My Alaska adventure started almost ten years ago when I first booked my hunt with Top Gun Treks. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to cancel my trip, not once but twice… Needless to say, when I planned my 2018 trip, I was both skeptical and hopeful that nothing would go wrong! Having waited almost a decade to make this hunt happen, I was determined to make the most of it. I spent almost six months shooting my bow, lifting weights, running, and walking my small pups through our neighborhood with a heavy pack on, looking like a complete idiot; but who really cares (at least that’s what I told myself)! By the time September came, I had cut almost twenty pounds and lost 3 minutes on my mile, I was mentally and physically ready!
There’s always an aspect to every hunt that is out of the hunters control. Sometimes it’s the weather and terrain, or maybe the animals themselves. Regardless of what it may be, I find that the most important aspect of any hunt is preparation and confidence! When making decisions on what equipment to take with me, I found that the hardest choice by far was my broad head selection. Lets face it, there are SO many heads to choose from it was almost dizzying at times. I started by watching reviews on YouTube and weeding out the obvious. From there, I began to look into each aspect of what was needed in a head, which narrowed my search even more. In my opinion, when an animals life is on the line, and possibly mine, there is no such thing as overkill… Finally, based upon all of my gathered data, I decided to order some Iron Will Broadheads to test out. My first impression with these heads was the same as everyone who has held one, “It’s so freaking sharp and spins perfect!” I put the heads to the test shooting them out past ethical hunting range with perfect flight, and even putting one through my broad head target 40 times just to see how the edge would hold up. To my surprise, it still shaved hair! Making the decision to stick with the Iron Will heads was easy. After watching how they performed I had the confidence I was looking for in a broadhead.
On September 21, I finally got what I had come all the way to Alaska for, a chance at a P&Y Mountain Grizzly! My guide and I set up on a moose carcass that a grizz had claimed on the edge of the timber and waited patiently for the bear to return. I imagined this moment so many times in my head but never thought it would be this intense! When my bear finally presented me with a shot, he was 35yds and broadside. As the grizzly moved into position, I drew back and split my 30 and 40 yard pin just behind the front shoulder and launched my arrow! Almost in slo-mo, I watched the bear jump and roar as my arrow zipped completely through him, taking out both lungs and burying itself in the tundra. The bear only ran 60 yards before letting out a death moan and piling up! I spent some time inspecting the head later when things settled down. There was only one small nick in the tip and all of the blades were still sharp!
After seeing what the broad head did to my grizzly, I chose the same head for my daughter to use on her first archery hunt in Texas. She only draws 40lbs and had the same success as me on a 140 inch whitetail deer!
I couldn’t be happier with the performance from Iron Will Outfitters. Their products are second to none!
- Jason Vallotton
"I found out about Iron Will Broadheads while I was browsing Bowsite.com. I went to their website and read all about their heads and the materials they used. I was a machinist for 30 years and I know that the steel they chose is second to none for hardness and holding an edge. I ordered a 3 pack of the 125 grain heads. I took one head and used it for practice as I will shoot nothing but broadheads when I have an upcoming hunt. I shot this one head close to one hundred times into a Reinhart broadhead target. It was still really sharp but I put it to a leather strop and after a couple of minutes it was shaving hair. This was the very same head that I shot my bull elk with. Now I have been a bowhunter for longer than I can remember and I have killed many different animals with my bow, but never have I seen such a blood trail. I knew right then we would find my elk. I am color blind and normally I really need help tracking an animal. Even though I had a guide with me I could have followed this trail as it was enormous. Some guys will spend thousands of dollars and try to save money by purchasing inexpensive broadheads. Not me! Iron Will Broadheads will always be in my quiver and my first choice for hunting."
- Alan Scott, Portage, WI
"Dear Iron Will Outfitters,
I wanted to compliment you on the best broadhead I have ever used. I recently took an Alaskan-Yukon moose with your v100 broadhead. The first arrow passed through the first shoulder and embedded on the shoulder on the opposite side with such force I could not get the broadhead out of the bone even though it was still in one piece. That shot dropped the moose in his tracks and although he managed to struggle to his feet I put one more through the lungs with a complete pass through and he did not make it 30 yards. I might also say the shots were at 50 yards which was impressive performance for such a large boned animal. Besides durability these broadheads are incredibly true in flight and I didn't have to perform near as much arrow to broadhead tuning as I have with other broadheads including mechanicals. Great product keep up the good work!"
Well, if you’re reading this, then maybe you’re considering buying Iron Will Broadheads. If so, just do it. Need convincing? Then read on…
I’m as passionate about backcountry archery hunting as I am about designing and building fine furniture. I research and buy the best edged tools I can, every tool is hand sharpened and its edge polished to a mirror finish. I have zero tolerance for crap steel that masquerades as something it isn’t. Hand plane enough wood and chop enough mortises in tough, hard maple, or exotic lumber like African bubinga and you’ll learn to tell good steel from crap. My chisels and plane blades are mainly D-2 steel, Japanese white steel, Japanese blue steel, or the same A-2 steel that machinists rely on and Iron Will uses in its broadheads. Steel selection choice is important, but even more important is the heat treatment/quenching process used to extract maximum performance from blade steels. Iron Will has that figured out too.
