Why is Bow Hunting so Popular?
Dr. John Woods 09.22.20
This time of year with fall deer hunting seasons getting closer, I watch a considerable amount of deer hunting television. I mainly enjoy watching the behavior of the deer in the field, how they react and carry on. I find any clue is helpful in my own hunting. Some of the TV hosts actually know what they are talking about, so it can be instructional.
What I do notice with deer hunting television is that the majority of it is bow hunting. Admittedly, I tire of just watching bow hunters all the time, but that is secondary to my own interest in the programming. I had to quit using a bow years ago because of a shoulder injury when I slipped coming down from a ladder stand. I was never successful hunting with a bow anyway, and really don’t miss it. Bu still I wonder why bow hunting is so darn popular.
Even I admit that using archery equipment for deer hunting is quite a challenge. Bows are certainly more difficult to get set up correctly and to tune. The equipment takes a lot of adjustment and maintenance. Sights are finicky as well as other aspects. It requires regular practice to be really good at it. Perhaps that is a big part of the allure.
I have not seen any of the sales numbers recently for bow hunting equipment, but it has to be doing quite well. High-dollar bows and crossbows can easily run over $1000. Then add a quality sight, arrows, broadheads, stabilizers, releases, and all the other accessories and goodies, then you’re well on your way to spending another thousand or more. Of course, a good deer rifle, scope, and everything else can easily rival those expenses.
For certain, the big draw to using a bow (pun intended) is the challenge of taking on a live wild animal that is within a respectable bow range, say forty yards maximum. I know many bow hunters are now taking shots at deer well beyond fifty yards, but I am uncertain if that is ethical or not. It might be for an exceptionally good bow shot, but many are not, and many wounded deer are lost every year using a bow. That is part of the game, and is why regular practice is essential to success.
Bow hunting is certainly good for the hunting industry. Participation increases hunter numbers and that is good. One simply cannot argue with those facts. I’m pro hunting, no matter how it is legally done. Enjoying the great outdoors is the best part of it all. Carry on bow hunters.