I've been bow hunting as long as I have been a long range riflemen, which has been over 8 years now. I have never had a deer duck me until this year and I've had 2 completely duck me and spined one. My arrow speed is 290 and my bow is pretty darn quiet. I've changed my set up this past year because of all the pigs I was shooting with my bow this summer. I shot around 130 pigs and 5 coyotes with my bow this summer. Mechanical broad heads were getting awfully expensive so I changed my set up. I wanted a cut on contact fixed blade and to better stabilize the fixed blades I went with 5 inch helical rubber fletching. I installed a drop away arrow rest so the fletching would clear without contact. Bought a binsenberger fletching jig and really had fun building my own arrows. However now comes deer season and I've had 3 deer duck me and never has the likes of such ever happen before. I blame it on the helical fletching making more noise than the straight fletching. In order to put deer on the ground I wanted to do some testing to find the most quiet fletching. I tested my 5 inch helically, 4 and 3 inch straights, 4 inch helically, and straight blazer veins. All veins were rubber. To my surprise none really made amy more noise than the others. The sound or time of the approaching arrow changed now and then according to the veins but the noise level was no different, even with the helical fletching.
My broad heads had changed so they got tested after the fetching test. Every broad head was tested on every fletching configuration because I was looking for the quietest combination I could find. The broad heads was were I was getting my noise from. My favorite broad head was the culprit of most all the additional noise. I tested two different kinds of practice mechanicals and they made a little more noise than practice points. I tested all the different kinds of fixed blades I had on hand which was only 3 different styles. My favorite heads I had because of all the pig hunting I had been doing were by far the noise makers and that's what I was shooting at those deer also. It wasn't my preference in fletching as I suspected originally but was my choice of broad heads I had started using. Not all broad heads made noise though. One made no noise and me and my two testing partners couldn't tell any difference between the field points and the particular hunting fixed blade.
My testing was done by standing at the target and listening for the approaching arrow. I had some brave testers and I also listened while others shot so I could hear what was going on. In the end, the g5 montecs were the noise makers :( Muzzy 125 grain phantom without the bleeder installed was the quietest out of all 5 broad heads including the two mechanicals. The cheap pack of six muzzy 125 trainers were also pretty quiet. Grim Reaper white tail special and grim reaper standered mechanical both sounded the same and I called them fairly quiet. 100 grain 3 bladed rage practice broad heads were also tested. If all the parts were snug on them and no blades were loose such as the cutting tip, the rage heads were ok. The grim reapers were not tested at the same time side by side with the others but I believe them to be as quiet or maybe quieter than the rage.
The rage broad heads and the plane ol cheap original muzzy fixed bladea are what I shot for so many years without any deer ducking me. All 3 deer were no farther than usual compared to the others I've shot in the past.
I will continue to use the montecs on pigs but hope to use the muzzy phantoms on deer. However, I'll be removing the bleeder as they are quieter without it. Only bad thing about the phantoms is I have had them bend when shooting pigs with them. I really like the. And they would be my favorite all around broad head if not for that. I have successfully straightened them back to perfect using my reloading presa and if the blade gets bent I just use a small hammer to straighten it. If this head gets bent it makes a lot of noise until straightened. Wish this was a tougher broad head. I might get me some Fred Ichler 150 phantoms and see if they are any tougher. Without the bleeder they are 125 grains
I hope my hardships and then research in testing and what I learned about where most of the noise comes from helps if anybody is being ducked by the quick white tail.