I mainly focus on target archery, it is my passion, but I also really enjoy hunting. Hunting is what brought my family and I to the competitive side of the sport. In this article I will be going over my hunting set up and the arrow building process, as well as tuning my arrows and bow.
This year I am shooting a Bowtech Revolt X which I have named Zeke. My equipment includes a Fuse four arrow quiver, HHA King Pin sight (single pin), VaporTrail drop away rest, Bee Stinger stabilizer, Badlands Bowstrings, Victory RIP TKO 350 elite v1 shaft, 120 grain insert/outsert from Ethics Archery, 365 Archery orange wraps, GrizzlyStik Maasai 200 grain broad heads, and Nockturnal lighted nocks. This year I am switching to 4 fletch feathers. They are white Gateway 2’’ Rayzrs.
For the past three years I have been shooting heavier arrows, single bevel broadheads that are scary sharp and high FOC (front of center), and I will shoot the same system again this year. These arrows are 625 grains and 23% FOC. With 40 pounds draw weight I am able to make a good shot with great penetration and a pass through. Last year I shot my buck quartering toward me and I broke the frontside shoulder and still achieved a pass through. I have a lot of confidence as all three of the deer I have harvested used a similar setup.
I started the building process by working with Wade Grinager at Archery Country to select the right arrows and spine for my setup. I wanted close to full length arrows because I am not comfortable shooting with the broadhead close to my bow hand. I added orange 365 Archery wraps to my arrows so I could easily see them. I installed 120 grain insert/outsert from Ethics Archery. This required watching a YouTube video to learn how to sand the shaft to get the outsert to fit correctly. The next step was to paper tune the bare shaft arrows. We had never paper tuned our hunting arrows before, so this step in the process took a while to figure out how to do it. Big thanks to Jake Schlangen of Archery Country for the great after hours advice. Also having the DeadLock cam system made adjustments faster and simpler. I then fletched my arrows using a Bitzenburger fletching jig.
For the rest of the tuning process I utilized Tim Gillingham’s Gold Tip videos on Super Tuning that are posted on YouTube. The first thing I did was spray one arrow’s fletchings and the arrow rest with foot powder. This allowed me to see if the fletching was contacting the rest. Luckily we were good. Next, I made sure all of my nocks were in line with a fletching. I marked the top of the nock and the top of the shaft with a marker so I knew my starting point. Then, I shot 6 arrows through paper at 5 yards on a horizontal line. We numbered the arrows and shot them in order. Next, I rotated the nocks 90 degrees and shot them through paper again below my first shots. I repeated this step two more times. This process identifies the nock-to-spine position that results in the best arrow flight for that arrow. Once I had shot all six of my arrows through paper with each of the four fletching straight up, I had a paper with 24 arrow holes through it. I identified which paper tears looked even or like bullet holes. Arrows 1, 2, 5, and 6 had a perfect bullet hole with even fletching tears on the first row. Arrow 3 had a bullet hole on the third line, and arrow 4 on the fourth row. I rotated the nock to the position it shot the best and marked the arrow and nock so I would always know how to nock that arrow.
The next step in this process is broadhead tuning. Broadhead tuning is getting the broadhead to fly like the field point. First, I put a piece of tape horizontally on the target and sighted in on it at 20 yards for elevation. Then, I shot on a vertical piece of tape for adjusting left and rights. Next, I shot a broadhead. It hit low and right compared to the field points so I moved my rest down and right to correct this. After I moved my rest I resighted in again with my field points. Once the field points were good I shot another broadhead. I repeated this step until both my field points and broadheads flew and hit the same.
My last step was to sight in my bow at hunting distances. Due to my lower poundage (40 pounds) and heavy arrows, I make a custom sight tape. I create marks for 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 yards. I know I could shoot farther with lighter arrows because I shoot 50 meters in competition, but my blinds are set up for short shots and I have had good luck with this set up before. I know I can make an ethical shot within 25 yards and have plenty of penetration to get the job done. I am excited to apply what I have learned from this process to my target arrows. Tuning is a lot of time and work, but I can tell I will be more successful and confident. I appreciate my dad’s help with this process and I am excited for deer season to start. Less than 1 month to go!