In a major study done in 1989 by Glen Boydston and Horace Gore, wildlife biologists at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, they compared data on archery and gun wounding losses gathered at four wildlife management areas in Texas from 1972 through 1985. During this period, archers bagged 128 deer and wounded and failed to retrieve 130 others, for a crippling loss exceeding 50%—revealing that for every deer legally killed and recovered by a bowhunter, at least one or more deer were wounded and left to die. Gun hunters killed 2,266 deer and wounded 150 others for a crippling loss of 7%. Thus, only 1 out of every 14 deer shot with guns was not retrieved.
Wow. This frankly astonishes - and appalls - me. As you suggest Lomadelray, the ethical issue is not related to the equipment, but rather to those who use the equipment.
Much to think about.