From the earliest days of hunting to the present, choosing an arrow has always been a crucial part of ensuring success out in the field. With modern advancements in technology, arrow blades have become precision instruments that are finely tuned for very precise uses. The types of arrow blades that an archer needs vary greatly depending upon what type of game that he is going after or whether he is planning on participating in an archery competition. As is the case with most outdoor activities, the key to choosing an arrow blade is determining precisely how it will be used.
Arrow Blades for Hunting
When it comes to hunting with a bow and arrow, most hunters prefer to use arrow blades called field points for medium to large sized game, but the type of arrow point you need depends upon both personal preference and your choice of prey. In the case of large prey like bears and deer, you need an arrow blade that is going to penetrate through a maximum amount of meat and bone to kill the animal in one shot. In the case of bears in particular, you want to be sure that your arrow will be able to take down the animal before it has a chance to make a charge. A three bladed broadhead field point is a great choice for taking down a black bear, while a two bladed broadhead arrow point is more appropriate for hunting deer. Muzzy and Magnus are two of the more reliable manufacturers of arrow blades for hunting big game.
Hunting smaller sized game such as rabbits and birds is an entirely different matter. With small game, it is pretty likely that you will bring down your prey with any direct hit, and the type of arrow blade that you would use when going after large game will destroy a large amount of the meat on a smaller animal. According to most experienced hunters, the best types of arrow blades to use when hunting prey like rabbits are judo points. Judo points are an unusual looking arrow blade that has a blunt tip and small, spring activated arms that claw into the prey upon impact. The only bad thing about judo points is that they have a habit of getting snagged on branches if they are shot into dense brush. Zwickey is easily the most popular manufacturer of judo points.
Although it is a sport that is fading in popularity, there are still some bowhunting enthusiasts who use a bow and arrow in order to hunt fish. The ideal arrow blades for hunting for fish are bowfishing points with a very slender tip and dual reversible barbs that snare the fish upon impact. Muzzy, Cajun and Penetrator all have lines of great bowfishing points.
Arrow Blades for Archery Competitions
As you might expect, the type of arrow blades that are used in official archery competitions bare little resemblance to the arrow blades that are used for hunting. When you are looking for perfect accuracy and do not need to actually kill a live target, the type of arrow blade that you need is determined a combination of the laws of physics and personal preference.
While professional archers are fiercely opinionated when it comes to their equipment, the best arrow blades for a casual archer to use in competitive events are known collectively as target points. Target points are typically made of solid steel or aluminum. While aluminum target points are considerably lighter and travel faster, many archers prefer steel target points because their extra heft seems to feel more solid while being handled. Other than a range of different colors, a selection of different target points may appear identical to the untrained eye, but an experienced archer will be able to spot the minute differences in shape that are ideal for his arrows and personal style.
In short, the type of arrow blades that you need are determined by a combination of what you are doing with your equipment and your own personal tastes. As an archer gains experience out in the field, the types of arrow blades that he chooses often becomes a particularly personal matter. While it is best to stick to the basics when you are first starting out, do not be afraid to shake things up a bit and discover which arrow blades work best for you.