In mid February Im taking my wife to Hawaii for a week. Im not really a beach guy so Im going to be doing some bowhunting while there. I'm still uncertain as to exactly which islands I want to hunt and what species aside from pigs (staying on Kauai but may island hop for other species) but Im going to make some new arrows and perhaps a different broadhead for this trip. I'll take the longbow and that setup is already sound and ready but I'll also take my Bowtech RPM 360 (set at 64 lbs) so Im going to make some heavy arrows ( around 10 grain per pound for 600+ gr) arrows. Ive Already ordered some 100 grain brass inserts and other items for the build.
Ive contacted as many guides/outfitters I could find with internet searches as well as contacting some locals with pig problems. We will be staying on the SE coast of Kauai using the Kauai Marriott Lihue as home base. Sadly it looks as though the Axis deer will be in very early velvet development at that time of year so they may be off the table. I'm building heavy arrows with extreme FOC because I hope to hunt Vancouver Bulls (Feral cattle)
Lots of prep work to do since this is the target species.
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2018 21:19:15 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
Since I'm not yet certain exactly what island and what species I will be hunting and because that species list could include Vancouver bulls (Largest species on the islands) which are essentially huge feral cattle that have gone wild. I'm building a new set of heavy arrows with the emphasis on maximizing penetration so I'm building a heavy aluminum arrow with a high Front Of Center (FOC) Here are the components I'll be using.
Because I want a lot of weight up front, I want to minimize weight on the back of the arrow and because I have a low brace height on my bow I don't have room for long fletching so my choices are feathers, Blazers or Easton BTV
I plan to use 4 fletch for this build so the weight will add up. Here are the weights.
Feathers are the obvious choice, not only for the least weight but they do a great job of steering arrows. Time to get to work.
To maximize clearance I did not fletch them at 90 degrees.
To maximize spin I used a lot of twist.
Perfect fit for this rest but there is a good chance I will be switching rests to a drop away rest I have been designing and prototyping on for the last year. If I dont have production parts available, I will use 3D printed prototype parts.
The front end of the arrow will be a dual shaft. The 2315 arrow will be footed by gluing 4 1/2" of 2117 aluminum arrow inside the 2315. The insert for the arrow will be in the 2117 and will end flush with the outer shaft. That adds a great deal of strength as Aluminum arrows will break at the back of the insert.
For the broadhead I'll be trying both Wensel Woodsman and Snuffer. They are similar but the Snuffer is a larger diameter head. Both heads are the same weight (125 grains). a 5mm washer between the end of the shaft and the back of the broadhead to spread the load over the end pf the shaft.
The total build weight is 605 grains.
Then it was time to paper tune to position the rest for this large arrow to get good arrow flight.
I shot the completed arrow through my chronograph and the speed is 236 FPS. The energy output from my 64 lbs. draw weight will be 75 Ft/lbs of Kinetic Energy and .6343 slugs of Momentum.
To verify good arrow flight and rest timing and clearance, I recorded a few shots at 15 yards. Here are the results.
Next I will be finishing the rest of the arrows and then testing the two broadheads for flight. More to follow.
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2017 11:09:46 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
Today I mounted a couple of the Wensel Woodsman and a couple Snuffers to see if there is a difference in flight. I would really like to use the larger diameter Snuffers.
Not exactly Hawaii but you do what you have to do.
I shot both heads from 10 to 40 yards and was pleased that both heads fly the same and have the same impact point. With my whitetail arrows I had roon in my sight housing for 5 pins from 20 to 60 yards. With these heavy arrows I will only have room for 20 through 50 yards.
Arrow Build update. I've been having a problem with exploding nocks. The reason may be bad plastic or the extreme forces trying to get this arrow moving from a dead stop out of a speed bow. Whatever the reason, the nocks seem to split right down the center line leaving 2 halves on each side of the nock groove. This could lead to an expensive dry fire so instead of using the tapered end of the shaft and standard nocks and glue to attach them I cutting the backs of the arrows off (removing the swagged taper) and installing uni-bushings with lighted nocks. There is an increase in weight to the back end but not splitting nocks is priceless and now I can spin/rotate the nocks and I can use lighted nocks so the advantages outweigh the negatives
The small additional weight on the back end will be offset by the fact that I am replacing the 45 grain aluminum broadhead adapters with 100 grain steel adapters to reduce the risk of breakage at the stress points should I hit a hard object.
This boosts the total broadhead weight to 234 grains
The new total arrow weight is now 691 grains.
I shot the new arrows through my chronograph and the speed is now 221.3 feet per second. The Kinetic Energy is 75 ft/lbs and the Momentum is .68 slug. This is an improvement from the prior arrow build with the added bonus of improving the FOC from 19% to 19.7%. When the temps climb above zero I will sight from 20 to 50 yards but in the meantime I took some slow motion footage of rest drop and fletching clearance.
Last Edit: Dec 26, 2017 14:09:30 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
With the bitter cold, I went to the local archery shop to shoot indoors today so I could film slow motion footage of these 691 grain arrows with lighted nocks so I could evaluate arrow flight. Here is the footage at 30 and 40 yards.
