I can still remember the first time I laid eyes on a white-tailed buck in velvet.
I remember I was riding with my Dad on our ranch, standing up in the front seat, eyes glued to the windshield, intently watching.
Being 6 years old. I loved doing that. But, what I didn’t know was the next curve on that road would change me forever!
The impact mineral sites can have on overall herd health and antler growth are precisely what’s needed for reaching full genetic potential. When combined with herd & habitat management the potential becomes astonishing. (photo credit: Colton Beam)
As we came around the back side of the pond, a young 9-point jumped out right in front of us. He was standing no more than 20 yards from the truck, not a care in the world, as if he knew we were no danger to him. He just stood there.
At that very moment, seeing his horns in full velvet and not understanding why they had fur on them, would spark an infatuation that would change my life.
As odd as it may sound, I never wanted to be a Fireman or Astronaut. I never wanted to play professional Football or Baseball like most kids my age. All I wanted was to do whatever I could involving white-tailed deer.
To say I was captivated from such a young age feels like a major understatement! The riveting fascination that took hold of me that day, thus far, has yielded a lifelong thirst for knowledge.
But enough about me, antler growth is what this is all about!
So, if adding a Mineral site to help increase antler growth in your bucks is what you looking to achieve, let’s talk facts! My goal is to simply shed some light on the benefits of utilizing minerals in antler growth, and more importantly, to explain the complexities of mineral nutrition in deer by putting it in layman’s terms, so everyone can understand.
Minerals, in a deer’s diet, are extremely important to overall health and productivity. First, you should understand there are multiple mineral requirements, some more imperative than others, depending on the situation.
Minerals drastically increase the quality of milk a lactating doe produces in Spring & Summer for fawns.
Some of the required quantities are so small, they don’t require special attention. Nevertheless, when it comes to the most evidential sources, Calcium and Phosphorus are the most important; these two minerals are the main constituent for bone and antler development.
There are also other minerals that serve a vital role, some not as evidential. Nonetheless, their role shouldn’t be disqualified because they aren’t as obvious, as it’s important to know them.
For example, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, Selenium, Iodine, Magnesium and Manganese are such minerals. Each serve important roles, but can become very complex when it comes to how much or how little of each is needed so deficiencies or toxicities don’t occur.
The need and requirement of minerals by deer change season by season, year to year.
Rain, or the lack there of, is a major contributor to the availability of natural resources. A quality habitat provides a nutritional foundation for deer that ensures reproductive success, herd health, support of healthy population numbers, and antler growth.
A diversity of forbs, shrubs, browse and some grasses provide a great food source for your deer. Certain regions can even yield impressive percentages in mineral and crude proteins.
Having well-nourished deer helps them achieve their genetic potential. However, in years of drought or low rain fall, these resources are drastically affected, and that is when a good mineral site becomes a vital resource for your deer.
It’s overwhelming how many mineral mixes are available these days, all claiming astonishing success or promising massive jumps in antler growth. So, how is someone supposed to decide on the right mineral and know they aren’t wasting their money?
Here are a few key points that will help in narrowing down your search for a quality product.
Make sure the list of ingredients on the bag has all the minerals listed above. None of them should be left out! Believe it or not, some on the market don’t even contain Phosphorus, which is key for antler development.
“Attractants and Flavors”– These are an industry gimmick, designed to make you, the consumer, think the product will perform better. Quality ingredients don’t need to be masked with artificial flavors or attractants for deer to want them!
Sodium (salt): While there is no doubt salt is crucial for deer at certain times, it is highly overused. First, if it says “Salt Mineral” or “Salt Mineral Lick” anywhere, walk away! If the percentage is greater than 35%, walk away! Anytime the sodium (salt) is 35% or greater it takes away nutritional value of everything else, including Calcium and Phosphorus.
(I’ll speak further regarding Sodium & attractant/flavors in upcoming blogs)
The “where,” “when,” and “how” of mineral sites is critical to know when getting your mineral sites started.(photo credit: Dwight Korenek, Burnt Oak Ranch)
Getting Your Mineral Sites Started
Where: Normally, having a site every 25-75 acres is key. But, you need to consider your property and the density of your deer herd, first. So, to start out, make it simple, start your sites close to where you know the deer are. The deer will tell you everything you need to know if you pay attention, trail cameras have made this possible, they allow you to not only monitor the activity but the deer’s desire/dependability for the mineral and the site.
