Blood trails and quick kills are important when hunting all animals, and especially bears. After the shot, we desire an animal down in sight or a heavy blood trail letting you know the animal will be laying dead a short distance away. Following a sparse blood trail an unknown distance to a bear that may or may not still be alive isn't something any hunter should experience.
With bears, getting good blood trails can be difficult due to their long hair that soaks up blood and thick fat that can plug up entry and exit holes. All Iron Will broadheads are made with extremely sharp and tough A2 Tool Steel which will cut hide, bone, and blood vessels all the way through getting you maximum blood loss and that exit hole necessary for a great blood trail.
With our standard V and S series broadheads, we've seen great penetration, quick kills, and good blood trails. In testing our Wide broadheads, we saw that they produced similar excellent penetration on bears and were able to produce better blood trails from the additional tissue cut.
Many bear hunters have used mechanical broadheads with the thought that their wide cut will produce a quicker kill and larger blood trail. Mechanicals inherently have a very high force to penetrate and weaker blades which can result in no exit hole, especially when hitting the near side or far side shoulder. Outfitters have told us how difficult this can be to find the bear when there is a high entrance hole and no exit hole. Blood coming from that high entry hole can easily get caught up in a bear's thick hair and not make it to the ground. This results in a difficult tracking job and lack of evidence that the bear will be dead as you search the thick cover ahead.
Iron Will Wide Broadheads produce a huge 2 1/8" total cut without significant sacrifice to penetration when hunting bears.
In bear hunting, we've found that shot placement needs to be a little different than when hunting elk or deer. A bear's vitals are further back, and you can actually shoot in front of the heart or lungs if shooting too tight to the leg or shoulder bone. Many outfitters we talk with will say to shoot for that "middle of middle," meaning between the front and rear legs, right in the middle front and back and top to bottom. We typically aim just slightly forward of this but not all the way to the crease. This will give you a great chance at going through both lungs and getting that quick kill we all look for with a bear.
"The shot was 22 yards, slight quartering away. I was shooting a 520 grain arrow at 63 pounds. The Iron Will went in right behind the right shoulder, and exited in front of the left shoulder. The arrow was stuck 6" in the ground behind the bear. We did not gut the bear but I'm certain it was a front of the lungs and heart shot. The blood trail was the bloodiest I have ever seen in 40 plus years of bow hunting. We easily found the bear about 100 yards from the shot."
"When my bear finally presented me with a shot, he was 35yds and broadside. As the grizzly moved into position, I drew back and split my 30 and 40 yard pin just behind the front shoulder and launched my arrow! Almost in slo-mo, I watched the bear jump and roar as my arrow zipped completely through him, taking out both lungs and burying itself in the tundra. The bear only ran 60 yards before letting out a death moan and piling up!"
SKINNING BEAR HIDE
When it comes to preserving a bear's hide, avoid accidental holes by using the right knife for the job. We made our K2 Ultralight Skinning Knife with a large sweeping radius and minimal thickness behind the edge for smooth, easy cuts without poking holes through the hide. Multiple grip orientations and under 2 ounce weight, make it very effective and easy to use. And when it comes to your most special hunts, commemorate the occasion with custom engraving.
Bear Hunting Knife
For those hide entry cuts, meat cuts, and caping around the skull, the do-it-all K1 Ultralight Hunting Knife is ideal. With a bear's thick hide, we love the sharp top edge on the K1 so we're not dulling our main blade before we get through the animal's hair.