Bow hunting large animals - is it ethical?

JustinC

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
564
Reaction score
465
Location
South Africa
Media
26
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
PHASA, DSC, SCI
A bow has no "knock down" power. A arrow and broad head was designed to cause death by blood loss,cutting arteries and piercing lungs and other vital organs.
I am sure head shots have been taken at soft skin game with a bow and worked,on DG the skulls are far thicker and better protected. Screw a 500gr solid onto a arrow and see how it does as far as penetration goes,you would be lucky to kill a bird. Can't compare bullets with arrows,two tools working on completely different principles.

I have seen a video of somebody attempting a head shot once, on a Waterbuck and would definitely say that it is NOT advised.

As you say "Can't compare bullets with arrows,two tools working on completely different principles."

Regards
 

kathy

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
681
Reaction score
383
Hunting reports
Africa
1
First all I am a bow hunter. have been for going on 50 years. you study the anatomy of the animal you are hunting. take broadside shots ,or quartering away. to me a head shot is un ethical.
you have not defined large game, everyone is talking about the big 5. but eland, kudu ,zebra ,elk ,bear, ect. yes it is ethical. I am with some of the others on elephant. I have never hunted elephant and don't think I would with a bow. I am sure you can kill a elephant ethically with a bow, just getting the CLEAR SHOT at the right angle. if it charges hope the ph can shoot . Forrest
 

vinnymbogo

AH veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2009
Messages
214
Reaction score
215
Location
SE Alberta
Media
7
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,
Hunted
Canada, USA, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique
First off. I have respect for the bow hunters out there. The reward in taking any game with a bow is "twice the reward" as I consider it twice as difficult to bag whatever game you are after than the rifle hunter.

That said, in the case of any Dangerous Game I believe the PH,Trackers, Trophy Fees etc should also receive "twice the reward". Meaning that if you want to hunt Elephant with a bow you should be willing to pay twice as much as the rifle hunter because the level of danger and the work is twice as hard.

Now, I am sure I will get some sort of backlash from this stance so let's here it gentlemen. :V Sword Fight:

R.
I completely disagree redruff. Every PH I've had the pleasure to have known has always put in 100% effort. Despite what some stupid coaches say, there's no such thing as giving 110%. It may take longer to get to shooting range but that's all.
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,389
Reaction score
3,389
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
For my nickles worth, I personally believe that a bow and arrow is fine for any large animal and that includes the big 5 as long as you use the proper size arrow and broad head. But you as the archer need to place your shot into the heart/lung area to get the job done and if you do a few minutes later the animal will be down. I also don't think that it is unnecessarily dangerous to use a bow and arrow. I remember watching the show American Sportsman back in the 60 with Fred Bear hunting a brown bear in Alaska. He said that as long as the bear doesn't know that you are there that they have no idea of where that thing came from that hurt them. But using a rifle they know right were you are when it goes off.

As for a charge stopper, you have got to be kidding me.......It takes time to kill by cutting. I have seen a couple of shows where the archer has killed a brown bear with a shot to the head but that is the exception rather than the rule and I personally think that they were idiots for trying or taking that shot.
 

Redruff

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
453
Reaction score
314
Media
3
Hunted
Botswana, RSA, Scotland, Canada
I completely disagree redruff. Every PH I've had the pleasure to have known has always put in 100% effort. Despite what some stupid coaches say, there's no such thing as giving 110%. It may take longer to get to shooting range but that's all.

I respect your position. And you are right...it does take longer to get to shooting range which in most cases is means closer and thus more danger. I just believe that PH's should be paid more because of these added factors.

R.
 

G Skinner

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
756
Reaction score
522
Media
74
Hunted
Namibia
Well this should give you "shits and giggles" is it practical ?
NO ! Aim true ...shoot straight ....with what every you use and as always Good luck and play safe !
Glen
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,389
Reaction score
3,389
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
I respect your position. And you are right...it does take longer to get to shooting range which in most cases is means closer and thus more danger. I just believe that PH's should be paid more because of these added factors.

R.

That is where tips come into play.
 

Redruff

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
453
Reaction score
314
Media
3
Hunted
Botswana, RSA, Scotland, Canada
That is where tips come into play.
Tips are an optional amount. If the trophy fee was twice the amount for a bow hunter than a rifle Hunter and it was fixed. That covers the added danger and time needed. And again I would expect the same PH to receive an adequate tip.

