Best Broadheads for Elk Hunting in 2019
Elk hunting is in a league of its own. Nowadays, due to the incredible technological specialization modern technology can offer, there is a variety of big game hunting broadhead sellers claiming that their products are ideal for this specific purpose.
Which ones are merely using marketing tactics to lure you to their sites and which truly produce tips made with elk hunting in mind?
We have selected the top five best broadheads for elk hunting that are the most effective at bringing down these giant creatures. We also discuss our take on the ever-lively debate over fixed and mechanical broadheads and offer the most up-to-date information that you need to know about these tips, in general.
Best Broadheads for Elk Hunting: Our Top 5 Picks
Bow manufacturing company G5 Outdoors has designed the Montec to be foolproof. A single piece of 100% stainless steel comprises each broadhead, removing the need to assemble or replace any additional components. Its three diamond cut blades produce a cut-on-contact wound between 1 and 1 ⅛” every time. The company offers these in 85, 100, and 125 grains.
- Designed for maximum and repeated penetration
- Construction is one-piece MIM (metal injection molding); no parts needed
- 100% spin tested and balance for accurate flight
- Small cutting diameter
- Difficult to sharpen
- Prone to making a whistling sound in flight
- On the expensive side
Customers are very pleased with the accuracy and durability of these tips. Many have reported repeated successes with taking down large game. Some have noted a frustrating lack of a blood trail after impact, though, making it harder to track wounded game.
Muzzy Broadheads’ name says it all; this company is all about the broadheads. These days, they have expanded into the bowfishing market, as well, but Muzzys has been obsessed with producing broadheads that are unique, superior, or equal to the best products on the market since 1984.
The Muzzy Trocar broadhead is a three-blade killing machine, decked out with a hardened steel Trocar tip for superior penetration. Its aerodynamic right-helix design stabilizes flight in challenging weather conditions.
It comes in 100 and 125 grain sizes to give you maximum flexibility during your hunt. Plus, all Muzzy products are proudly made in the US, so you know that you are supporting an American business when you purchase from them.
- All-steel design
- Large cutting surface
- Razor-sharp blades
- Large wound channels
- Only available for crossbow bolts
- Replacing blades can be challenging
Customers like these tips for their sharpness and true flight. Many have had great hunting success with various brands of crossbows and these broadheads. Some people have complained that the blades arrive loose and requires tightening, but once they get on the projectile, they work brilliantly.
This nasty little number means business. Its manufacturer, Carbon Express, is committed to consistently delivering innovation to help hunters shoot better. The company achieves its mission with this deadly six-edged broadhead that is ideal for bringing down an elk.
It boasts a 1 ⅛” cutting diameter and 125 grain weight. The blades are stainless steel, and the ferrule is made out of aluminum aircraft material to give each broadhead durability a power without adding too much weight. These broadheads were designed to work best with aluminum and carbon crossbows for deadly accuracy every time.
- Blades are serrated to stay sharp longer
- Wound openings are up to 250% larger
- Aerodynamic design for better spin and precision
- Can shatter upon impact
- On the smaller side
Hunters rave about the devastation these things cause. The six blades make a huge difference in wound openings and allow for a nice blood trail. Some have reported that the tips shatter upon impact, but this seems to happen rarely.
Outdoor leisure products manufacturer offers a great deal for your money with the Rage Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead. The two blades deploy rearward to increase penetration. And once that penetration occurs, you won’t believe the size of the wound hole that those mere two blades create.
These broadheads produce a cutting diameter of at least two inches, but sometimes more. Just imagine the blood. Other features include “F.A.T.” (ferrule alignment technology) that ensures an aerodynamic flight path and a “Shock Collar” blade retention system for consistent blade deployment. They are available in 100 and 125 grain sizes.
- Leaves a great blood trail
- Prey drops quickly after impact
- The set comes with a practice head
- Risk of breakage upon impact
- Soft blades
Elk hunters love these tips. They rave about the rapid bleed out and how much more humane the kills are with these. The main drawback is that they don't always hold up once they impact the prey. But considering how quick and easy the kills are, these broadheads are worth the potential cost of replacement.
Muzzy Broadheads makes it onto our favorites list a second time with a mechanical offering. The Trocar HB Hybrid boasts four blades, two of which rear-deploy, for extra damage capabilities. The total cutting surfaces is 2-5/8”: 1” fixed and a 1-5/8” expandable cutting diameter.
Its chisel tip is capable of literally crushing bones, which is less common in mechanical broadheads. There is no doubt that this product is made specifically to take down big game. Plus, it just looks really lethal. We know that isn’t a valid reason to choose a broadhead but if looks could kill...
- Made in the USA
- The hardened steel Trocar chisel tip easily shatters bone without breaking
- Blades are angled with a 2 degree offset to induce in-flight spin
- Occasional poor penetration
Fans of mechanical broadheads will love this product. The tips are both lethal and durable. As with any product, some people have had various negative experiences, but nothing stands out as a particular design flaw.
