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#7147563 - 04/21/18 08:10 PM Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow
Texas Dan Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 13289
I'm sure there are many hunters like me who have never had the slightest desire to hunt with a bow. I've always been completely content hunting with rifles and shotguns and see bow hunting as no more enticing than using a spear. It wasn't until I noticed an article in the current NRA magazine American Hunter that the reason hit me. Bow hunting has never been a part of my culture. When you think about it, the firearm has always been at the forefront of American culture, with the bow never drawing the attraction of settlers and frontiersmen. As pointed out in a American Hunter article, our's has always been a culture dominated by the firearm since the day those first settlers arrived in the New World.

If you haven't read it, the article (The Hunting Rifle in America) offers a great history lesson in how the firearm served as a key tool in the creation and growth of our nation.


Edited by Texas Dan (04/21/18 09:22 PM)
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#7147579 - 04/21/18 08:30 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
Adchunts Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/03/16
Posts: 212
Loc: New Braunfels, TX
Iíve bowhunted almost as long as Iíve been gun hunting. Back in Arkansas where I grew up, archery deer season ran from October 1 through the end of January. Modern gun season was three weeks. Plenty of incentive to pick up the stick and string. In Texas, no real reason to bowhunt except to challenge yourself.

Edit: Went back and looked up current seasons:

2017-18 Deer Season Dates
Archery: Sept. 23-Feb. 28
Private Land Antlerless Only Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Oct. 14-18
Muzzleloader: Oct. 21-29 and Dec. 9-11
Special Youth Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Nov. 4-5 and Jan. 6-7
Modern Gun: Nov. 11-Dec. 3 and Dec. 26-2


Edited by Adchunts (04/21/18 08:33 PM)

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#7147591 - 04/21/18 08:44 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 24588
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I've got a nice bow, and used to practice with it many times a week. I really enjoy shooting it. I hunted with it many days, but have yet to have killed anything with it. I spend every week on the opposite side of the discipline, being able to connect with things farther than most people can. Yet, I can appreciate the individuals that can hide their scent, move very stealthily, and make a clean shot at 20 yards. Plus, the ability to make a kill with very, very little sound. Nothing but respect for accomplished archers.
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#7147648 - 04/21/18 09:42 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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Loc: Corsicana
I enjoy both rifle and bow hunting.

Two very different ballgames for sure. I grew up and hunt in east TX for whitetails. There are a very small handful of guys over there who tag big bucks just about every year with a bow.

IMO they are among the best hunters in North America - and I donít say that lightly.

Oh - and as for spears and bows, the only reason you donít consider them a part of your ďcultureĒ is because your timeline is short. You wouldnít be here if not for them. None of us would.
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7147790 - 04/22/18 06:55 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Nogalus Prairie]
Texas Dan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I Oh - and as for spears and bows, the only reason you donít consider them a part of your ďcultureĒ is because your timeline is short. You wouldnít be here if not for them. None of us would.


This is true. The bow and crossbow were very much a part of earlier European history, but it's clear that white settlers never saw a need to put away their firearms and replace them no matter how proficient the natives were at using something else.

My intent wasn't to bash bow hunting, but to explain perhaps the reason why so many of us could never own too many guns, and yet have no desire to own a bow. It simply isn't in our DNA.

Again, the American Hunter article is well worth the read for those looking for a valuable history lesson in the development of the American hunting rifle.


Edited by Texas Dan (04/22/18 07:13 AM)
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#7147820 - 04/22/18 07:48 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
garyrapp55 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 666
Loc: Ft. Worth
I'm currently building my first Hickory bow. I cut this tree from my property in East Texas. I've made Bodark in the past. I understand that almost all bows guys use now are store bought and that is what we think of when we talk bow hunting. Making a bow from a tree is a heck of a lot of work and requires skill and practice. I think the skill and practice part is the reason most don't bow hunt. Even with a good compound bow one must practice to hunt ethically. With a rifle, one can remove the dust from it in October to check zero and take an animal in November-December, no real skill or practice required. Even if you do practice, it's still darn hard to kill an animal with a bow and we are a society of instant gratification.

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#7147851 - 04/22/18 08:22 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
RattlesnakeDan Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/23/17
Posts: 272
Loc: San Antonio
Have killed dozens and dozens of deer and other critters with longbow. Shot tournaments, joined clubs and all that. Making arrows for over 30 years. Shot compound for a while too it was fun but stalking with a longbow and and handmade arrows is pretty fun. But, it's like fly fishing, you can get into fishing and tying flies or shooting rifles, some go further in and reload. Maybe has more to do with the people you learn from and then some things just seem natural to one man and another has no desire. Maybe it's just the quiet serenity of being out there without having to make a loud noise with rifle fire.
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#7147862 - 04/22/18 08:46 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: garyrapp55]
bholt Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 736
Loc: Georgetown,TX
Now lets wait a minute Gary, I'm gonna be nice.THE CHALLENGE each of us puts on ourselves is an attempt to be good at that task. For the bow hunter yeah it's getting that twenty yard shot then being able to get and follow a blood trail.
For a gun hunter it's much the same making an ethical shot and hopefully not having to track the animal. I will say this; I know of those who go out of state on mule deer/elk hunts who take a rifle they have not recently shot or sighted in. They have issues out there then come back and talk about rifle hunting not being a challenge. No matter how you hunt "Practice" have more respect for your quarry or yourself than have to shoot a animal multiple times with a rifle because you are to lazy/busy to sight it in, or think you are Fred Bear with a bow. Whatever weapon you choose get good, and then get GOODER. Remember the objective is to forget how to track because your prey dies quickly.

