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RamSlammer
December 8, 2008, 02:08 AM
Call me behind the times, but I just don't get the proliferation of bow hunting versus modern gun. In my state most WMA's are bow only with modern gun being relegated to occasional permit hunts, youth hunts and private land.

Admittedly, I have taken up the bow from necessity more than anything else, but I still question the reasoning. For a hunter looking to put meat on the table (whitetail deer mostly) I feel it's discriminatory. Not all of us want or need to take part in scent elimination clothing, $1,000 bows, designer deer scents, fake antlers to rattle, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Not to mention the ill shot deer that some bowhunters will try to take at too long a range that turn up dead a day later (if they're lucky). I have ran across 3 decomposed half eaten carcasses this season with arrows in them.

Used to be a guy could take a 30-30 into the woods most anywhere and hunt deer cleanly without all the muss and fuss these new age "purist" hunters who never set a foot in the woods except 3 weekends a year demand.

Daryl
December 8, 2008, 04:04 AM
Ram,

States use bow seasons for various reasons, and it's up to you to participate or not.

Arizona has a few bow seasons that are far longer than the firearms seasons. Tags can be purchased over-the-counter, rather than having to apply for a lottery system for a chance at a firearms tag with a season a few days long.

I've shot deer with a bow, as well as other big game animals, and never used scents, rattleing horns, and a tree stand only once. Those things can help, but rest assured they aren't required to hunt and be successful at it.

As far as wounded deer dying unrecovered, bows are just as lethal as a rifle is, but at closer range. Make a bad shot with either, and you're likely to get the same result. Responsible and ethical hunters will pass on a shot that they aren't qualified to make, but each shooter will have different skill levels.

The world is a changing place, and the "good ol' days" of hunting aren't likely to come back. My advice is to get used to it, and take advantage of the opportunities you have.

Daryl

RamSlammer
December 8, 2008, 04:18 AM
Daryl,
You are entirely right about bows being as lethal. I think though that more hunters stretch their range than would happen with a gun. Also, yes, states mandate bow for "various reasons". I guess my question is just what are those reasons and are they really valid?

For instance, if hunter saturation is causing a safety issue, mandate tree stand hunting with downward angled shooting. Or how about handgun hunting? Buckshot only?

Call me paranoid, but if gun opponents can make a reasonable argument that all U.S. hunters need are bows and bird shot then we could be assisting the degradation of our 2A rights.

JagFarlane
December 8, 2008, 04:55 AM
Ram,

Hmmm not too sure on how your state works bow season, but there has always been bow seasons in the states I've hunted [NJ and NY]. Its not always "purists" who hunt those, as honestly, I don't consider a hyped up compound bow with carbon arrows very purist. A lot of bowhunters are there for the same reason, to put meat on the table.
Bowhunting is a different beast than firearms hunting. Most shots are under 30yds, and require a lot of stalking and patience. The reason the two seasons are seperate, is, at least I've found, that states will cut bowhunters slack on the orange requirements. This is due to less hunters in the field and the effective range being much less than firearms.
As for wounded animals left behind, its sad, and its a reflection on society today. The hunter failed to do his/her job and track down the animal. Firearms hunters do this as well, its just a bit harder to see compared to an arrow sitting out the side of animal.
As far as all the new fangled stuff...that, in the end, is companies pushing new products on people. Bowhunters have been around a lot longer than scent elimination clothes, etc etc., just the same as rifle hunters who have to be able to shoot 400yds from their popup blind whilst using a grunt tube.

ZeroJunk
December 8, 2008, 07:39 AM
Bows are worse than golf clubs when it comes to hunters thinking they have to have the latest greatest. You can get a good used bow for a couple of hundred bucks. The one I use is probably 15 years old, I can't stand this new short stuff. I've never had any scent free cloths, but a tree stand will greatly improve your chances.

