The “Rage in the Cage” craze has captivated many bowhunters. The promise of “Ax” like entrance holes and “massive” blood trails would have any serious bowhunter ready to jump on board. I’ve always been a diehard of fixed-blade broadheads, for several reasons: first, that is what I grew up using and what my dad had always used. He and I have harvested numerous deer with fixed-blade broadheads. That isn’t to say we haven’t lost any, as we definitely have, but you put it in the right spot and that deer is dead. I was raised and taught that in terms of broadheads, accuracy was much more important than cutting diameter, something I still stand by today. Watching the evolution of mechanical broadheads has been interesting to say the least. From the early days of wrapping a rubber band around the blades to keep them in place to the now much more sophisticated construction. This past season, I tried a newer model of one of my preferred fixed-blade brands. After dozens of shots, multiple bow tunings, and inconsistent results it was time for a change…leading me to try Rage Broadheads.
My first choice was to determine whether I would shoot 2- or 3-blade broadheads. After reviewing several hunting forums, it seemed the overwhelming majority of Rage users select the 2-blade because of its larger cutting diameter. I made the decision to go right to the source for a little research at www.ragebroadheads.com. After watching several videos, the choice of a 3-blade broadhead seemed like a no brainer with field point-like flying, deeper penetration, and a much larger entrance wound. After verifying that my bow had the necessary kinetic energy (KE) to create a successful deployment of the blades via their online calculator, I was set to purchase my Rage Broadheads. Though $39.99 is a little more than I was used to spending, I anticipated good results.
The moment I sent my first arrow into my target with the Rage practice head, I knew accuracy would no longer be an issue. After two dozen arrows of consistent grouping between 20 and 30 yards, I felt comfortable that I made a good decision. But the question still remained if it would work as well on a live deer. I’m not going to lie; I read numerous horror stories of deer hit right in the “vitals” with no blood found and no dead deer. But in the end, the biologist in me found it nearly impossible to believe that hitting a deer in the vitals would not lead to a dead deer.
On November 1, I got to test the broadhead out on a mature public land doe. At 21 yards, I slipped the Rage right behind the shoulder and got a perfect pass through. I watched her run for 75 yards and not 2 seconds after she ducked into the woods did I hear the infamous “crash.” My arrow laid about 3 yards from where I shot, and I immediately picked up a very visible blood trail. Not the best I ever had, but better than I would normally see. She expired within 100 yards of the shot, and besides a short trip through some nasty-thick cover, it was a very easy track job. To my surprise after going home and examining the broadhead, 2 of the 3 blades were in excellent shape and the third looked to have collided hard against the rib cage. Blade replacement was MUCH easier than I expected, with the removal of just a small screw and change of the black “o-ring.” Test number one was a success in my book, but I still had plenty of season left to see if it was a one-time success, or the beginning of another dedicated Rage Broadhead user.
I wouldn’t have to wait long for my next test. On November 5, I had the best morning on the stand in my entire life. The rut is a magical time, but until you have one of those “I can’t believe that happened” days, you have yet to experience the “real rut.” The morning started off fast with 3 bucks (1 shooter) chasing a single doe. By 9AM, I had already seen 8 bucks, and 2-3 of them were shooters. At 9:20AM, I rattled in a mature buck and let the Rage eat at 20 yards, slightly quartering too. Unfortunately, I clipped a limb and watched my arrow only penetrate half way. I instantly saw blood coming from around the arrow and watched the buck for 75 yards as he bounded out of sight. I did not hear any “crash” although I thought I heard a loud “thump.” To be on the safe side I backed out for 4 hours, before beginning the tracking job.
The blood started about 10 yards from where he was shot, and once it started, it poured out. I was amazed considering there was no exit and the arrow entered on a downward angle. The bright red blood, with bubbles in it, indicated a good lung shot (I initially thought single lung). The trail continued as steady as when it started for 100 yards. Blood ran a little thinner at this point but was still easy to follow. At the end of the trail, 150 yards from the shot laid my public land, mature buck! It was a beautiful long-tined, 8-point that I had caught on trail camera several times but never in daylight. The arrow was still in him as he lay in a dried creek bed. I realized quickly the “thump” I heard was him trying to jump the creek bed and crashing into the other side before ending up in his final bed. The entrance hole was unbelievable…and it turned me into an instant believer in Rage Broadheads. Even with a deflected arrow, all three blades deployed and I received a solid 17 ½” of arrow penetration.
Once in the cavity, the Rage had done some major damage. What I first believed to be a single lung shot, quickly turned out to be an obvious double-lung hit. The animal was on the ground in less than 30 seconds and traveled a distance of 150 yards. At home I examined the blades, and noted one was in excellent shape and the other two had minimal damage, but enough that I replaced them to ensure exceptional functionality.
Overall, the Rage broadhead did exactly what it is advertised to do. Although some hunters may have “opposing” views, that’s what drives a company to create a better product. Shooting a deer in the shoulder blades can be a fatal hit, but it is by far one of the riskiest shots you could take. Like many broadheads, a Rage will likely not perform as advertised in this situation. Rage has put out several new models for 2012 including the “Chisel.” This new broadhead’s stainless steel chisel point is supposed to bash through any bone that gets in its way! My Rage 3-blade broadheads flew more accurately than my fixed-blades, achieved at least 17” of penetration on both kills, and blew gaping, entrance holes. I look forward to trying some of the new models, and comparing them to other broadhead manufacturers. For under $40, Rage’s 3-blade 100gr. broadheads are well worth the money!
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