Bow hunting large animals - is it ethical?

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.
...........the ethical issue is not related to the equipment, but rather to those who use the equipment.

Much to think about.

Exactly. The folks behind the equipment had better know what their limitations are.
Being a purely rifle hunter, I am not qualified to really comment on this, BUT I have watched numerous DVD's on bow hunting of the Big 5 and always thought that the archer + PH were either seriously "not with it " or just PLAIN BRAVE!!!!!!!
I would hate to face a charging elephant with a bow and have to rely ONLY on my PH and his rifle to sort it!! NOT knocking the PH's at all... my closest friends are PH's BUT I still prefer my OWN rifle in my hands to defend myself in these circumstances... and I have experienced quite a few.
The wounding percentages when bowhunting in America is for sure high and very high.
If you look at the wounding percentage with bow and gun in Denmark, it shows that they are the same and much lower than the studies been done in America.

In Denmark the wounding percentage is 5% both with rifle and bow.
In Denmark you need to take a bowhunting course and you need to pass a shooting test every 5 year to legally hunt with a bow there.

Sadly the studies about wounding percentages with a bow done in America are being used as ammo for the antis that do all they can to stop the government in Norway making bowhunting legal in Norway.
Exactly. The folks behind the equipment had better know what their limitations are.

I have never hunted with a bow. I have only ever played with a 19 ft-lb recurve as a boy. I could not bow hunt. The 'would I' question never even arises.

With a rifle, in the real world, on my own, 150 yards is my limit on living things. As a committed wing shooter and smallbore shooter for years I have not built up the experience or skill to do better.

If you exceed your limits, you harm living creatures, and the reputation of both yourself and hunting in general.

Hats of to the skill built up by hard work and effort, by long range riflemen and skilled bowhunters. Hats off to those who cultivate fieldcraft to stalk close enough to use either, or even a spear. It is all the same, work for what you want to do, be able to do what you want to do, and I think that fellow hunters should support you, whatever their personal hunting practice.
Has anyone seen the old picture of Fred Bear shooting the Kodiac on the rocky beach while hiding behind a rock with what seems like something he whittled out of a branch. Talk about having faith in your abilities!
Pretty classic film piece David, most us wish we could turn the hands of time back and hunt like Fred. Stone sheep hunts for $3000........
Bass Pro Shops bought his entire collection and are digitizing all the old movies. Fred Bear got me into bow hunting when I was a kid in the 70's and I still think about some of those old scenes while out in the field. I haven't shot a Bear bow for decades but with that old 60lb recurve he was taking down tigers.
Fred just practiced a lot and hunted a lot too. Still everything was a accomplishment. I can't wait to see all the footage.
One of Fred's classics .....with none other then Daniel Boone himself (Fess Parker ) ENJOY !

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