When: This varies from state to state, so make sure to check your local game laws. I prefer starting at the end of winter (post-rut) through August. Starting early helps provide a jump on putting body fat back on the bucks Most importantly, does are pregnant and in major need of quality nutrients for not just themselves, but the development of the fetus, which is the future of your deer herd!
How, keep it simple! You don’t have to clear an area, dig down a few inches, and cover it back with dirt after you’ve added the product. While there’s nothing wrong with that method, I just prefer a “simplified” approach.
Mineral site placement doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply clear and pour on the ground.
Depending on the ground cover, I’ll clear a 3-4 foot spot, and then pour the mineral right on the ground. If clearing isn’t needed, that’s even better, you can just pour it right on the ground!
Another option I like that’s simple, is this PVC design. It works great in situations where your able to attach it to a stationary object like a fence post or tree.
This PVC mineral dispenser is attached to a feeder and positioned to touch the ground. The mineral is gravity fed through the PVC and positioned at a slight angle to help the product flow properly. The PVC also helps protect the mineral from weather and allows it to last longer.
Before concluding, I want to get you thinking about something I’ll talk more about in upcoming blogs. For starters, shifting your attention more toward your does and fawns.
Does are responsible for the development of fawns and fawns are the future of your deer herd. So, if you truly want bigger bucks, then you’ll learn the healthier your does are, the better start your fawns will get, which means your future bucks will have a better genetic potential.
I’ll also be discussing bioavailability, absorption, palatability and the importance of other key minerals your deer need in achieving better antler growth and overall health.
Fawns are the future of your herd! When they are provided with a surplus of minerals from day one, their genetic potential becomes greater, resulting in bigger bucks for the future. (photo credit: Colton Beam)
As I stated in the beginning, my primary focus was on the basic understanding of minerals and the role they play in antler growth, so everyone could understand.
With so many blogs and articles out there, mostly written toward a specific product a company is selling, I felt it was important to start this “series” strictly to share knowledge.
I undoubtable am a believer in “knowledge is power” and with the proper knowledge, I hope it helps you can gain the confidence needed to properly manage your deer.
If you’d like help managing your whitetail property, you can reach me at:
I had been wanting to test the Afflictor Hybrids as well as their fixed-blade broadhead offerings for a while. So, when I finally got my hands on some I was excited to test them out. (If you want to jump straight to the section of the review you are interested in, you can do so by clicking the links below:
I have used tested and used other hybrid broadheads on the market, but the Afflictor heads are different than other designs. They have a main cutting tip that’s about 1/8-inch thick, made of 420 stainless steel that is extremely thick and sharp and will not fold over.
They also have a feature they call a “drive key,” that also functions as a bleeder blade that opens up the main blades, but also cuts extra tissue.
Afflictor 1-3/4″ K2 Hybrid vs Afflictor Ultraviolet (Hybrid X Mini) | The differences
On the 1¾-inch Afflictor Hybrid (or, K2 Hybrid as Afflictor calls it), the drive key has little prongs on it. They are designed in such a way that if they hit hard bone, they will shear off by design, so that the head can continue to penetrate. In fact, everything about this head is designed for penetration.
Afflictor also offers a head called the Ultraviolet, that is purple in color (now called the Hybrid X Mini) . At the time of this publication, it is the only purple broadhead on the market.
The Ultraviolet has a little bit different design. The main tip of the Ultraviolet is longer and more swept than the original Afflictor Hybrid. Due to that design, it has a little bit better penetration.
Another difference is that the Ultraviolet has non-shearing drive key that functions as a bleeder blade. So it’s a half-inch wide and will open up the blades and continue to cut tissue.
With the Ultraviolet broadhead, you get a 1¾-inch cut and plus the ½-inch bleeder, for a total of a 2-inch cut.
Afflictor also makes a 1½-inch model of this as well and it also has the ½-inch bleeder, for a total cut of 2 inches.
The Ultraviolet (now the Hybrid X Mini) head has a longer tip and more swept design.
Both versions of this broadhead fly extremely well. They are both 5/8-inch thick in profile, which is like most other mechanical heads on the market. The specs and construction are top-notch. They also spin very well in flight.
On impact, the drive key comes down and the blades open. There is also a pretty strong o-ring that keeps the blades from rattling during flight.
