Gun Hunting vs Bow Hunting [What’s Best?]

If there is one practice that can be traced back far in time, it’s hunting. Hunting is a tradition for many families and while you may find it in the history books as part of the aristocracy, it’s still very much alive in the world of big game hunting. In fact, hunting has become an elite sport. There are two weapons that are mainly used to take down prey: a gun or the bow. Whether you choose to hunt with a gun or a bow is very much up to you and your personal preferences. The individual hunter has to make the choices to which way they turn when it comes to hunting. Comfort, and confidence are key in the hand of the hunter, and whether they are hunting for big game or small prey it does make a difference. However, there is no wrong or right choice as long as you follow safety precautions.

There are two considerations that are most important when it comes to choosing whether you hunt with a gun or hunt with a bow. Time is one of them, and cost is the other. This is a long-standing debate, but because there is no right or wrong here this debate will never finish! We aren’t going to tell you which one is the best option, because that really is an individual choice. Instead we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of both hunting methods in the hope that you’ll be able to make the choice yourself.

What Is Bow Hunting?

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Bow hunting is as it says; you use a bow and arrow to hunt for prey. Some hunters feel that using a bow and arrow is more natural, and more comfortable while others will argue that it is more authentic. It allows them to focus and feel the movement of the bow in their hands, drawing that energy through the arrow and into the prey they are aiming for. A lot of hunters will discuss what it means to feel that adrenaline rush when using a bow and arrow to hunt. To be able to hunt with a bow and arrow, you develop and hone your fine motor skills while also learning how to aim very precisely. You will need to spend time strengthening the muscles of your arm because drawing back of the bowstrings as you shoot is not an easy thing to do. Some bow options are quite heavy, which means there is a lot of stamina involved in using a bow and arrow for hunting which may be a drawback for people with physical limitations. However, a benefit for bow hunting for some hunters is that it levels the playing field between the hunter and prey. This could actually improve your skills when it comes to stealth. 

Hunting with a bow is a challenge if you are new at it, as it takes some time to learn how to do it accurately. It can actually take a few years to become skilful at using it for hunting animals, particularly big game hunting. 

Bow Hunting: Pros and Cons


  • Bows are a silent method of hunting, so you won’t disturb anything other than your prey or any people around you.
  • There is a longer hunting season for bow hunters in most states throughout the US.
  • You will improve your motor skills.
  • If you primarily hunt down stationary animals, the boat is the perfect tool for the job.
  • You can reuse arrows and they don’t cost very much to replace them.
  • Bow hunting requires more stealth and you learn to be very quiet when you are using a bow and arrow to hunt.
  • Some bows can be heavy, but once you get used to them and you become stronger, they become lighter, therefore easier for you to move around when you are hunting.

Cons Of Bow Hunting:

  • It can take a very long time to properly learn how to use a bow and arrow.
  • Shooting from a long distance isn’t always easy.
  • It’s not the best thing to use for moving animals.
  • Wear and tear of a bow means that you are replacing cams and strings more often.
  • The weather can affect your accuracy.
  • A bow isn’t particularly cheap to buy.

What Is Gun Hunting?

When it comes to hunting, guns are efficient, and effective. They have been around for over 200 years, but not as long as a bow and arrow has been. They have evolved massively over the years, and with modern advancements it’s very easy to see why people choose guns when it comes to hunting. The most popular gun when it comes to hunting is the rifle, as their scopes for long range hunting are perfect. The mechanical structure of the gun can outshine the bow and arrow in so many different ways and you can become very good at hunting with a rifle compared to hunting with a bow in a much shorter period of time. If you want versatility while you hunt, gun hunting is a fantastic option. You can kill more prey at rest and when they are moving, and many hunters choose gun hunting over bow hunting.

Gun Hunting: Pros and Cons


  • The shooting range of a gun is much farther.
  • It’s so much easier to learn how to use a gun than a bow and arrow.
  • You can gain more accuracy and precision with a gun.
  • They’re more durable than bows.
  • Versatility is higher with guns.


  • There is a much shorter hunting season for guns.
  • Hunting season can become crowded with gun hunters are hunting is limited to specific spaces.
  • Rifles and their accessories can be fairly expensive.
  • Your kill rate may be lower compared to bow and arrow kill rates because of the noise.
  • You are restricted in where you can gun hunt.
  • Ammunition is not reusable.

Which Is Better?

Honestly, there is no ‘better’ option between the two hunting methods. Getting the very best from your trip means that you have to choose between which suits you as a hunter. If you prefer to be stealthy in your hunting, then a bow and arrow will be the better option. If you want better accuracy, then gun hunting is the better choice. No matter which one you choose, you are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of those around you.

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