Hunting is a rewarding practice and compound bowhunting adds an element of challenge that makes it even more worthwhile.
That extra challenge brings a feeling of exhilaration and enjoyment, which relates to our fundamental nature: humans have been hunting with bows and arrows for thousands of years.
While compound bowhunting is enjoyable, there is a moral obligation that comes with added complexity. In this article, we’ll talk about some of these facts and provide you with tools you need to be more successful bowhunting or getting started as a beginner.
Morality of Compound Bowhunting
Before going too far, we should say that there is nothing immoral about compound bowhunting. We have been hunting with a bow and arrow for thousands of years and there is nothing wrong with doing so… unless you don’t want to practice.
Hunting without practicing a lot is tantamount to negligence. It is much harder to be accurate and maintain that accuracy at range when you are bow hunting vs. rifle hunting. Most bow hunters will practice more in a single day than rifle hunters do for the entire season.
Whereas the rifle is point and shoot (with some skill required), the bow is a very different ballgame. It requires some dedication to the sport and the practice.
What Makes Compound Bowhunting Special?
Despite what many people say, animals (and especially big game like whitetail deer) have great senses and are survival machines. They are very instinctual, which means there are many ways to get tripped up.
Animals have three main senses that are (usually) better than humans:
Most animals have far better visual acuity than we do. That means if you are sitting in a blind or moving over a hill on a spot and stalk hunt, they can probably see you before you can see them.
This is even more true when you are compound bowhunting.
The same goes for smell and sound. In order to get a good shot with the bow, most archers need to be within 20 – 30 yards versus a rifle that can be 100 – 300 yards. It’s a huge difference in distance and the animals are very in-tune to what is going on.
This is one reason why tree stand bowhunting is so valuable. From a tree stand 15 yards above the ground, much of the big game will not smell the hunter (because of the wind). Further, it is out of their line of sight so they often don’t see the hunter either.
The only thing that might trip up a hunter in a tree stand is sound, but if you can manage that, it makes the experience easier. Whatever the case may be, the objective of compound bow hunting is to get as close to the animal as possible.
Successful Compound Bowhunting
Successfully hunting game with a compound bow is not challenging to do. Some people consider the above-mentioned challenges and consider bow hunting out of their league. Some of the most beginner hunters can still be successful. Here is an example of our editor with a successful antelope doe shot on his first hunt:
Of course, in order to achieve that shot, a lot of practice went into the hunt beforehand. Practicing daily sometimes for hours per day is paramount for anyone who wants to be successful with bowhunting.
As we will outline below, there are other ways to help as well.
Getting Started Compound Bowhunting
Those who read about bowhunting and become eager to try can do so relatively easily. Of course, the first step is to figure out the best compound bow 2018 has to offer and pick that up. We recommend the Diamond Infinity Edge Pro, but there are many worthwhile models.
We recommend next finding an outfitter, who can act as a guide for your first hunt. A guided hunting trip can make a big difference because they are professionals that have experience hunting and experience with the particular land. That way they can help guide you to the animals while teaching you how to do it for yourself.
Each time you go bowhunting with an outfitter, you will learn something new. This process of learning might come at a cost at the beginning, but generally the cost is not too great (when you consider filling your freezer full of meat!) and especially the education you get for life.
The biggest advice we could give on the subject of getting started with bowhunting is to commit. If you feel as though you will not be able to continue bow hunting for an extended period, it may be worthwhile to go to a rifle instead.
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