Your Site for Comprehensive Bowhunting Information



General Information

This site focuses on the bow hunting of whitetail deer.  It contains information on archery basics as related to bowhunting, bow accessories, arrow choice, bow tuning, hunting equipment, and how to hunt with a bow.

One of the advantages of bowhunting over hunting with a gun is that it gets you out in the woods during some of the prettiest times in the year, when the leaves are turning and the weather is still reasonably warm. It is also the longest of the hunting seasons. Bowhunting is much more challenging than rifle hunting because you have to get so much closer to game. This is why for deer at least, bowhunting is usually done from an elevated platform. The deer are less likely to see you and your scent is more dissipated from the elevated stand. At the usual 15-25 yard distance that bow hunters usually take deer, odor control, being totally silent, and limiting movement is an absolute necessity if you are to be successful. Somewhat less important is the use of camouflage clothing since the deer have been reported to have rather poor eyesight, being more sensitive to movement rather than form.

A number of states have recently opened their bowhunting seasons to crossbows, though there are often age restrictions. It is tempting for the beginner to go the easy route of hunting with a crossbow rather than learn to shoot a compound or traditional bow since little skill is required for the use of a crossbow. Yet, there is a lot of satisfaction in taking game with weapons of the past, the way the Indians did. Every state sanctions the use of longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows in their bowhunting seasons, whereas most states limit or prohibit the use of crossbows. Thus learning to shoot a bow opens up many hunting possibilities denied to those who use only a crossbow.



The good news is that you need not practice for months to become sufficiently proficient to hunt with a bow. Although using a traditional long bow or recurve and shooting instinctively (without sights) has a long learning curve, the compound bow with modern sights allows a rank beginner to shoot well enough to hunt within a couple weeks. As with any new skill, practice is the key to performance. Even though you may be able to shoot very well most of the time even in the very beginning, you have to create new habits to shoot consistently well. It is this consistency that is required to harvest game regularly and humanely. When a deer enters your shooting lane you get an adrenalin flush that erases from your mind all the shooting form advice you learned. In these tense moments you have to fall back on the habits formed during practice.

In the past bowhunting has been the purview of the young and strong because there is great advantage in being able to shoot a strong, fast bow. Indeed, the major reason bow hunters leave the sport is because they can no longer hold a bow steady with an out stretched arm and/or cannot draw their bow. Adaptive equipment can remedy this situation. The Disabled Archery page discusses some of this adaptive equipment. In addition, a number of states have recognized age as a disability allowing them to hunt with a drawkeep or a crossbow.

2007 Bow Hunter's Advantage

.906-482-6557 P.O. Box 467, Dollar Bay, MI 49922