The NAP Killzone is my standard for comparison testing, as it’s been around for many years. It’s a really reliable and super strong head. However, it doesn’t penetrate very well, so anything I test should penetrate better than the Killzone.
For comparative purposes, I tested penetration and durability in comparison to the NAP Killzone broadhead.
If you have seen any of my broadhead tests on mechanicals, you know that when I do comparative tests, I don’t test them on animals. The reason I don’t do this is because they don’t hold any value.
Different bones have different densities and bone geometries. Every animal is different. In addition, shooting angles on animal bone could have varied results, which would not provide good insight into how the broadhead truly performs.
So, I use a uniform medium to simulate animal anatomy as best as I can. I use carpet on the front and the back to simulate animal hide. I also use a rubber foam to simulate tissue and ½-inch plywood in the middle to simulate the bone.
I first tested the Killzone head, followed by the Afflictor 1¾-inch head and the Afflictor Ultraviolet.
In the penetration test, the Ultraviolet out-penetrated the others by a wide margin. Of course, the Ultraviolet it has that more swept initial tip and also has the 1½-inch cut, and that solid drive key. Those factors made all the difference in this penetration test.
The NAP Killzone tip came through the wood, the blades did not. The NAP has a good, long tip that’s really tough. But the blades didn’t do any cutting on this test. All the broadheads in this test held up well in the penetration test.
In the next test, I performed a steep angled shot.
I first shot the Killzone and it stuck right in. Then, I shot the Afflictor 1¾-inch Hybrid. It stuck in, but angled off a bit. Lastly, I shot the Afflictor Ultraviolet.
In the diagram below, you can see that the Killzone and the Ultraviolet penetrated through the back of the wood. The Killzone point come through the wood but not the blades. The Killzone also broke off at the ferrule and broke my arrow.
The 1¾-inch Hybrid went through all the layers of carpet and foam and cardboard and made a deep cut in the wood, but it skimmed across the top of the plywood.
In the angled shot test, all three heads penetrated, but the Afflictor 1-3/4″ Hybrid slid on impact.
Afflictor Ultraviolet and NAP Killzone penetration through back of the plywood on angled shot penetration test
The NAP Killzone broadhead broke off at the ferrule during the angled shot penetration test.
Penetration Test #3: Afflictor Ultraviolet into 22-gauge steel
In this test I shot the Afflictor Ultraviolet into 22-guage steel, backed with a 3/8-inch sheet of plywood, a ½-inch sheet of plywood, 4 rubber mats and a Rinehart target behind it.
Because I didn’t want to break another arrow, I used the Mammoth Arrow by Bishop Archery, which are guaranteed for life.
The Ultraviolet went through the 22-gauge steel plate and poked through the back of the 3/8-inch board about a ½-inch. The tip held up really well.
When I have shot other heads into steel and plywood in this manner, they only hold up when the blades don’t reach the steel plate. But here, the blades held up and even opened up inside of the steel plate. Even the drivel key was still intact.
Ultraviolet penetrating steel/wood and deploying blades.
The tip and blades of Ultraviolet post steel plate test.
BONUS: Afflictor K2 Mini Hybrid Tests
I’ve shot the Afflictor K2 Mini broadheads not only in tests that I perform, but also in the field. I’ve killed turkeys, hogs and deer with these heads and they’ve always performed very well.
The K2 Mini is basically the same as the other hybrids (the Afflictor 1-3/4” Hybrid and the Ultraviolet). The K2 just has a shorter overall profile.
I have shot these at long range and know that they fly very well, so I did not put them through a flight test as I typically do with the other heads.
Usually, I don’t do this test with expandable broadheads, but I also shot the K2 Mini into a .22 gauge steel plate because they typically don’t make it through the first time. But, this one made it through the first time just fine. The second shot did some damage. See below.
This was after the second shot through the steel plate. You can see that it got pretty dinged up. The ferrule is in great shape. It lost those drive keys again. Tip is in perfect shape and the blades got a big dinged up there as you can see. So the blades would have to be replaced, but the head could be good to go.
It was pretty impressive for a mechanical like the K2 Mini to make it through the MDF four times and through the steel plate twice.
Hybrid X and K2 Mini Hybrid Improvements (2021)
In 2021, Afflictor made some modifications and improvements to their line of Mini hybrids.
