent on a Gold Tip XT Hunter shaft 29.5 inches, with a 160 grain Grizzly, 100 grain steel adapter.

      Arrow Three
      Est (not weighed yet)525 Grains, EFOC of 27.5 percent, 30 inch long Patroit Missle Carbon shaft 45/60 with a ABS Brown Bear head and 100 grain steel adapter and aluminum insert.

      Part two, same shaft, approx 500 grains, EFOC of 26.67 percent with a 250 grain VPS Terminator three blade head and aluminum insert.

      As you can see, the last arrow has two subcatagories, mainly because I would be surprised for this weight to penetrate heavier whitetail bone yet I have a probably unhealthy curiousity in what EFOC does effect various heads in soft tissue hits.

      The 1.25 inch wide three blade was added mostly due to the discussions I have had with numerous, non Ashby followers, who STRONGLY prefer a three blade head believing that they do indeed create a better blood trail and prefer what was explained to me as “Id rather have a better blood trail on 99 percent of my shots and take my losses if I miss my spot and hit too big a bone to penetrate”.

      While many of us like and prefer a set up that WILL penetrate the bone threshold on the game of our choice, there will always be some that will not gear up for such and forego their “bigger hole better blood trail” philosophy.

      Since the blood trail left IS part of the Ashby studies, throwing in a differnent head design to compare blood trails can only give us more information first hand.

      However, I do apologize to those thinking that perhaps this thread has reached some sort of final and different information than Dr. Ashby’s report.

      My own decision to test the variables on only whitetail is just that, my own and I hope that others find any discoveries useful.

      With that in mind, I encourage ANYONE taking a whitetail with lower weight traditional equipment and using a EFOC set up to feel quite free in adding their information here for others to consider as well in the Ashby report itself.

      Some, perhaps think this is an attempt to “disprove” Doc’s work. It is not, and will never be an attempt to be such. It is meant truthfully to be a continuation of Doc’s testing BUT on a specific and smaller species of game animal with a MUCH lighter bow.

      The end results, those that include what it takes to break though the bone threshold on a whitetail with a light bow MAY VERY WELL BE the exact same arrow set up that Dr.Ashby’s report has already indicated.

      While in time, I will tackle ONLY what it takes to repeatedly gain such penetration on the larger bones in a whitetail, as I said previously, I also wish to see first hand what EFOC, on arrows with shafts smaller than the broadheads ferrel, adds to the equation in soft tissue and lighter bone penetration as well.

      Hopefully, somewhere in the middle is one that will do it all and have a more readily acceptable trajectory, but one MAY NOT exist.

      Shot from my 43lb Super Kodiak, the above arrows are 15.34 grains per lb, 13.4 grains per lb and approx. 12 grains per lb. NONE are what most traditional archer calls a LIGHT arrow for this bow weight yet the trajectory of the later of the three at 500 grains is pure pleasure to shoot out to 30 yards.

      Depending on the results shots give me in penetration there will of course, be changes made closing in on HOPEFULLY one combination that has shown me repeatedly superior penetration and acceptable trajectory.

      Should there be little interest in viewing this test, I will refrain from continueing to post any information HERE but will of course, include it for Dr. Ashby’s report.

      Specializing, using the Ashby Report as a guide, on whitetail specifically and shooting a low bow weight is simply a study that encompasses ALL of my big game hunting and hopefully not only help any others shooting lower bow weights, but also perhaps even offer some added information to The Ashby Report for even greater comparisons.

      Should this “study within a study” be inapropriate?? Mods? Feel free to delete at will. No harm was ever intended nor was “wasted space” a desired goal.

      It may be only MY belief and only MY area of interest that the smaller bone structure of a whitetail will require less mass from a similar “Ashby” arrow set up and from a lighter bow to breach even the largest of the bones a bowhunter’s arrow could encounter………and I will humbly accept that and discontinue my postings, without hard feelings, should the bulk of you indicate such is the case.