The bow season is much more peaceful and you will see more game. If they turned it in to rifle season there would be a stampede of orange in to the woods and the deer would dig a hole and climb in the same as they do when the general season starts now.

12GaugeShuggoth
December 8, 2008, 08:11 AM
RamSlammer, you have to remember and admit that the vast majority of hunters in the U.S. do NOT hunt primarily to provide for the family. Yes many eat the meat of their kill, but that meat merely supplements the normal diet. Most people hunt purely for sport.

Bow hunting takes far more skill than a rifle hunt (yep, I said it). Call me an idiot, but taking a 300 yard shot at an animal who couldn't notice you if you were jumping up and down and flailing your arms just ain't hunting in my book.....it's target practice. As a result, bow season means far less people to worry about in the woods, and unlike gun season you won't have to worry about other peoples' shots spooking your deer.

I completely agree that the people who make poor shots and end up leaving wounded or dying deer are scum. But those people would be doing that regardless of what weapon they're hunting with. IMO at least with the bow they are confined to a significantly shorter distance within which to be stupid. Give the same person a shotgun or rifle and they'd be injuring far more deer and still failing to bring meat home.....believe me, I've seen it.

With dedicated bow season only being a three week period (at least here), what's the big deal in waiting an extra 3 weeks to hunt in your preferred way?

RamSlammer
December 8, 2008, 09:12 AM
I don't have a problem at all with bow hunting - I own one and enjoy it . . . sometimes. Most of the state owned WMA's in my area are bow only - all season long, that leaves gun hunters without access to private land shut out and that's what I feel is wrong. Yes, bow hunting is more difficult, requires more skill, etc. . . . that's not the point.

Doyle
December 8, 2008, 09:25 AM
I think the reason that many WMA's are going to bow only is the safety issue. With firearms, they really have to be concerned about hunter density on public land. That leaves the WMA management potentially liable if they allow in too many hunters and somebody gets shot. With bows only, they don't have to worry about miscalulating the number of hunters allowed at any given time.

davlandrum
December 8, 2008, 12:22 PM
new age "purist" hunters who never set a foot in the woods except 3 weekends a year demand.

I hunt both. I would say I have seen a lot more guys with rifles that the "3 weekends a year" would apply to than bowhunters.

The fix is actually very simple, but may seem draconian to people that are used to hunting multiple seasons - make people chose how they are going to hunt. In Oregon you get basically one tag for deer, one tag for elk and it is weapon specific.

What this does (in theory, at least) is keep me from running out and buying a bow (and a muzzleloader) just to get more hunting days. I usually bow hunt elk, so I make sure I am good enough with my bow to do the job - else I would just rifle hunt elk.

The weapon used does not define an ethical hunter.

The arguement about cost is moot. You can spend as much or as little as you want, just like gun hunters.

T.A.Sharps
December 8, 2008, 01:31 PM
Personally I would never take a bow hunting, unless I knew for sure I would see a deer no farther away than 15 yrds. I don't go hunting just to bird watch.

I'm not a rich hunter, I can't afford to let my tags go unfilled, just because it is more sporting.

I have nothing against bows like the original poster, but it seems like bows are for the experience, and rifles are for business.

RamSlammer
December 8, 2008, 01:43 PM
I think the reason that many WMA's are going to bow only is the safety issue. With firearms, they really have to be concerned about hunter density on public land. That leaves the WMA management potentially liable if they allow in too many hunters and somebody gets shot. With bows only, they don't have to worry about miscalulating the number of hunters allowed at any given time.

That's a valid reason for sure, but why wouldn't allowing shotguns limited to buckshot achieve the same supposed level of safety?

wpcexpert
December 8, 2008, 02:16 PM
I don't feel that safety is the reason at all. I think that over hunting has caused the WMA's to become archery only. A particular WMA can have so many deer. And around here, Cabot area, There are 4-5 WMA's within 30 minutes. But there are far more hunters than deer in those WMA's. With each hunter being able to take 3 deer up here, they would be eradicated in one season.

