How can bows be better than guns for hunting deer?
We decided to look seriously into the matter and came up with our perfect conclusions. Here's why bows are better than guns for deer hunting.
The thought of bows being superior to guns for any big-game hunting sounds a bit off, right? When you come down to the nuts and bolts of when and how we hunt deer, it really does make perfect sense, though. It doesn't really matter if you're using a traditional recurve bow or the latest in crossbow technology.
Here are all the reasons why we believe bows come out on top time after time.
1. Early-season hunting
Early-season hunting is a great way to get a head start on deer hunting. Here in Ohio, the end of September typically starts the archery season. If you hate being cold on a hunt, early-season bowhunting might leave you actually sweating. That treestand can get mighty warm at the start of archery season. Sure, there are early muzzleloader seasons, but they aren't nearly as rewarding as releasing a bowstring. Also, you don't have to worry about untimely misfires!
2. Urban hunting
The stealth and safety traits of bows have opened up deer hunting right in our backyards. Many cities even have an archery season to help control exploding deer populations. If you own a legal deer hunting bow, this might be your chance to bag a big deer (or even many) in these population-control zones. Most of your shots in an urban area are going to be short range anyway, so there's no need for rifles that can reach out to longer distances anyway.
Ol' Fred Bear was on to something when he brought archery back to mainstream hunting. Whether you're hunting with a traditional recurve, a compound bow or the newest crossbow on the market, we all share the arrow. As bowhunters, we belong to a special class of hunters that should be proud to continue a great tradition that dates way back to prehistoric times. Modern hunters—both bow and gun hunters alike—can certainly appreciate about how long bows and arrows have dropped game throughout history. The hunting experience will channel the past souls of all the bowhunters before us. Thank you, Mr. Fred Bear.
4. Closer to the game
Want more skill on your hunts? Pack a bow and practice the real ways of woodsmanship and tracking. Hunting deer or any game with a bow requires careful stalking and preparation. It also requires stealthy movement at close range to avoid giving yourself away before you can get a clean bow shot. With gun hunting in rifle season, long distance isn't much of a factor to consider. You'll certainly be closer (figuratively and literally) to your game than ever before. Long range rifle hunters rarely experience the excitement of a big buck or bull at just 20 yards.
5. Longer seasons
In most states, archery seasons have a much longer run than rifle seasons. The deer season can start in late September and end in early February in some locales. If you like to hunt, maximize your opportunities and use a bow. Gun season just can't compare to the time you have in the woods during bow season. Don't forget, those longer seasons sometimes coincide with other seasons too. If you're not seeing the deer, but it's small game season, launch one at that squirrel that's been driving you nuts all morning. You can usually get away with it without spooking deer because of how silent bows are. We like to keep a small game broadhead or field point in the quiver for just such an opportunity!
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.