It’s the time of year bowhunters worldwide wait for — it’s whitetail season. In weeks, kingpin bucks from north to south and east to west will roam the woods looking for love. Tipped with the right broadhead, these arrow allows you to interrupt the rut and paint the forest floor red.
The white-tailed deer is the most sought-after big game species in the world.
Whitetails are huntable in almost every state in the U.S., and this widespread distribution means almost every hunter can chase Odocoileus virginianus. This species of deer is extremely adaptable to various environments and landscapes.
Aside from the whitetail’s distribution, they are a blast to hunt with archery tackle. Few things in the bowhunting world beat a crisp November morning in a stand of hardwoods, listening to horns clacking and heavy hooves crunching fallen leaves.
4MM, Yes, Please!
I spend my summer months testing arrows and broadheads, and Easton’s 4mm shafts have proven their salt. I trust these micro-diameter shafts (Axis 4mm Long Range & 4mm FMJ) for all my hunts, from turkey to whitetails to elk; I’m a 4mm geek.
The thinner the circumference of the shaft, the more accurate the shaft is. Micro-diameter arrows receive high praise for resisting wind drift because the arrow’s diameter gives the wind less surface area to press against. This is true. However, testing has proved that even in dead calm conditions, my 4mm shafts trump the accuracy of standard diameter shafts significantly beyond 50 yards.
Like a rifle hunter seeking a bullet with the best ballistic coefficient, I want to fill my quiver with an arrow that allows me to be the most accurate, deadly bowhunter I can be.
I have shot bull elk at 60 yards with Easton’s 4mm shafts and blown through them. My broadhead choice is a big part of this, but shooting an ultra-micro-diameter arrow in the 4mm Series means my arrow shaft will track seamlessly behind the broadhead. The small diameter reduces contact with flesh, organs, and bone, which means more energy as the arrow moves through the animal.
I don’t know about you, but I get better blood trails when my arrow blows through the animal. Two holes are better than one.
Easton 4mm FMJ
You cannot go wrong with any Easton 4mm arrow build, but my favorite for whitetails is the 4mm FMJ Match Grade.
My Hoyt VTM 31 is set at a 29-inch draw length and 68 pounds of draw weight. Though I can shoot spine sizes of 400 or 340, the 340 is my go-to. These shafts weigh 11 grains per inch, and the advanced carbon core wrapped in top-tier Easton aluminum guarantees maximum straightness.
My arrows (without nock and field point) with an 8-32 Aluminum Half-out insert measure 28-3/8 inches and weigh 491 grains with four AAE Hybrid 23 vanes, a Nockturnal lighted nock, and 100-grain SEVR 1.75.
My speed rating is 265 fps. I’m going to address something after posting that speed. I’ve been in the bow/arrow game for a hot minute, and I can already hear the: “That’s way too slow for me” comments. Stay with me, speed demons. More to come.
Traveling at 265 fps, my 491-grain Easton 4mm FMJ Match Grade produces 76.58 grains of kinetic energy — more than enough to take down any North American big game species.
Plus, at 491 grains, this micro-diameter arrow fitted with low-profile vanes flies remarkably quiet. I think deer don’t duck the sound of the bow but of the arrow in flight. When hunting whitetails, I want an ultra-heavy arrow fletched with low-profile vanes that don’t grab the wind and create a buzz or hum. I want to top it all off with a sleek, slim broadhead. I’ve had great luck, even on alert deer, not ducking the shot with this setup.
Now, back to you speed freaks that cringe at my fps rating. During my whitetail tenure, I’ve harvested 42 deer with archery tackle. This includes bucks and does. I keep a hunting journal, and my average shot distance on white-tailed deer is 28.5 yards.
I get the need for an fps boost when hunting western big game in open country, but when sit-and-wait hunting for whitetails in a treestand or ground blind, arrow speed means very little.
My Easton 4mm FMM Match Grade build is nothing special. After cutting my arrows and squaring both ends with a G5 Arrow Squaring Device FLIP, I start the build.
First, I soak a Q-tip (ones made for newborns work best) in rubbing alcohol and clean the insert end of the arrows. Next, I add AAE Max Bond to the stem of the 50-grain Aluminum Half-out inserts. With the glue on the stem, I slowly twist the insert into the shaft to distribute glue across the inner carbon wall and ensure an excellent bond.
After getting my inserts glued, I set each FMJ shaft in my Bitzenburger and fletch each arrow. I use the same glue, but before attaching four AAE Hybrid 23 vanes to each arrow, I clean them with AAE’s Maxweld Primer Pen.
Each arrow gets four AAE Hybrid 23s. I’ve found four low-profile vanes steer field points and mechanical heads perfectly, creating less noise and drag. My Bitzenburger clamp of choice is the Right Helical.
I finish each arrow with a Nockturnal G-Nock and thread a SEVR Titanium 1.75″ into each Half-out. These broadheads are razor-sharp, pivot around the bone, and create massive exit wounds.
Like the popular SEVR 1.5″ and 2.0″ models, the 1.75″ has a second hold in the ferrule. This hole allows for the addition of an included-with-each-broadhead set screw. With the set screw threaded into the hole, both Lock-and-Pivot blades can’t deploy.
SEVR calls this Practice Lock. You can practice with the same broadheads you plan to hunt with when set in this mode.
I have touched on the accuracy of these shafts already, but I want to go a bit further. I shoot my bow almost every day. Some days I shoot 200 arrows and some days I shoot one. The point I want to make is I spend lots of time shooting, and from distances of 20 yards to 120 yards, this streamlined arrow is one of the most accurate I’ve shot.
I do feel Easton’s 4mm Axis Long Range Match Grade trumps the 4mm FMJ Match Garde’s accuracy, but the accuracy separation doesn’t show up before 60 yards, and I’ve yet to shoot a whitetail at this distance.
For close-range whitetails, I will take an ultra-micro-diameter arrow that hits my Morrell Targets, from the High Roller Foam Target to the Transformer Buck and others in the center and drives deep and pulls out effortlessly, any day and twice on Sunday.
In The Field
A few years ago (2021), I had my best whitetail season to date. I killed three Pope & Young bucks in three states. The cool thing about that season, besides the backstraps and the headgear, was each buck was shot at a different angle.
My Colorado buck was quartering away, and the 4mm FMJ entered through the liver and exited through the scapula. The arrow tipped with SEVR’s Titanium 1.5″ did its job quickly.
My Nebraska buck was slightly quartering-to, and I tucked the 4mm FMJ tight to the shoulder. The shot was 18 yards. The shaft buried to the fletchings, and when the Cornhusker brute turned to run, the arrow snapped. Blood was spaying out of the deer as he made his death sprint.
The Oklahoma buck was perfectly broadside at 42.3 yards. The SEVR-tipped 4mm FMJ broke a right-side rib on the entrance and a left-side rib on the exit. When I recovered the arrow, it was stuck six inches in the ground.
Easton’s 4mm FMJ Match Grade is the most effective whitetail arrow I have ever used.
Will any arrow/broadhead combination work for whitetails? Probably. However, most whitetail fanatics make their whitetail pursuit a 365-day-a-year obsession.
Whitetail geeks (me) work tirelessly year round. We put in food plots, hang stands, add ponds, move trail cams, etc. When the moment of truth is finally earned, I want to know I have the best whitetail arrow ever made in my quiver.