The True Force Behind Lethal Arrow Shots


Discussions about lethal arrows in bowhunting usually involve weight and speed, resulting in kinetic energy numbers from about 50 to 100 ft./lbs. These figures are often stated in crossbow advertisements as well, yet Bill Badgley believes there is a better measurement of the ability of your arrow to ethically take big game: momentum. Speed, in the kinetic energy equation, is squared, giving it a disproportionate importance in Badgley’s opinion. Calculations for momentum, on the other hand, use speed as a contributing factor relative to its importance. This weight vs. speed argument has been going on for decades, yet Badgley’s argument for momentum may change your mind. Check out his thorough post and the reaction of many who have read it.

2009-06-13 Booner Bucks-0005Lethal shots without wounding deer are every ethical hunter’s top priority, and shot placement and an understanding of anatomy are paramount. However, momentum should be the most important part of arrow selection if we want to achieve every ethical bowhunter’s top priority.  The archery industry and too many bowhunters have a fascination with the speed of an arrow. If 3-D shooting is your only quest, speed is the major factor, and you don’t need to be concerned with momentum. If you are a deer hunter striving for quick, clean, humane kills, then it’s all about momentum… [continued]

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.