      God Bless!!
      Steve Sr.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Bow efficiency determines velocity.
      Bow tuning determines good arrow flight.
      Tuned Bow and arrow combination equal better penetration.
      Just looking at how much you draw (weight) does not determine the efficiency of your equipment.
      45 could be the same as 55 in a different combination with the same arrow.
      Using a two blade head and a 10 grain per inch to match your Bow weight will take you toward more penetration and better efficiency for Bowhunting.
      Stay with the 10 grain, two blade, and super tune your rig for good arrow flight, and you will kill stuff with efficiency! I cannot predict the other variables, like how far, and poor judgements. I”m talking in general terms from experience. OK, we are going to Africa and kill big stuff? OK, or even the big North American stuff? Lets start fletching the heavy arrows and buy the big heads! For here and now hunting whitetails in my area, I will shoot my 45 pd. ILF Bows which fling a sharp two blade 400 grain arrow at 175 fps. They are deadly for I do.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Thanks, Hiram

      I’ll never ever say the old standards don’t work. They obviously do, under ideal conditions and often less than ideal at some ranges. I too have experience with that set up, as well as have seen literally hundreds and hundreds of deer killed by archery equipment where more penetration certainly would have helped as well as heard stories of poor penetration shots and a lost animal.

      I am happy that none of these apply to you.

      In EVERY sport, action, job at work etc that has “worked” does not rule out any possibilities for improvement….for SOME USERS. None of us being clones of one another, we do most things differently with different results.

      Your bow tuning subject is appreciated and is discussed as well on another thread. For the expanse of my own testing, the arrows are indeed bareshafted, and cut till they group well and with or very very close to my fletched arrows.

      “Tuned Bow and arrow combination equal better penetration.” is indeed ACCURATE and I don’t think anyone is doubting such, yet these are not the ONLY things effecting penetration to some degree.

      I don’t wish to attempt to appear to DISprove anything working but only to find out, as mentioned, how the individual characteristics effect or do not effect better penetration from a lighter bow and strictly used on whitetail.

      The fact that you or 100 other people are getting “what they want” from their set up, the fact remains that there ARE in fact those out there that would like to see if there is “a little bit more” to be gained in any slight changes over “what has worked ok”.

      I have an arrow set up that works GREAT and I am comfortable hunting with it HOWEVER I have no information yet on what kind of penetration it WILL get should things go wrong.

      As I mentioned before, if only comparing WELL PLACED shots where adequate or more than adequate penetration is “usually” gotten, then there is no point in continuing.

      Regardless of how many tournaments someone wins, how well his set up is tuned, there WILL still be shots that hit in less than desired places, for various reasons. With the one expection of a broadside paunch shot, where it wouldnt matter at all, penetration increases are desirable, especially with the lower bow weights.

      Thoughts that “someone needs to learn how to shoot”, “someone needs to learn how to tune a set up”, “someone needs to only take xyz shots” that I see posted in other places quite often consists of the writer ASSUMING they know more about the person hunting AND the set up than he or she does.

      Your set up fits you and your style of hunting and you have faith in it and feel no need to consider a possible bad hit, that is great and I and many others are happy for you.

      However, not you, me, or Dr. Ed Ashby can say ONE SET UP, is the one ALL hunters should shoot and I don’t see where any of us is attmepting to do so.

      Not only is it not true and cannot be true due to distances the archer shoots, size of the “deer” they hunt, angles of the shots they take, level of excitement causing errant shots, etc, etc, etc.

      You are also correct that we cannot predict these variables of poor shots, deer movement, distances, etc and since this is true, I personally feel anything that may counter those items, should they occur,is indeed well worth a look and my time considering them.

      Even at the end of this test, only tested in my own use, and finding what “works best” for me, I will not say this is EXACTLY what you or anyone else should use but do hope any findings I have or others also considering whitetail set ups find, a few out there can use the information themselves to improve upon their set up in the manner that they wish to improve upon it.

      Like all information, even yours, Hiram, readers will choose to consider or disregard each one as they so choose.

      Please allow me to find a set up and share it with others interested……..just like just you did yours?

      There are thousands of hunters using and believing in their current set up and feel it is “Almost Perfect”. I’m willing to wager that they are not identical to yours and also based on experience.

      Those hunters will find no interest in this thread. No subject matter, no testing, no bow discussions, right wing left wing feathers, bow length, best camo, best tree stand, best deer lure discussions etc are for or meant for every single possible reader online.

