Modern weapon for modern times
I think one of the reasons the bow and arrow fascinates me is because it is such an ancient weapon, having been used during most of mankind’s history. Isn’t it wonderful that the bow and arrow is still popular as a hunting weapon today – so many years after the invention of muzzle-loaders and the modern rifle?
However, one wonders why people are still hunting with a bow when “modern” weapons are readily available. Is it because they feel as sentimental about the bow and arrow as I do?
No, I do not think so. I think it is because it is an excellent hunting weapon. Although many bowhunters still hunt with a longbow or a recurve (as I often do), it must be remembered that most bowhunters use compounds bows – and the modern compound bow is a weapon that post-dates space travel and computers. It is in fact a very modern weapon. A compound is a precision hunting weapon with which a small grouping can be shot over distances up to a hundred yards or more – although hunting over these distances is not recommended.
I think bowhunters use bows because it is an effective weapon, because it is silent, and because it offers challenges of its own. It certainly is an exciting weapon to hunt with and tends to bring the hunter into close proximity with his or her prey. The fact that more and more hunters are taking up the bow and arrow and more and more game farms are opening to bowhunting is enough proof that it is an effective hunting weapon and that hunting with the bow and arrow has an appeal of its own.
Although many rifle hunters complain about bowhunters hunting from blinds, it is also true that most game farmers prefer bowhunters to hunt from blinds. Hunting from blinds creates a controlled environment. Not only is the water, feed and lick placed at acceptable distances, ensuring shots within a particular bowhunter’s ability, but the game farm owner can also keep track of the hunter’s movements and the amount of arrows released. However, it is not without reason we are currently publishing a series on walking and stalking. Stalking an animal with a bow and arrow is probably the ultimate challenge and something all bowhunters that are in good health should aspire to.
Game farm owners can use the bowhunter as a tool in their game-breeding programmes. Biltong hunters can be instructed to focus on genetically impaired or injured animals, or the game farm owner can ask bowhunters to focus on certain game species that are in abundance – or to refrain from shooting animals that are rare on the farm. It often happens that a game farmer would offer lower prices for instance on young impala rams, which might be in excess or he might raise the price of some animals he wants to protect.
Bowhunting is here to stay and game farm owners can only benefit from the many possibilities opened by allowing this form of hunting on their game farms. If it is true that the bowhunting industry is growing bigger and more hunters are taking up the bow and arrow as their preferred hunting weapon – how do you bring the fact that your game farm is rigged to accommodate bowhunting under the attention of the hunters?
The answer is to advertise. It is no use having a beautiful and well-equipped hunting farm with lots of game animals if no one knows about the place! The word must be spread. One has to advertise in hunting magazines and on whatever hunting platform available on the Internet.
In this issue you can read about a buffalo hunt and the new Hoyt Spyder Turbo, recently introduced at the ATA. Cleve Cheney tells more about the possible future of compound development, there is a game farm evaluation, a close encounter with a “tame” hartebeest and a lot more. May you enjoy this magazine us much as we did putting it together.