Bowhunting is a tradition enjoyed by millions of Americans. If you’re unsure about where to get started, we have the tools and resources to help you on your way.
The Compound Bow
Lightning fast arrow speed and superb accuracy define the modern compound bow. With a bit of practice, a hunter can shoot consistent groups out to 30 or 40 yards. Compound bows are packed with enough punch to take down anything from whitetails to moose. With various designs to choose from, it’s easy to find the right one to get your bowhunting career started.
The Traditional Bow
A traditional bow falls into two categories: the longbow and recurve bow. A longbow is comprised of long, thin wooden limbs which have a slight curve. A recurve is shorter and tips of the limbs bend toward the archer. Both methods require dedicated practice to become proficient, but are some of the most fun archery styles to pursue.
A crossbow is as easy to shoot as a rifle, which makes it suitable for novice and skilled hunters. The short yet powerful horizontal limbs can send arrows down range at up to 400 feet per second. Unlike other archery methods, a crossbow typically pairs with a magnified scope, making it ideal for the beginner bowhunter.
If you know someone with private land, then you’re already ahead of the pack. Private land is a more relaxed atmosphere for novice bowhunters to learn the ins and outs of the sport, whereas public parcels can be competitive and over hunted. Don’t be afraid to ask for a landowner’s permission to hunt.
The U.S. has some fantastic public hunting grounds. As Americans, we have access to some 640 million acres of public land that houses abundant opportunities for bowhunters. With careful planning and hunter etiquette, public land hunting has the potential to create a lifetime of memories afield.
Guides and outfitters will operate on a mixture of private and public land. They are also a great resource to help you grow as a hunter. Men and women who’ve been guiding for years are experts in the hunting arena, and most are great teachers. A new bowhunter shouldn’t be shy about hiring a guide or outfitter.
POPULAR SPECIES TO BOWHUNT
Whitetail deer are the most sought-after big game in the U.S. No matter where you live, there will be opportunities to hunt deer within a couple hours of home. While harvesting a whitetail is no easy feat, most bowhunters will begin their education in the deer woods. Study their habits and exude patience, and you will do well.
No creature sees or senses a danger like the wild turkey. Besides locating a gobbler, knowing when to draw back your bow is the most crucial element of hunting this bird. With eyes on the side of their head, they can see 270 degrees. Patience and resilience will you make you an accomplished turkey bowhunter.
Today, you no longer have to travel west of the Mississippi River to hunt elk. These big animals can now be hunted throughout the eastern U.S. As one of the toughest in the deer family, you’ll not only have to shoot tight groups with your bow, you’ll also need to be in excellent condition. These long-legged creatures will take you into some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.
Black bears are not dangerous and they’re fun to hunt. And contrary to popular belief, their meat is delicious. As the black bear population continues to grow around the country, more bowhunters are hunting them. This adventure will likely require an outfitter who can teach you the essence of hunting bears with a bow.
Few things are more fun than bowfishing during the warm months. This is a stress-free, no-pressure way to hone your shooting skills. You don’t need to make significant changes to your equipment to enjoy bowfishing either. A boat is handy to have, though walking the bank of a waterway has proven successful many times.
Get Ready to Bowhunt
The exhilaration that culminates during a bowhunt when an animal is within range is second to none. But before that moment comes, there’s plenty you’ll need to know, including the details on gear, tactics and knowledge of the game you’re pursuing.
Searching for bowhunting know-how? We’ve got you covered with instructional blogs to bring you up to speed for opening day.