It's a proven fact that a group of gun hunters can kill more deer than a group of archery hunters. So if they had the WMA's where every person could fill their limit with a rifle, there wouldn't be enough deer to even have the area open the next year.

But by making the WMA archery only, with muzzleloader draw permit hunts, it allows for a good rifle hunt with more oportunities. Also as a bow hunter, I love the fact that they are archery only. That means with a little more homework, I can hunt with out as many hunters in the woods. There are far fewer bowhunters than gun hunters.

I'm of the same opinion as 12GaugeSluggoth. Although I do carry the rifle when I get the oportunity. I am about 95% bowhunter. I've killed far more deer with a bow than gun. Maybe because I carry the bow more often, but I have never failed to fill the freezer.

My advise Mr. RamSlammer is that maybe fine tuning your scouting technique, and a little more homework (woodwork) you would not have as much trouble(or atleast enough to complain about) killing deer.

As far as the new fangled gadgets and gismos, I use a few, but not that much. I don't wear Scentlock, I spray down before heading to my stand. I use a 6 year old climbing stand. My camo varies. But I do a lot of scouting and prep prior to season and during. I scout when I get down and see where the deer moved that morning. But I don't get disappointed when I don't see deer. That's part of it. But I know that if I don't kill deer, it's MY fault. Not because I can't carry a rifle into the woods.

wpcexpert
December 8, 2008, 02:18 PM
That's a valid reason for sure, but why wouldn't allowing shotguns limited to buckshot achieve the same supposed level of safety?

Have you ever patterned buckshot at 50yds? I have, with several shotguns and various chokes. I would trust my bow in my hands at 50yds to buckshot.

Doyle
December 8, 2008, 02:29 PM
Have you ever patterned buckshot at 50yds? I have, with several shotguns and various chokes. I would trust my bow in my hands at 50yds to buckshot.


Agreed. Wildlife managers know that buckshot is usually a poor choice for effective deer killing.

RamSlammer
December 8, 2008, 02:57 PM
My advise Mr. RamSlammer is that maybe fine tuning your scouting technique, and a little more homework (woodwork) you would not have as much trouble(or atleast enough to complain about) killing deer.

Yea, okay . . . I'll do that. I am out of tags so it'll have to wait until next season. BTW two of mine were with my bow this year. The point is that on public hunting ground accommodation needs to be made for modern gun hunters. Not lessening archery - it's a great and noble way to hunt. So is a rifle. What occasioned my rant is that I have a couple of nice lever guns that I would love for my son to hunt with. The way it's going though, by the time he's ready to use them the places available will be non-existent.

I started hunting deer in 1975 and a compound bow was an oddity. My Marlin 336 seems headed that way and that's a shame.

Brian Pfleuger
December 8, 2008, 03:12 PM
In NY state the "bows vs guns" rule in entirely population/safety based. The only areas that are bow only are those very close to population centers.
There are no such things here as permits for Bow only, besides the one you get when you buy a bow hunting license.

wpcexpert
December 8, 2008, 05:02 PM
Cool, congrats on your kills. I don't know where you are located. Did you apply for any of the draw hunts this year.

Sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean it. I was just responding to the info and the assumptions I had made from the typing on the screen. I seem to insert foot into mouth sometimes by responding to more than the OP asked for. Sorry.

This is directly from the AR DNR Website on Permits. I'll post the link below.

Many Arkansas WMAs can sustain only moderate hunting pressure during the modern gun season. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has established a lottery-style permit draw for certain hunts on these areas to prevent overcrowding and overhunting. Applying for these permits is free and offers an excellent chance at hunting some of Arkansas' best public land.


http://www.agfc.com/hunting/deer/permits/wma-permits.aspx

There is your public land hunting for your son. Plenty of permits out there. And I believe the ratio numbers are way off. I remember looking and before they closed down the application period, there were still 40-50 permits for Camp Robinson.

