USA’s Bowhunting History: The Art of the Stalk

Bows and Arrows have long been used to take wild game. In fact, bowhunting can be traced all the way back to the days of cavemen. The very earliest bows were made of tree limbs with a string of sinew tied to each end and arrows were simply straight sticks with a sharpened point. Feathers were added to stabilize the flight of the arrow and make it more accurate.

The USA’s bowhunting history

Over the previous years, bowhunting has gone from a required means of bringing food to the family to a sport enjoyed by a relatively small number of sportsmen who still believe that having some skills in the outdoors is more valuable than being able to kill from 300 yards. Even so, there have been many advances in technology and the materials used by bowhunters, most in just the last century.

First state that introduced a bow hunting season for archers

It wasn’t until 1936 that Wisconsin became the first state to see the need and create a separate bow hunting season for archers. Bows and arrows used in those early years were very similar to the ones that had been used throughout history and prehistory.

Lake in Wisconsin

The development of the sport in the USA

Since that time, every state in the union has added a bow season that allows hunters to take anything from small game to a grizzly bear by bowhunting. Large game hunting with a bow is often a very dangerous undertaking, especially if the person is not experienced enough and familiar enough with his equipment to assure a kill shot when he fires.

A wounded bear can turn and take out a hunter in a very short time if given the opportunity. Even whitetail deer, the most commonly hunted animals by bowhunting methods, can be deadly if not shot properly to make a clean kill.

Buck Hunter

Archery VS Firearms

Bowhunting has a very limited effective range for taking a shot and hoping for a kill. Usually, the hunter must be able to stalk to within 30 yards of the quarry. Most animals have sharp hearing and smell if not very sharp eyesight, making it difficult to get that close to the intended prey. For this reason, bowhunting requires much more skill and intelligence than hunting with a firearm because of the difference in effective range and speed of the projectile.

A Bowhunter
A Gun Hunter

Most archers prefer bowhunting because it requires them to pit their skill against that of the animal they are hunting in a contest where the animal has all the advantages. Instincts, sharper senses, and better knowledge of the terrain put the animal several steps ahead of the hunter.

Hunting fish with a bow

Some people also use bows and arrows to fish. Bow fishing is a very difficult task because of the way that water bends light and makes things below the surface appear to be in a position slightly offset from where they actually are. Bow fishing can be a very interesting task and very rewarding to a successful sportsman. It, like hunting with a bow and arrows takes a great deal of practice to become proficient and requires a lot of intelligence.

Bowfishing with family

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