Archery is an exciting sport that is suitable for all ages and abilities but selecting the…
The Joys of Bowhunting and Everything you need to know to get started
Bowhunting is a sport that is popular with men, women and people of all ages. This exciting, fun and healthy activity has seen a renaissance over the last few decades with highly accurate, well engineered bows becoming available at ever more affordable prices.
Bowhunting is one of the oldest human activities that our early ancestors used to feed themselves and their families with. In ancient times, it was relatively easy to build a good hunting weapon in the form of a bow. However, over the thousands of years that have passed since the earliest days of bowhunting, the bows that are available have improved in quality, accuracy and durability. Modern bows make use of new materials such as polymer frames and synthetic bow strings that our ancestors could only have dreamed of!
Bowhunting is a great way to spend some quality time with your friends and family, and can be done outside hunting game, or, if you want to sharpen up your skills, you can also practice at an indoor range with a whole variety of targets.
This is a sport where you hunt animals or game using a bow and arrow. There are several types of bow that you can employ to hunt the game which will depend on your own preferences, skill levels and the type of animal that you are hunting.
What do you hunt with a Bow?
Whether it’s a compound bow or a recurve bow, is largely determined by the range you have and the power that you can produce with the bow. Usually your range of accurate fire will not exceed 50 meters, so skill, practice and good tracking skills will also need to be developed.
If your thinking of game hunting, you can use this bow along with 3D Targets. If you aren’t ready to hunt game yet, then there is no better way to build up your accuracy, skills and confidence than by using 3D practice targets. These targets are usually made out of foam, and can come in a whole range of shapes and sizes.
You can of course, improvise your own targets as well, but the pre-made targets are designed to simulate the game you may want to hunt while creating a safe target that will not splinter or break with use.
- The most common large game that bowhunters pursue are deer. This is an exciting challenge for any hunter.
- There is a wide variety of smaller game that bowhunters hunt for sport. These include, but are not limited to, pheasants, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels and doves.
What kind of bow is the best type for bowhunting?
In modern archery and bowhunting there are, generally speaking, two different types of bow that you can choose from, the Recurve Bow and the Compound Bow. These bows have important differences, however, before we look further into this let’s first take a glance at the basic parts of a bow.
A Recurve bow is an elegant, well engineered bow that looks a bit like an old fashioned longbow. In fact the main difference between a recurve bow and a long bow is that at the top of the upper limb, the recurve bow curves back towards the front, while the longbow does not. The recurve bow is also often shorter and wider than an old fashioned longbow, allowing you to pack more pounds per pressure of draw into each shot.
This bow is often used for target shooting, indoors and out, but it is also perfect for bowhunting. The recurve bow is often the go to choice for new archers because they are simple, easy to use and really help you to get the feel of archery. It may take a little while to become proficient in its use but every shot you take is exciting and as you progress you’ll feel a great deal of satisfaction!
The compound bow is a masterpiece of modern engineering and provides the archer with outstanding levels of accuracy, stopping force and range. It’s a common choice for bowhunting because of its power and accuracy making it more likely to stop the game in its tracks.
These bows are also a popular choice for range shooting though, which is the ideal way to improve your technique and skills.
The compound bow has wheels that hold the bow string in place which are called ‘cams’. These are used to significantly increase the force that the arrows can be fired at by multiplying the force that the strings can deliver. The compound bow is a relatively new invention, and very new in the history of archery, having only been invented in the 1960s!
What’s the best choice for arrows?
There are several types of arrow that you can use for bowhunting. The main difference between the arrows depends on what they are made of.
The most common types of bowhunting arrow are :
- Aluminum Arrows– These are tough, reliable and are often used in competitions. They can be used by both compound and recurve bows.
- Fiberglass Arrows– Low cost and very common, these are a regular choice for archery ranges around the world. They are however, heavy and can splinter on impact. They can only be used for recurve bows.
- Wooden Arrows- This has been the traditional option for archers throughout the ages. They are relatively cheap and you can even make your own! The downside is that they break easily and over time they will warp, reducing your accuracy.
- Composite Arrows- Very high quality arrows that are made by combining aluminum and carbon. They are used in the Olympics because of their excellent reliability and consistency. They are however quite expensive which can be a problem is you loose a lot of arrows on a hunt.
- Carbon Arrows– One of the favorite choices for bowhunters using either a recurve or compound bow. They are reliable, fly straight and with a mid-ranged price, give the best overall value to performance ratio.
What other equipment do I need to start bowhunting today?
There is some other equipment as well as your bow and the arrows, that you will need to use in order to bow-hunt safely.
- Arm Guards– These are essential to protect your inner arm when you release the bow. This will stop your arm becoming painfully scratched and grazed, and will help to improve your accuracy.
- Bow Release–This is like a specially made glove that helps you to release the string in a more consistent way. It also helps to protect your fingers from possible injury.
- Bow Sights– A recurve bow does not normally come with a sight, however, you can add it to the bow at any time. Utilizing a sight will massively improve the accuracy of your shooting and improve your hunting.
- Quiver–A quiver is a pack that is designed to hold the arrows for your bow. There are a huge range available, including quivers that go on your back, on your hip and even quivers that are attached directly to the rise of your bow. What kind you chose is purely a matter of personal taste.
Benefits of Bowhunting
- A fun activity that is great for your health and fitness.
- Good way to spend time with friends and family.
- Improves your Confidence.
- Benefits your Mental Focus, Concentration and Physical Dexterity.
- Spend time in nature and refine your roots.
Bowhunting – the ultimate choice for hunters
Bowhunting is a fantastic sport that really gets you back into nature, following tracks and trails until you bag the game. It’s a fun group activity that will test your wits, bow accuracy skills and leave you with a deep feeling of satisfaction.
If you’re feeling daunted at the prospect of taking up bowhunting don’t be put off by the jargon or seemingly technical complications. The best thing to do is to get stuck in and with many ranges and bowhunting clubs offering great tuition you’ll soon be hitting the bullseye every time!
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Photo by Jamie Woods from FreeImages Photo by Bianca Berg on Unsplash