Bow hunting has its own codes. You are unfamiliar with bow hunting? Here you can find out more about the practice and philosophy of bow hunting!
Today we would like to discuss a little known but ancient discipline: bow hunting. In this article you will learn a bit more about this type of hunting. Also, we have saved a little surprise for you at the end of the article. A personal account that will enable you to discover a different vision of this type of hunting.
Historically, bow hunting was widely pursued by the Amerindians. Moreover, the more modern practice of this type of hunting has been strongly inspired by these origins. The Native Americans had the specific knowledge and understanding of how to approach animals at very close range, enabling them to shoot their arrows more effectively.
Now, we come back to the 21st century. This practice is first and foremost about hunting with a specific weapon. Unlike traditional firearms, the bow is relatively unknown. Nevertheless, it can be used for all types of hunting. With Solognac, we decided to focus our bow hunting mainly on big game shooting.
To date, there are two main types of bows: the traditional bow and the compound bow.
Both classes of bows individually have their pros and cons. The important thing to remember is that with the compound bow, learning to shoot takes less time. The recurve bow is a difficult weapon to master. To give you a rough idea: the learning period on a classic recurve bow will be approximately one year on target, compared to 1 month for the compound bow. This is quite a difference, isn't it?
This approach of trying to be as precise as possible in a short period of time is in keeping with our desire to be as ethical as possible in this practice towards the animals. Indeed, precision is crucial if you want to hunt with confidence and target vital areas even under stressful conditions.
Bow hunting is also about learning to approach hunting in a different way, with a new perspective. Indeed, the use of a bow challenges many of our assumptions, such as the notion of distance from the animal.
As I told you before, bow hunting can be both for stalking and drive hunting. Yet, these techniques are quite different. Thus, in a mixed hunt, it is necessary to choose a suitable position, either on a treestand or near a animal track, so as to be within shooting distance.
During the approach, it is very important to take the wind direction into consideration, as the game's sense of smell is very keen. One must also pay attention to the speed of your movements and to the visibility of the human silhouette. Hence the importance of effective camouflage, to reduce the risk of being spotted as much as possible.
Finally, an important detail is also to be able to anticipate the animal's trajectory, and thus the different route options.
When it comes to shooting, the gesture must be instinctive and the shot extremely precise. This implies a high level of rigorous training. In fact, you can discover our training tips just below!
Bow hunting is indeed quite demanding, especially with regard to the necessary distance from the animals. On average the shooting distance is 13m compared to 100m with a rifle.
It is often said that bow hunting begins where rifle hunting ends.
This required proximity remains the biggest difficulty of this discipline, limiting the opportunities to shoot under optimal conditions. It is your challenge to remain silent... (no odours, remain inconspicuous.) Concealing your presence is a rather significant aspect of this sport. An animal can get a bead on you, if it detects you with one of its senses. It can "jump at the shot" and make you miss. The speed of an arrow is not as fast as a bullet, thus the animal has time to move if it is triggered. It either slumps to the ground or leaps away. When the animal is stressed, one does not shoot.
You wait for them, I shall tell you about them right away:the many advantages of this sport.
Silence, although difficult to ensure, prevents the animals from being alerted. Silence avoids disturbing them in their environment and upsetting their peace and quiet. For us hunters, the priority is to preserve our environment as much as possible, thus motivating you to remain silent.
This silence will also provide you with a sense of fulfilment that results in total immersion in your environment.
Safety is also an essential consideration in bow hunting. An arrow has a range of 30/40m with a straight shot, while a bullet can travel up to a kilometre.
Being in harmony with nature, in silence with your bow and arrow? Bow hunting is also freedom! A freedom that comes from learning ancestral skills, in a permanent challenge to know and exceed our capacities. This is achieved through shooting but also in the stalking phase that is a bit more challenging because to get as close as possible to the animal, it is not so simple: you have to crawl and slither in ditches... But you'll have the pleasure of discovering that for yourself!
Moreover, it is an activity where you can train at home with a target. This enables you to stay active between hunting seasons and to enjoy some good times with your friends.
Did you know? Currently, to meet the demands of game regulation in semi-urban areas, the choice of the bow is often adopted for the safety and tranquillity of local residents. Indeed, between you and me, the arrow that is released remains very quiet: no need for ear protection and no risk of damaging your hearing!
To hunt with a bow, a hunting licence is required as well as a compulsory training day (JFO). We also recommend that you contact your local bow hunting association to speak with enthusiasts and obtain advice on hunting, material, and its adjustment.
We also help you to adjust your bow, just click below!
The hunting license requires an exam that covers all hunting practices. It is necessary to obtain it regardless of the type of hunting you want to do.
You can find all the information here: https://www.chasseurdefrance.com/pratiquer/chasse-a-larc/
Joining an association enables hunters to meet each other, as well as creating the opportunity to hunt among archers and to share a convivial moment.
Now that you have more information, it's up to you! Thanks to our various tips and articles, Solognac guides you through the learning process!
Valentin has been bow hunting for 8 years: Bow hunting combines managing your emotions and being close to the animal, with shooting skills of course. I also like the scouting phase, preparing the territory and where to put your treestand for example. This ultimate goal of favouring proximity with the coveted animal is omnipresent, in training, when preparing the territory, and during the hunting action when emotions overwhelm you.... It is a hunt where every little detail is vital: a piece of clothing that moves, that rubs, a shoe that rustles are unthinkable. The notion of progression is also very much present and plays an important role in bow hunting. Finally, Valentin tells me, "we are not interested in the race for the trophy, we are not looking for the quality of the game, but it is the action of hunting, the emotion, and the challenge that are sought after".
We will finish today with the comments of Nico, creator of the YouTube channel "chartreuse nature":