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Considering the Pros, Cons of Heavy or Light Arrows

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Considering the Pros, Cons of Heavy or Light Arrows

Among topics bowhunters enjoy arguing about — mechanical vs. fixed-blade broadheads, ethics of baiting deer or taking long shots — arrow choice remains a hot-button issue.
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I’m admittedly conservative in my equipment choices (if not the shots I’m willing to take), having cut my bowhunting teeth when compound bows remained suspect. I still seriously bowhunt with traditional bows, partly because — here I risk venturing into the realm of condesension, which certainly isn’t my intention or desire — I’ve drawn certain conclusions after 30-plus years bowhunting and guiding bowhunters, witnessing firsthand what works and what doesn’t.
I also may be considered tedious for regularly adjusting my equipment setup to meet conditions specific to particular regions or species. I’ve been taken to task for advocating heavy arrows (“Why don’t we all just revert back to longbows and wood arrows?” one guy spouted). I’ve been heckled for espousing light arrows for light-framed, long-range Coues whitetail, (“Recommending light target shafts for bowhunting is wrong, as they don’t carry the penetration potential or structural integrity needed for ethical bowhunting,” says another writer; despite careful qualifications).

In the interests of clearing the air (or maybe tossing fuel on the fire…) here are some pertinent thoughts regarding arrow choice.

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