Daryl
December 9, 2008, 09:40 PM
Also, yes, states mandate bow for "various reasons". I guess my question is just what are those reasons and are they really valid?


I can't speak for your state, but I can guess a bit. A bow has a limited range, and it's easier to regulate the tool used than the way a tool is used. A law enforcement officer might have a hard time proving just how you used your firearm, but if you use a firearm instead of a bow, it's a pretty simple matter.

Another reason is to extend the season. Bows allow more opportunity for hunters to spend time afield, without a heavy harvest when animals are not all the numerous. Our deserts here in Arizona have some deer, but not enough for everyone to go out and kill one each year. The firearms season is by drawing, and the bow season is over-the-counter. The OTC bow season allows folks to get out and hunt, with an opportunity for success, but you have to work a lot harder to get a deer. IOW, you're more likely to earn it, and less people are willing to go to the trouble.

Another reason is to allow those who mostly (or only) bowhunt the chance to enjoy THEIR sport without competing with rifle hunters at the same time.

There are lots of reasons for a bow season, and I think most are valid. It doesn't really make taking a deer easy, but that's oft-times the point.

I consider myself a hunter, and the tool I use is really secondary to that. I use a bow. I also use rifles, handguns, and shotguns. Each has their place, and I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend afield.

If it was just about "taking a deer home", I'd have quit a long time ago. Meat's usually cheaper at the grocery store, although it's not as good, or as good for you.

Daryl

RamSlammer
December 9, 2008, 11:18 PM
Thanks for the well thought out replies. Deer are like stray cats around northern Arkansas where I hunt. (Lawrence, Greene, Sharp, Randolph and Izard counties) The season is long and each hunter gets 4 deer tags. The state has numerous, excellent wildlife management areas of 10,000 or more acres. Unfortunately, most are bow only all season except for youth hunts and an occasional one weekend muzzleloader event.

Overall the deer herd is expanding and has been for years. My thoughts remain that a few weeks of modern gun in the WMA's would be a good idea. It would bring more hunters into the field offering opportunities for many who don't have access to private land. I think it could be done safely in the latter part of the season and without harm to the health of the herd overall.

Daryl
December 10, 2008, 04:31 AM
Ram,

The way you explain it in your last post, I would agree. As long as it can be done safely (enough room to hunt without endangering folks watching TV at home), it would probably be a good thing.

You should make that suggestion to your state's DNR, FWS, or whatever they're called in your state. You never know what you might get started.

Daryl

Rembrandt
December 10, 2008, 07:26 AM
I'm amazed at how many bow hunters have previous felony convictions and can't hunt with a firearm. Years later their indiscretions cost them the ability to own a gun and bow hunting is the only option left if they want to hunt.

I hunt with bow for the ability to hit the rut season and extend my hunting opportunities. Bow hunting allows me a 3 month hunting window where the gun season limited it to a couple of weeks.

globemaster3
December 10, 2008, 08:03 AM
I'm amazed at how many bow hunters have previous felony convictions and can't hunt with a firearm. Years later their indiscretions cost them the ability to own a gun and bow hunting is the only option left if they want to hunt.


Wow!:eek: I've never heard of or seen that, including time I've spent working in an archery shop in college. Where have you experienced that? Not calling you out, just amazed!

Rembrandt
December 10, 2008, 08:38 AM
Wow! I've never heard of or seen that, including time I've spent working in an archery shop in college. Where have you experienced that? Not calling you out, just amazed!