      Nor is this one. It is quite rare to find anything that every bowhunter is going to agree with and / or use.

      Your own set up, by your own description is a “variation” with a 400 grain arrow being 50 grains short of “10 grains per lb” long time standard. Somehow, somewhere, something convinced you that this was indeed adequate if not “better” FOR YOU. I appreciate that addition.

      That change is not wrong, for it works for you. Some others of us simply wish to consider other things as well.

      That is what this is all about…what variations I am finding that will improve upon my light weight set up.

      Thanks again for your input.

      God Bless.
      Steve Sr.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      I’ll make up a couple 500 and 550 grain arrows with 140 grain griz heads. I will make up a couple with Zwickeys. I internally foot them with a few acc shafts I have laying around and go with a high FOC. I will shoot and test these from my 8 or so recurves I have. I will experiment in shooting these shafts with the rainbow trajectory and just see how it effects my shooting ability and range. I”ll get back to you Steve and let you know what happend. Hopefully I have enough arrows in the heavier 400 spine region to take me there.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Thanks for that. No doubt the increase in trajectory is going to be a shocker and perhaps not something you will live with. I have indicated that such a weight exsists for me as well.

      Rereading my own posts above, that is one of the issues I am addressing simply because there IS a maximum weight that I FIND shootable and my testing will be concerned with IF these “lighter” arrows and acceptable trajectory fail to perform as I would like……is there something I can do to make them do so?

      I feel I have made them as by what information I have on maximum penetration , Except for weight, which varies.

      I have attempted the highest EFOC I could get on the lighter arrows and still KEEP them lighter where they WILL give me a flatter trajectory.

      If all or any give me maximum penetration on whitetail with a questionable hit will be interesting, from my viewpoint.

      I do apprecite any findings you have if you care to share them.

      Thanks again,
      Steve Sr.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Double post, sorry.
      Thanks again,
      Steve Sr.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      One thing I remember about some of the heavier arrows I have shot, Quiet. I like that thought.
      Am makeing them up now. I have been swayed by the 3-1 Grizzly type head. I plan to order up a few and try them. I have heard they fly like darts with the proper set-up. Will get back in a few days with the weight, length and drop from 20 to 30 yds. See what my point on is.

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      We definately agree there. I’ve a few ramblings on another thread here on fletching noise as well.

      Heavy arrows certainly do have that trait. When I first shot my 500 grain arrows I was astounded as to how loud the shot was…..then realized some ding dong (me) never opened up the dinky nocks that fit on my B50 string way too tight.

      On the lighter side, let me tell you a little story (speaking of ding dongs!) on heavy arrows and my sense of humor.

      Naturally, I catch all kinds of “hoorah” from local wheelie shooters and family ones too. We devil each other about our equipment but do so for levity’s sake rather than any other. At least most the time.

      All real and logical discussions as to why I shoot heavier arrows has been chased around the bush several times yet some keep insisting that there is no reason for such heavy arrows.

      I was discussing “misses” with a few at one point and was relating that every deer I had ever missed that was total shooting error, was too high except one where I was shooting way off on my right side and didn’t get full draw. That one, naturally, I shot just a hair under.

      JOKINGLY, I added that my “heavier arrows helped me shoot lower and I rarely shoot over any now”.

      Imagine my amazement:shock: and (sorry) delight 😀 when months later I heard one of them explaining to a friend of his how my heavier arrows corrected my shooting high. :lol::lol::lol:

      After all the discussions on quiet shots, momentum etc….its seems that story was the only one that made any sense to him. Aaarghhh!

      My sense of humor created a monster that I must now “correct”.:roll: While FUNNY to me, it’s neither valid nor something I want linked to traditional archery.


      Steve Sr.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759


      You may have hit upon something, different weight arrows for varying ranges, might get a bit hectic as a beast walks towards you though.:P


    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Actually Mark, all kidding aside, I actually do that in a small way.

      In an effort to test penetration on the bone and/or heavier parts of whitetail, and unwilling to zing a few in an already taken animal, I use the 660 grainers on a few stands I have where animals can materialize at very short range, often coming towards me.

      If I DO hunt out of a treestand, those same arrows will be my first choice because of the possibility of a strong downward shot, aka spine hit.