Let’s cover some of the improvements made to the K2-Mini Hybrid the Mini Hybrid-X. Then, we’ll put them to the test.
Hybrid X Improvements
Here’s a good look at the Hybrid-X Mini close up. This used to be called the Ultraviolet but now they call it the Hybrid-X Mini. In the closed position, you’re getting around 0.6 inches of cut from the main tip. From the bleeders that are the drive keys that open the blades, you’re getting another ½-inch of cut. So you’re getting over an inch of cut even in a close position, which is nice.
The blades are held together by a small retention ring. On impact, the retention ring is forced back the pressure on the drive keys open the blades into their full position. The cutting diameter on this Minis is 1.5 inches, which is a nice, healthy cut.
Plus, you’re still getting the bleeders that cut another half an inch, so you’re getting a total cut of 2 inches. That’s the same for each of the Hybrid Minis, both the Hybrid-X and then the K2-Mini.
Now, another unique thing about these heads is they have a weight collar. So without the weight collar, you have a 100-grain head and with the weight collar, you boost it up to 125 grains.
The pen that holds the blades in place is now made of a much stronger steel than on former models, making it more durable.
The blade bevel angle has also changed from former models, making the blades not so thin. They used to have quite an extreme bevel, which made them really sharp, but they didn’t hold an edge quite as well and would get pretty nicked up on penetration. So, the bevel is now steeper, making the blades tougher.
K2 Mini Improvements
The K2 Mini looks really similar to the Hybrid-X Mini, although it’s green.
However, you can see here how the tip of the Hybrid-X (purple) is longer thant the tip of the K2 Mini, which also makes the overall profile of the K2 Mini (green) shorter as well.
Tests of the Hybrid X Mini and the K2 Mini (2021)
I tested for out of the box sharpness (225 for both), as well as ballistic gel penetration, edge retention (300), layered cardboard penetration, blade opening and concrete penetration.
Each of the heads penetrated exactly at 7 inches. I know it’s hard to see the K2-Mini there. It’s weird with the glare and the refraction, the way it works with those gel, but it’s there. And they both penetrated 7 inches.
They each penetrated through 52 layers.
I wanted to test how well these heads open and see what their entrance hole is like on a cardboard box with a thick layer of leather stretched tightly over it.
The Hybrid-X opened1-1/4 inches on the initial impact (corner pic). You can see on the back of the cardboard box, it was at the full 1-1/2 inches (larger pic).
The K2-Mini opened 1-1/2″inches on the initial impact (corner pic) and then on the back of the box it stayed right at 1-1/2 inches (larger pic).
I also shot both heads 5 times each through 1/2″ MDF. There were no signs of wear whatsoever. Everything held together perfectly well including the drive keys, they function, the blades can still close and open. No bend on the ferrule. I was really impressed with the durability!
Here’s the Hybrid-X after impacting the concrete block. As you can see, it did not hold up very well to that hard impact test. It just broke into a lot of different pieces. And the pieces I could find, I put down here. Now, the tip was really durable and it stuck into the concrete well. But the rest of it there just kind of blew apart. (I didn’t do the concrete test with the K2-Mini because it’s the same design. And, it’s interesting that the durability of these Hybrids, it’s so good through the MDF and other impacts like that. I’ve even shot them through steel plate before. And they’re one of the more durable with a cutting impact like that. But, in a zero penetration test, they just have their limitations.
Now, does the concrete test have a real world application? That’s up to you to decide.
I’ve hunted with these many times and they’ve done very well. So, they definitely have their strengths and anybody using a mechanical doesn’t use them just because they are the toughest, most durable heads on the market. They are using them because of their small size in flight and then their big opening, not their durability.
But it’s interesting to see the way that this head performed in that zero penetration test.
Final Thoughts on Afflictor Hybrids
So, what do you think of these new Afflictor Hybrid Minis?
I didn’t really know what to expect from these heads. But, I have to say I was impressed. They have a very low profile and will fly really well and shoot accurately.
I like that overall cut size that they have to maximize penetration.
The Ultraviolet (Hybrid X Mini) penetration was extremely impressive, especially on the angled shot, as they not only penetrated the steel plate and the plywood, but also deployed the blades.
Now, in the zero penetration test, in the concrete, they did not do very well. There are so many parts and components that that kind of zero penetration, that’s just not their strong suit.