We have four with previous felony convictions in our local club, they make no bones about it...but use their experiences as a lesson to younger hunters.

crowbeaner
December 10, 2008, 12:55 PM
I hunt with any weapon and any game in mind. I took a FAT doe this year with the Jennings at 12 yards; much closer than any gun hunting. I missed 2 does at long range with the slug gun simply because it's hard to figure the range and drop with open sights. There is a COUNTY park near the state land that I hunt that is bow only, and it is simply crawling with deer; especially after the opener of gun season in the southern zone.
Bow hunting requires more hunting skill than gun hunting; you have to fool the deer's eyes, ears, and nose. This is NOT an easy thing to do; deer live and die by these senses. You also have to be much much closer to your quarry than with a firearm. Only an ETHICAL hunter will take the best shot offered and make his/her kill. I have let enormous bucks walk because they simply did not give me the shot I wanted; they were and are too fine an animal to take an iffy shot on. I use a compound now, but I started bowhunting with a 55# Stemmler recurve in 1972. Arrows and bows have come a LOOONG way since then; some traditionalists like Tred Barta still use longbows invented around the time modern man stopped dragging his knuckles. Most states have generous bow only seasons that allow hunters to schedule hunts for when other people are just thinking about hunting. I've had hunters after grouse and squirrels push deer to me that I otherwise wouldn't have seen or had the opportunity to see. Anyone can knock a deer down with a gun at some extremely long ranges; I prefer to hunt closer to my stand and wait for the right shot. It's hard to concentrate on your deer when a red squirrel is trying to climb on your shoulder because you look like part of the tree you're in.

globemaster3
December 10, 2008, 03:15 PM
Good on them for keeping with the sport and passing on their hard-earned lessons so the younger bucks might not make the same decisions in life.

I must admit, I use archery as an avenue to extend my hunting season and have been fairly successful in the adventure. During the off season, I find it a good release to just go throw arrows at a target.

As lethal as a gun? Yes. But I find the margin of error even higher for a bow than a gun. A bad release, torquing the riser, misjudging the distance, all have implications that seem more sinister than a rifle inside of 200-250 yards. But then, animals have been killed by bow a LOT longer than they have by gun. An considering the Native Americans took quary up to the size of buffalo...

rem870hunter
December 11, 2008, 11:09 AM
bow season here runs longer than gun season for deer anyways. last weekend of september to the end of november. then picks back up in jan. and goes into feb. in some parts. by that time i feel its too cold to be sitting in a tree with a shooting glove on instead of warm mittens holding a gun. but that just me i guess.

i still have my bow and equipment. have not shot it or hunted with it for awhile. job change 4 years ago kept me from going on my days off at the start in september. if i get a weekday or a saturday. can't sunday hunt here. but that may change soon.

yosemitesamaz
December 20, 2008, 08:55 PM
i hunt with both but i prefer a bow to hunt. to me filling the fidge is great but to be able to stalk up to a animal within 15 to 30 yards even if i dont get a shot is well worth it to me. we should be glad to even get a glance at a animal at that range. i have a deer hunt this month and a javelina hunt next month both with bows. dont get me wrong if i would of got drawn for rifle i still would hunt but i still try and get as close as possible. it dont matter what we hunt with just that we have the great opertunity to enjoy what we love!

jckeffer
December 21, 2008, 01:56 AM
Bow - Damon/Howatt Hi-Speed Recurve (circa 1974)
Muzzleloader - Kodiak .58 cal double rifle
Browning A-bolt 30.06

It's not about the tool - it's about the EXPERIENCE! Tried them all and like them all. Most difficult - bowhunting, hands down, next most diificult - modern rifle, easist - muzzleloader.
Why?
1. Bowhunting - range/stealth/accuracy
2. Rifle - because by the time modern rifle season rools around deer are much warier and many more hunters.
3. Muzzleloader, greater range than bow, requires less stealth and much geater accuracy beyond 50+ yards plus earlier in the season deer are less wary.

http://i383.photobucket.com/albums/oo276/reefera4m/Deerhunters.jpg

Art Eatman
December 21, 2008, 11:08 AM
Generalizing, since folks do have different reasons for getting involved in an activity: Bowhunting started as mostly a nostalgia thing. "The way the Injuns done it." Included in this was the need for a greater skill level in getting within ethical killing distance. (Much the same deal for the muzzle-loader types; you don't reach out reliably to 300 or 400 yards.)