Fixed vs. Mechanical Broadheads - Which is Better for Elk Hunting?
Our opinion is that the fixed option is the way to go. When you are dealing with something as large and dangerous as a rutting male elk, you want to be as sure of your shot as possible. Mechanical broadheads introduce too much uncertainty into the situation for our liking.
The benefits of fixed broadheads can be summed up in three words: simplicity, strength, and value.
“Simplicity” because the setup is basically “screw on and go.” Once you attach your broadhead to your bolt, it is ready to use. They do require occasional sharpening, depending on how often you use them, but that is also straightforward.
“Strength” because these tips have serious cutting power and deep penetration that even today’s most advanced mechanical tips cannot match. They pierce the hide smoothly and continue on to vital organs without letting the bone or anything else deflect them.
“Value” because they tend to cost less than mechanical broadheads and last longer. Frequent hunters want something that they can retrieve and reuse repeatedly, including during that same hunt.
It is likely that, in the near future, this recommendation will change. Mechanical broadheads have several strong qualities in their favor. These include a much larger entrance point, stability, and accuracy, especially in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
Technology is developing rapidly; therefore, it stands to reason that, just as cell phones eventually became more functional than landlines, one day soon, mechanical broadheads will become the best choice for elk hunting, but for now, we stand by those fixed tips.
What You Need to Know about Broadheads Tips for Elk Hunting
The first and most important thing to know is that this is not a game. Yes, hunting is an enjoyable and exhilarating sport, but shooting a living creature is not something to take lightly. It is our responsibility as hunters to understand the intricacies of taking down each type of animal that we hunt. This includes selecting the correct equipment for our intended prey and adequately practicing so that we make a swift, clean kill.
So, what do we need to consider when choosing the best broadhead to take down an elk?
The vast majority of broadheads come in either 100- or 125-grain weights. The 100-grain variety is the most prolific (and popular) on the market, but the added weight of a 125-grain can be useful for taking down larger game. Both of these weights provide a good-sized cutting diameter and deep penetration without sacrificing accuracy.
Keep in mind that it’s not just about the broadhead; the composition of your bolt matters, too. Bolts made out of lighter materials, such as carbon, will perform better with lighter tips. Heavier ones are better suited for more massive tips.
There are also people out there making the case for even heavier broadheads than the 250-grains. At the end of the day, though, you need to go with what is most comfortable and practical for you. And the only way to know what that is is to practice, practice, practice.
Broadheads generally have between two and four blades. Most mechanical tips are made with two blades. The standard for fixed tips are constructed with three blades, but more companies are starting to produce them with four.
Extra blades produce extra damage upon impact. But they also produce extra resistance in flight, which can slow them down. As you can see from our “top 5” list, some do come with extra blades, such as the six-blade Carbon Express XT.
We feel that extra blades are better, as long as you can make up for the extra drag that they produce. Again, it’s all about the practice.
This is where mechanical tips really make a case for themselves. They produce a large wound (cutting diameter) relative to their size and weight. Fixed tips capable of making similar cuts are more prone to erratic flight and environmental conditions due to the extra size required.
Regardless of the type of broadhead that you choose, your cutting diameter needs to be at least 1inch in length to produce sufficient damage to inflict a swift kill.
Tips are designed in two ways: chisel (trocar) and cut-on-contact.
Trocar tips can be thought of as the prize fighters of broadheads. They are adept at punching through tough hides ahead of the main part of the blade. This enables the bolt to penetrate bone without losing all of its energy. Since angle shots that include bone contact are common when elk hunting, this is a popular choice.
Cut-on-contact tips are the ninjas of broadheads. They are more delicate and precise in their actions. They adeptly slice through hides and penetrate deeper due to better energy conservation. That is, as long as they don't hit bone.
While this doesn’t pertain to any aspect of broadhead design or choice, it is an important “need to know” topic.
Several states in the US have regulations restricting or preventing the use of various types of hunting equipment. Oregon, for example, does not allow mechanical broadheads to be used for any hunting, except in the case of the Western gray squirrel. Other states restrict when and where crossbows can be used.
The point here is always to check your state’s rules before each hunting season because they can change at any time. And no one wants to end up with a fine and their once-in-a-lifetime kill confiscated by the authorities because he didn’t do his due diligence beforehand.
Success in hunting comes down to a combination of the right equipment, sufficient practice, preparation, and a good dose of luck.
There are many great broadheads on the market today that are capable of taking down big game such as elk. We have chosen our top five for this review and stand by them all as great options for bow hunting big game.
But for us, the Muzzy Trocar Crossbow Fixed Broadhead simply can't be beaten. It's fixed Trocar tip, and aerodynamic design make it a deadly and reliable device that is sure to increase your kill rate.
We look forward to what designers of mechanical broadheads come up with in the future, but for now, we will continue to enjoy success with our American-made Muzzys.