When it comes to whitetail and other types of deer, there are two time periods during the year that are particularly fascinating.
For hunters, the “rut” is certainly an important time, as males seek out females for breeding. During this time, the woods and hunting grounds are alive with activity and often provide a hunter the best opportunity at the buck of a lifetime.
And, while the conclusion of the rut often signals the end of hunting season for many, a different stage will soon begin. In the Spring and Summer months, does will begin birthing fawns that were conceived during the rut and a new part of the life cycle will begin.
If you frequent the woods during this time, you just might catch a peek at a small, spotted whitetail fawn. And, if you utilize trail cameras during the Summer months to keep tabs on your herd, a picture of a fawn is always a welcome surprise.
But, how long are deer pregnant, and how can you figure out when the fawns will start dropping in your area?
The spotted coat of a whitetail fawn is a beautiful thing to see. You have the best chance to see these young deer in May or June.
Gestation period of Whitetail Deer
To determine the approximate conception date of a whitetail fawn or the estimated birth date, you have to first know the gestation period (how long the baby deer is in the womb between conception and birth.)
According to Mark K. Johnson, Professor at the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University, the gestation period for whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the northern U.S. are similar to that of whitetail in the southern states, ranging from 193 to 205 days (Spring 2002 issue of Louisiana Agriculture).
Based on those statistics, whitetail does bred in early November would likely be born in mid-May to early June. So, female whitetail deer are pregnant for about 6 and a half months.
If you happen to have trail cameras out during the Summer months, you may catch a photo or video of a fawn with its mother. The unmistakable spots on young fawns is beautiful to see until they begin to fade 3 to 4 months after birth.
While the number of days that whitetail deer and mule deer are pregnant is very similar, the elk (Cervus canadensishas) a longer pregnancy.
According the Minnesota Elk Breeders Association, the average gestation period for elk is approximately 246 days. The “rut” time period for elk ranges from late August to late October with calves typically being born in May or June.
Bull elk have a gestation time of approximately 246 days.
When it comes to your bowhunting setup, knowing the “Kinetic Energy” of your arrow allows you to know how much energy that arrow possesses due to motion, from being shot by your bow.The “Momentum” tells youhow much force it will take to stop your arrow when it reaches its intended target.
Kinetic Energy and Momentum Arrow Calculator
Kinetic Energy and Momentum Calculator
Arrow weight Value must be between 250 and 1000 grains.
move slider or enter value
Arrow speed Value must be between 100 and 500 Feet Per Second.
move slider or enter value
If you know your arrow’s weight (in grains) and your arrow’s speed (Feet Per Second), then you can use our Kinetic Energy and Momentum calculator above to find out each! Simply move the sliders or enter the values in the blanks. And, if you really want to take a deep dive into the Kinetic Energy of arrows, check out what the Ranch Fairy is up to below…
Kinetic Energy And Bowhunting (How I Got Here)
As you may already know, the ‘ole Ranch Fairy (that’s me) is quite out of the norm in his measuring of arrow systems. (If you aren’t aware, I am definitely one of the strange ones in the bowhunting world.)
Anyway, just to set the record straight, the biggest overlap between Dr. Ed, the Ashby Bowhunting Foundation, and the Ranch Fairy is simple: We want to know the highest performing projectile for all impact points to pass through the animal you are hunting.
The first time Rocketman said, “well, Troy, a bow is just a spring with fixed Kinetic Energy,” I thought… BLASPHEMY!
But, from what I understand, he is right.
The bow can’t “make” more KE. It is what it is.
BUT, you can change the arrow and gain some…..so hang on. Let me set the table here…
A bow is just a spring with a fixed Kinetic Energy. It can’t make more kinetic energy than what it already possesses.
KE Arrow Testing
On a basic level, radar measures a projectile’s speed over distance.
The testing unit that we used measures 5 total distances. So, if you want to shoot 60 yards, the computer divides that distance into 5 increments.
[NOTE TO SELF – you need to put the target further than 60 yards to capture the flight speed. To address this, we placed the target at 70 yards. Because, if impact is at 60 yards, the data would be flawed for velocity testing because the target stops the arrow at a yardage that it should be being measured.]
The top line is the launch velocity. The change in velocity is super boring… Until you look at the 60 yard impact KE.
The gap in the data sets shows the significant reduction in KE over distance. However, you see that gap narrow as arrow mass increases.
As you can see, in all the above graphs, the launch KE is relatively constant, but alas, further away, at 60 yards, with higher mass projectiles, we see something worth pondering. (Well, only if you think math is correct!)
What are the results telling us? (Please pardon the steam coming out of my ears)
So, despite my heavy arrow bias, (I’m not much of a hair splitter), increasing launch KE 3-6 ft/pounds is really boring.
But the lower line, at 60 yards, is worth chewing on.
If you search around, many of the wide mechanical broadheads suggest KE’s of 45-60 ft-lb’s. Now, they don’t go out on a limb and say, “that will create a pass through, or break bones.” It’s just a recommended impact KE.