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#7147904 - 04/22/18 09:39 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 24413
Loc: Corsicana
Itís a heckuva lot easier to get hunting proficient with a rifle than to get hunting proficient with a bow.
Itís also a heckuva lot easier to be successful with a rifle than to be successful with a bow.

Those are not intended to be value judgments, they are just facts.
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7147939 - 04/22/18 10:31 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
Happy Birthday ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12700
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I enjoy rifle hunting. But I thrill for the adrenaline rush of bow hunting. The feeling of getting in nice and close to animals without them knowing you are there, and having the skill to draw on them and send an arrow is like no other. I have lost this rush somewhat with a rifle. It's a different ball game when bow hunting. I have one thing to say about it. If you are not sure about it- "Try it!!!"
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#7147949 - 04/22/18 10:37 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
RiverRider Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 7977
Loc: Wise Co.
I've been told by more than one bow hunter that your first deer with a bow just might cause your rifles to come out of the safe much less frequently. It seems to me that bow hunting is just a whole nuther pursuit.
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#7148005 - 04/22/18 11:47 AM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
kmon1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 22920
Loc: Texas
I Gun hunt and bow hunt. With the bow I hunt with Recurve, Compound and crossbow and have taken deer with all those. It is a lot of fun and depending on the state can extend your season and even bag limits. Oklahoma has something like 15 days a year for gun hunts but 4 months for archery. I enjoy the different aspects of bow hunting and gun hunting and cannot say I enjoy one more than the other really.

Where I hunt in Eastland County the rut peaks usually nest the end of October so if you want to hunt pre peak of rut you have to bow hunt.
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#7148087 - 04/22/18 01:19 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
DStroud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Waco
I hunted exclusively with a recurve for 18 years and I think I have killed more Big game with a recurve bow than with a rifle. Predator hunting and love of reloading got me back into rifles so donít archery hunt much now.... just not enough time for all.
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#7148169 - 04/22/18 02:48 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: RiverRider]
Texas Dan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RiverRider
I've been told by more than one bow hunter that your first deer with a bow just might cause your rifles to come out of the safe much less frequently. It seems to me that bow hunting is just a whole nuther pursuit.


This may be true, but it doesn't take away from the fact that an overwhelming number of hunters have no desire to own a bow, even if it means passing up a head start on the season. Although I don't have the numbers to back it up, I suspect making crossbows legal did little to change that. Like our forefathers, our attention has always been focused on the firearm.

According to the latest numbers from the TPWD for the 2016-17 season, almost 700,000 deer hunters in Texas reported firearms as their hunting method, with just over 150,000 reported having used a bow.

TPWD Data


Edited by Texas Dan (04/22/18 03:25 PM)
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Spring, Texas

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#7148231 - 04/22/18 03:47 PM Re: Why I've never had any desire to pick up a bow [Re: Texas Dan]
Toxarch Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 1910
Loc: Parker County
I hunt with both, but the older I get, the more lazy I am so the more I rifle hunt. I'm not saying rifle hunting is lazy, I'm saying there's more preparation for bow hunting and less comfort. You are almost never in a box blind, you don't get a heater, you can't move around much, you can't play around on your phone, you have to wear camo head to toe, you aren't packing a lunch/drinks you can sit back and eat in the stand, you can't close the windows for wind/weather, etc. There is skill to shooting guns and skill to shooting bows and they are not the same.

Bow hunting is not for everyone and it is definitely not cheap. A new bare Matthews bow is $1000. If you figure cost of arrows and broadheads, you are looking at $15-20 per shot. An arrow hanging out the side of a pig usually means a broken arrow so no repeat use on some. I think cost is definitely a barrier to entry in the sport.

There is one thing I tell a hunter who has never bow hunted. Do you remember shooting your first deer? Do you remember the excitement and adrenaline? Do you remember your last deer? It's probably not near the same. Try out bow hunting and that adrenaline will be there again when that deer walks in at 20 yards and has no idea that you are there and about to shoot. I've had a mature buck (that nobody on the place had ever seen) walk up and touch his nose to my arrow. He knew something was different, but he never thought I was a threat. And deer make noises and sounds all the time that most rifle hunters have probably never heard before. You won't hear them until you are close and they are comfortable.

If you ever decide to start bow hunting, I would HIGHLY recommend 3D archery tournaments in the Spring and Summer. Best practice you will get and there is a tournament open to the public every weekend.
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