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Bow or gun???

MNFarmHunter

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
911
Location
Minnesota
I'm finding I have an interesting dilemma.

During the first 29.8 hours of my hunts this year, I couldn't wait to switch to my gun as there were several opportunities that I couldn't take with my bow. Now that I got one, however, I'm debating whether to stick with my bow the remainder of the year.

I really enjoyed everything about the bow hunt, the frustrations, missed opportunities and success. I enjoyed it far more than I ever did hunting with a gun. However, I also know I'll be kicking myself the rest of the season if I miss "that buck" because he's out of range. Having (2) tags left, I'm leaning towards getting a gun and archery tag, getting the sure thing with the gun and finishing out with the bow but it's also now kinda feels like cheating.
 

MNFarmHunter

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
911
Location
Minnesota
I think it’ll be weather dependent as I’ll be cut off from the hunting lands once it snows heavy.

Early winter=gun
Late winter=bow


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Loopwing

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
726
Location
Virginia
Depends on where you hunt. Do you have a better chance with a bow or gun? Are you trying to fill the freezer? Just like our whole sport it is all personal preference. I am a freezer filler, as soon as I can reach out a little farther I reach for the gun. I hunt archery because it gives me more chances to fill the freezer.
 

kyler1945

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
4,583
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
If you like killing deer more than you like talking about killing deer - use the gun. I like both equally. Maybe like killing them slightly more. I use all weapons with zero regard for how it looks to anyone except the law. It does feel better to stick one with a bow. But it also feels good to have to do 75% of the work to get in range of one sometimes…
 

Maverick1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
339
Use whichever one you enjoy more. Or, if you are after meat/antler/kill, use whichever one you are most proficient with!
 

Bama_Xander

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
1,196
Location
North Alabama
1st - Is it a legal weapon?
2nd - Kill em with whatever feels good to you at that time.

Determining what you enjoy is the hard part especially cause the “outside pressure” is sometimes subtle and subliminal/unconscious. I love the experience of sticking them with a bow but I also like eating deer. There are times I’ll bow hunt when I could gun hunt but that is happening less often. I even crossed over to the Vertical Crossbow Club too when I used to be anti crossbow.

I was listening to a podcast one time and the guy was like, “l’ll use whatever the most efficient and legal weapon the government will allow. If they legalized bazookas or grenade launchers, you bet I’d be using one.” Obviously he is a little tongue in cheek cause there wouldn’t be much deer left but I thought it was a good point of no shame in using the most efficient and deadly legal weapon. Deer hunting is hard enough. We aren’t fighting fair with the deer so no need for a arbitrary lines of honor or prestige.

We have to weigh both the experience we want as well as our desired outcome.
 

SWVA_329

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
91
Location
Southwest VA
Bow is where it's at for me , it's frustrating but that's what makes it fun .

That said, 1st week of muzzleloader will always have a special place in my heart haha
 

philsanchez76

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
912
Location
TN
I just love being in the woods and so I use every weapon so I can participate the whole season. That said, it feels soooo satisfying that first day of muzzleloader or gun when that deer that’s been skirting my bow set ups at 60 yards or so gets a slug and goes down without any tracking necessary. But I definitely would not appreciate this portion of the season unless I had sweated out early bow season with all the skeeters and spiders and snakes and deer constantly just barely out of my bow range. Again, I just love it all.
 

thedutchtouch

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
680
Location
Maryland
I only own a bow at the moment, so easy answer for me... Dumb question-is it illegal to carry both during gun season? You could always keep the bow as your primary and have the rifle hanging should you need it for a longer shot? (Particularly on your own farm...)
 

slonstdy

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
1,059
I stopped using a firearm to kill deer a few years ago and don't regret it at all. I love killing deer and using a gun makes it easier for sure but I don't get that amped up alive feeling like I do when I'm hunting with my bow and a deer comes into range. The adrenaline rush and the stress to perform under pressure is my true addiction. Staying strictly archery has also helped me take my hunting to another level.

Use whatever implement makes you happy because that's all that matters.
 

Bama_Xander

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
1,196
Location
North Alabama
I only own a bow at the moment, so easy answer for me... Dumb question-is it illegal to carry both during gun season? You could always keep the bow as your primary and have the rifle hanging should you need it for a longer shot? (Particularly on your own farm...)
Depends on the state.
 

philsanchez76

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
912
Location
TN
I only own a bow at the moment, so easy answer for me... Dumb question-is it illegal to carry both during gun season? You could always keep the bow as your primary and have the rifle hanging should you need it for a longer shot? (Particularly on your own farm...)
I have a very dedicated buddy who does this. He still carries his bow because he’s always trying to arrow a record book deer, but if he does see a nice deer just out of bow range he will reach out with the rifle. He also carries a decoy all the time. His pack is so incredibly heavy.
 

Petrichor

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
545
Location
Spring Hill, TN
I only own a bow at the moment, so easy answer for me... Dumb question-is it illegal to carry both during gun season? You could always keep the bow as your primary and have the rifle hanging should you need it for a longer shot? (Particularly on your own farm...)
Definitely state dependent. Some states this is illegal.
 

CooterBrown

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
1,026
I'm finding I have an interesting dilemma.

During the first 29.8 hours of my hunts this year, I couldn't wait to switch to my gun as there were several opportunities that I couldn't take with my bow. Now that I got one, however, I'm debating whether to stick with my bow the remainder of the year.

I really enjoyed everything about the bow hunt, the frustrations, missed opportunities and success. I enjoyed it far more than I ever did hunting with a gun. However, I also know I'll be kicking myself the rest of the season if I miss "that buck" because he's out of range. Having (2) tags left, I'm leaning towards getting a gun and archery tag, getting the sure thing with the gun and finishing out with the bow but it's also now kinda feels like cheating.
Here in alabama We can carry a gun and a bow after gun season comes in. I carry both a lot. Sometimes its hard to decide what to grab. The gun and go ahead and kill or will they come in close enough for a bow kill!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

jakev383

Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
55
Location
Henderson, TX
When I lived in North Carolina, I would bow hunt during archery season on public. If I didn't get anything I would switch to the rifle to get something in the freezer, but then switch back to my bow since I personally enjoyed that more. I would typically only hunt archery-only tracts at that point. It all depends on your goals I guess.
 

Apex7

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
3,303
Location
Pittsburgh Pa
I have only been hunting archery for years. Haven't hunted with a gun since a was a youngster. I might go this year during are gun season with a few old friends.
 

surgicaltool

New Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
I try to fill my buck tags during archery season. If I still need meat come November I will happily switch to rifle hunting but back to archery once the freezer is full. I just really enjoy the rush of archery hunting and the sense of accomplishment that comes with success. But not enough to go without venison haha
 
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