|The author with a small buck taken by longbow.|
The most annoying criticism I hear about traditional archery is that longbows, recurves and other stickbows are second-rate bowhunting tools.
This is completely untrue. Traditional bows are not inferior to modern bows; they're merely different, in much the same way a hand saw and circular saw are different. Both achieve the same goal — one just does it with the benefit of more technology.
Traditional bows lack the sights and mechanical advantages that modern bows possess and because of this they take longer to master. Form, release and sight pictures need to be ingrained over many practice sessions at the range and while stump shooting. But that's part of the allure if you ask me. Besides, once you gain proficiency, you will be every bit as effective as any compound bow shooter out there, especially within that all-important 20 yard range in which the vast majority of game is arrowed.
There are certainly traditional shooters who can pull off even longer shots. Most of us, however, would do better to get closer. Then again, isn't that what bow hunting is all about?
The accompanying photo shows a little buck I took in fall with my longbow. He isn't a trophy, by anyone's standards, but he is by mine — not because of his physical characteristics but due to the thrilling way in which he was taken. You see, I arrowed him on public land in the traditional way, by still-hunting and getting really close. I passed up several shot opportunities at does before I slipped within 12 yards of him and another similar buck. It's further evidence that traditional bows, in the right hands, will put game in the freezer.
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