Truth and Lies of Bowhunting, Part One

Archery_competitionI have a friend who does 90% of his bowhunting within the city limits of a popular American city. He is quiet, careful and stealthy. He does well for himself and his freezer is full of succulent venison steaks each and every ear. However, he has been discovered a few times by anti-hunters and each and every time, he was confronted with tired and stale sentiments in regards to how bad and terrible bowhunting is. Fortunately for my friend, he knows how to defend himself just fine against such adversity, but some hunters don’t.

First off, the common claim by anti-bowhunters is the absurd accusation that bowhunting is “cruel.” Bowhunting is not cruel. On average, a sharp broadhead is far more humane than the violent, noisy and shocking impact of a bullet. Yes, bullets can kill instantly, but a well-placed arrow can often introduce no pain to a dying animal when they are hit in the vital organs.

As a case in point, I once snuck up to a cow elk feeding on a huckleberry bush and shot her through both lungs at the distance of 3 yards. The sound of my snapping bowstring startled her enough that she lifted her head from feeding, looked around and continued feeding on the bush. She had no idea she was fatally hit and she continued feeding for a few seconds before she literally went to sleep on her feet and fell over. It was the most beautiful and humane killing I had ever imagined or experienced. Although it’s not the same thing, I have cut myself many times with sharp knives and never felt the cut, so I imagine the same concept was at play with my cow elk.

Another lie that some urbanites like to perpetuate is that bowhunting is dangerous to others in urban settings. This is definitely not true. In fact, bowhunters have a short range of fire when they hunt, so there is almost zero chance that arrows are loosed in an unsafe direction that might pose a danger to other citizens.

Massachusetts is infamous these days for having too many urban deer, and those deer are causing unprecedented vehicle damage and highway injuries. But, when it comes to safety in regards to urban bowhunting there, the Division of Environmental Law Enforcement states that no archer has ever injured a non-hunter in the entire state’s history of legalized bowhunting. That stat is good enough for me, and it should be touted by every proud bowhunter everywhere.