Tips & Tactics

Speed Isn’t Everything

Speed Isn’t Everything

By Ken Piper

Both gun hunters and bowhunters favor a flat-shooting projectile. The flatter a bullet or arrow travels, the less the hunter has to worry about aiming high or low to compensate for varying distance to the target.

Unless you’re hunting out West or on large greenfields, most firearms shots don’t require compensation. And if you do hunt in locations that include long-distance shots, a quick check of a ballistics chart will help you match up the right bullet for the expected situation. In addition, virtually all the scope manufacturers offer reticles matched to specific calibers and loads, taking all the guesswork out of longer shots.

Bowhunters, on the other hand, can change their trajectory and speed dramatically by adjusting any number of factors on their equipment: poundage, arrow type, arrow length, broadhead weight, fletching length, etc.

Unfortunately, many bowhunters seem to forget that penetration is the key to reaching the vitals. Simply put, fast, light arrows (or bullets) do not penetrate as well as heavier versions.

A flat-shooting bow certainly provides more room for error when determining distance to a buck, but try to find a happy medium between speed and energy. It’s usually best to give up at least a little speed and go with a heavier arrow/broadhead combination.

Today’s compound bows are faster than ever, allowing 300-plus fps speeds. Crossbows that produce 400-plus fps arrows are now commonplace. Experiment with a heavier broadhead, or add a little weight to your arrow. Chances are you can find a combination that still provides flat shooting and also offers increased penetration.

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