      When in my stands like I was in the other night that is between a hay field and a bean field and deer have the option of crossing from one to another in several places at various LONGER ranges, my first pick is the lightest which is still 500-525 grains. I simply shoot it far better past 20 yards. So much so that I completely stopped shooting the 660 grain arrows beyond about 17 yards maximum while practicing.

      While I prefer NOT to shoot over 25 yards, a big buck standing broadside at a bit over, while I’m hunting from the ground isn’t one I’ll pass either, therefore the one that gives me my best long range accuracy is on the string.

      When a deer is at longer ranges, I seem to experience more time picking a shot, normally. One ones showing up at short range out of nowhere I don’t often have that option and want the heavier of the set ups for that extra confidence in greater penetration.

      It is my hope, as indicated earlier, that I will be able to take animals with all weights often enough that I can come closer to settling on only one that gives me the best of both worlds.

      If such a combination exists, I will find out in time. Should I NOT find an arrow weight, EFOC combination that gives me both acceptable trajectory and bone penetrating capabilities…….I will,no doubt, be carrying two weights in my quiver and use my own best judgement on which of the two types of shots will I most likely get in that stand.

      Not a “perfect” solution but one that I have no doubt will work most the time, FOR ME, for now. Others, I’m sure, will not find shooting two weights of arrows acceptable depending on their confidence in such and their capabilities to shoot both well at different ranges.

      Out to about 15 yards, I make no conscious change in my sight picture, regardless of which I’m shooting. Should one come in close and I still have the lightest arrow of my tests on the string I will simply cover all bets and pass on the shots requiring penetration extreme in nature.

      About the only time I would feel I have the time to switch arrows would be in a situation where the deer was at longer ranges mincing around and I happened to have chosen the heavier on upon getting in the blind. Switching to an already laid out lighter version would take little time and movement.

      If already close…….SHOOT!!!!!!!! 😀

      Not something lots would consider doing, IMHO, but doesn’t seem to be creating a problem for me …….yet. LOL

      Thanks for the input!
      Steve Sr.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Steve

      I understand the logic, heavy arrow downward trajectory. I can shoot varying weight arrows but the first one of a different weight is always a ‘sighter’ I could not shoot it with any confidence at an animal.

      I know that if I shoot only one setup I become much more consistent and confident, perhaps it comes down to experience and practice.

      Another consideration might be lighter arrow at shorter distance will have greater velocity and retained energy than the same arrow at a greater distance therefore if the lighter arrow will do the business at 20 yds it will certainly work at 5 yds.

      Although at 5-17 yds. the trajectory of a 500 grain arrow and that of a 660 grain arrow may well still be within the vitals without any change of aiming point.


    • lbman77
      Post count: 31

      Hi Steve,

      This is my first post in this forum. I’m hoping not to ramble too much, but knowing me the way I do, I most likely will, so I’ll apologize in advance.

      I ran across this thread after joining recently and found it keenly appropriate, since, over the years, there has been a LOT of hype centering around the “high speed/ low drag” archery setups (read: more technology is better).

      I have always been interested in archery, toying with it at a tender age on visitations to my dad in Oregon. Around 15 years ago, I acquired a used longbow (63# @ 28″) at a garage sale, purchased some wood arrows and points, and proceeded to fling wood downrange. At the time, I had only a rudementary understanding of spine, but no understanding whatsoever of how to properly tune a bow, and what sorts of things, like arrow length and point weight, do to arrow flight. Through regular practice, however, I as able to hit a 3d foam deer accurately out to 30 yards or so. I went Elk hunting that fall, but never got a shot at one. My previous hunting experiences started when I was 14, and I took my first and only deer, a doe, with a borrowed Remington Model 700 .308 rifle, as well as hunts with my brother in high school, and a good friend (he and his wife and I are still good friends to this day) in my early 20s, all gun hunting.

      Fast forwad a couple of years and I found myself deeply entrenched in life, with work, marriage, kids, and a, now ex, wife who was not understanding at all of my interests that took me away from home. Interests like archery, hunting, and general love for, and indeed, need for, regular forays into the great and theraputic outdoors. So, to keep the peace, I gave up those interests, but never forgot them. How does one forget that which is such a part of who they are?

