Author Topic: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?  (Read 9810 times)

Offline vess1

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Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« on: May 06, 2011, 11:57:53 PM »

  While working on a project today and listening to my Ipod, I just got to the two part series Jack did on bow hunting whitetails a few weeks ago.   I agree with most everything he said but I don't know if it could be said that bow hunting is as ethical as a gun, which was implied.   I'm not trying to start a war here.  I'm just somebody who has bow hunted a lot and I harbor some guilt.

  I'm not bad with my bow.  I can shoot targets all day and have arrows touching most of the time.  The actual hunting part, has not been as kind.     My first chance one year, was a great buck right under the tree.  Thought it was perfect and assumed he was dead.  Made the mistake of chasing.  It was just wounded.  It ran away, blood trail stopped, never saw again.  Looked for many hours.   I really feel bad over this one to this day.   This was probably 6 years ago.

  Then I ranged a doe at 45 yds at dusk.  Shot and killed it.   Had many dinners from it.

  Another time I had one right under the tree and just skimmed it.   My last opportunity, a doe came out at 20 yds. this last fall.   I shot it broad side, dead center of the body.  Which was behind the lungs of course.  At the time I thought it was perfect.  It walked away, licked the wound and walked off.  I heard a crash later after dark, but the blood trail dried up and it was never found after an extensive search.    I don't even know if it was my deer or another deer smashing through some brush.

   I am amazed at how tough deer can be.  Especially bucks.  If anything goes wrong (and there is a long list that can go wrong under pressure, with live game, different distances, angles, twigs in the way, wind, broad heads drifting, etc...) you don't get them.   To me, they seem extremely difficult to kill and it has been discouraging.  I really don't know if I'm going to bow hunt anymore.   I'd just as soon sell the bow, but I feel obligated to keep it in case SHTF and it had to be used.   

  What I'm getting at is that I didn't think the shows completely reflected the difficulties there can be when trying to bow hunt.    Talking and dreaming about shooting a deer is one thing.  Getting to the point of dragging an animal back to the truck is not a given for anybody who goes out with a bow and thinks they're prepared.   I am accurate prepared and I don't panic, but it still has resulted in two lost deer.  With a gun I believe there would have been no lost deer.

Offline RPZ

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 04:48:05 AM »
My opinion is this; as many rifle hunters probably wound and lose proportionally as many animals as bow hunters. Do I know this as fact - can anyone know this as true or false? No. Just a well reasoned guess based on personal experience (with rifles and pistols), the words and writings of others, and the law of averages.

Yes all hunters should strive to achieve a level of competence with their gear, not take un-necessary chances etc etc etc. Guilty of ignorance in one way or another? Errors in judgement? Everyone I have known and read from has been.  So don't lug it around the rest of your life. Learn what went wrong and why and move on.

And no, I do not think bow hunting is unethical in any way, and is just as ethical as with a rifle, or pistol for that matter.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 07:57:48 AM »
As far as I'm concerned, if you're out there hunting with any type of weapon and actually trying to take down an animal for food it's ethical in both success and failure. In nature there is no perfect predator. Prey animals often escape with various degrees of damage that it will either survive, or die from. Some other predator or scavenger out there is going to make use of the animal if it dies. Nothing is wasted in nature.

You should do everything within your power to track down an animal that you've wounded and dispatch it as quickly as possible, but sometimes you're just not going to find your intended prey. In those situations it's quite alright to suffer from a bout of conscientiousness.

I don't think that ethics and conscience necessarily meet in all things.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 07:50:13 PM »
The ethical part is not in the choice of weapon - it is when you make the decision to take a shot. A bad bow shot is the same as a bad rifle shot.

However, it is harder than using a gun. You have to get closer, you have to make a better shot, you have to be able to track the animal if needed.

You are never going to bang / flop a deer with a bow, unless you make a very, very good shot. I passed on several shots with a bow this year, that were just too close to the edge of my ability / equipment.


Offline cdhm22

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 08:42:00 PM »
As far as I'm concerned, if you're out there hunting with any type of weapon and actually trying to take down an animal for food it's ethical in both success and failure. In nature there is no perfect predator. Prey animals often escape with various degrees of damage that it will either survive, or die from. Some other predator or scavenger out there is going to make use of the animal if it dies. Nothing is wasted in nature.

You should do everything within your power to track down an animal that you've wounded and dispatch it as quickly as possible, but sometimes you're just not going to find your intended prey. In those situations it's quite alright to suffer from a bout of conscientiousness.

I don't think that ethics and conscience necessarily meet in all things.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

I couldn't agree more. It is the hunters responsibility to track and find the animal they have shot at, but if it does end in the scenario that the animal can not be found, it will not go to waste. Those nasty little buggers called possum love to clean out dead animals.

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 09:01:28 PM »
I agree the ethics of bow hunting are taking a shot within your range. Doing everthing to recover an animal that you shot.  I spent days tracking an animal that wasn't hit well.  Finally recovered when we chased the bear and coyotes off the carcas. The animal was not wasted.

