All arrows pretty much look the same, but the similarities end with aesthetics because they certainly don’t offer cookie-cutter performance. Far from it. Arrows vary widely from brand to brand – even batch to batch – and that matters. A lot.
Even for the whitetail hunter who may never shoot past 30 or 40 yards on a target or a deer, the quality and performance of arrows can be the difference between center-punching a buck’s lungs or hitting a non-deer-body element of the forest like the tree he’s standing next to when you let fly.
This begs the question of what makes a quality arrow and whether it’s necessary to spend up to get top-notch ammo as a whitetail hunter. After testing, shooting, and hunting with dozens and dozens of different arrows over the years, I say yes without an ounce of hesitation. Find arrows that are spined correctly for your setup, offer the GPI weight you prefer, and then are batched and matched according to spine and weight tolerances. After that, get shooting.
Here are several new ammo options to consider.
Bloodsport Hunter Extreme
Offered in spines of 350, 400 and 500 and ranging in weights of 7.5 to 8.9GPI, Bloodsport’s latest are some of the most affordable arrows on the market. Priced at $40 for half of a dozen, these arrows are yours for a fraction of the price of competing options. The standard diameter (.244-inch) Hunter Extremes are designed with all-carbon Rugged Wrap Construction and are built to a straightness tolerance of +/-.006. For the close-range hunter who chooses his shots wisely and expects pass-throughs, these arrows are tough to beat.
Carbon Express Maxima XRZ
Few arrow companies can boast the technologies that Carbon Express can, which becomes evident quickly when you check out the new Maxima XRZs. Built with Tri-Spine Backbone Technology and Kevlar Weave Technology, the Maxima XRZs carry broadheads very well, and can withstand serious abuse. They are also laser-checked for straightness (.0025-inch) and weight sorted into batches with a tolerance of +/- 1 grain. They are also offered in several spines ranging in GPI weights of 6.6 to 8.4.
Easton FMJ Taper T64
A lot of the old timers in the archery arena talked about front-of-center and its importance to broadhead flight and penetration. It turns out, they knew a thing or two about arrow performance – and so do the engineers at Easton, considering this year they released the FMJ Taper 64. These unique arrows measure 6mm at the front end and only 4mm at the back end, which results in a serious increase in FOC. This, along with the FMJ Taper T64’s straightness tolerances, means long-distance accuracy has never been more achievable to the whitetail crowd. And don’t worry, if you don’t want to target practice at a football field’s distance, you don’t have to. These arrows – no matter the distance you shoot – will penetrate in a way whitetail bowhunters will really appreciate.
Gold Tip Velocity Valkyrie
Gold Tip has done plenty to help bowhunters shoot better over the years. They offer a wide variety of hunting shafts, but for the whitetail crowd it’s tough to beat the Velocity Valkyries. These arrows, which measure .246-inch (ID), are manufactured with a straightness tolerance of +/-.006 and weight tolerance of +/- 2 grains. They are also built with Factory Four Fletch accuracy, which is a game-changer for getting broadheads to group exactly where your field points hit. I’ve been shooting four-fletched arrows quite a bit the last few years and can’t believe how rare it is to encounter a flyer in any random dozen – which wasn’t always the case with three-fletched options. These good-for-deer-anywhere arrows are an excellent choice that won’t break the bank.
When it comes to micro-diameter arrows, Victory Archery pretty much created the category. They know what they’re doing when it comes to archery ammo, and their latest offering – the XTORSION – is a great option for whitetail hunters. These arrows draw their moniker from the design process, which encapsulates 304 stainless steel into the high-modulus carbon fiber. This results in a tough-as-nails arrow that flies well, penetrates deep, and can withstand shoulder-blade hits. Choose from either the Gamer or the Sport, the former of which offers +/-.003 straightness tolerances.