The Challenge Of Traditional Bow Hunting [PICS]
By Toby Trigger

Posted: November 23, 2014

Archers who use long bows and recurves are now referred to as “Traditional Bow Hunters.

It was only a few decades ago when “traditional bow hunting” was just “bow hunting” and bow hunters were not at all common. The advent of the compound bow has certainly contributed to the surge in bow hunters and likewise bow hunter opportunity.


Bow hunting has reached an all time high for sportsmen in the U.S. With all the technology available bow hunters are now able to stretch the accuracy of archery equipment to what once was reserved for scoped muzzle-loading rifles. Modern archers who practice consistently can group hunting arrows together at 40 yards easily and target arrows beyond 100 yards.


Hunting whitetail deer is what hunters across the United States have in common regardless what we’re hunting with. Yesterday I stepped into to deer woods and walked to a tree stand in the dark. I was carrying a 55# long bow and pretty cedar arrows tipped with 225 grain cut-on-contact broad heads. Total arrow weight rounded out to about 690 grains.


I can’t shoot accurately much past 30 yards on a good day. I prefer 20 or less and set my stands up for shots at that distance. Why would a bow hunter limit his or her distances to 20 yards with bows that can shoot 40 sitting on the shelves of sporting goods stores for half the money?   Well, many rifle hunters ask why anyone would limit their shooting ranges to 40 yards when they have a rifle that can easily shoot 300 yards!

Traditional Bow hunting is about getting close. It’s a self imposed challenge. Like a four point minimum or using a muzzle loader during general season. When you have to get close that means you have to hunt more. More hunting is good and allows for longer viewing time.

Like yesterday when two bucks chased a doe near my stand for over an hour. A big buck walked into the area and the two smaller bucks left, with the doe. I grunted to try to coax the big buck closer. He didn’t come, but one of the smaller bucks came right under my stand broadside at 10 yards.


I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I sent an arrow cleanly through the buck and he ran about 8o yards before piling up. The buck I shot won’t meet any record book standards but he doesn’t have to. The chance to shoot any buck with a long bow is the reason I hunt with one.  When the chance becomes an opportunity, I take it.

If you’ve never hunted with a long bow or recurve it may be tough to understand. But if you’ve ever let the arrow go from a string, you already know what I mean.

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