By BRE LINSTROMBERG COOPER | Jacksonville Journal-Courier
CARROLLTON, Ill. (AP) — With hunting season in Illinois on the horizon, two Greene County brothers are ready to take their shot, marketing a broadhead of their own invention that they believe will change the way bow hunters operate.
“There is nothing on the market that will kill a deer as fast as this broadhead,” said Kenny Isringhausen of Carrollton, who designed the arrow tip with his brother, Jerry, also of Carrollton. “(Other broadheads) slice, they make little cuts. When you cut yourself, you bleed. But imagine a big paper punch, taking that to your arm. Imagine how fast you would bleed. A hole is very different than a slice.”
A three-blade fixed broadhead fitted with a ring, the Isringhausen's Fire `N The Hole brand cuts a 1-inch hole through an animal's flesh, bone and vital organs, causing the animal to die within seconds. Gory as it may sound, the animal suffers less when it is struck by his broadhead as opposed to others, said Kenny, and hunters are saved the trouble and uncertainty of tracking an animal as it bleeds out.
“I hate losing deer. I hate hitting a deer and wounding it and having it run around all over the place,” said Kenny, a life-long hunter. “To me, that's just stupid, but you've got guys who will say, `Well, it happens every once in a while.' Well, it shouldn't.”
An animal struck by the Isringhausen brothers' broadhead will travel an average of 30 yards before it dies, Kenny said. It is common for a bow hunter not using the Fire `N The Hole tip to track an animal from 80 to 90 yards through hills and brush before claiming it.
“The only thing that matters to me is, does (the broadhead) kill an animal quickly?” he said. “And that's what I designed it to do.”
Inspiration struck Kenny one evening about four years ago as he was leaving his office in Jerseyville, where he operates an anti-freeze recycling business.
As he was closing his shop, a parts catalog, specifically, a picture of a step down drill bit, a solid cone on a shaft designed to cut a hole to a certain diameter, caught his eye.
“I see that over there and the thought came into my head, `That would be a cool broadhead,”' Kenny said. “So, I walked out of my office and took about three steps and it literally stopped me in my tracks. In my head, it was like, `Well, why don't you just make it?'
“I got in my truck to head home and, by the time I got outside of Jerseyville, I had the design in my head.”
Kenny sketched a design and took it to Jerry, a machinist at JMI in Jacksonville. The brothers soon had a prototype of their broadhead.
About six weeks after that, they tested their broadhead in timber just south of Carrollton.
“The first night . (Jerry) called me on his cellphone and said, `I'm done.' I said, `What do you mean you're done?”' said Kenny. “He said, `I'm done shooting any other broadhead.”'
Kenny worked to get the invention patented and secured arrangements with manufacturers to make parts, blades, tips, ferrules, and, most important, rings. The brothers produced a small batch of their broadheads to test the market.
The putting-together of the device is a family affair involving not just the brothers but their children and mother coming together in Jerry's workshop to assemble and package the broadheads.
“It's 100 percent family and it probably always will be,” Kenny said.
One influential member of the family is missing from the Isringhausens' workshop production line. Fred Isringhausen, Kenny and Jerry's father, died in 2005.
It was Fred who taught the men to hunt when they were boys, imparting to them through the years his wisdom on hunting safety and the morals wrapped up in the hunt.
“Dad told us all when you go to squeeze that trigger, you owe that animal enough respect to put him down where he's standing,” Kenny said. “Now, that's not always going to happen, but you've got to make the best shot you can because you owe it to that animal not to have him run around wounded, not to take hours or days or even weeks to die. The whole group of us can't stand wounding anything.
“(Dad) would eat this up,” Kenny said of the Fire `N The Hole brand.
In 2011, Kenny and several boxes of the Isringhausen brothers' broadheads made the rounds at trade shows in the area, selling more than 2,000 broadheads.
The brothers advertise nationwide with a television commercial and have created a website and a Facebook page promoting their product, which also is sold at Outrageous Outdoors and Discount House, both in Jerseyville, and Southwest Archery in Piasa.
Come Oct. 1, the start of white-tailed deer hunting season in the stat, Kenny plans to test his invention on a crossbow. He's certain his broadhead will work well with a crossbow, but “if it doesn't work, I know exactly how to fix it,” he said.
He also has in mind designs for two other broadheads, but those ideas will wait, he said, while he and his brother focus on promoting the Fire `N The Hole brand.
It's a product, Kenny believes, consumers must use for themselves to appreciate.
“Right now,” he said, “we're to the point where all we need is for people to know that this exists.”
Source: Jacksonville Journal-Courier