      Now, 12 years, 3 kids, cross country move for my current job (WA to TX), and 1 divorce later, I have once again dusted off that old bow. This time, however, I’ll be doing it from a completely different, hopefully more educated, mindset.

      Getting to the point of discussion, I have always believed that a heavier arrow, although slower, would penetrate better than a faster, lighter arrow. I had nothing to back up my theory except experiences gained in life and various jobs. When I came across the Ashby reports, his research seemed to confirm what I have thought since I started seriously shooting 15 years ago, at least as far as total arrow weight goes. The rest of the Good Dr.’s findings simply made sense. Having used nothing but a 2 blade, double bevel broadhead and no bow kills to my credit, other than a foam target, I am really looking forward to playing around with different arrow setups and being a student of this wonderful world of traditional archery. What’s even more exciting is that my kids (2 boys, 11 and 4, and daughter, 9), have all expressed an interest! I hope to, some day, go afield with all 3 to chase whatever we can, but more importantly, help them see the value of a different type of lifestyle, a lifestyle not so fast paced and technology-driven.

      Also, Steve, I’m curious to know what you found in your research.

    • burgess
      Post count: 24

      based on the 2008 study update, part 2……….one gets the most bang for the buck with the lower weight bows when one shoots not efoc…….but uefoc…….29 to 32 %…..the few % points seem to put the lower weight bows in a whole other class when on goes up to that kind of uefoc. and…….i concur………i’m shooting a 45 # chastain at 27……actually about 43# since i have a 26 1/2 inch draw…….beman 500’s …4 fletch 60/120 3 inch fletch low profile….with a turbulator. the front end has the 250 vpa 3 blade/100 grn brass broadhead adaptor ….either screw in or glue on……with a 27 1/2 shaft……i’m running right around 29.5 % uefoc……..arrow flight is just a ball of fletch going down range…….the loose is whisper quiet…….now 90+% of all my deer kills have been at 20 yrds or less as for back as i can remember……so the curved cresent horizontal moon trajectory of this arrow from this bow really doesn’t give me much pause…….i’m comfortable with it out to 30 yrds……my point on with my gap system is 23 yrds shooting 3 under…..as for pass throughs since i went to the vpa’s last year…..[ always a simmons safari user before ] having killed only 3 deer last year…..the first doe was shot front to…….the arrow disapeared lenght wise through the torso…….the second was a bad shot [ spine ]….the doe whent down like she had been hit in the brain with a hammer……the 3rd was the awesome animal i played chess with since 2008…….it was a pass through at 11 yrds…..170 gross score ending a once in a life time game between two old warriors.

      to say i’m impressed with the uefoc arrows out of that kind of bow weight for hunting…….well…..i have no plans on ever looking back. now come the 3d summer run…….i drop way back to about a 550 shaft and foc in the low twenties…….about the only way i can hang with the crazy long range 3d shooting friends i play with. pretty much….you can see it…..you shoot it……for score and fun. by standers often get their minds blown with what a good shooter can do with a trad bow…way down range……

      but again……..the performance that the doctor was getting out of the 40 # bow was not from efoc arrows…..it was from uefoc arrows…….the few % points of difference……being really really big when it comes to performance…………if one is going the high foc route with lower weight bows……uefoc….with absolute arrow tuning is the secret.

    • Ed Ashby
      Post count: 816

      Hello Steve, great to see you back.

      Those who have heard my presentations will have heard this before but it seems to be the one thing that has never made it into any of the various YouTube videos folks have posted, even though I view it as one of the most important things folks should take away from the presentation.

      The penetration enhancing factors should be looked at as a toolbox of goodies that one can use to improve the terminal performance of their hunting arrows. Adding any one of the factors will improve the arrow setup. Added two improves it more, and so on. One should start with the two basic factors, and they should apply to every hunting arrow one uses: total arrow integrity and perfect arrow flight. From there each factor added further enhances the penetration of the structurally intact, perfect flying arrow.

