Trying to hunt the traditional way? Wondering what animals can you hunt with a bow? There are many good options out there, and all that you need to do to succeed is to make the right moves. If you’re a bow hunting novice or are interested in knowing more about the subject, you’ve come to the right place. Essentially, there are two major ways of hunting – Rifle hunting and bowhunting. These methods have two key distinguishing factors:
- Distance – Bow hunters typically hunt within the range of 2 m to 38 m. Rifle hunters, on the other hand, can shoot from a distance of 180 m or more.
- Equipment – Bowhunting, as the name suggests, is done using a bow and an arrow, whereas rifle hunting is carried out using rifles, shotguns, and pistols.
In this article, we’ll discuss certain aspects of bowhunting, including the animals you can hunt with a bow, the proper equipment you should use, the best places to go bow hunting and the laws that govern bowhunting. Bowhunting can be one exhilarating experience, as you would have to hunt the traditional way.
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So what exactly is bow hunting and when did it come about?
As you might already know, bow hunting refers to the action of hunting prey using archery. You would think that our ancestors were feeble-minded social animals but think again. Towards the end of Stone Age, in an era where there were no phones, no internet, no easy access to any kind of information, they invented fire. They even constructed complex weapons and tools, primarily for hunting.
- Bowhunting dates back to 11,000 BP. Humans made arrowheads out of wood and practiced archery for hunting both, small and big games.
- Modern bowhunting started back in the 1920s in the U.S. after Dr. Pope and Arthur Young, inherited the skills from Ishi, who belonged to the Yana tribe.
Today, many hunting enthusiasts perform bow hunting for recreational purposes only.
What Animals can you hunt with a bow?
Here is a look at some of the animals that you can hunt down.
Large Game: Large game species include moose, elk, bear, white-tailed deer, mule deer, wild boar, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and caribou. These can be successfully hunted using the appropriate bow and the correct techniques.
Typically, large animals like the ones mentioned above, have 3 types of derma – thick, thin, and tough. Prey with a thick hide has heavy bones while those with thin skin have featherweight bones. Therefore, hunters must make sure that they use the correct bows weighing approximately 60 lbs. so that the arrows can be launched at a greater speed. The degree of penetration depends upon the speed and weight of an arrow and that’s why bow hunters should ideally choose an arrow that has a large head and is as sharp as possible. You’ll require an arrow that can generate between 40-80 foot-pounds of energy to hunt down a thick-skinned animal whereas arrows that produce 25-39 foot-pounds of energy are enough to bring down a thin-skinned animal.
Deer – the most commonly hunted large game with a bow:
The reason why most bowhunters choose to hunt a deer is that it’s the safest. If you’re looking to go deer-hunting, the best time to do so would be between 1 am to 2 am or in the evening since these animals are most in force during these hours. You must use the “clean kill” technique while trying to hunt a deer. To do this, you must aim at the “kill point” area on the deer’s body using a side angle. This offers an instant kill, reducing unnecessary pain and suffering for the animal.
The most suitable equipment to hunt a deer are crossbows, compound bows, and recurve bows since you need the whole process to be as quiet as possible. It’s also important to note that the longer your bow, the more accurate your shot would be.
Hunting smaller prey can significantly improve your skills. Many people believe that it is easier to hunt smaller animals and they’re not wrong. Small species are much easier to spot since they’re usually in larger numbers. Small games that can be hunted using a bow are ring-tailed cats, skunks, pheasants, porcupines, doves, rabbits, turkeys, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and even bullfrogs. If you’re looking to hunt small prey, it’s recommended that you use a small-headed, sharp arrowhead using game points for a clean kill. You may also use rubber blunts to simply knock them down. As far as bows are concerned, experts say that recurve bows have proven to be the best when hunting smaller animals due to a shorter length that enables better maneuvering through the bushes.
What are the best places to go bow-hunting?
Bow-hunters should steer clear of areas where rifle hunters are also allowed to hunt, but if there are separate hunting seasons then these areas will usually be the same. While smaller animals can be found even in your backyard, larger animals like deer can be easily hunted in the following American states:
All the places have excellent camping facilities, motels, and other accommodations that cater to every type of budget.
Laws for bow hunting
Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding bow-hunting. Some laws mention specific details about the equipment that can be used for hunting in terms of its draw weight. You should check your state’s hunting regulations before purchasing your devices for hunting. Also, there are other restrictions; like you cannot hunt a deer that’s swimming and you’re not allowed to capture them from a boat. These laws are necessary to abide by since they’re passed to protect people, property rights, and resources, and they also ensure fair practices.