Is it Technology or Skill?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
TREESTANDWOLF 29-Mar-21
Buffalo1 29-Mar-21
WV Mountaineer 29-Mar-21
grizzly63 29-Mar-21
GF 29-Mar-21
Ermine 29-Mar-21
Thornton 29-Mar-21
Matt 30-Mar-21
ohiohunter 30-Mar-21
Matt 30-Mar-21
TREESTANDWOLF 30-Mar-21
hawkeye in PA 30-Mar-21
Bowfreak 30-Mar-21
midwest 30-Mar-21
Kevin Dill 30-Mar-21
Missouribreaks 30-Mar-21
Bou'bound 30-Mar-21
Knifeman 30-Mar-21
Catscratch 30-Mar-21
Bowboy 30-Mar-21
wyobullshooter 30-Mar-21
SBH 30-Mar-21
GF 30-Mar-21
Brotsky 30-Mar-21
Bob H in NH 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 30-Mar-21
Missouribreaks 30-Mar-21
APauls 30-Mar-21
Mint 30-Mar-21
midwest 30-Mar-21
Ollie 30-Mar-21
BigEight 30-Mar-21
Jethro 30-Mar-21
BigEight 30-Mar-21
Bou'bound 30-Mar-21
elkmtngear 30-Mar-21
Kurt 30-Mar-21
Ambush 30-Mar-21
BigEight 30-Mar-21
Ron Niziolek 30-Mar-21
wyobullshooter 30-Mar-21
Lost Arra 30-Mar-21
wyobullshooter 30-Mar-21
Will tell 30-Mar-21
Airborne 30-Mar-21
GF 30-Mar-21
APauls 30-Mar-21
GF 30-Mar-21
Rob in VT 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 30-Mar-21
sitO 30-Mar-21
LKH 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 30-Mar-21
LKH 30-Mar-21
Treeline 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 30-Mar-21
greenmountain 30-Mar-21
elkmtngear 30-Mar-21
Jeff Durnell 30-Mar-21
ohiohunter 30-Mar-21
Grey Ghost 30-Mar-21
Missouribreaks 30-Mar-21
Grey Ghost 30-Mar-21
ohiohunter 30-Mar-21
WV Mountaineer 30-Mar-21
Lawdy 30-Mar-21
Grey Ghost 30-Mar-21
IdyllwildArcher 30-Mar-21
Ermine 30-Mar-21
midwest 30-Mar-21
ohiohunter 30-Mar-21
Ambush 30-Mar-21
GF 30-Mar-21
bowhunt 31-Mar-21
GF 31-Mar-21
bowhunt 31-Mar-21
GF 31-Mar-21
midwest 31-Mar-21
Missouribreaks 31-Mar-21
Jethro 31-Mar-21
TEmbry 31-Mar-21
GF 31-Mar-21
ohiohunter 31-Mar-21
Lawdy 31-Mar-21
trophyhill 31-Mar-21
Lost Arra 31-Mar-21
Shawn 31-Mar-21
bowhunt 31-Mar-21
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GF 31-Mar-21
APauls 31-Mar-21
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TD 31-Mar-21
ohiohunter 31-Mar-21
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pav 31-Mar-21
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Bake 31-Mar-21
kadbow 31-Mar-21
t-roy 31-Mar-21
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Tonybear61 31-Mar-21
midwest 31-Mar-21
ohiohunter 31-Mar-21
SaddleReaper 31-Mar-21
Ambush 01-Apr-21
Missouribreaks 01-Apr-21
SteveD 01-Apr-21
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12yards 01-Apr-21
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pav 01-Apr-21
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pav 01-Apr-21
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Charlie Rehor 01-Apr-21
RK 01-Apr-21
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TREESTANDWOLF 04-Apr-21
Treeline 04-Apr-21
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thedude 04-Apr-21
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jjs 04-Apr-21
ohiohunter 04-Apr-21
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ahunter76 06-Apr-21
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snag 06-Apr-21
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midwest 07-Apr-21
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29-Mar-21
Today while out for a jog, I was listening to a Podcast discussing how much the role technology plays in much of the hunting successes nowadays. The conversation then drifted off into how many quality animals now are shown on social media and what is behind that success.

That got me thinking, granted Google Earth, Range Finders, Ranging Binos, Cellular Trail cams, ect. are contributors, and certainly help, but at the end of the day, its the hunter and the weapon, ........or not?

I personally feel the actual skill of woodsmanship has become a lost art. If the technology was all taken away, well, would the success be the same nowadays?

Up for discussion here on the best site in the world.

From: Buffalo1
29-Mar-21
Technology is a double-edge sword in hunting. However, the shot still remains the moment of truth.

29-Mar-21
Quality defined by antler and horn size is the new norm. Are there more quality animals? I doubt it as a whole, out side whitetails and hard to date elk units. There are simply more ways to share that are killed.