Shooting again today at 45 yards with a different camera angle. The camera is just off to the left of the bow to capture arrow flex. This camera position makes it appear the arrows are flying tail right (they are not) Its just the camera angle so the archer's paradox can be viewed.
I really like the Ultimate Predator Adventure cam for all the features (far better than Go-Pro in my opinion due to things like the ability to zoom, no fish eye , better low light filming) and last year I designed a bow mount and made one on my 3D printer. The 3D printed mount was sound but the supplied housing for the cam allowed too much swing and flex upon release of an arrow. While capturing slow motion footage of the new arrow rest, it was easy to see just how much the camera moved upon release and why the footage I was getting was too blurry to be a value in regards to arrow impacts.
My first printed mount also stuck out to far to the side of the bow so when laying the bow on its side, the camera took all the load. The plan is to design and make a better mount that eliminates the supplied housing and to move the cam from below the sight bar to above the sight bar with a single piece housing bolted right to the sight bracket.
Looking forward to seeing if this mount will improve stability upon arrow release.
I printed the new mount for the Ultimate Predator Adventure cam hoping it would reduce the vibration at arrow launch. It seems to be a success and an improvement over the first attempt. Its not perfect but the shock created at the launch of an arrow is unavoidable.
I've made a change regarding the broadhead I will use for the Bull hunt. I had planed to use the woodsman broadhead which is a 3 blade 1 1/8" cutting diameter head and its what I used on my recent Russian boar hunt. The Woodsman flies great and performed well on the hog, producing a pass through even though the off side shoulder and it may certainly do well on a large bull but due to the size of the bulls, the recent passing of Roger Rothhar and because they fly equally well, I'm switching to the Roger Rothhar Snuffer broadhead.
One of the many advantages of high FOC arrows is that broadhead tuning is far easier and you can get just about any broadhead to fly well because the weight forward arrow means the fletching account for so much more steering ability. Ive been shooting the large Snuffers out to 50+ yards with fantastic accuracy. The total broadhead weight will be 250 grains.
Here you can see the difference between the Woodsman (that I used on my recent Russian boar hunt) and the much larger Rothhar Snuffer.
In comparison, here is the 1 3/8" snuffer next to my favorite deer broadhead (Slick Trick magum 1 1/8")
Next up is creating a shipping container for the bow and gear I will ship to the Hotel in Kauai in advance of my departure on the 15th.
I shipped to bow and other gear to the hotel in Kauai. Its now got 2 weeks to make the journey. I checked with FedX and UPS and the Post office. FedX and UPS were crazy expensive. (3 or 4 times the cost of the post office) The cost to ship a bow and gear totaling 27 pounds was only $84. I insured it for $1500 which added another $20. I thought was a fair price. The bow is in a hard case and I built a pretty heavy duty box and included a handle so the carriers have a means to handle it. In a week I will call the Hotel to see if it arrived.
With only 10 days before departure for Hawaii there has been a change of plans. Early in the planning stage I researched Hawaiian outfitters and selected one. A phone call and a couple emails were exchanged then a deposit sent to the outfitter. The bull hunt on the Big Island was booked. I booked a flight from Kauai to the big island, Hotel accommodations made on the big island and everything was set. Then all communications ended. Several phone messages were left, several emails sent, messages via their facebook page, messages sent via their “contact us” link on their web site and zero responses. Weeks went by and even at this writing there have been no replies to any and all attempts to contact them. I don’t think this was a scam as the outfitter did not cash the deposit check that was sent. Yesterday, I placed a stop payment on that check and a final email stating that I was no longer planning to hunt with them.
Im hesitant to be too harsh with the outfitter as I don’t know the whole story. Perhaps he died or was injured in an accident or is ill or some other catastrophic life event and until I learn (if I ever learn) what the situation is that made him go missing, I cant pass judgement and since he didn’t cash the deposit check, Im out nothing but time in planning.
Yesterday I booked a new Vancouver bull hunt with another outfitter who happened to have an opening near the dates I would be in Hawaii. I had to cancel the original hotel stay and book a different hotel and re-book my inter-island flight as the days the new outfitter had available were not the same days as my first planned hunt. So, now I have a new outfitter, new hotel and revised flight itinerary and was able to pull it all together in one day. Nothing like a complete change of plans 10 days prior to flying 4,500 miles for a hunt. I guess this is how memories are made. Nobody recalls things that go smoothly and according to plan.
I called the hotel on Kauai to check on the delivery of my hunting gear. They confirmed everything arrived and is in storage. I plan to fly back with the gear rather than shipping it so I picked up some TSA locks.
This last weeks has dumped well over a foot of snow on us so Im looking forward to Hawaii.
The trip from Kauai to the big island was less than an hour. Took a taxi to Uncle Billy's in a part of Kona that Wisconsin residents would call the Wisconsin Dells of Hawaii. Uncle Billy's IS NOT the Marriott on Kauai and only a mountain view and thats all I've got to say about that.
During the cab ride from Kona Int'l to Uncle Billy's I saw a Packer flag outside a bar so I walked over to find a Packer bar and eatery on Hawaii. Had a nice chat with the owner's daughter about Wisconsin and hunting. Visitors to Quninn's that are from WI place a pin in their home town. It seems a lot of WI residents have been to Quinn's.
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2018 1:22:25 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas