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Poll: What Do You Like More for Deer Hunting, Bow or Gun?

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July 19, 2012

Poll: What Do You Like More for Deer Hunting, Bow or Gun?

By Dave Hurteau

There’s a lot of bowhunting coverage on this blog for two reasons: We already have a couple of pretty good gun writers, and Bestul and I happen to have the bow bug pretty bad. I still enjoy gun hunting. Of the three deer I killed last year, I took one with rifle, one with bow, and one with a muzzleloader. But in terms of the amount time spent with a bow vs. a gun, it was probably 70/30.

Now, anyone who hunts with a bow at all is apt to spend more time with that implement, simply because the bow season is typically much longer than the gun season. So for this poll, think of it this way: What do you like more for deer hunting? Bow or gun? What are you more interested in, more passionate about, more into?

Comments (29)

Top Rated
All Comments
from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave,
I went 50/50 although I've only bowhunted for 2 years and have yet to score. Last year I hunted 2 weeks into the rifle opener with my bow, saw plenty of does and one non-shooter buck but none of them in bow range. Frustrated I took my rifle. Had an eight point come out withing 30 yards that I would have been proud to take with my bow but I let him walk. After he left a doe showed up at 20 yards, dropped her. I was kicking myself for not taking my bow that day but I have a feeling they wouldn't have showed up if I hadn't had the Savage. This year I'm telling myself that I'm bowhunting until I score, but if the rut comes around and there's nothing in the freezer the Savage is probably coming back out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave I am 100% a bow guy. I have never shot a deer with a rifle and only a couple deer with a muzzle loader. I dont know what it is but I just love bow hunting so much more then gun hunting. To be honest, I dont really see myself taking a deer with a rifle anytime soon.

I also love how I can completely customize my arrows to the way I like with fletching, nocks, wraps, broadheads, and different inserts ans so on...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherking1999 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I hunt more often with a bow, especially since you cant gun hunt on Sundays in NC, but I do prefer the gun over the bow. Fire power, the smell of gun powder, waiting for that perfect shot at long range. MAN!!! I cant wait til deer season!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

75%bow only because the season here is 90 days long and rifle season is only 15 and swarming with hunters... first day of rifle season you see deer then they go nocturnal after that... just thee way it is...

if it wasn't like that i would like rifle season more...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 50/50. I definitely get really excited for bowhunting in the early fall, but as November inches closer I start getting excited for gun season. I'm attracted to both for different reasons. Bow requires more raw skill, patience, and to me is a much more personal and intimate hunting experience. But it's also fun walking through thick brush with a shotgun, waiting to jump a deer and get off a quick shot (or, in the case of some of us, shots).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 75% gun mainly because it's easier

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhett Ballard wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I'm a gun hunter, but i would like to try bow hunting because its a challenge i would like to take.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

If you live in a state like Washington, you have to choose one or the other. One cannot hunt multiple seasons here unless drawn for a very limited Multiple Season Permit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

50-50

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WI Hunter 33 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

i say 75% bow and this upcoming season will be my first year..you probably think well how would he know. I just think the whole idea of bowhunting seems more like hunting than racing out to your spot on opening morning for rifle hoping somebody else doesnt steal your buck. Also you have to wait for them to come in close so more adrenilen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I accomplish the exact same thing weather I’m out in the woods hunting with a rifle or a bow. It goes a lot farther than the weapon I’m hunting with. I’ve killed more deer with my rifle than with my bow, however, every deer I’ve ever shot means a lot more to me than what weapon I’ve killed it with. I’d have to say 50/50.

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from Fruguy101 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 25/75 because bow season here in Mississippi is a mosquito fight. It is still hot as fresh crap from a horse and I personally don't want to sit still for hours and ferment like a living still in a treestand. By the time gun season comes around, it has cooled off enough to be bearable, even though the last couple of years it has stayed hot well into November.

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I said 50/50 because its what I am kinda forced to do. I am bowhunting this year for the second time in 8 years. Just moved to kansas from colorado and the bow season here is nice and long. So, probably alot of shotgun for birds, a rifle for deer and a bunch of bow for the 3.5 month long season.

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Our firearms season is actually much longer than our bow season, but I voted 50-50 because I enjoy both.

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from Sneaky wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Bowhunting is a lot of fun, but I love guns and hunting with them. Besides, I mostly hunt in west Texas. It's tough to hang a bow stand in the mesquites. What and where I'm hunting has a lot to do with my preference. I love to hunt the rut. Since our rifle season covers that, I tend to use a gun. When I hunt elk, I like to use a bow, since the rut is during bow season.

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from 2Poppa wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Bow hunting 100%!
I lost the land I gun hunted on 2 years ago, even though I bow hunted a lot. Now, I bow hunt all season, even during gun season as I hunt a WMA, that is one farm away from where I gun hunted.
The certainly is more adrenalin flowing with bow encounters!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Being in the woods during bow season is relaxing, but I still prefer my T/C Renegade .50cal. cap lock for most of my deer hunting. Accurate, deadly, and you always have that small question in the back of your mind when you pull the trigger; "Will it fire again this time?" to keep you honest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from walmsley wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

what's a "gun"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I've bowhunted since I was 14, I'm 44 now. I've gun hunted for deer since I was 16. I cut my deer hunting teeth while hunting with a bow and also shotgun only, everything's always been about gettin' close. I don't know if its because I'm getting older or what, but I seem to be totally intrigued with rifle hunting for deer now. I used to scorn rifle hunters, thinking it's no challenge. Now I can't stop thinking about still hunting for whitetails with a 7mm-08 on a snowy brisk morning. That's what I'm into now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I failed to indicate how I actually voted. I chose 75% gun, 25% bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from missedit wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

25-75 Lets hunt!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

100% rifle hunting. Bow hunting is not allowed here in Germany. Don't even own a bow for that reason.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I hunted with a bow for a few years, but really I am not proud of my accomplishments. Most everyone I know who hunts with a bow loses more deer than they kill. I do not feel right flinging an arrow through a deer and watching it disappear over the nearest hill and wondering how many coyotes will be feeding on its half dead carcass before the sun rises again. Besides, our gun season lasts over two months and you can kill 3 does a day.

I guess I envy the people who can bow hunt successfully. Maybe if I was 30 years younger I would be more enthusiastic about it. I am now 0% bow...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LaBowman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I've been in a "bowhunt only" club for over 20 years and shot my rifle for the first time in about 5 years on a doe hunt on another property. After bowhunting for so long it seems like rifle hunting is not much of a challenge and now I don't like all the noise. My cousin & I have made 3 DIY bow elk hunts in CO and have had shots all 3 years with 1 kill, 1 nick & 1 clean miss. We'll be back in the mountains mid-Sept to try again. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as exciting as a bull bugle response with a bow in your hand. How about "Wapiti 365"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

LaBowman,
I'm game. Took my first bull with a bow last September. Came in bugling, stopped at 20 yards, and turned broadside for me. Incredible experience--and I'm still eating elk 3 days a week.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

60/40 for me in favor of the gun. I don't see much challenge in deer hunting with a rifle unless you are talking about long distance shooting and running game on the bean fields or the prairie. However, the rifle would still be my #1 choice because that is where I hunt most often and I thoroughly enjoy a very well placed shot in tough circumstances.

Bow hunting typically allows me to see more wildlife and offers heart rending excitement that can't be matched with a rifle. If you like to sit in the great outdoors and see wildlife in its natural state, bow hunting is hard to beat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lord_Darth_Vader wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I have absolutely no interest in shooting an animal with a bow. I get buck fever, ram fever, mule deer fever, or turkey fever when ever an animal shows up. It could be 400 yards or 14.

