In this broadhead review, I put the Tuffhead 3-blade broadhead to the test.
The Evolution is Tuffhead’s series of broadheads that crosses over into the compound bow market. They already have a great reputation for what they’ve done in the trad archery market.
Tuffhead Evolution 3 up close and personal
Below is a really good look at the broadhead close-up. The Tuffhead Evolution 3-blade has a double bevel to it. It’s constructed and machined out of a single piece of S7 tool steel, which is an excellent steel to use in a broadhead application because of its incredible resistance to impact. As a result, it is super durable and its resistance to impact is many times greater than that of typical stainless steel.
This is the Tuffhead Evolution Series 3 Blade Head, which has some really unique features…
I want to note here that when I previously tested the 2-blade version of this broadhead, the tip of that head rolled over when it impacted the concrete block.
The Tuffhead owner saw that and he asked me to send the heads back, because he feared there might have been an error in the hardening process.
And, after testing them, he found that was indeed the case. The Rockwell hardness was supposed to be 55 on those heads, but in that particular batch, it was only 48.
The cutting diameter is 1-inch. So that’s relatively small. A 1-inch cut is not going to be a very big hole but the overall goal is to maximize penetration. This head will do that by just having a 1-inch cut. But, remember, this head has 3 blades, so you’re actually getting an inch-and-a-half of tissue being cut.
The blades of the Evolution 3-blade are 0.042 inches thick. The head is 2.1 inches long.
Notice here that the ferrule has a “scoop” design to the ferrule. This aids in flight as well as penetration. It also helps create a nice wound channel as it goes through an animal.
Below you can see the holes in the steel plate and you can see that they’re nice triangular holes that often come with a one-piece steel head like this. So even though they’re only 1-inch in cutting diameter, they are nice holes and not just three slits.
I shot the Tuffhead through a steel plate 5 times to test durability.It made nice triangular holes.
I shot the Tuffhead into a cinder block to see just how tough it really is!
Here’s the Tuffhead 3 Blade after the concrete as well as after the steel plate and it’s just in pristine condition. Excellent, excellent durability! Penetrated very well into the concrete and the tip is still very sharp. There was no rollover and the edges are still sharp as well.
On the weakness side, if you call it a weakness… I’m not a huge fan of really long broadheads like that because it does adversely affect flight a bit. However, they’ve designed this really well to help make up for some of that.
So again, check out the score sheets below and see what matters to you the most. But this head is definitely worth a look. Tuffhead has definitely made huge strides from the trad archery market to the compound bow sector. Great job, Tuffhead.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) are the two biggest diseases that can impact your deer herd, but more specifically, your mature bucks.
If you have never heard of either one, let me give you a quick summary.
Before moving on to the specifics of EHD and CWD, here is a table to explain the differences between the two:
Mis-shaped prion protein
Mortality when contracted:
Duration of clinical illness:
24 hrs to several weeks
18-24 months, followed by death
Long-term herd effect:
Build up Immunity, herd rebounds
Unknown, but might lower herd productivity if prevalence gets too high. Mature males harder to grow.
Almost entire lower 48
Parts of 24 states and 2 Canadian Provinces
Human health impact:
Cannot infect people
No evidence of human health impacts
EHD vs. CWD
Mature bucks may be hard to come by once CWD gets a foothold in the deer herd.
EHD | The Specifics
EHD is in the same group of viruses as Bluetongue (BT) Virus and because clinical symptoms are similar between the two, they are generally clumped together and called Hemorrhagic Disease.
EHD and Bluetongue viruses are transmitted by a biting midge, usually in late Summer or early Fall but can also occur in the Springtime.
Clinical symptoms are highly variable. Initial symptoms include a feverish state where some animals can lose their fear of humans.
CWD can devastate what used to be a healthy deer herd.
There was a video of a buck that went viral because it stumbled through a burning campfire on its way to drowning itself in a river, all while people stood around wondering what the heck was going on.
Deer with EHD may die within 1-3 days after getting bitten if they have no immunity to the strain of virus that has infected them.
As deer attempt to relieve their fever, they often become dehydrated and will be found near water.
Once a hard frost hits the landscape, the threat of further EHD outbreaks is complete for that growing season, but as soon as midges come back in the spring there is a chance for further outbreaks.
This is a map from the Southeastern Cooperative Disease Study showing where EHD has been found across the US from 1980-2015:
CWD | The Specifics
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), on the other hand, is caused by a protein that changes its shape to a non-functional version. This prion protein normally resides all over the body, but is concentrated in the lymphatic system, brain and spinal tissues.
Infected deer show no clinical symptoms for up to 18 months but are capable of spreading prions even before they show any outward sign of illness.