But like I said, I’ve used them so much in the fields and that has never been an issue. So, it’s up to you to determine with each of these data points, how important are they to you in your hunting situations and for your hunting needs?
As for which one I really like the most, I like them both. I mean they performed so comparably. I probably lean towards the K2-Mini just because it’s a little bit shorter overall. But both of them are really good.
And, I applaud Afflictor for strengthening that pen. I could notice that in some of the testing and just my own testing about it just on the side as well as the edge durability and changing that bevel, that really does help and makes a difference.
The Afflictor K2 and EXT fixed-blade broadheads are similar in design, but the K2 has a shorter profile.
There are a lot of good companies in the archery business, and Afflictor is certainly one of them. Afflictor has a passion for testing, they are ethical and they are faith-based.
Now, before testing the fixed blade heads from Afflictor, I was already a big fan of the Afflictor Hybrids. I’ve taken deer, turkey, and hogs with them. They’ve always performed really well. They flight great. They penetrate deep, they hold up well and they inflict a lot of damage in animals.
So, when Afflictor sent me the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Well, I really like the hybrids.” But, then when I started shooting the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Man, I really like these too!”
I first tested the K2 and the EXT models. They’re similar in design, but obviously, they have different specs. (Further down in this review, I also tested the Heavyweight versions of these heads).
When I first looked at the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Okay, they’re just like normal 4-blade fixed blade heads.”
And yes, they are, but there are some unique things about them.
First of all, the K2 has a super short, low profile design. That’s why it flies so extremely well.
I would put the K2 up there with any fixed blade head as being the very best flying. There are several that I put in that category that just are top of the food chain in terms of long distance flight. This one is one of those.
The EXT also flies very well, but at super long ranges, it’s not quite as good as the K2, and that’s just because there’s more surface area.
You can see the total length is greater on the EXT heads, and therefore more surface area. That’s why the K2, with less surface area tends to fly better at long distances.
Another unique feature of the K2 is that the blades themselves are extremely thick. They are 420 stainless steel, so they are a decent stainless steel. But beyond that, they are really thick.
The standard for many fixed blade heads is 0.030 or 0.035 inches thick. I have always liked how the QAD Exodus blades are 0.040 inches of thick. Well, the K2 blades are 0.059 inches thick. That’s impressive! (All four of the blades on both the K2 and EXT are 0.059 inches thick).
K2 and EXT tips
This tips of the K2 and EXT are also very unique. It’s not like a chiseled tip on other broadheads. It’s not like a true “cut on contact tip” though it does cut on contact. But it’s really thick. It’s actually double the thickness of the blades themselves. It’s 0.125 inches thick!
With that thickness, what that translates into is two things. First of all, durability. But, secondly, it’s going to make a really thick cut through the deer or animal. And, I found that with all things being equal with penetration, the thicker the blades, the harder it is for that wound channel to close up.
This results in better blood trails.
That’s why these Afflictor fixed blades perform so well for me in the field and have created such good blood trails; it’s the blade thickness.
The tips of the Afflictor K2 and EXT is extremely thick.
A Horizontal blade cross? Yes, and here’s why
Another thing that is unique about these fixed heads is if you look really closely, the top of the cross blades are actually horizontal for a little bit and then at an angle.
This feature is not by accident.
Now, you might look at that and say, “Well, that’s going to impede penetration.”
Actually, what Afflictor found is just the opposite.
The K2 and EXT have a horizontal blade crosssing that actually aids in bone penetration.
In all their testing, the folks at Afflictor weree surprised to see it that sometimes what really happens during penetration seems like it defies the laws of physics.
They found that the penetration through bone has actually improved by having a little bit of horizontal cut because the head is able to breach the bone. It pushes the bone out of the way more effectively with that angle as well.
I was interested to see how it does this in my own testing.
The ferrules on the K2 and EXT are aluminum. Now, I’m not typically a big fan of aluminum… unless it’s this kind of aluminum. The aluminum ferrules on these heads are made of 7075 T6 grade aluminum.
So, this aluminum is stronger than many steels. I haven’t had any problems with it in the field. Let’s see how it did in the testing.
For each of my tests, I used my Bowtech SR6 on the comfort setting, set at 72 pounds, 27-inch draw. I used Bishop FOC King Arrows (460 grains), Nockturnal Nocks and FOBs.
What I tested for
Because of the weather at the time of these tests (we were in the middle of a blizzard here in Iowa), I did not go outside to test long range flight.
