Superior Broadhead Penetration on Yukon Moose

Superior Broadhead Penetration on Yukon Moose

Well, if you’re reading this, then maybe you’re considering buying Iron Will Broadheads. If so, just do it. Need convincing? Then read on…

I’m as passionate about backcountry archery hunting as I am about designing and building fine furniture. I research and buy the best edged tools I can, every tool is hand sharpened and its edge polished to a mirror finish. I have zero tolerance for crap steel that masquerades as something it isn’t. Hand plane enough wood and chop enough mortises in tough, hard maple, or exotic lumber like African bubinga and you’ll learn to tell good steel from crap. My chisels and plane blades are mainly D-2 steel, Japanese white steel, Japanese blue steel, or the same A-2 steel that machinists rely on and Iron Will uses in its broadheads. Steel selection choice is important, but even more important is the heat treatment/quenching process used to extract maximum performance from blade steels.  Iron Will has that figured out too.

Why I chose an Iron Will broadhead:

Steel- Iron Will uses A-2 steel for its broadheads, the same A-2 steel used by the best hand plane makers for their blades (even when money is no object).

Heat treatment/Cryo-quenching- Iron Will invests the time and money needed to give every one of its broadheads the same heat treatment and liquid nitrogen cryogenic quenching processes used by the best bladesmiths to create hard, yet tough blade steel.

Sharpening- Iron Will not only sharpens their broadheads, they take their edges to a mirror finish, making the intersection of each bevel into an absolute razor.

Blade configuration/Edge geometry- I spent almost an hour on the phone with Iron Will’s founder, discussing his cut-on-contact samurai tanto-tip blade design-- and that was after I spent countless hours learning from published papers on the merits of single bevel vs. double bevel, etc. In the end, I was completely convinced that Bill’s engineering and testing proved his design and build to be superior. 

Ferrule strength- every broadhead I’ve used prior to Iron Will had either an aluminum ferrule or mild steel ferrule. I wanted max strength, Iron Will uses either hardened stainless steel or Grade 5 Titanium (the stuff the military uses). I don’t think there’s a tougher ferrule out there.

Confidence- All of the above combined to give me the confidence that as long as I did my part, this broadhead would not let me down.

The Bottom Line: What did I get after all my research, after spending more than I would have for mass produced broadheads from a big-box retailer? Exactly what I expected, performance…

I arrived home 3am Monday, October 11th, 2017 from a successful Yukon archery moose hunt, my buddy and I both tagged out on big bull moose early on the 4th day of a 7-day hunt.

Everything about a mature Yukon/Alaska bull moose is huge, they are probably 30”+ thick through the chest, they weigh 1,200 -1,600 pounds, their fur and hide are many times thicker and tougher than deer hide and notably thicker than elk,  their ribs are almost as big as your wrist. Spend all year in the gym training, hike miles in the mountains training with a loaded pack, invest countless hours at the range, practicing. You can’t take a chance that your broadhead will let you down after you put in all that work. If you fail to recover a wounded animal you shot during a guided Yukon hunt; well, you had your chance and YOUR hunt is OVER. You won’t get a free do-over or a mulligan. I shoot a 60lb Bowtech Experience, 27.5” draw, 400 grain Victory VAPs, lighted nocks, Titanium inserts, 125g Iron Will broadheads. I wanted total penetration and zero worry about a blade or broadhead ferrule bending or breaking if I hit bone.

My bull was mature, large bodied and carried a 61” antler spread. I shot him twice at full broadside and both were kill shots. First shot was a double lung pass-through at about 35-40 yards. That broadhead went through him so fast he didn't even blink. Second shot, about 15 seconds later at 25-30 yds, again a double lung pass through. The second arrow passed through him with such remaining speed/energy that it completely split a 2” sapling 20 feet on the other side of him (see photo). Bull trotted about 60 yards into the middle of a small river, stood there about 10-20 seconds and dropped. 

I’ve attached photos of the bull, picture of the lungs with both arrow entries (arrow in photo is not the arrow I shot, since I had not recovered either of those yet) and a photo of the second arrow/broadhead I shot- which split a sapling after passing through almost 3 feet of bull. Lungs/hide, etc. are not all that bloody looking since he died in the river and we had to work him up in the flowing water.

What do average broadheads cost? $35-$50 for three? For about twice the money, you can have the best you can buy. Once I had all the facts, my decision was easy.

Best of luck on YOUR hunt!