Let me start off by saying that I’m not one of those people who grew up bow hunting. I’m by no means a pro bow hunter. My father doesn’t hunt. Truth is, I didn’t even pick up a bow until I was in my early twenties, and I suspect that is how it happened for a lot of current bow hunters.
Bow hunting is a dying sport. What was once passed down by father to son as a rite of passage has been dwindling out with the advent of modern agriculture. Whereas bow hunting used to be a necessity for survival, it is now considered a luxury and can be quite an expensive one at that.
Hunting itself is as popular as ever, but it’s a lot easier to buy a scoped rifle and take a deer from 300 yards than to silently wait for one to present itself to you within bow range.
To get started you just need the basic bow hunting equipment
Obviously, the main piece of gear you need for bow hunting is the bow itself. Prices of bows can range from the relatively cheap to the extremely expensive. The good thing about bow hunting, compared to other methods of hunting, is that even the cheaper bows are still pretty darn good.
You could easily go out and spend $2,000 to get a top-of-the-line bow with all the bells and whistles, but you honestly don’t need any of that to get started. In bow hunting, the skill of the hunter matters much more than what brand of bow you choose.
After you have your bow, you will need arrows to shoot. You can purchase arrows at many bow hunting outfitters where they will cut the arrow to your particular draw length, install inserts for the arrow head, and add any necessary vanes and nocks.
Today’s arrows are made of lightweight carbon and fly straighter and further than any arrows in the history of archery.
One really nice thing about arrows — as opposed to hunting with bullets — is that unless you hit a tree and shatter one you can usually use them indefinitely.
Once you have the gear, it’s time for archery practice
A good archery outfitter will be able to adjust your bow to your specific draw length. Some bows even allow their draw weight to be modified depending on your strength.
For practice, you will want to get a set of field point arrowheads. These are significantly cheaper than broadheads used for hunting, and are designed to work specifically with archery targets. They are almost indestructible.
Practice shooting from distances that you will be hunting from. It’s a good idea to sight your bow in from multiple distances, such as 20, 30, and 40 yards. This way you can align your sight pins on your target when it’s at that specific distance and you can always estimate the distance between sight pins for targets that fall in-between.
With the right equipment, and a little practice, you can easily become proficient at bow hunting in a relatively short amount of time.