I’ve already shot the K2 at longer ranges in the field and I know it is absolutely fantastic, the best of the best at longer ranges. I would give it a 10. It flies like at ATAC, Iron Will original, or a Bishop Holy Trinity… very, very good flight.
I would give the EXT a 9. It does really well out to about 60 yards. But, it’s a little more touchy beyond that. I can still pop balloons at 80 yards but I have to really focus on it.
I did, however test for penetration, durability, and edge retention.
Penetration testing of Afflictor fixed blade broadheads
I tested penetration by using a 1/2-inch inch layer of MDF, surrounded by 1/3-inch layers of rubber foam matting. On the back side of that medium is ballistic gel, made by Clear Ballistics. The clear gel allows you to see exactly what the broadhead is doing inside the gel.
I also measured the penetration, so that it can be compared to how other heads penetrate the same medium.
Here, you can see the penetration of the two. And as expected, the one with a smaller cut, penetrated more deeply than the one with a larger cut, though it wasn’t by much. The EXT here at the bottom penetrated 8 and 1/4 inches and the K2 at the top penetrated 7 and 3/4 inches.
Durability and edge retention testing
I shot these heads through a 22-gauge steel plate. In this test, I will shoot through the steel plate as many times as possible (up to 5 times), until the blades really start to get damaged. When the blades start to get significant damage, I stop.
For the purposes of scoring, each time I shoot without them getting significant damage, I give the head 2 points. The maximum a head can receive is 10 points. The maximum is 5 shots.
As for the blades themselves, I shot both the K2 and EXT into the steel plate and examined them after each time. Both heads made it 3 times into the steel plate before the blades began to get pretty mangled.
Here are the holes that the K2 and EXT made in the 22-gauge steel plate. And you can see, the ones at the bottom are by the K2. The ones on the top, the EXT. The K2s really punched a big hole. You can see why they would open up a big hole in an animal. That wound is not going to easily close up. Really, really impressed by that.
The blades were not bent way out of shape, but they were definitely getting nicked up enough to stop shooting. So, three shots through the steel plate at that range is pretty impressive. The blades are replaceable and would need to be replaced. But, they will get a score of 6 because they made it three times into the steel plate.
Notice that the tip is just like brand new. It did not move at all. And that’s what really matters the most when it’s going into an animal. So, I was really impressed with that. And then it was actually the same for the EXT. So, you can see the blades there getting pretty nicked up and you can see those cross blades there getting a little flared out, a little bent out of shape. And again, the tip just pristine.
Both the K2 and EXT are really good heads. For flight, for total cut size, and for damage being inflicted, I go with the K2 but both of them are really good heads.
Actually, in the field, I would say the K2 does even better on animals than it showsin the testing.
In addition to the K2 and EXT, I also tested the Heavyweight versions of these broadheads. All of the heavier Afflictor fixed blade broadheads are stainless steel and they vary in weights from 155 to 200 grains. In my tests on the heavier fixed blade heads, I specifically be testing the 200-grain models.
Here’s a look the Afflictor Heavyweight lineup of their fixed-blade heads.
How the heavier fixed blade heads are different
The heavier versions of the Afflictor EXT and K2 differ from each other, as well as their lighter counterparts…
The tips and ferrules of the heavyweights
One main difference between the EXT heads and the K2 heads is the tip (The EXT tip is also used on the EXT Hybrids and the K2 tip is also used on the K2 Hybrids).
The biggest difference in the heavyweight heads over the 100 and 125-grain models is that the heavyweight versions are all stainless steel. The ferrules are no longer 7075 aluminum as they are in the lighter weight models. Now, they are stainless steel.
For example, the 155-grain model is basically the exact same head as the 125-grain model but with stainless steel ferrule, which adds the extra weight.
The tips on both of these heads are extra thick. By my measurement, it came out to 0.14 inch thick in that leading tip of both.
Now, some people note that the tip on these heads is not super sharp. And, that’s right, it’s not.
But don’t let that fool you in terms of its performance. It’s really about edge-integrity.
The tips on these heads promotes edge straightness, (the lack of chips and dings and bending that affects penetration) and they are really tough, holding a straight edge all the way into an animal. Then, the blades behind them do the cutting.
The tips of the EXT differ from the tips of the K2, but they are both extremely thick.