R,
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,780
Reaction score
4,366
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
A hunt is only dangerous if someone can shoot straight, otherwise a bow hunt is the same as any other hunt. Probably more rewarding according to my experiences, because most likely you will have to get super close and get only one shot.
I have many friends that have taken the BIG 5 with bow and arrow....they had no problems. I would not consider myself no less a hunter than them, they had more time and deeper pockets than me. It took a lot of hunts to collect those animals. One guy took 3 leopard hunts to get his animal. And the money thing never bothered me....otherwise we couldn't be friends.
 

matt85

AH legend
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
2,019
Location
WA, USA
Media
28
Hunted
USA, South Africa, and Namibia
A hunt is only dangerous if someone can shoot straight, otherwise a bow hunt is the same as any other hunt. Probably more rewarding according to my experiences, because most likely you will have to get super close and get only one shot.
I have many friends that have taken the BIG 5 with bow and arrow....they had no problems. I would not consider myself no less a hunter than them, they had more time and deeper pockets than me. It took a lot of hunts to collect those animals. One guy took 3 leopard hunts to get his animal. And the money thing never bothered me....otherwise we couldn't be friends.

are you saying "a hunt is only dangerous if someone can't shoot strait"?

i hope you dont mean that, considering the PH's that have been injured or killed recently were all excellent shots and still fell to dangerous game. dangerous game are dangerous regardless of your shooting skill. you could be the best shot in the world and still be killed by the buffalo you didn't see in the bushes. wounded animals aren't the only animals that charge.

-matt
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,780
Reaction score
4,366
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
are you saying "a hunt is only dangerous if someone can't shoot strait"?

Sure there are always other dangers, but if you bow hunt, you pick your hunting situations. Matt, I appreciate your big bore desires but plenty of big game have been brought down by the 375 H&H you sold. Accuracy is usually final, all that extra power is more ego than anything. Power may be need by a PH working everyday, but I only know a handful of people that can handle anything bigger than a .416 Rigby. Most people honestly would be lucky to hit a pie plate at 100 yards.
On the flip side I know plenty of people that don't even own a 375 H&H and have shot practical everything anywhere with a simple bow and arrow.
 

Clayton Holland

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
Messages
78
Reaction score
125
Location
Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia
Member of
SCI, SSAA,NTBGRC,
Hunted
Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia
Another interesting discussion so here is my two cents worth though I doubt it to be worth so much. My yard stick for the use of a particular weapon has always been if you be would comfortable to use it alone on your chosen quarry then it will be a fair choice for a guided hunt. If you are genuinely confident in your own abilities and your weapons good and well. For mine the PH should be there for back up not as an extention of the hunter when it comes to shooting time.
 

petrusg

AH elite
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
685
Location
South Africa
Media
109
Articles
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, DCS, PHASA, SA Hunters, Xtreem Archery, Rowland Ward, WRSA
Hunted
South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Bowhunting really taught me the art of shot placement, patience and the ability to handle your adrenaline / nerves.

If your shot is good, then 100% yes.

Same as a rifle, if your shot is bad, you still going to have to follow up with a another shot.
 

Ole Bally

AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
622
Reaction score
196
Media
5
Articles
1
Hunted
Zimbabwe
As a side note I think our much discussed "Cecil" was shot with a crossbow from some of the reports I read- so much misinformation out there so don't know if that is true or not. I have a growing interest in bows and crossbows so I try to read all I can. If the crossbow reference is true I think most crossbows these days have some pretty whopping kinetic energy but if not put in the right place it can be a problem. If true I'm not sure if crossbows are even legal in Zimbabwe..
Cross bows ate not legal to hunt with in zim.
 

Ole Bally

AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
622
Reaction score
196
Media
5
Articles
1
Hunted
Zimbabwe
When done correctly. Bow hunting should be a perfect ambush/ sniping position. The animal should have no idea you are there and therefore a charge situation should not develop.
However we all know shit happens so the PH has to get involved.
 

Condebr

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
3
Reaction score
6
Ado

Just as was said, there are different calibers of rifles out there, with that there are also different bullets based on the job they have to do. it is the same with bows and arrows. Enough animals have been hunted with bows to prove that all Africa game (including the big 5) can be taken ethically with a bow and arrow. The question and answer is the same for both rifle and Bow. You need to reach the vitals with your projectile, you need to disrupt the oxygen flow to the brain and muscle, a rifle does that with disruption and tearing of tissue, the arrow does that through cutting. In both cases you either puncture the lungs and chest cavity, they collapse depriving the blood brain of oxygen or you can damage the heart and arteries and deprive the oxygen of their transport by an drop in blood pressure.
Just as it is the rifle hunters responsibility to select the appropriate caliber, bullet of significant strength to hold together to reach the vitals it is the archers responsibility to make sure he is using the appropriate arrow,broad head and bow of sufficient power to propel that combination into the vitals to ensure a quick death