Formula for Kinetic Energy: K.E. = 1/2mv2 (where m=mass of object and v=velocity)
And be clear, just like the firearms world, this is launch KE, maximum velocity. This is because a projectile can’t go faster once it leaves the muzzle or the string… It’s always slowing down.
Silly aerodynamic drag.
Now in a vacuum… oh wow, throw in some zero gravity and guess what?
It still doesn’t go faster….. it would maintain launch velocity and you wouldn’t be able to breathe to test it.
Some adult field points and some, ahem, “super weenie points.”
There have been multiple companies and YouTube personalities showing fixed blade vs. mechanical pressure testing on deer thoraxes and other items simulating a critter. They use very complicated mechanical devices down to something as simple as a bathroom scale.
Let’s just say, the HUGE differences are eye popping.
It’s not half a pound or 3, it’s exponential. The “precision” of the device doesn’t matter when the difference is 40 pounds. Please search those tests up, because I know you’ll go do it anyway.
When it comes to arrow penetration, harder things push back harder… you can just blame Sir Isaac Newton for that and keep my hate mail down!
I tested them for long range flight, penetration, durability, and edge sharpness and retention. And, as always, I shot with my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds with a 27-inch draw length, and I’m using Bishop Archery FOC King Arrows, with a weight of 460 grains.
Cutthroat 2-Blade Broadheads specs
The cutthroat broadheads lineup ranges from 125 grains to 250 grains.
There’s a lot to like about the Cutthroat. In some ways, it’s just a simple 2-blade single-bevel design. But, in other ways, there are some unique things that make it extra special.
First of all, Cutthroat broadheads come in several different weights, ranging from 125 grains to 250 grains (which can be great for higher FOC arrows). In this test, I shot the 125-grain version.
Here, you can seethe specs for the Cutthroat Broadhead.
The Cutthroat is machined from a single chunk of 41L40 tool steel, which is really a high quality tool steel. And it’s brought to a Rockwell hardness of 55. It’s a good balance between being soft enough to sharpen and yet tough enough to be able to hold its edge well.
In addition, these broadheads are Teflon coated to protect the blades. It also has a really nice Tanto tip to help prevent blade rollover at the end.
The blades are 0.060 inches thick so a nice good thickness to them. And the single bevel is a 25-degree bevel.
I was eager to put this head to the test and see how it performed.
I have found that a 40-degree bevel is superior when it comes to how much a broadhead rotates in flight. So, the rotation of a steeper edge is going to produce a better bone splitting ability and more damage internally. At a 25 degree bevel angle with the .060″ blade thickness, the Cutthroat head should still do fairly well.
The Cutthroat head was able to pop a balloon from 70 yards out.
In the out of the box sharpness test, I test how many times a broadhead can still cut through paper after a stroke of an arrow shaft across it. I give 5 points for the first cut and then one point for every cut thereafter.
The Cutthroat broadhead was able to still cut paper after three strokes of the arrow, giving it a total score of 7 points.
The Cutthroat 2-blade head cut paper after three strokes of the arrow.
In this penetration test, I shot the Cutthroat into ballistic get that was fronted by 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF board.
In ballistic gel test, the Cutthroat penetrated 7-1/4″ with 45 degrees of rotation.
I was also able to test the Cutthroaght 3-Blade from Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear. This is a 3-blade double bevel head.
I was excited to see how it performed. But first, let’s take a close up look at it.
Here’s a good close-up look at the Cutthroat 3-blade. This is a wicked looking broadhead. Notice the convex design to the blades, how they’re curved. You don’t see that in many 3 blades. That’s supposedly going to aid in penetration and the way it cuts the tissue. I was eager to see how that plays out.
The Cutthroagth 3-Blade head is machined from a solid chunk of 41L40 tool steel, which is a great steel to use in a broadhead application, due to its impact resistance.
The blades are 0.035 inches thick and the cutting diameter is one and one-eighth inches. This is the 125-grain model. So it has got a relatively short overall profile and you notice the tip there is designed for extra reinforcement and durability to prevent curling and rollover.
Below is the Cutthroat 3-blade head after going through a 22-gauge steel plate five times.
The Cutthroat 3-blade was in perfect condition after shooting it into the steel plate 5-times. You can’t even tell it has been shot other than my fingerprints on the blades. Man, this thing really, really held up well.
I shot the 3-blade into a cinder block to see what would happen.
Here is the Cutthroat 3-blade after impacting the cinder block. This was the same head that also went through the steel plate five times. It’s in excellent shape. You can see the discoloration from the concrete and chips of concrete embedded in it. But the edges, even where it went into the concrete, are still in good condition. The tip is still very sharp. No doubt this can be re-sharpened and reused many times over.
There are many really good things about it this head. I especially love the durability of that chiseled tip. I also love the steel that they’re using (the 41L40.)
I’m not really sure why they went with a curved convex design, although it looks really cool. Maybe there are reasons that don’t bear out in my testing. The convex design makes it a little bit more challenging to sharpen, because you can’t just lay it flat like you could with a normal 3 blade, 60-degree head and sharpen two edges at a time.
So, overall, I think the 3-blade Cutthroat as well! It’s a great head.