I'd rather the coverage be 50/50. And to be honest I hardly watch any hunting shows anymore. I love Best fo the West & Nosler's Magnum TV because its about rifles. Too many shows today are about cross bow and compound bows.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wellsmi wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

i'm down with anything that helps me become a better shot on either

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterandfarmer wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I went 50/50 even though I only hunt with a rifle, however I have nothing against bowhunting. Gunhunters and bowhunters both have my support. In the area I hunt I would estimate a population of 20-25 whitetails per section (640 acres), and there are probably more. So keep in tune with your weapons and have fun hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from larson014 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

75%bow only because the season here is 90 days long and rifle season is only 15 and swarming with hunters... first day of rifle season you see deer then they go nocturnal after that... just thee way it is...

if it wasn't like that i would like rifle season more...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WI Hunter 33 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

i say 75% bow and this upcoming season will be my first year..you probably think well how would he know. I just think the whole idea of bowhunting seems more like hunting than racing out to your spot on opening morning for rifle hoping somebody else doesnt steal your buck. Also you have to wait for them to come in close so more adrenilen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave,
I went 50/50 although I've only bowhunted for 2 years and have yet to score. Last year I hunted 2 weeks into the rifle opener with my bow, saw plenty of does and one non-shooter buck but none of them in bow range. Frustrated I took my rifle. Had an eight point come out withing 30 yards that I would have been proud to take with my bow but I let him walk. After he left a doe showed up at 20 yards, dropped her. I was kicking myself for not taking my bow that day but I have a feeling they wouldn't have showed up if I hadn't had the Savage. This year I'm telling myself that I'm bowhunting until I score, but if the rut comes around and there's nothing in the freezer the Savage is probably coming back out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave I am 100% a bow guy. I have never shot a deer with a rifle and only a couple deer with a muzzle loader. I dont know what it is but I just love bow hunting so much more then gun hunting. To be honest, I dont really see myself taking a deer with a rifle anytime soon.

I also love how I can completely customize my arrows to the way I like with fletching, nocks, wraps, broadheads, and different inserts ans so on...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherking1999 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I hunt more often with a bow, especially since you cant gun hunt on Sundays in NC, but I do prefer the gun over the bow. Fire power, the smell of gun powder, waiting for that perfect shot at long range. MAN!!! I cant wait til deer season!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 50/50. I definitely get really excited for bowhunting in the early fall, but as November inches closer I start getting excited for gun season. I'm attracted to both for different reasons. Bow requires more raw skill, patience, and to me is a much more personal and intimate hunting experience. But it's also fun walking through thick brush with a shotgun, waiting to jump a deer and get off a quick shot (or, in the case of some of us, shots).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BippityBoopityMate wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 75% gun mainly because it's easier

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhett Ballard wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I'm a gun hunter, but i would like to try bow hunting because its a challenge i would like to take.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

If you live in a state like Washington, you have to choose one or the other. One cannot hunt multiple seasons here unless drawn for a very limited Multiple Season Permit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

50-50

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I accomplish the exact same thing weather I’m out in the woods hunting with a rifle or a bow. It goes a lot farther than the weapon I’m hunting with. I’ve killed more deer with my rifle than with my bow, however, every deer I’ve ever shot means a lot more to me than what weapon I’ve killed it with. I’d have to say 50/50.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fruguy101 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I went 25/75 because bow season here in Mississippi is a mosquito fight. It is still hot as fresh crap from a horse and I personally don't want to sit still for hours and ferment like a living still in a treestand. By the time gun season comes around, it has cooled off enough to be bearable, even though the last couple of years it has stayed hot well into November.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I said 50/50 because its what I am kinda forced to do. I am bowhunting this year for the second time in 8 years. Just moved to kansas from colorado and the bow season here is nice and long. So, probably alot of shotgun for birds, a rifle for deer and a bunch of bow for the 3.5 month long season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Our firearms season is actually much longer than our bow season, but I voted 50-50 because I enjoy both.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sneaky wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Bowhunting is a lot of fun, but I love guns and hunting with them. Besides, I mostly hunt in west Texas. It's tough to hang a bow stand in the mesquites. What and where I'm hunting has a lot to do with my preference. I love to hunt the rut. Since our rifle season covers that, I tend to use a gun. When I hunt elk, I like to use a bow, since the rut is during bow season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Bow hunting 100%!
I lost the land I gun hunted on 2 years ago, even though I bow hunted a lot. Now, I bow hunt all season, even during gun season as I hunt a WMA, that is one farm away from where I gun hunted.
The certainly is more adrenalin flowing with bow encounters!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tunadave wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Being in the woods during bow season is relaxing, but I still prefer my T/C Renegade .50cal. cap lock for most of my deer hunting. Accurate, deadly, and you always have that small question in the back of your mind when you pull the trigger; "Will it fire again this time?" to keep you honest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from walmsley wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

