Why must Bowhunters use Broadhead Points when Hunting Big Game?

Note: If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you

Big game hunters use broadheads. Why? Because it’s impossible to kill big game with a field point! Broadheads provide a large cutting surface, which increases the likelihood of a quick, clean kill. Also, most states have regulations in place that permit big game hunting only when using broadheads.

Furthermore, many states require broadheads to have a minimum diameter and number of cutting edges when hunting big game during archery season. 

So why must bow hunters use broadhead points? It’s because of the hunting regulations in place, and quite frankly, there is no way you could take big game animals with a field point! The broadhead is the only arrowhead that may be used to hunt big game! 

A typical broadhead has razor-sharp blades – cutting through tissues and blood vessels – causing as much damage as quickly as possible. On impact, these large cutting surfaces create a large wound channel.

Different Kind of Broadheads

Broadheads can be divided into three basic types. Fixed blades, removable blades, and mechanical broadheads. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

It is essential that broadheads be sharp, durable, and matched to your equipment and the size of the game being hunted. After each hunting practice and before going into the field, sharpen the blades and inspected for damage or wear.

Fixed Blades

G5 Outdoors Montec 100 Grain Carbon...

G5 Montec Carbon Steel

Fixed blade broadheads are regarded as the most reliable and durable. They come in one piece. There are fixed blades with a cut-on-contact tip or chisel point – There are no moving parts, so there is less chance of malfunction. Additionally, they tend to hold their shape better than other styles.

However, if a blade or point is damaged, the whole broadhead will become useless.  

Removable Blades

Muzzy 225-MX3-3, Bowhunting 100 Grain,...

Muzzy MX-3 Removable Blades

While not being as sturdy as fixed blade broadheads, they still offer an excellent overall material quality. If the body of the head is not damaged, a ruined blade does not mean that the whole broadhead is ruined.

For instance, if an elk hunter were to damage a blade, they could remove the damaged blade and replace it with another. Obviously, this is not an option with fixed blade heads.

Mechanical (expandable) Blades

OTW B34 Hunting Broadhead 2 Spring Slide...

OTW B34 Hunting Broadhead

The use of mechanical broadheads has become increasingly popular with archery hunters as technology develops and design becomes more sophisticated. Broadheads provide a wider cutting surface than fixed blade broadheads. They fly like a field point and are generally believed to be more accurate than their regular counterparts. 

Throughout the past decades, mechanical broadheads have garnered much discussion due to their opening movement after hitting their target.

Mechanical broadheads help shooting long distances out of higher poundage bows since they fly like a field point and are generally more accurate. Mechanical broadheads also give the shooter a choice between cut-on-impact broadheads and a chisel point.

read.. best broadheads for big game review

Talking Broadheads: Fixed Blade vs. Mechanical with Scott & Angie Denny, and PJ Reilly

Just keep in mind that you are losing energy when your broadhead opens upon impact. I would advise a draw weight of at least 60 pounds when using mechanical broadheads. 

Cut-On-Contact Broadheads

Cutting-on-contact broadheads are suitable for all bows and are especially recommended for lighter bows for maximum penetration. Cutting tips are designed to slice thick, tough hide and blast through large bones with minimum resistance. Good draw weight and heavy arrows are undoubtedly helpful. 

Chisl Tip Broadheads 

The advantage of the chisel point is that it can handle rigid bones such as shoulder or rib bones. It “clears” a way for the blades and helps the arrow to be not so easily deflected. The disadvantage is that the arrow has to travel fast to pierce through bones, and due to this, it is not recommended for use with less powerful bows.

Broadheads kill through massive Blood Loss

Broadheads are designed to cut as much tissue as possible. They also have a greater surface area compared to standard field tips. This makes them immediately effective on impact. Hunters need to establish a good blood trail, which is vital when tracking wounded game in the woods. 

That’s something to keep in mind when choosing smaller diameter broadheads that leave a smaller wound channel. As small broadheads penetrate better, they will leave smaller wound channels, resulting in less trailing blood.

Keep Broadheads Razor-Sharp

I talked about it before. Keep your broadhead razor-sharp! Use a special wrench to screw on broadheads. You do not want to hurt yourself. Additionally, broadheads should be covered by a quiver. Be careful when field dressing and the broadhead still remains in the animal. 

How To Sharpen Broadheads

If the blades are replaceable, you can just swap them out with new ones. Re-sharpening fixed and replaceable blades is always an option – as long as there are no apparent nicks or burrs. To sharpen broadheads, you can use a special broadhead sharpener, stick, or stone. Some people use a file to get the blades back into shape.

Scott Bestul over at fieldandstream.com revealed a neat trick to ensure symmetrical sharpening. He advises to “color in each beveled edge with a permanent marker” and then “simply work the bevels against the sharpener until the marker is gone, and recolor as necessary until the edge is sharp…”

Source: https://www.fieldandstream.com/how-to-keep-sharpest-edges-on-broadheads/


Why do hunters use broadheads when hunting big game? First of all, hunting regulations require it. Second, broadheads provide a large cutting surface, increasing the likelihood of a quick, clean kill. And third, there is no way you could take big game with a field point! 

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

Leave a Comment