Bow Hunting Vs Gun Hunting which may I choose?
Hunting is a practice that can be traced as far back as the times of cavemen. Hunting has become more than just killing to get meat to eat.
It has become a tradition for so many families, and for some, it is an elite sport. In the hunting world, there are two common weapons used in taking down prey: the bow and the gun(rifle). When it comes to the choice the individual hunter makes on which is best to take one hunting trip between the two, it has to do more with personal preference than which is the best. There really is no wrong or right choice when it comes down to it.
Of course, time and cost factors do play roles in making a choice between the two hunting weapons. The debate between both hunting weapons is an age-long argument that has no end sight.
This article is not here to tell which is the best option. Rather, we would briefly discuss each and provide you with the pros and cons of both hunting methods. Thereafter you can make a choice between them as it suits you.
For some hunters, it feels more natural and gets adrenaline coursing through their veins when they hunt animals making use of a bow than to make use of guns. To engage in bow hunting, you would have to make use of arrows in taking down your prey. With bow hunting, you get to develop and hone your motor skills.
You also get to strengthen the muscles of your arm from the drawing back of the bowstrings as you shoot an arrow. About 58% of hunters have made the bow hunting their preferred hunting option become of this alone.
Bowhunting is also preferred by some hunters because it provides a level hunting ground between the hunter and his prey. This, according to them, makes them become better at stealth skills in order to outwit the natural animal instincts when it is being hunted.
Bow hunting is quite challenging for new people, as it first takes such a long amount of time, quite a number of years to become very skillful at using it for hunting animals. Apart from the skill required in using a bow, you also have to develop tracking and sound decision-making skills whilst on a hunting trip. Taking down an animal with precision from a distance of more than 50 yards is very hard with a bow.
Pros of Bow hunting
- There is a longer hunting season given to bowhunters in most states in the US
- The bow is the perfect choice for hunting down stationary animals
- Arrows can be reused and are very cheap to replace as well
- It helps in strengthening the muscles of the arms and honing motor skills
- More animal kills because it requires stealth
- It is light in weight, making it easy to carry about anywhere you go during hunting
Cons of Bow Hunting
- It takes quite a long time and more effort to become very adept at using the bow
- Taking down prey from long distances is very difficult
- It is not a versatile means of hunting as you can only take down stationery animals
- You have to replace bow cams and strings more often
- Unexpected changes in the weather conditions could affect the accuracy and precision of a shot arrow
- The cost of getting a ready-made bow is quite expensive, as you would have to spend double to that of getting a ready-made rifle
Guns have been around for over two hundred years, and with the modern advancements in the ammunition industry, it is easy to see why the gun is the first choice of many people when it comes to hunting. About 67% of hunters in America are gun hunters. The gun used mostly for hunting is the rifle.
The rifle, because of its mechanical structure, shades the bow in so many ways. For starters, the rifle is so easy to use after a few rounds of practice. In a short period of time, you could become quite adept at using a rifle to take down animals with ease. One can also kill animals with more precision and from farther distances with the various long-range accessories attached to a rifle.
Gun hunting also provides more versatility during a hunt. You are not only able to take down animals that are at rest, and you can easily take down an animal that is making a run for it. To do this, you make use of a shotgun that shoots in spreads.
A lot of families have hunting traditions that deal solely with gun hunting. Guns are quite valuable assets, as they are family heirlooms that get passed down the family generations.
Pros of Gun hunting
- Rifles have a longer shooting range of up to 1000 yards.
- More precision and accuracy in animal kills.
- It is much easier to learn how to make use of a rifle.
- You can get ready-made rifles for as low as $300.
- The durability of rifles is much longer than bows.
- Guns are more versatile as you can shoot at standing and mobile animals with the rifle and shotgun, respectively.
Cons of Gun Hunting
- The shorter hunting season for gun hunting means you have to hustle for animals to hunt in hunting areas that would be crowded with other gun hunters.
- The cost of rifle accessories is quite expensive
- You spend a lot of money in terms of recurring costs, like having to buy bullets. Bullets cannot be reused.
- Animal kills are not so high, as they are easily alerted and hide due to the noise from guns.
- There are restrictions on the areas you can carry out gun hunting.
The Cost implications of both Bow and Gun Hunting
The cost of mastering the skill of making use of the bow is quite expensive. The cost of a modern-day bow and arrow equipment is between $1000 to $2000 dollars. To cost of getting the right canoe gear and scentless clothes have not been factored into that. In comparison, the cost of acquiring a rifle with the necessary accessories comes at a price of $1000.
Apart from the financial cost, you also have to take a locksmith the time costs. The length of time one has to dedicate to become a master in the use of a bow is quite long. You not only have to learn how to use the bow, but you must also learn how to make deadly, accurate shots with it. This can be very discouraging for newcomers who do not have the time and patience to see it through.
For gun hunters, this is not the case. Learning to make use of a rifle is quite easy, as it takes just a little amount of time before becoming quite adept at using it for hunting down animals. All they do is point and shoot.
Which of them is unfair to the Hunted animal?
Studies by animal activists have been carried out to determine which of the two hunting methods quickly kills an animal without making the animal suffer. In the study’s results, it was discovered that the bullet killed an animal much faster when compared to an arrow.
The bullet, in most case, instantly kill the animal, irrespective of the body area the bullet entered. The arrow, however, did not kill instantly, as most animals ran off injured and dying days or weeks later from such wounds.
This has led to an argument on which of the two hunting is the more ethical to make use of during hunting. Experienced hunters have, however, said it does not matter whether you make use of a bow or a gun, as the important thing is to make sure of the accuracy of the shot. Once a hunter is accurate with the shot, the animal does not suffer.
Bow vs gun hunting – which is better?
Getting the best out of your hunting trip means you have to make a choice of the best hunting apparatus that suits you as a person. Should you engage in animal hunting by making use of the bow or the gun?
Both are quite thrilling instruments to hunt with, each going you the precision and control skills you need develop whilst hunting. Yes, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, your choice really should be which of the two weapons gives you that adrenaline rush as you hunt.
It is profitable for a hunter to be quite good at using both hunting weapons, however, but what really matters is that you enjoy yourself as you embark on your hunting trip regardless of the weapon chosen.
Remember though that whether you choose the bow or the gun for your next hunting trip, you have to take responsibility for how you make use of it. Make sure you handle the weapon you choose with care and take aim at only what you intend to shoot at.
I have been hunting for last 5 years. (24 yrs. and that makes me feel old!) I have been very successful at hunting deer, turkey, exotics, and just about any varmint that moves.
I have hunted all over the great State of Texas, also into New Mexico, Colorado and a few other places. Hunting has been the prevailing passion in my life only trumped by my two great Sons.
I hope some of the bow hunting advice I have provided helps you be the best bowhunter around. Remember, everyone is different. You can tweek one little thing you are doing and solve a host of accuracy problems. Every day, new products come on the market designed to aid your success, but there is no substitute for desire and practice. Tip: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Most importantly: A bad day hunting beats the hell out of a day at work!
Robin, Bangs Texas