Real Sportsmen Shoot a Bow…

 I used to, as lots of other folks, wonder at the common sense involved in hunting with a bow, when in reality, I had a better reach, a more sure shot and a lot better means of aiming with my gun. MY dad was an archer, but I wasn’t inclined to give it a “shot” so to speak for a lot of years.

Longbow, courtesy of Wikipedia

Like a lot of people I pretty much considered that bow hunting was a somewhat barbaric alternative to the hunting of today, and that since we had accomplished the firearm, why not use it.. The explanation that in the old days, the archers of the kings men were revered, honored and that this kind of hunting had been in use for centuries by many different kinds of people.. didn’t really track well with me.

My own impressions of archery are shared by many people however, if you take a closer look at the sport, you’re going to find that the archer is bound by, and in fact embraces multiple rules that the rest of us who hunt with other tools are not bound by.

The rules can be quite restraining, and in fact usually are. Some few will fuss about them, but surprisingly, most don’t. The real sportsman will have an innate understanding that the rules of his or her sport are a necessity and are in fact what keep their sport alive and viable.

Archery hunting has grown in popularity over the past few years, and like rifle or muzzle loader hunting, is encompassed by each states individual hunting laws.

Those laws will include locations you may use, days of the week and total days that hunting is permitted and which months of the year you may take your bow into the woods.

In most cases, although archery hunting is permitted in normal hunting season, the archery hunter has a few extra days where he or she may go into the woods unencumbered by the rifle hunter, opening day is a few days sooner, so that they don’t have to compete with the rifle hunter.

Archery hunting and gun hunting have a great deal in common and some major differences as well. The rifle launches your projectile a long distance, while your bow, which  has a reasonable level of power,  will not in any respect match the distance that a rifle will shoot.

Good quality sights and a decent rifle will net you a 150-200 yard shot quite easily, but the bow simply won’t give you taht distance. Maximum is going to be about 75 yards, and thats for a compound or crossbow. The older style recurve, or longbow, are deadly accurate, but certainly not at any great distance more than 25 or 30 yards.

What this means to you, the archery hunter is that you are goign to have to practice more, be more accurate with your weapon and make sure that your aim is sure to avoid causing suffering to the animal or having to track for miles across to snow to make sure that you don’t leave an injured animal in the wild.

Bow hunting is indeed a sporting game. Stealth and speed count, a good eye and a steady hand, and the ability to track the deer over a distance to assure that if he lives through your shot, you don’t leave him suffering.

One of those rules we talked about. the rifle hunter and the archery hunter both have one rule that has to be followed without exception. Thats one of those things they have in common. Any animal that you shoot,  and wound, you never leave until you track it, for miles and many hours if thats what it taqkes, and you make sure that you bring it home with you to avoid his suffering.

Thats why the archer needs so much skill to accomplish his goal of taking home his prey, and thats why bow hunting is a sport that has lived on for several hundred years.

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