Why I chose Iron Will:
Steel- Iron Will uses A-2 steel for its broadheads, the same A-2 steel used by the best hand plane makers for their blades (even when money is no object).
Heat treatment/Cryo-quenching- Iron Will invests the time and money needed to give every one of its broadheads the same heat treatment and liquid nitrogen cryogenic quenching processes used by the best bladesmiths to create hard, yet tough blade steel.
Sharpening- Iron Will not only sharpens their broadheads, they take their edges to a mirror finish, making the intersection of each bevel into an absolute razor.
Blade configuration/Edge geometry- I spent almost an hour on the phone with Iron Will’s founder, discussing his cut-on-contact samurai tanto-tip blade design-- and that was after I spent countless hours learning from published papers on the merits of single bevel vs. double bevel, etc. In the end, I was completely convinced that Bill’s engineering and testing proved his design and build to be superior.
Ferrule strength- every broadhead I’ve used prior to Iron Will had either an aluminum ferrule or mild steel ferrule. I wanted max strength, Iron Will uses either hardened stainless steel or Grade 5 Titanium (the stuff the military uses). I don’t think there’s a tougher ferrule out there.
Confidence- All of the above combined to give me the confidence that as long as I did my part, this broadhead would not let me down.
The Bottom Line: What did I get after all my research, after spending more than I would have for mass produced broadheads from a big-box retailer? Exactly what I expected, performance…
I arrived home 3am Monday, October 11th, 2017 from a successful Yukon archery moose hunt, my buddy and I both tagged out on big bull moose early on the 4th day of a 7-day hunt.
Everything about a mature Yukon/Alaska bull moose is huge, they are probably 30”+ thick through the chest, they weigh 1,200 -1,600 pounds, their fur and hide are many times thicker and tougher than deer hide and notably thicker than elk, their ribs are almost as big as your wrist. Spend all year in the gym training, hike miles in the mountains training with a loaded pack, invest countless hours at the range, practicing. You can’t take a chance that your broadhead will let you down after you put in all that work. If you fail to recover a wounded animal you shot during a guided Yukon hunt; well, you had your chance and YOUR hunt is OVER. You won’t get a free do-over or a mulligan. I shoot a 60lb Bowtech Experience, 27.5” draw, 400 grain Victory VAPs, lighted nocks, Titanium inserts, 125g Iron Will broadheads. I wanted total penetration and zero worry about a blade or broadhead ferrule bending or breaking if I hit bone.
My bull was mature, large bodied and carried a 61” antler spread. I shot him twice at full broadside and both were kill shots. First shot was a double lung pass-through at about 35-40 yards. That broadhead went through him so fast he didn't even blink. Second shot, about 15 seconds later at 25-30 yds, again a double lung pass through. The second arrow passed through him with such remaining speed/energy that it completely split a 2” sapling 20 feet on the other side of him (see photo). Bull trotted about 60 yards into the middle of a small river, stood there about 10-20 seconds and dropped.
I’ve attached photos of the bull, picture of the lungs with both arrow entries (arrow in photo is not the arrow I shot, since I had not recovered either of those yet) and a photo of the second arrow/broadhead I shot- which split a sapling after passing through almost 3 feet of bull. Lungs/hide, etc. are not all that bloody looking since he died in the river and we had to work him up in the flowing water.
What do average broadheads cost? $35-$50 for three? For about twice the money, you can have the best you can buy. Once I had all the facts, my decision was easy.
Best of luck on YOUR hunt!
"This hunt started with blue skies, green grass, and an ominous weather forecast. Multiple days of hunting in blizzard conditions were taking their toll. When the storm cleared enough for us to glass this bull, I knew we needed to make the most of the opportunity. Not only is this the largest bull elk I've ever taken, it was also taken in the toughest conditions I've hunted. These are the moments Iron Will broadheads are made for."
-Eric Whiting, Co-Founder
"I wanted to reach out and say thanks for the broadhead. I am glad to report that your product performed as advertised! From a downward angle, my twin brother Trevor’s arrow shot completely through the front shoulder blade and exited through the last rib of a cow elk. A week later I took the same broadhead and made a 57 yard shot on a bull elk, again resulting in a complete pass through. The v100 broadhead showed little sign of damage in the end. Now that I’ve found the arrow and the condition is still acceptable, I will attempt to fill my cow tag with it as well. Thanks again for a premium product and wish me luck!”
"For bow hunters that go the extra mile, much culminates and rides on a successful shot. I engineered the Iron Will Broadheads so when a massive bull is down range, I can trust my broadhead to finish the job and perform as well as science allows."
-Bill Vanderheyden, Co-Founder and Lead Engineer