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Arrows for Whitetail deer hunting. How do you understand what to get?

7 posts in this topic


I am new to archery and I just recently purchased a compound bow.  My draw length is set at 27 inches, 60 lbs, and I have a 3 pin sight.   What length arrow is best for Whitetail deer hunting with either mechanical or set broadheads?

There are charts to explain on what kind of arrows to get but I couldn't find much that talked about arrow length. 

Also, before I forget, how heavy should the broadhead be for deer hunting?  How would you know which weight to purchase?



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Hi MidCoast,

I would say to start with a 28" arrow.  Measure from where the string meets the nock to the front of the insert.  You could also measure with a long arrow with tape marking certain lengths.  Then when you draw it back, have an assistant standing to your side watch which line is in front of the bow.  I have my arrows so that the front of the insert is about .5 to 1 inch in front of the bow, and then the broadhead sticks out from there.  

For broadheads you should look at 100 grain or 125 grain.   Mechanical would probably shoot better out of your bow without careful tuning of the bow.  Larger fixed blade heads are more prone to wobbly flight if the bow is not tuned perfectly.  I have good luck with two-blade heads like the Magnus Stinger.   I would say most guys seem to shoot 100gr heads now, but I have always shot 125gr.   Easton has a good guide online for tuning your bow for broadheads.  

MJ1657 likes this

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Go to an archery or box store.  They will show you what you need and cut them to fit.  Most will even let you take a couple shots with them.

Bring your bow

Edited by Moon Lake Refuge
bobbymalone likes this

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First off, length isn't about anything other than what is best for your draw length, bow etc. So as mentioned above bring your bow in, get measured and find out what length you should be shooting.

There are a lot of quality brands (carbon express, Easton, gold tip, etc) and I'm sure others, as well big box brands which are probably plenty good these days. If you by chance have military background brands like gold tip have some good discounts if ordered directly from the company.

Then there is the actual arrow type/weights/diameters that have a million charts and you will get a different opinion from every bow shooter on what is best. Lots of guys have been going to lighter, smaller diameter "speed" arrows. I personally just did an over haul and got all new arrows this year because I was having a lot of penetration issues and went to a slightly heavier arrow that have an adapter system to add more weight forward, and also maxed my draw weight out.

Without getting into the weeds too much I would just suggest a little research, maybe talking to someone from whichever company you will be buying from or the bow shop about what your goals/target animals will be and making a decision that way.

Ultimately they will all kill game. My change personally was based on my brother and I shooting the same type or arrows for several years and shooting several deer a year each and going off our experiences. We both switched from our lighter, faster arrows to slightly heavier presentations that have some additional adjustments possible.

Broadheads are another one where you will get a lot of guys loyal to certain kinds and thus lots of answers. Ive shot both fixed and mechanical. 100 grain is going to be your most common whitetail head followed by 125. Just make sure you're shooting the same weight field points. We personally shoot NAP kill zone mechanicals after switching from rage(probably the most popular mechanical) and used to shoot G5 fixed blades after switching from muzzys...again they all killed deer.  At your draw weight you likely won't have an issue with anything you use. 

Hope I wasn't too long winded...

Good luck, you're going to love bowhunting!


paceman likes this

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Hello and there are many factors in choosing an arrow and length of arrow. Each arrow manufacturer and type have different GPI (Grains Per Inches) which is listed on the box and depending on that with the length you choose will determine your broadhead or tip weight because you want you arrow to balance out properly for the best most accurate results especially at longer distant shots say 30 yards and farther. Hope this helps.


Easton recommends an arrow with 10-15% F.O.C. for hunting setups and optimal accuracy – especially at long distances.

Easton Hunting Blog - FOC

Calculating F.O.C

To determine the F.O.C of a hunting arrow, install all the components you will be using on the shaft (points/broadheads, vanes, inserts, nock, etc.). Once your arrow is set up: 

  1. Divide the arrow’s overall length (distance to the bottom of nock groove to end of shaft by 2).
  2. Find the balance point. This is where the arrow balances perfectly. Mark the point, and measure from the throat of the nock.
  3. Subtract center of the arrow measurement (calculated in step 1) from the balance point (calculated in step 2).
  4. Multiply the resulting number in Step 3 by 100.
  5. Divide the resulting number from Step 4 by the arrow’s overall length. This number is the F.O.C. of your hunting arrow.

If you find your hunting arrow’s F.O.C. to be exceptionally deviant from the recommended range of 10-15%, consider adding/removing weight to/from the front or rear of the arrow.


ANYFISH2 likes this

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