The heavier heads are basically the same heads as the lighter models, except that they have stainless steel ferrules and weighted washers, which, in addition to larger blades, gives the extra weight.
The bleeders on both the K2 and EXT are very thick.
I really like the way Afflictor increased the weights of these heavyweight broadheads by beefing up the blades themselves. Very well done.
Some other things you’ll note about the different models is the EXT has a cutting diameter on the main blades of 1-1/4 inches and then the bleeders are 11/16 of an inch.
And then on the K2, the maximum cut 1-1/8 inches and then the bleeders are 1 inch. So, it’s kind of cool that you have different dimensions to choose from based on your setup and what kind of a hole you want to put in the animal.
Some other things that are noteworthy are the main blades on both the EXT and the K2 are both 0.053 inch thick. That’s a thick main blade!
Typically, bleeders are thinner and weaker, but not on these heads. These bleeders are 0.059 inch thick. So really thick bleeders right there.
I’ve taken a number of animals with the 125-grain fixed versions and they all performed really well.
Heavyweight Afflictor fixed-head penetreation test
I didn’t test the heavyweight heads for all the things that I tested the 125-grain model with, like flight. They are basically the same dimensions (just differing weights), so they’re going to fly the same.
I’ve also already tested them for edge sharpness and edge retention and they did very well.
But, I did test them for penetration and durability. And for that, I’m used the 200-grain version, just because I was curious to see how that heavier weight makes a difference in terms of the penetration and the durability.
So, let’s see how this heavyweight lineup of the EXT and the K2 Fixed-Blade Afflictors performed.
For the penetration test, I shot into a foam mat, backed by ½” MDF and a block of ballistic gel.
Check out the penetration results below:
The K2 200 grain head penetrated 9 inches into the foam mat/MDF/ballistic gel.
The 200-grain K2 penetrated 9 inches. The EXT penetrated 9-1/4 inches.
Durability testing of K2 and EXT
I shot both heads into a .22 gauge steel plate. Both the EXT and the K2 heads really punch a hole, as opposed to “slits” like some other heads make. That’s what I look for in a fixed-blade head. I want something that punches a big hole, because it’s going to be a lot harder to close up that wound channel.
Both heads were impressive in this test, but I give a slight edge (in the way the hole looks) to the K2.
If you look at the heavyweight K2 here, you notice that it really does make a bigger hole. It’s interesting because the heavyweight EXT is a bit wider just by an 1/8 of an inch. But because the bleeders are so wide over here in the K2, man, it just makes a nice big hole.You can see the same type result with the EXT here. The tip and ferrule are in perfect condition, but those blades got a bit nicked up. But very impressive holes and impressive durability.
Now, as for the durability of the heads themselves, they both held up fairly well. Of course, the tips and the ferrules are all in perfect condition. The tip is really durable. You can’t even tell it has been shot into anything, let alone steel.
But, the blades got really nicked up, and that started on the second shot. You could see them start to get nicked up on the first shot and then a little more with each subsequent shot.
Now, they are replaceable blades. Their gradual bevel makes them really sharp, but it also makes them a little prone to a bit of edge bending and nicking when shot into a super hard medium like steel.
As I sat there 20 feet up in that oak tree, trying to figure out what happened, I heard something behind me coming down the same trail. I turned to catch a glimpse of a wide Kansas buck heading my way.
I couldn’t believe this was happening so soon after I had missed the other deer.
This time, I was even more determined to settle my pins and connect on this nice Kansas buck!
As I released the arrow, I watched intently as it found its mark and sent the buck bolting through the woods to certain death.
First thing you need to film your hunts: Video Equipment
Choosing the right equipment is going to be a critical piece of the puzzle for creating quality footage of your hunts. This equipment can be as expensive or as cheap as you would like, depending on what you are after.
Let me just assume that most of us are on a limited budget but would still like pretty good equipment to capture our hunts.
The below list is certainly not all of the things that you could buy for filming your hunts. However, these are all of the things that you should buy for filming your hunts.
These pieces of equipment will help you be able to effectively tell your hunting story verbally and visually.
There are five pieces of video equipment that are critical to getting started filming your hunts… and they won’t break the bank. Read on for specifics of each…
The Canon 6D Mark 2 is a good camera for capturing your primary video while filming your own hunts.
Obviously, you cannot film hunts without a camera, but what camera do you choose? That’s a great question that gets asked often.
