As the population and range of wild (feral) hogs increases across the country, bowhunters are given new opportunities to chase these animals with very liberal hunting regulations. Hogs present excellent opportunities for spot and stalk hunts as well as hunting them from stands at a food source. It has been my experience that hogs can be one of the most difficult animals to shoot and recover with a bow for a multitude of reasons. The layer of fat that encompasses their body has the ability to seal up a broadhead wound in record time, the heavy bone sturcture of their shoulders protect the forward lying vitals and create a challenge for almost any broadhead on the market. In a hog, the diaphragm which separates the heart/lung cavity from the liver, stomach and intestines sits just a couple of inches behind the shoulder. This type of anatomy makes it difficult to make a clean heart or lung shot from the broadside position without penetrating the shoulder. It sounds ridiculous, I know, as we're all taught from a young age to shoot a deer, elk, antelope or any other game behind the shoulder… not into it.
I've killed hogs with Slick Trick, Muzzy, Eastman Mechanicals, Montecs, Crimson Talon, and Magnus heads. Of those broadheads, none of the mechanicals could ever be used again and several of the fixed heads met their match as well. The second weekend in February I was able to try the NAP Blood Runner 3-Blade head that I picked up from bowhunting.com. For a full video review on this head, you can click here. Briefly, the Blood Runner 3-Blade 100gr. appears to be a fixed blade head with a 1" cutting diameter, upon impact the blades "open" and add another 1/2" of cutting diameter. There is physically no way that the blades will not expand and if there was, you'd still have a 1" fixed blade head on the tip of your arrow. As with any NAP product the blades are extremely sharp out of the package.
Valentines Day eve found me sitting in a treestand in South Central Oklahoma awaiting my first shot attempt with a Blood Runner tipped Easton Axis. As the darkness quickly set in, fellow staff member Jessica Edd and I were in the process of calling it quits when three black hogs materialized in front of us. I came to full draw and waited for several seconds for a shot opportunity, one sow turned broadside and I strained to make out the green glow of my 20 yard pin. I centered the almost silhouetted pin on her shoulder and touched the release. It was dark enough in the trees that I couldn't see my arrow impact the animal, but we could hear the arrow hit and as the animal ran past our tree we could hear the boiler room was flooding. Seconds later we could hear the pig expire not 50 yards from the point of impact. We gathered our gear and moved to the spot where my hog was last standing. The arrow had passed through and there was blood where the animal stood at the shot. From there, the most incredible blood trail I've ever witnessed led us directly to my pig. At the time, I didn't have the foresight to use an arrow or anything else in the photo to show how wide the blood trail was but it was never less than 12" wide.
Still photo of the blood trail created by the NAP Blood Runner
Still photo taken down the blood trail. If you look closely you can see blood spatter all the way across this photo.
We eventually hauled our pigs back to the skinning shack and I was able to do a bit of an autopsy. The arrow entered directly in the left shoulder joint, passed through the rib cage cutting the top half of the heart and exited through the armpit and leg bone on the opposite side. I was somewhat shocked to see the amount of bone that was contacted after seeing that my broadhead showed almost zero damage. The only visible damage is two very small nicks on one of the three blades, small enough that any sharpening stone will do the trick.
Damage through the rib cage, notice how far forward the heart was sitting
Exit wound through the leg
You can see the "nicks" here is the lower blade
Still operates perfectly!
The NAP Blood Runner has passed one of the most difficult tests in the hunting world, with flying colors. This is by far one of the best heads I have shot to date and I will have one in my quiver for many hunts to come.