Ethical hunting is not having the right equipment, that is common sense, ethical hunting is not taking the shot when you are not 100% sure that it will be a quick clean kill

Happy hunting
 

Ado

AH veteran
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
152
Reaction score
142
Location
Melbourne Australia
Media
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA, RW, SCI
Hunted
Australia, South Africa, NZ
Ado

Just as was said, there are different calibers of rifles out there, with that there are also different bullets based on the job they have to do. it is the same with bows and arrows. Enough animals have been hunted with bows to prove that all Africa game (including the big 5) can be taken ethically with a bow and arrow. The question and answer is the same for both rifle and Bow. You need to reach the vitals with your projectile, you need to disrupt the oxygen flow to the brain and muscle, a rifle does that with disruption and tearing of tissue, the arrow does that through cutting. In both cases you either puncture the lungs and chest cavity, they collapse depriving the blood brain of oxygen or you can damage the heart and arteries and deprive the oxygen of their transport by an drop in blood pressure.
Just as it is the rifle hunters responsibility to select the appropriate caliber, bullet of significant strength to hold together to reach the vitals it is the archers responsibility to make sure he is using the appropriate arrow,broad head and bow of sufficient power to propel that combination into the vitals to ensure a quick death

Ethical hunting is not having the right equipment, that is common sense, ethical hunting is not taking the shot when you are not 100% sure that it will be a quick clean kill

Happy hunting
Thanks Condebr.

I am still questioning this though.

By this rationale it would be ethical to hunt an elephant with a 6mm as long as you place your shot properly...

Have I got this wrong?

Ado
 

Condebr

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
3
Reaction score
6
Thanks Condebr.

I am still questioning this though.

By this rationale it would be ethical to hunt an elephant with a 6mm as long as you place your shot properly...

Have I got this wrong?

Ado


Yes you have got it wrong, it is not what I said.

lets take an elephant as the example. If you have a custom solid bullet made for the 6mm, and you have a perfect broadside shot, get to the exact elevation of his brain, and you shoot it perfectly in the ear canal as to minimize Resistance with bone, yes you could kill an elle with a 6mm. but in the hunting field, what are the chances of getting such a shot, if you are off by 10mm it will not penetrate.

The projectile MUST damage enough tissue/arteries to be effective, this is why a limit of .375 was introduced for big game. it has enough speed(power) with a heavy enough bullet (momentum) to reliably penetrate far enough to reach the vitals, also the diameter of the round will create a big enough permanent wound cavity to destroy enough tissue to be fatal. The same with Bowhunting applies. My setup for plains game is a lighter poundage bow (60#)with a lighter arrow - typically between 400 and 500gr. For elephant this bow will have to be between 90 and 100# draw-weight and the arrows will be between 1100 and 1200gr. As with any hunt shot placement is key, but this should give a passthrough on a broadside heart lung shot. If I tried the same shot with my plains setup i would get poor penetration due to not having enough momentum, ie i will not damage enough tissue to be fatal

Con
 

Ryan Wilson

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
71
Reaction score
45
Location
Alabama
Media
7
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Wyoming, Alberta Canada, South Africa
I have to agree with several of these posts. I have seen animals killed with one arrow, yet I have seen animals wounded with several. I have also seen animals killed with one bullet, yet have seen them wounded with many. I believe any weapon is sufficient in the hands of an efficient hunter. We all have a duty to the animal to make an ethical kill and although misfortunes happen beyond our control at times, its up to us to remain over-prepared for the situation. As far as archery equipment, I use equipment that kills effectively. I happen to use heavier arrows, sharp 2 blade broadheads, and I pull as much weight as I can handle without compromising accuracy. When hunting whitetails my setup is shooting around 70 ft/lbs of KE and when I come to Africa for larger game next year, my setup will be around 97 ft/lbs of KE. Hope this helps and good luck to all!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,748
Messages
722,388
Members
67,576
Latest member
DennyBowes
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

I did a little housekeeping in my shop and found some .500 Jeffery ammo that I no longer need. Superior Ammunition and Hendershots loaded them, along with AHR (American Hunting Rifles). Several Woodleigh/A-Square solids along with lead bullets in both 535g and 600g. Message me for any details.

IMG_8092.jpg
IMG_8091.jpg
IMG_8090.jpg
IMG_8094.jpg
pam308 wrote on TOBY458's profile.
Just saw your listing for a winchester 70 458. Is it still for sale? I want it!!! pam308
flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
 
Top