First, It is very important that you choose a camera that is “High Definition” and has good low-light capabilities. The high definition will help you have clearer footage and the low light capabilities will help you get a few extra minutes of film time in the morning and the evenings. After all, you never know when you’re going to see something so rare that you’ll wish you had footage of it later on.
An external mic will help you capture sounds from farther away than if just using the mic on the video camera.
Every camera you buy comes with a built-in microphone, and they work decent most of the time. However, they are just not as clear or as sensitive as they need to be when capturing the sounds of the woods.
There’s just something special about being able to hear the leaves crunching under the deer’s feet when you are watching your hunt on TV or on social media. You will hear a lot less of those types of natural sounds without an external microphone.
Another problem with not having an external microphone is when you put distance between the camera man and the hunter. An external microphone will give you a lot more range of distance than your standard camera mic.
It is true, most people will watch bad footage with good audio before they will watch good footage with bad audio. Rode Mics offer a variety of microphones for most cameras.
Trust me when I say, you will want to get an external microphone!
The fluid head, as seen here attached to the tripod, helps you make smooth, controlled camera movements. The remote allows you to operate the camera with one hand, freeing up the other for your bow or gun.
Yeah I know, I thought the same thing when I heard about “fluid heads.”
So, what is a fluid head?
It’s an attachment that fits onto your camera arm that works by hydraulic fluid. The hydraulic fluid head allows you to make smoother movements with your camera. This creates better, higher quality footage for your viewing.
Pro Am has some very good fluid heads at reasonable prices. ($100-$300)
A remote control for your camera is very important, especially if you are self-filming. It enables you to basically do everything with one hand so you can use your other hand to grab you bow or your gun.
Most cameras have remote controls that can be purchased for them. I prefer to use the remote controls that are wired and plug directly into the camera.
Camera remotes are made to attach to your camera arm handle and can be a lifesaver when a deer walks into range. They help you minimize movement while your target animal is close.
Second Thing You Need: PASSION
Getting started videoing your hunts is not as expensive as you might think. There are many affordable options available for you to begin capturing those unforgettable outdoor moments.
Passion is nothing more than a strong desire for something. And, if you are going to film your hunts, you are going to need a strong desire to do so.
I promise you there are going to be moments when you will wake up and you are already late to your stand and taking time to get camera gear to the tree will make you even later.
Then, there will be times when you will forget pieces of equipment and the thought will run across your mind, “I don’t know why I even mess with this junk. I’m not doing this anymore.”
Possibly, even worse than that, you will have a big buck bust you because you were reaching for the camera instead of your bow. It’s during these moments that it will take passion to help you keep going.
To successfully film your hunts, the second thing you need is to have passion in the following three areas…
Passion for hunting: Passion for hunting is probably the most obvious one. You have to love the hunt! Passion for hunting is what is going to keep you in the woods experiencing all of the things that are film-worthy. If the idea of being perched up twenty feet in a tree with a bow in your hand anticipating a big buck coming near gets you excited, then congratulations, you have a passion for the hunt!
Passion for telling the story: I had a man tell me once, “You tell stories really good.” That’s because I have a passion about telling stories. When I tell a story, I want people to feel what I was feeling, hear what I was hearing and see what I was seeing. Being able to take your camera and video everything that you are experiencing in the woods is being able to tell your story. It gives the viewer an opportunity to see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt. You will need a passion for that in order to overcome the difficulties that come along with filming.
Passion for new challenges: It is an understatement to say that filming your hunts is a challenge. It is actually beyond a challenge to be able to put it all together and film a successful hunt, but it sure is fun trying. One of the hard parts is learning all of the new things that make you better at filming your hunts. Anything from positioning your camera to learning how to edit your videos. Each one of these things can provide its own set of challenges, so you will need to be excited about learning new things. If you have a passion for new challenges then you are going to love filming your hunts.
There are so many more things that can be written on the subject of filming hunts.
The further you dive into the process more questions will come about camera equipment, editing, producing episodes for social media, etc. However, if there was one more piece of advice I could give you on this subject, it would be to remind you to have fun.
The camera is just a great way to share the memories of the love of the hunt, it is never meant to replace the love of the hunt. Sometimes the pressure of trying to get it all to work out on film can rob you of the fun of the sport of hunting.
Make up your mind before you begin the journey that you will always love the hunt more than you love the camera.