Like any sort of endeavor, technology entered, and we've wound up with compound bows and sights. (Much like IPSC and "race guns".) Not many people can deal with a simple bow that has an 80-pound draw weight. (Howard Hill? Do I have the name correct? I saw a film of him killing an elephant via his 80-pounder.)

Since the odds for success are greater against a bow hunter than for those with centerfire rifles, and since the need for peace and quiet in the boonies is greater, the various game departments started the "bows only" seasons.

Anyhow, that's the proximate background...

Lonestar.45
December 21, 2008, 12:37 PM
I guess I don't get the original question?

Here in Texas 95% probably of all hunting is done on private land and has been for a long long time. There just aren't the same public hunting opportunities here that there are in other states, like Arkansas for instance. You have to pay to play.

I pay to hunt bowseason, I hunt bowseason. I pay to hunt rifle season, I hunt rifle. I think those fortunate enough to have any kind of real hunting opportunities on public land, in other states, ought to consider themselves fortunate, even if it is only bow or primitive hunting only in some cases. If you want to hunt with your rifle, you can always do what a million Texans have to do every year, and pay for a deer lease. It ain't the perfect system but that's what we have to do pretty much.

RamSlammer
December 21, 2008, 12:51 PM
Lots of politics involved in the public Game and Fish commission here. There's a 1/8 cent part of the state sales tax dedicated to that department so everybody pays and generally, being always flush with money, the AGFC does a good job. If there's a politician that takes an interest in a specific WMA though, he/she can basically "run things" as they want.

sc928porsche
December 22, 2008, 12:20 AM
I have no problem with bow hunters at all. All those scent things etc. are fine if that is what trips their trigger. I am an avid firearm hunter because I like to hear the boom. Im not too sure I could hit the broadside of a house at 5' with a bow. For those who can, I say great. Whatever gets you out into the woods to appreciate it works for me.

fbrown333@suddenlink
December 22, 2008, 12:55 AM
Talking to your local DNR officer does work, it may get the wheels roling on something. Here in West Virginia muzzle loading season comes in after high powered rifle season. I have been talking to them and letting them know it should come in before rifle season, we'll see. We all ready got one of the laws changed for turkey season so give em a call

and yes I hunt all three seasons Bow,Muzzle loader, Rifle/pistol

tec498
December 26, 2008, 09:23 AM
I don't enjoy bow hunting myself. Just my opinion though. To everyone who enjoys it I'm not trying to bash you. Its just no matter how much I practice I can't consistently make accurate shots with a bow so I don't believe I have any business out in the woods hunting with one.

BeCoole
December 26, 2008, 01:10 PM
Bow season is a God damned bull**** boutique season cooked up by Gov't Fuds who hate the idea of armed citizens.

If it weren't for Gov't Fuds, nobody would have even bothered to invent compound bows. But, if you have only limited time and want to hunt, you have to play their game.

There should only be one deer season and you should be able to use whatever weapon you want within reason.

zahnzieh
December 26, 2008, 04:27 PM
In my opinion, Bow season has its place in more heavily populated areas, not that it makes any sense. In Europe they allow hunters to take game with rifles just outside of villages/towns. What burns my hide are some of the additional "municipal or unincorporated" laws (no-projectile) found in some of suburbia. Very discriminatory to hunters. Then they wonder when people get killed in car/deer collisions. Getting back to the subject however - If somebody (gun or bow) only makes it out 3 weekends a year, good luck! . Hunting takes time, patience, skill and experience. I have seen atrocious gun and bow hunters who really should not be out in the woods. Anybody who pays his dues in the woods is going to be a better hunter than a weekend warrior.:o

wpcexpert
December 28, 2008, 12:15 AM
There should only be one deer season and you should be able to use whatever weapon you want within reason.

