As many of our regular readers know, one of the things that make Archery Business and Bowhunting World special is our real-world, “tell it like it is” field-testing of cutting-edge bowhunting equipment. Editors Mike Strandlund and Mark Melotik took to the Florida swamps this past July to do just that. We were lucky enough to be among the first to shoot the brand-new Deep Six arrow/broadhead technology from respected archery industry companies Easton and New Archery Products.
The goal of our eager group of eight? Wade into the lush palmetto-, mosquito-, and gator-filled swampland of Central Florida and test the effectiveness of Easton’s new ultra-thin-diameter Deep Six technology Injexion arrows—fitted with several different custom-designed Deep Six broadheads specially made to fit the new shafts by accessories specialist New Archery Products. The results were eye-opening. Just over two days later, a total of 14 burly feral hogs had fallen to the unique cutting-edge weaponry (pun intended) that all bowhunters need to know about.
Easton’s new Deep Six arrows include two models, both of which are much smaller in diameter than even the ground-breaking Easton Axis: The all-carbon Carbon Injexion ($85 per 6 w/2-inch Blazer vanes), and the A/C (Alloy/Carbon) Injexion ($150 per 6 w/Blazer vanes)—made with a 1206 Aerospace Core with a carbon overwrap much like Easton’s legendary A/C/C arrow that’s been around for years.
The primary difference these new shafts bring to the table? Ultra-small diameters (just .236-inch compared to .294-inch for a “standard diameter” carbon arrow) balanced with enough mass weight to cut through wind for better long-distance accuracy—and upon contact with game animals, deliver deeper, deadlier penetration.
Helping get that job done are four new broadheads designed specifically for the new shafts by NAP, based on many of their most popular heads. But there are significant differences, including a stronger, thinner ferrule custom-built to fit the tiny shafts. The four new heads include two mechanicals: the Spitfire Maxx and BloodRunner 2, and two fixed-blade heads: the Thunderhead Razor and Big Nasty. All are available in 100 grains, and feature a suggested retail price of $40 per 3—the same price as NAP’s other premium, standard broadheads.
Osceola Outfitters owner Hoppy Kempfer knows a lot about the toughness of Florida hogs, and he also was impressed with our experimental hunt results. Over the past 16 years Kempfer’s hunters have taken an average of “well over 300 hogs” per year (hunting all 12 months), with plenty of groups shooting a total of 15 hogs. Although many use bows, most use guns of some type. And very few groups approach the 14 hogs recovered versus 16 hogs shot ratio [88 percent recovered] of our group using only bows and Deep Six technology.
Consider Kempfer’s hog harvest numbers closely and you find that his hog hunters average about a 70-percent recovery rate, or about 10.5 hogs recovered for every 15 shot. Compare that to our group’s 88 percent recovery rate—an 18-percent increase—and you have some very exciting news for bowhunters everywhere.
Looking for a great feral hog, gator, Osceola turkey, or deer hunt? Do yourself a favor and check out Hoppy Kempfer and his fine staff at Osceola Outfitters (www.osceolaoutfitters.com) near St. Cloud, Florida—about an hour and a half from Orlando by car. A more skilled and professional team would be hard to find.