When it comes to deer hunting, I almost always prefer to take mine with a bow and arrow. While I am not a bowhunting snob who would juggle someone else for hunting with a gun, I have decided that the bow and arrow is the only method for me.
In my early years of hunting, I always used a gun.
In fact I have great memories of taking big game animals with a shot gun, rifle, and a handgun. Those hunts were exciting, challenging and rewarding to me at the time.
My introduction to bowhunting was not a very smooth transition. In fact, it took four years of dedication before I managed to kill my first deer with a bow. This took place shortly after my wife and I got married almost 20 years ago. My first kill was a small doe and I could not have been happier. It was as if I had shot the biggest deer in the woods. Once I finally managed to take my first animal with a bow, I knew that I would never be satisfied taking an animal any other way.
I often ask myself why I still bow hunt. I mean let’s be honest, a rifle is far more accurate and efficient. One properly placed bullet with a rifle and there is no tracking necessary. A rifle has greater range so there is no need to get animals as close and if an animal is moving, a good marksman can still make the shot. Rifle hunting is definitely easier than bowhunting.
As I contemplate this matter, I think I know why I still choose my bow.
First and foremost I still love the challenge. There is something about bowhunting that make me feel cool or tough. I have an enormous sense of satisfaction when I take an animal with my bow, and it feels like I really accomplished a great task.
Second I think that I love being close to the animals. In bowhunting, just because a deer is in range, it doesn’t mean you have a shot. He needs to be calm and at the right angle. Bowhunting allows me to see deer up close and personal and witness them doing things that I would otherwise never see. If I had a gun, I would shoot one as soon as I saw it.
Finally the need to practice is greater. If you are a bowhunter then you know that there is a great need to practice. You must be absolutely spot on with your arrow placement in order to get a kill. A shot that is an inch or two off could lead to a wounded animal and an empty dinner plate. This compels me to practice year round. I guess when it comes down to it, I enjoy shooting my bow as much as I enjoy bowhunting. The year round practice keeps me active and outdoors. It gives me a great opportunity to hang out with my friends and family as we shoot our bows.
If you have never tried bowhunting, I recommend that you do. It is a great sport and one that can be enjoyed well into the golden years. If I can help you in any way feel free to let me know.
May God bless you richly!
Brian Johnson (www.duckdogtrainer.com)