Not too up on game management are we BeCoole? Like it's been said before, bowhunting is a way to limit the range and give the deer a break. I bowhunt 95% of the time BY CHOICE. In SC , there is almost 4 months of rifle season and still the deer heard is too big. They don't have enough doe days nor antler restrictions.

Game management is there for good reasons. We've already tried the no limit method, it doesn't work.

If it weren't for Gov't Fuds, nobody would have even bothered to invent compound bows. But, if you have only limited time and want to hunt, you have to play their game.

That's kind of an uneducated statement. Why are there other cartridges other than the 30-06? Thats all you really NEED. Why are there so many newfangled rifles comming out every year? Compound bows were invented because there was a market for them and they can out perform long or recurve bows. They can be more effective killing tool in the right hands. But the others can definately be more effective in the right hands.

shortwave
December 28, 2008, 02:52 AM
Two favorite season`s-bow then m/l. Wished m/l season here was longer. BeCoole,Don`t know where your from but I`m old enough to remember when you could hunt for days in Ohio(late 60`s) and never see a deer(or turkey). Season`s and weapons restrictions has diffenitely improved our herd. DNR of most states have learned alot since then and try to maintain a certain ratio of game species so as to not let them die out due to overpopulation and above restrictions are tools they use to maintain that balance so animals stay healthy. If it wasn`t for the laws we have now, then maybe the short amount of time you and I have to hunt today would be a waste of time cause there wouldn`t be much to hunt. Something to think about!

73flyby
December 28, 2008, 12:39 PM
Lot's of issues in this thread. But getting back to the start, I certainly side with Daryl. What you choose to hunt or how you do it, is purely a matter of choice/preference. Specific game laws in one's area nothwithstanding (and I generally trust state game managers to do the right thing to manage deer herds), there are those of us that choose to hunt deer with a bow. I've used bows and guns, but I have not taken a deer with a gun in over 30 years. This will, likely, be the first time in 15 years that I have not taken a deer with a bow, and purely by choice. I've been out, and I've let a number of them pass. But I just didn't have a need for the meat this year. I would never be so smug as to suggest that I'm such a great hunter that I've never lost a deer. I don't know of many avid hunters that have not lost deer with guns or bows if they have hunted for a long time. But where I live, we are overrun with deer, not all trophies, but certainly huntable. Additionally, I live in a county that does not permit the use of guns because of high population densities. There are opportunities to hunt deer year 'round if you choose. The county wants to get rid of as many deer as possible, and they have three choices: bowhunting, paid snipers (usually from local SWAT agencies), or road kill.

Nevertheless... I can take as many deer as I want, and if I were just hunting for the meat, I could drive 60 miles and fill my freezers in one day. My season could be over very quickly. But when people ask if I am a hunter (when they see the nice buck embroidry on my favorite shirt), I like to tell them that I am really a birdwatcher. I spend far more time doing that than shooting deer.

When I become so disabled that I can't climb a tree and sit for days just enjoying the scenery, or walking through the woods looking for new trails and funnels, I'll scrub the cosmoline off of my rifles, and I'll become a gun hunter again. For me, hunting is like a nice bottle of wine. I can't imagine guzzling it as fast as I can.

Art Eatman
December 28, 2008, 03:51 PM
Sorry, BeCoole, but you're mistaken. Archery seasons came about from hunter demand, not from government. Same for Primitive Weapons (muzzleloaders).

Now, it may be that after some states had adopted the archery season concept, other wildlife agencies got on the successful bandwagon...

ZeroJunk
December 28, 2008, 04:38 PM
There have been years that I only bowhunted, even for Elk. It's a pleasant time when the forest is quiet simply because there are fewer hunters that accept the challenge. You will see wildlife that will not be repeated once the general gun season comes. Bowhunters are more likely to be seasoned outdoorsman and even if not there is only so much mischeif you can get in to with a bow.