Offline vess1

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 09:28:19 PM »

  Thanks for the replies.  I agree.  I try not to take any chances.  I've been very consciensous over the years.   I've passed on many deer that have walked by.  Had one lay down under the stand.  I've learned that I hate shooting straight down from the stand so I won't do it anymore.    The one I got  was a long shot, on a hill that was nearly level with the stand.  Just a bit further out.  It was a comfortable shot for me.    I've let many small bucks go by that I could have shot.   I'm not taking risks or haphazardly shooting at anything that moves. 

  This may change the subject, but what are you guys using for broadheads?   I've used both fixed and expandable.  Last year I was using regular fixed ones and I'm just not convinced they fly as straight as a field tip.   I've practiced shooting with them and I don't know.  It leaves some question in my mind to if they tend to sail on you.  These were 100 grain, skeletonized blades.  But also, not very large in diameter.   I think the expandables may fly straighter and do more damage.  What do you guys prefer?

 

Offline CBP

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 12:22:31 PM »
The ethical part is not in the choice of weapon - it is when you make the decision to take a shot. A bad bow shot is the same as a bad rifle shot.

However, it is harder than using a gun. You have to get closer, you have to make a better shot, you have to be able to track the animal if needed.

You are never going to bang / flop a deer with a bow, unless you make a very, very good shot. I passed on several shots with a bow this year, that were just too close to the edge of my ability / equipment.

I'll second this, although I've never "bang/flop"-ped a deer with a bow, rifle or muzzleloader -- despite a double lung shot.   Some of the questionable shots, I think, come from guys watching too many hunting shows.  Rarely do you see misses or lost animals and they get over confident.  I'm VERY careful with a bow shot -- I'm drawing 45# @ 26".  I would never shoot beyond 30 yards, preferably 20. 

I've used Rocky Mountain Snypers exclusively at that draw weight (and less).  They're an expandable two blade.   I always double band them.  Any off shot I've had is due to an edgy animal jumping/turning at the string.  They seem to target just fine.


Offline burbot

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 11:02:09 PM »
My 2 cents:  A gun leaves more room for error, but the bowhunters I know practice more than a lot of the gun hunters out there.  A bow hunter who shoots all summer long will most likely produce a better shot than the gun hunter who pulls his gun out of the case for the first time each year on opening day.  I do both and believe it or not they are very different sports and I enjoy both.  Ethics is in the hunter, not the weapon.  Ethics is taking a good percentage kill shot that you know your weapon is sighted for and you have practiced (yes things can go wrong with any weapon) and if necessary properly tracking the animal for recovery. 

Offline Matt.T

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 12:41:32 PM »
Ethics is in the hunter, not the weapon.

You hit the nail on the head. The ethics involved in any type of hunting is the respect that is given to the activity. The fact is that a hunter's purpose is to kill an animal to sustain their own (and family's) need for food.

If we talk about the mechanics of arrow vs. bullet, it comes down to how each of these performs its job. A bullet uses destructive power obtained from its velocity and mass. It causes something known as "hydrostatic shock." The body is composed largely of water and as such may be viewed as a hydraulic system. Liquid being noncompressible, the shock caused by the high-velocity entry of a large projectile is transmitted throughout the body, causing widespread organ damage, disruption of nervous functions. Death by bullet is most often the result of shock and tramatic damage more than it is by bleeding.

A properly sharpened arrow broadhead cuts through an animal, causing massive internal bleeding. In a properly placed shot (lungs and heart), the lungs are also cut and therefore causes the inability of the animal to get the oxygen it needs to sustain life. Because internal organs have no pain receptors, the animal typically does not even know that a fatal injury has occurred. The mix of internal bleeding and inability to maintain an air supply essentially causes the animal to become unconscious prior to actually dying. The scenario has been well explained in which many cases dying from a fatal arrow shot is comparable to getting light headed, falling unconscious and then unknowingly expiring. The only possible "pain" an animal may experience is the entry and exit of the broadhead, however, if you've ever cut yourself with a razor, you know that often you don't even notice that it has occurred.   

Personally, I consider myself a hunter, regardless of the tool I use. I have a deep respect for any life I take in order that I may continue to live, and I will give up any shot (arrow or bullet) that I feel will not kill the animal cleanly and quickly. The "ethics" are the relationship the hunter has with his/her prey.

Just my 2 cents.

Offline aman

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 04:26:40 AM »
Hi Guys

I am very new to archery and because I am from the UK where hunting with a bow is illegal I probably don't have much right commenting on this subject.

I am pro hunting and I am pro hunting with a bow as long as you are doing it for food and not sport. That does not mean you cannot enjoy the experience and the sense of achievement.

Because I am new to all this I have been watching a lot of archery and  bow hunting videos on the web and what I don't understand is bear hunting.

What is the purpose of bear hunting. Do people eat bear meat. Are they classed as vermin or is it just 'sport'

aman

Offline Truik

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Re: Bow hunting as ethical as gun?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 04:49:54 AM »
What is the purpose of bear hunting. Do people eat bear meat. Are they classed as vermin or is it just 'sport'

Oh, they are definitely on the menu.

http://www.exoticmeatsandmore.com/blackbear.aspx

http://www.food.com/recipes/bear