In the later stages of the disease, animals lose coordination and become lame. They also lose their appetite and fear of humans. They are typically found with dropping ears and head in a lower position.
In areas where CWD prevalence is above 50%, mature bucks stand a higher chance of contracting the disease and dying.
CWD has gotten a lot of press lately because of the concern to potentially impact humans, whereas EHD poses no direct threat to humans.
Notice how I said ‘potentially’ impact? That’s because there’s currently no evidence that it will impact humans, but that doesn’t mean it will always be that way.
CWD is in a group of diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies and in that same group of diseases is one that infects humans, called Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD).
A variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) can be acquired by eating meat from cattle infected with a similar disease called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow Disease.
The fear is that one day humans will someday be susceptible to CWD, even though that day has yet to come. That’s because all animals carry some type of prion protein, but a major difference is that the human prion protein has slightly different amino acid structure than deer.
There has also been recent concern that CWD can be transmitted to macaque monkeys, which are genetically much more similar to humans, but that information has yet to be published in scientific literature.
What causes the normal prion protein to change into the mis-shaped disease state remains uncertain, although there are many theories about how this could happen.
Here is a map from the USGS showing the distribution of CWD across North America.
That means the chance of a buck having CWD would be the same as flipping a coin to heads, and if you see a buck older than 3 years old in that area, they are more and more likely to contract it and die before reaching 6 years old.
This is because mature bucks move about the landscape more often than females, especially during the breeding season.
Bucks also mutually groom each other in bachelor groups during the summer months, so they have more opportunity to spread the disease than female groups, which tend to keep a more consistent home range throughout their lifetime.
If you have a pond edge, plant vegetation that can withstand moist soil right up the edge of the water.
Spread quick growing seeds like rye grain on areas of a creek bottom that have been exposed to flooding and try to reduce the amount of mud exposed.
Fogging for insects around ponds on a still morning may also reduce adult populations thus limiting the spread of disease.
You can also keep your herd healthy by supplemental feeding and using minerals. Ani-Logics Outdoors has produced a health additive for their feed and minerals that can increase immune system function. When the immune system is firing on all cylinders, the deer that gets bitten by an infected midge has an increased chance of survival. Those that are in poor bodily condition when bitten by the midge have a much higher chance of dying.
As for CWD, the best thing you can do to prevent the spread is not to move the carcass of deer harvested in a CWD area. Also, dispose of the remains in a state approved landfill or incinerator.
If you harvest a trophy buck in a CWD area, make sure the taxidermist you use is local, and make sure they properly dispose of the brain and spinal cord tissue without putting it back on the landscape.
If everyone hunting deer in a CWD area removed all the CWD positive carcasses off the landscape, prevalence would remain low enough that no population level concerns would ever occur.
There would be no way to eliminate the amount of prion proteins already deposited on the landscape, but at least we wouldn’t be adding more fuel to the CWD fire by always putting more diseased prions in the woods.
If you hunt in an area that is not known to have CWD, you should still get your deer tested because deer have been known to make very long excursions outside of their normal range.
Here in Minnesota, the DNR recently tracked a collared deer that made a 75-mile one-way trek. Thankfully it was not CWD positive at the time, but if one deer did it, that means other can as well.
Best of luck in having a healthy deer herd!
*deer skull article photo used by permission from Brad Alan
Draw length is an extremely important component to good form and repeatable shot mechanics.
However, you will typically find that draw length is discussed in regards to compound bows. This is because a compound bow has a set maximum draw length, once you hit the “back wall” of the draw cycle (the back wall is the place in the draw cycle where you can no longer pull the bow any farther.)
If you don’t want to use the N1 Outdoors draw length calculator above and instead want to figure your estimated draw length with good ‘ole mathematics, the first thing you need to do is measure your armspan (or wingspan).
First you need to determine your armspan. Simply spread out your arms (don’t over-stretch) with your palms facing forward.
Measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger.
Do some old school calculating
Take the measurement from step 2 and divide it by 2.5. This will provide you with a fairly reliable estimate of your appropriate draw length. Check with your local bow shop to help you fine tune.
“Draw length is a specified distance, or the distance at the archer’s full draw, from the nocking point on the string to the pivot point of the bow grip (or the theoretical vertical projection of a tangency line to the pivot point parallel to the string) plus 1 3/4”. Draw length from pivot point shall be designed at DLPP and shall be called TRUE DRAW LENGTH. EXAMPLE: 26 1/4” DLPP plus 1 3/4” is the equivalent of 28” draw”
AMO Standards Committee FIELD PUBLICATION FP-3, 2000
So, by this definition, if you have a “28-inch draw length”, that means that at full draw the distance from the deepest point of the grip to the nocking point of the string would be 26.25 inches.