2020 bowhunting prep

Ron Kulas

Active Member
Ive dedicated the last 2 bowhunting seasons to using 250 grain, 3 blade Woodsman broadheads and enjoyed fantastic results and while my bowhunting season still has a couple months left, my results over the last 2 seasons have been 15 deer, including several P&Y whitetails, a giant bull elk, a Russian boar and zero wounding loss (100% recovery rate) And in nearly every case, I watched the animal expire requiring no tracking. On top of that, I was able to take 9 deer with the same woodsman head (re-sharpen and re-use) so, to say that I am impressed and pleased with the Woodsman head is an understatement.

That being said, I have broadhead ADHD and usually dedicate a couple seasons to a broadhead to evaluate it before testing/evaluating another broadhead. Most recently I did exactly that with Slick tricks and Muzzy Phantom heads (both of those heads were also stellar performers that I wholeheartedly endorse and recommend) Over 45+ years of bowhunting Ive learned a great deal about broadhead lethality and especially what happens and how wild game acts from the time the broadhead enters until the animal expires. (I average about 14 seconds from impact to downed).

The shorter heads with more steep blade angles cause game animals to run rather because they know they have been hit vs game hit with long and slender heads that seem to slide through game with them almost under-reacting and often times stopping after a short sprint to look back and what the disturbance was. Typically they fall where they stop to look back. Ive come to prefer the longer heads that slip through game with effortless ease vs those that deliver a audible "Whack" or "Thump" at impact as they seem to cause longer run time and recovery distances. (just another reason I dont bother with mech heads) as a guy that does suburban deer culling for my municipality, I need deer down asap and I must have a pass through so no mech heads for me.

As I prepare for the 2020 and 2021 bowhunting seasons and additional species and states I will hunt and perhaps even a bowhunting trip to Africa, I’ve just ordered 4, 3-packs of the next head I will put to the test. Once again I will stick with a fixed blade broadhead as I see no worth or value in mechanical heads for the obvious reasons. The twist on this broadhead selection is that even though its called the Palmer Extreme, its nearly a return to the Muzzy Phantom Ive had so much success with in the mid 2000’s. In fact, the Palmer Extreme is made for Palmer by Muzzy (Feradyne) but it has a few changes such as more weight (160 grains vs the 125 grain I used in the past) more width (1 7/16” wide vs the 1 1/8” I used in the past).

Ive always been a fan of 4 blade broadheads and while the 3 blade Woodsman did a fantastic job for me, I like that 4th blade of the Palmer Extreme. My prior experience with the Muzzy Phantom proved that I could kill 7 deer with the same head (shoot and re-sharpen and re-use) and I expect the larger, heavier Palmer Extreme to be just as durable.

I enjoy sharpening my own heads and in fact started an entire company based on broadhead sharpening so Ive got no issue with getting them surgical sharp, over and over since Ive done it with the Phantoms. I will swap out the aluminum inserts in my arrows with brass to boost the weight closer to 200 grain up front as I get improved flight and performance when my FOC it 20% or more. I'll stick with the same 500+ grain total arrow package and 65 pounds of draw weight since its a proven penetrator on all species. Time to start preparing for the next bowhunting season. I hope to have these new Palmers in a week so I can begin to prepare for the fast approaching 2020 traveling hunts.


Pretty insightful, thanks for the write-up!
A couple of questions that you may or may not have answers to; are you having plaining or tuning problems with such large broadheads, and have you noticed a difference in taste or toughness of animals shot with short/steep blades vs long/shallow blades?
I have not yet got these heads. I only placed the order today. No, I have not experienced any meat quality issues based on the broadhead used.
Look similar to the Old Bear Razor that had One Big Blade and a Smaller Insert Blade that was replaceable.

Watching them Drop is a well used term that should be up for more discussion. Meaning in the Open Woods of the Northern States after the leaves fall, you can watch them drop out to 100 or more yards. In the Thick Dense Woods of the Southern States like Florida if your gonna watch them drop they better do it in 20-30 yards.

This year I used Grim Reapers Crossbow Heads and the Buck I shot was a complete Broadside Shot at 30 yards. There was that loud CRACK As the Blades deployed. The Deer ran and dropped in about 40-50 yards, yet was out of my sight even though I heard him crash. The Doe was a slight angle and the CRACK was not as loud and she ran well out of sight within 10 yards as she crossed into a Brush Row and turned right. I ended up needing a dog to track her due to the rain. But she made it about 100-120 yards.

Interesting was to examine the Heads to find ZERO Damage. After cleaning the heads thoroughly they were still working like new and were actually still sharp. I used my Sharpening Tool and was able to give the Blades a Razor Sharpness again. I kept them to use them again. This was my First Mechanical I would of done that with, and had read reviews from others that were able to do the same thing.
BTW Grim Reapers, as far as I know, are the only Mechanical Head to Not Use a Rubber Band or Plastic Sleeve to hold the blades in place. Instead they use Internal Springs that hold the blades until pressure is placed against them. You can test them by opening each blade and close it- feeling the click as they lock in position.

Worth a look IMO.
The 4 packs of heads arrived today.


These are some seriously big heads. (1 7/16" wide)

Here is the palmer 160 compared to some other heads.

Tooth of the Arrow.


Slick Tricks


Muzzy Phantom




A broadhead this wide has to spin true and these do.

When the wind dies down and the temps warm a bit I will flight test them.
Last edited: