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Why I Bowhunt and Don’t Gun Hunt

This is my opinion on why I bowhunt.

We all come to a point in our lives when we decide whether we want to keep taking out the rifle, or decide to pick up a bow.

This is something that had been on my mind and I wanted to share some of the reasons that helped me in making my decision to bowhunt. I am not saying that I will never pick up a rifle again, but my weapon of choice for hunting will be my compound bow from now on.


Photo via Flickr

As I sat at the end of my season for deer, I was excited to have the chance to have harvested some meat for my family.  When I started reflecting on it, I thought about some of the experiences that I had.

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Let’s start off by sharing a story. I had just gotten to my spot. I was pulling out my gear, and I could hear the elk bugling.  What a sweet sound this was. I was blessed to have had success scouting on some public land that had paid off.

I got out my optics and started scanning the water hole and saw that the elk were going down to drink. This was perfect, as we were set up for their return back to their beds.

First light had just started coming over the majestic mountains, when all of a sudden I heard a shot. Someone had come in above where I was set up, a few hundred yards away. I am not sure what they were thinking, but they decided they would take a fairly difficult shot at an animal.

I wasn’t very surprised that they missed, but my heart still sank to see the herd of animals take off.


Photo via Flickr

I am not saying that all rifle hunters will act as this hunter did, but clearly if you’re quieter and stealthier, you aren’t as likely to have this situation happen.

That is my main reason, which is the more intimate nature of hunting this way. I think about the way that some of my ancestors might have hunted and this in a way provides a link with them.

For me it just feels more natural to be hunting animals this way. I know that bow technology has come quite a ways from how it was back then, but in my mind I still have a set distance of how close I need to be for me to feel good about taking a shot that will be an ethical and clean kill.

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I think everyone likes to save some money especially when times are tough. Getting a bow and some arrows allows practicing without the additional cost. Then there are the added natural health benefits each time you pick up your bow for a practice session. This is especially true when you add the additional methods or preparing for your bow season, like elevating your heart rate to get a similar feeling of when that big bull comes in to bow range.

What reasons do you have for bowhunting? Do you remember the first time you were able to fill your tag with a bow? Share your story and thoughts in the comments section below.

Featured Image via Flickr

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Why I Bowhunt and Don’t Gun Hunt