For most bowhunters, regardless of experience level, the quest for maximum penetration is priority number one. Unfortunately, the lion's share of information and resources available (whether it be the local shop, YouTube or social media) are all steered towards promotion of a certain product or products. These resources, cleverly disguised as unbiased product “testing” and/or an organic “discovery” of the latest and greatest (enter revolutionary widget X here), when you strip it down, it’s really just a commercial.
Day Six was started for one reason and one reason only; to help bowhunters become more successful, in spite of the hunting industry, by creating products that actually contribute to the hunter’s success, rather than padding a corporate bottom line. We manufacture gear by utilizing processes and materials that are just not possible for companies only interested in profit. But it’s not all about the gear.
Every day our mission gets harder and harder to achieve as “marketing companies” disguised as archery manufacturers send forth their army of influencers, “experts”, and gurus to flood all available platforms with “data”, “testing”, and of course the unbiased reviews. We truly empathize with todays bowhunter as they attempt to filter through all the information out there to achieve the common goal we all have, be the most efficient and successful as possible in the field.
To that end, we have comprised what we feel are the twelve factors needed to achieve maximum penetration on big game and here they are in order of importance.
1. Arrow flight
2. Arrow flight
3. Arrow flight
4. Arrow flight
5. Arrow flight
6. Arrow flight
7. Arrow flight
8. Arrow flight
9. Structural integrity
10. Arrow mass
11. Broadhead efficiency
12. Arrow geometry/reduced diameter
As you can see, we have a very strong opinion on the importance of arrow flight with the actual gear falling towards the bottom of the list. In a nutshell, arrow flight is 90% of what generates maximum penetration and all the other things comprise the remaining 10% but that’s where all the goobers on the internet direct their focus. Why is that you ask? It’s simple, you can’t package and sell the majority of factors that contribute to good arrow flight, ie. a tuned bow (not just paper tuned but that’s for another time), a proper release, a myriad of other variables, but most importantly the grip hand and applying consistent, repeatable pressure to reduce torque.
Arrow flight is EVERYTHING! So what’s the easiest way to achieve great arrow flight consistently, for us it boils down to bare shafts. The bare shaft has no mercy, no tolerance for error, and will show you exactly what you are doing wrong. If archers would practice with bare shafts instead of fletched arrows, it would force them to perfect their complete system with every shot. The fletched arrow is the enabler of the mediocre, it’s the make-up covering one’s flaws, it’s a participation trophy....you showed up, you shot some groups, but you’re still far from winning.
In a former life I spent a little time in a race car and during practice sessions we would set the car up to be really loose so it took major focus to keep it out of the wall. As a result of practicing with a very unforgiving set up, once the car was dialed in correctly I would be incredibly smooth and consistently fast. The concept of practicing with bare shafts is the same premise.
It is important to note that you should never shoot bare shafts with broadheads, only field points.
In future articles we will discuss proper bow tuning, shot execution, and several other aspects to achieve the best arrow flight possible. We will also discuss the gear and while secondary to arrow flight, still all important factors to optimum penetration and success. We just want to get the message out there first that the gear isn’t a magic bean that will solve all problems, rather attempt to get hunters focused on what’s truly important and within their control regardless of budget constraints.
Having trouble getting good flight with your bare shafts? Pick up the phone and give us a call. It’s why we do what we do as we love helping folks get where they need to be.
Bryan Broderick - Day Six Gear