I recently read that a government elk research lab in Oregon (starkey lab) found that 29% of animals shot at by archers were wounded but not taken while 7% of firearms hunters wounded but did not take the animal.
The study was done on hunters that were harvesting the game under normal conditions except the facility is fenced in, making it possible to figure out fairly accurately what percentage of elk are wounded during the hunting season but not taken.
Taken at face value, these numbers mean that bows are less efficient (muffed shots) at killing elk than firearms. I.E. more get away from archers with wounds.
I'm surprised by this and not sure that this can be right. Although I have never hunted by bow, I just assumed that archers had fewer animals get away after a shot gone bad than rifle hunters. My reasoning is simply that archers need to get very close and make a near perfect shot, so they practice a lot more and don't "reach" as much to "pull out" a bad shot. I assumed that rifle hunters, having a lot longer range would take more poor shots and then would miss the animals (or wound but not fataly more). More this doesn't seem to hold up with the research numbers...
What do you all think? Does this research make sense? From personal experience have you had more get away with a bow than a rifle?