18 replies [Last post]
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1585
bullets vs arrows

My experiences are this
Deer killed with bow; 8
Deer killed with rifle; 31
Deer lost with bow; 0
Deer lost with Rifle; 5
Deer shot at more than once with Bow; 6
Deer hit with Bow that allowed a 2nd shot; 2

Of the Deer shot at with a bow and hit but allowed 2nd shot, none was necessary.The 1st shot was fatal, They simpley just didn't run far or circled back around. One doe I shot at and missed (ducked the arrow) ran a 30 yard circle and came back to the exact same spot that I shot at her from the 1st time, 2nd shot was on target. I believe that most Deer loss with a bow are lost during tracking, or lack of tracking I should say. Of the 8 I killed there was 1 that I had to go home and get a trail dog to find him and then he was laying less than 10 yards from where I lost his trail and stopped looking. I saw the arrow impact on every Deer I killed with a bow and conversely I saw the arrow miss, without a doubt, when I missed. I cant say that about a Rifle. I can only assume that I hit him from the blood, sound of impact, or his body language. The lack of all 3 of these indicators and I assume that I missed but I still searched for him as if I may of hit him. However most of my shots average 60 yards with a Rifle so I rarely miss. Of the 5 I lost with a Rifle all 5 were 100+ yard shots and they drew good blood trails but I lost them in the swamps.
One note..I have not lost a Deer shot with a rifle since I started using Ballistic Silvertips in my .308 and 30.06.

[ This Message was edited by: JTapia on 2003-09-16 15:09 ]

[ This Message was edited by: JTapia on 2003-09-16 15:11 ]

Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 890
bullets vs arrows

Bowhunting is tough, I don't think I could do it, I'm a little too much of a wimp.

expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
bullets vs arrows

I think part of it may be statistics. Seems to me the chances of a bowhunter identifying a wounded animal are higher given close proximity and associated easier task of finding a blood trail. Hence it may be more likely for a bowhunter to identify a wound rather than just chalking it up as a miss.

Also, most of the bowhunters I've known prefer to wait longer after shooting an animal before going after it. Does anyone think there could be a difference in that area contributing to this?

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-09-17 04:21 ]

Location: Georgia
Joined: 08/13/2003
Posts: 29
bullets vs arrows

I think there could be a lot to Expatriots theory. I know way too many hunters who persist in thinking that an animal shot with a firearm falls flat immdeiately upon being hit. If the animal did not collapse then it obviously was a miss.
Most of the bowhunters I know who actually get close enough for a shot are more knowledgeable about how their weapon kills.
I, personally, consider every shot I fire, regardless of the hunting tool used, a good shot. And everyone who hunts with me are subjected to this rule also. If a shot is taken then as much time as neccessary is taken to determine whether or not a hit was actually made and to try and recover the animal. Even when 95% sure that it was a miss I still look for the animal and follow up its direction of travel. The reason is, I have been mistaken before. Such throughness seldom results in a lost animal.
In Georgia we have a large deer herd with a generous limit. I have taken a lot of deer with both traditional equiptment and compound bows, and have been in on the kill of a lot more. During this time I also rifle hunted as I like firearms also. So I can say without a doubt, of the deer that I know were hit and lost, more were lost with the bow than the rifle.
What the surveys should address however is the fatality rate of these wounded deer. I think a marginally hit animal with an arrow is more likely to survive than one shot in exactly the same place with a bullet. The reason being, tissue destruction.
Everything I relate to is taking for granted an ethical hunter who practices and takes the time to get within their personal range and who only takes a good, vital shot. For those who need 2 boxes of rifle shells to take a deer or elk, well, what catagory does a survey put them in?

Location: Nine Mile Falls Wash.
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 24
bullets vs arrows

usually statistics are given to prove ones position.I've known good bow hunters who never lost a deer and I"ve known bad rifle hunters who have wounded and lost most of theirs. Go figure.

Joined: 10/12/2003
Posts: 19
bullets vs arrows

I just wanted to throw another piece to the puzzle. If the statistics are taken comparing the archery season to the gun season they are misleading. Typicaly in the central midwest archery season lasts three months and gun season is three weeks total.
I hunt both but have greater success during archry.

Hunt Safe!

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
bullets vs arrows

It has been awhile since I started this thread, but I believe the stats were taken in a controlled refuge (starkey lab) and presumable the bow/gun hunter numbers were normalized to compare on a per basis rather than absolute.

groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
interesting concept


It is an interesting concept that bullets and arrows could even be considered close enough in effectiveness to compare. Shot placement is of course teh key but penetration will always be greater with a bullet so lethal effect will be higher with a bullet. The Texas heart shot for instance is often lethal with a bullet but never lethal with an arrow. So with less than perfect shot plavcememnt there will always be more wounded but not dead game....


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