      No one is saying that everyone must use every single factor. You can pick and choose which you want to use. Of course, if you want the absolute maximum in terminal performance you should try to incorporate every factor but just changing one improves your arrow setup. For example, just changing the weight distribution of your arrow from normal or high FOC to EFOC or UEFOC, without changing the overall arrow weight, will improve the terminal performance of that structurally-intact, perfect flying arrow. Similarly, merely changing from a low MA broadhead to a higher MA broadhead will the improve terminal of that arrow. Even something as simple as changing from mild-steel broadhead to one with better edge-retaining ability during penetration improves that structurally-intact, perfect flying arrow’s terminal performance.

      Just remember that the factors are ‘ranked’ in the order of overall benefit and that they build upon each other. The penetration enhancement gained by adding two factors will be greater that sum of penetration gained from adding each separately to the arrow, and so-on.

      Go get’um Steve!


    • MoSportsman
      Post count: 11

      I am new to this whole thing but I have read the reports with extreme interest and for the most part bought it hook line and sinker.

      I have hunted whitetail exclusively for 35 years. I have had some, maybe mostly complete pass throughs in my life (can’t think of but one or two that did not have an exit wound.) I have always used three blade vented heads, never over 125gr and admittedly have never truly known much about tuning. I have never really shot a bow over 65 pounds and now I am shooting a 48# recurve.

      I wanted to make sure I was going to be deadly so I started researching traditional shooting and found the Ashby reports. I like the ideas. So far I have a pretty well tuned bow shooting groups down to 4 inches at 20 yrds with bare and fletched shafts together with 30.5 inch GT 500 trad arrows, 200 grain heads. I have got 2 1/2 by 1.1 inch single bevel heads with a total weight of around 500 grains. 20% foc.

      I look forward to sharing my results in the field next fall.

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Post count: 1130

      Burgess and Mo,

      I’m surprised you guys tuned 500 spine shafts to those weight bows. I just got myself a 45# recurve and just running off the charts, I was thinking 400 would be my best bet for efoc/uefoc set up.

      I tuned some 340 spined shafts to a 40# bow a while back, just because I felt like messing around. They tuned perfectly but ended up way too heavy for the bow. I really thought 500’s would be too soft with anything around 200+ grains on the front for a bow in the 40’s.

      I was all prepared to go buy a dozen 400’s tomorrow and now you’ve filled my tiny little head with doubts 😥

      Dang it.

    • David Bartlett
      Post count: 75


      I am also shooting fairly light bows at 40# and 45#. My draw length is just about 30″, and I am using some 400 and 500 spine Carbon express shafts which will both work. I have about 300 grains on the front of the 400’s and they fly pretty good from the Super K at 45#. I have not paper tuned them, but just watching them fly I am happy enough with them. The 500’s work well from my 40# Ben Pearson and Bear recurves, with around 225-250 grains up front.

      Hold off on that dozen, maybe get a sampling and work up your own secret weapons.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Post count: 2261


      I’m shooting a 46# R/D longbow. I have tuned in Beaman ICS Bowhunter 400 with a total weight of 630 gr. I have 225 Tuffhead with a 75 gr adapter and 50 gr inserts. My old Browning Wasp at 45# won’t shoot these arrows worth a hoot. dwc

    • Brennan Herr
      Post count: 403


      I use 500s as well. I have went threw all the shaft options and they simply fly and impact the best for me. They are cut to 28.5 inches with 300 grains up front. Weak? Yes but remember the way you shoot effects it all as well.

      Good luck!

    • MoSportsman
      Post count: 11

      I am shooting about 48# @ 28″ and I am finding I am right on the line. With a standard D50 string that came with the bow I had 500 GT trads flying pretty well with 200 gr heads. I just bought a Laser Fast flight string and everything started shooting way weak. I had some full length 400s and shot them, also weak.

      I cut off the 400s to 30 inches and moved my rest closer to center from moving it way out to get the 500s to shoot (unsuccessfully). Now the 30 inch 400s are behaving like the 500s did at the same length. I guess now I am glad I bought the 400s where I was a bit miffed I bought the absolute wrong arrows in the beginning.

      Maybe now I see I was right on the line between the two weight arrows so it is difficult. I don’t know how you guys shooting off the shelf with little adjust-ability in the bow ever get things tuned in right.

Viewing 35 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.