what's a "gun"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I've bowhunted since I was 14, I'm 44 now. I've gun hunted for deer since I was 16. I cut my deer hunting teeth while hunting with a bow and also shotgun only, everything's always been about gettin' close. I don't know if its because I'm getting older or what, but I seem to be totally intrigued with rifle hunting for deer now. I used to scorn rifle hunters, thinking it's no challenge. Now I can't stop thinking about still hunting for whitetails with a 7mm-08 on a snowy brisk morning. That's what I'm into now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I failed to indicate how I actually voted. I chose 75% gun, 25% bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from missedit wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

25-75 Lets hunt!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

100% rifle hunting. Bow hunting is not allowed here in Germany. Don't even own a bow for that reason.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I hunted with a bow for a few years, but really I am not proud of my accomplishments. Most everyone I know who hunts with a bow loses more deer than they kill. I do not feel right flinging an arrow through a deer and watching it disappear over the nearest hill and wondering how many coyotes will be feeding on its half dead carcass before the sun rises again. Besides, our gun season lasts over two months and you can kill 3 does a day.

I guess I envy the people who can bow hunt successfully. Maybe if I was 30 years younger I would be more enthusiastic about it. I am now 0% bow...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LaBowman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I've been in a "bowhunt only" club for over 20 years and shot my rifle for the first time in about 5 years on a doe hunt on another property. After bowhunting for so long it seems like rifle hunting is not much of a challenge and now I don't like all the noise. My cousin & I have made 3 DIY bow elk hunts in CO and have had shots all 3 years with 1 kill, 1 nick & 1 clean miss. We'll be back in the mountains mid-Sept to try again. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as exciting as a bull bugle response with a bow in your hand. How about "Wapiti 365"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

LaBowman,
I'm game. Took my first bull with a bow last September. Came in bugling, stopped at 20 yards, and turned broadside for me. Incredible experience--and I'm still eating elk 3 days a week.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

60/40 for me in favor of the gun. I don't see much challenge in deer hunting with a rifle unless you are talking about long distance shooting and running game on the bean fields or the prairie. However, the rifle would still be my #1 choice because that is where I hunt most often and I thoroughly enjoy a very well placed shot in tough circumstances.

Bow hunting typically allows me to see more wildlife and offers heart rending excitement that can't be matched with a rifle. If you like to sit in the great outdoors and see wildlife in its natural state, bow hunting is hard to beat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lord_Darth_Vader wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I have absolutely no interest in shooting an animal with a bow. I get buck fever, ram fever, mule deer fever, or turkey fever when ever an animal shows up. It could be 400 yards or 14.

I'd rather the coverage be 50/50. And to be honest I hardly watch any hunting shows anymore. I love Best fo the West & Nosler's Magnum TV because its about rifles. Too many shows today are about cross bow and compound bows.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wellsmi wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

i'm down with anything that helps me become a better shot on either

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterandfarmer wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I went 50/50 even though I only hunt with a rifle, however I have nothing against bowhunting. Gunhunters and bowhunters both have my support. In the area I hunt I would estimate a population of 20-25 whitetails per section (640 acres), and there are probably more. So keep in tune with your weapons and have fun hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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