Many times, you see this in the movies where someone shoots an arrow, and it instantly kills the person after it penetrates the skull. They consider it one of the best shots. It makes you wonder if that has any basis in reality, or is this a myth? You have rightful skepticism because Hollywood doesn’t always show things the way that they would truly happen.
Can a compound bow penetrate a skull? Yes, a compound bow can pierce the skull like it could pierce the rest of the body. That doesn’t, however, mean that the person would die instantly because in some cases, they might live for a few minutes before they died from it piercing the skull.
How Much Would It Take to Penetrate a Human Skull?
If you were to shoot an arrow to penetrate a human skull, you would want at least 70-pound draw weight because this ensures that it would penetrate. Like with elk, moose and bear, it requires at least 60-pound draw weight, and if an arrow were to penetrate the toughness of a human skull, it would need to be at least 60-pound draw weight for it to pierce it.
Obviously, an arrow could penetrate a human skull like how it can penetrate other animal skulls, but it just depends on how much draw weight you would need to accomplish it. Most likely, it would take around 60-pound draw weight at least.
Penetrates Moose Skull: Why Not Humans?
Arrows can take down bears and moose, which should make it obvious that they can kill a human, also. Moose weigh up to 1,000 pounds, and if you have ever seen one, you know the sheer size and power of these creatures. I use this as an example of why an arrow could easily pierce a human skull, even with a compound bow.
Many times, you might use 60-pound draw weight to kill a moose, which only highlights why you could also penetrate a human skull after a certain draw weight quite easily. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they would die instantly, but it would be a painful death if they managed to survive it for the short time that they lived.
Broadheads More Effective Skull Penetration
To understand why broadheads would be more effective, you should understand what they originally designed broadheads for. They first made them to maximize the arterial and vein damage as the broadhead entered the body. As the arrow enters, it causes this rapid loss in blood, which would cause the human to lose consciousness quickly.
Not a Quick Death
In all likelihood, someone shot with a bow would not die a quick death. Rarely do people die instantly from getting shot, and even when they did get shot in this way, it didn’t instantly take them down. It would take time. Even getting shot in the head wouldn’t guarantee a particularly quick death.
In fact, this is one of the reasons that a lot of whitetail hunters won’t shoot a deer in the head because it will suffer so much more from the shot. You have a lot of hunters who respect the life of the deer too much to let it feel pain for too long. In some cases, it might drop the deer, but you have other cases where it would walk around with an arrow sticking out of its head. It’s too cruel even if it would kill the deer eventually.
Can an Arrow Go through a Person?
In the past, arrows had a reputation for blowing right through the person, even when they had an armored chest. That should give you an idea about the deadliness of arrows. Should the arrow hit any of the person’s vitals or organs, they wouldn’t have long to live.
The problem grew as they started to adopt broadhead technology, which was designed to kill. As stated above, it does even more damage, and armor may not save the person.
In most cases, however, a person doesn’t die instantly. Usually, it would take at least a minimum before the person would pass on to the next world. The draw weight especially is what would have an influence on whether an arrow could go through a person. Usually, an archer’s ideal shot was to go through their heart and lungs. This was the deadliest shot.
This could also mean that an arrow could pass through one person and shoot another one as well. It happened back in the medieval period.
Can a Bow and Arrow Kill a Human?
Bows and arrows can kill humans like how they can kill animals like deer, bear and even the mighty moose. If a bow and arrow can kill a moose, it can certainly kill a human, but it depends on where it hits them. For example, an arrow that pierces through an individual’s vital organs will mean that they only have a certain amount of time to live.
If it went through your heart, you’d only have 60 seconds to live at most. Meanwhile, if an arrow were to pierce your skull, you may not die instantly depending on the circumstances and what part it hit, but the death would happen quickly. Sooner or later, the person would die because the damage done would be too great to survive it.
In fact, bow hunting and bowfishing accidents have happened where someone accidentally shot a friend, or with bowfishing, the arrow came back, hit the person, and they died. This isn’t intended to steer someone away from bow hunting or bowfishing, but they have to always remain cautious. Hunting safety guidelines exist to keep everyone safe, and it is meant to be applied to those with a bow as well.
To answer the question, yes, a compound bow could penetrate a human skull. Released with the right draw weight, arrows can do some devastating harm that no one should ever estimate. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that when we get into the boat for bowfishing or we go bow hunting, we take extra safety precautions because it can be so devastating if an accident happened.