From: grizzly63
29-Mar-21
Yes, but with much better equipment that doesn't require as much dedication and practice. More people getting better and shooting greater distances. Not as much stealth sneaking into 75 yds vs 20 yds. It is one of the reasons you cant draw an archery elk tag. You can outfit a person with a modern bow and within a day they can be shooting bullseyes constantly, if they have some coordination. Who wouldn't want to play?

From: GF
29-Mar-21
“ If the technology was all taken away, well, would the success be the same nowadays?”

OK, I suspect I’m being trolled, but I’ll play anyway...

With archery gear? Hell, no. Take away the rangefinders, and Point Creep out west is probably Solved. For that matter, should we talk Let-Off? Releases?? Without the undeniable technological advantage of a compound, a lot of guys would be out of the game. Even guys like Jaq. God knows my days with #52-#62 stickbows are numbered... I’ve seen my x-rays...

Probably not THAT much impact of rangefinders & long-range ballistics for most whitetail hunters (though it seems that EVERY compound shooter has one) but how are you going to assess your “inventory” or create a “hit list” without trail cams?

Pretty sure most guys would go back to taking the first “respectable” buck to come by.... So maybe just as many bucks taken, but a lot fewer passed up.

I like taking a walk in the woods. Paying attention. Walking softly. Slowing down. If you know when to look and when to cover ground, you can find ‘em.

From: Ermine
29-Mar-21
Technology doesn’t make everyone good Bowhunter’s. In my opinion, You can have fancy gear and gps but give it a few days on the mtn alone and most new guys will quit.

You can have the best bow out there and all the best gear but doesn’t mean your gonna make the high pressure shot

From: Thornton
29-Mar-21
Cell cams on feed sites require zero skill. I didn't use a single camera last year and it was very interesting to see new bucks in person. Every time I'd describe one to my neighbor, he'd send me a pic of the exact deer at his feeder.

From: Matt
30-Mar-21
How many deer has a game cam ever put in front of a hunter? None.

But a feeder?

My point is people often attribute success to the wrong technology.

From: ohiohunter
30-Mar-21
I’ve been echoing what grizz said for years now. No one mentioned crossbows, they’ve come a long ways as well. I remember shooting round wheel bows, fingers, brass pins feeling confident if I could put 5 arrows in a paper plate. I remember when hitting a lifesaver was impressive. How does technology translate to hunting? Easy, confidence. The confidence to take one’s skills at the range to the field. It doesn’t shake buck fever but it certainly has put more people in that position than yesteryear.

Legalized baiting and trail cams all give more confidence of success, even those methods have advanced over a short time. Timed feeders and cell cams. I had a 35mm trail cam and a trip string timer. Everyone knows someone who won’t hunt a spot unless they have a good deer on camera and those same people typically sit over 100lbs of corn.

No doubt technology has deteriorated the woodsman skills the old timers had to learn over years of experience. I’m not a baiter nor a camera guy but my woodsman-ship pales compared to my fathers.

From: Matt
30-Mar-21
"Matt that's funny buddy, would you of hung the tree stand there if not for camera having deer pic. every day? HIM did not get no Pic in to weeks but I will hunt here anyway? NOT"

Would I hang a tree stand at my feeder? Is that a serious question?

30-Mar-21
“You can have the best bow out there and all the best gear but doesn’t mean your gonna make the high pressure shot“ Exactly Ernie, even under a feeder!

30-Mar-21
Many of the "old Timers" hunted for meat. Today it's 10X cheaper in the grocery store. When hunters can sit in their living room and decide which stand to hunt...... My answer is no to the OP's question.

From: Bowfreak
30-Mar-21
Technology definitely helps. A longbow was technology at one time. Some people get lucky a few times but killers kill. Take away all the crap you want and they still fill their tags.

From: midwest
30-Mar-21
Just did a quick check on archery elk harvest in Colorado.

In 2005, 35,628 bow hunters killed 5112 elk for a success rate of 14%.

In 2019, 51,485 bow hunters killed 5915 elk for a success rate of 11%.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Mar-21
Technology won’t make anyone a ‘better’ hunter, but it will definitely make a lot more hunters successful. If we could somehow go back and only use the gear available 50 years ago, we’d see a very significant drop in the number of overall successful hunters.

30-Mar-21
Technology for certain provides advantages. Good post GF.

30-Mar-21
effective use of technology is a skill in and of itself.

From: Bou'bound
30-Mar-21
it makes it easier clearly.

social me-dia also makes that which previously was not widely known or visible, but was still happening, widely known and visible.

if a lot of big animals are being killed, but there is no way to show them worldwide in 6 seconds with a phone in your pocket, are there not still a lot of unpublicized big animals being killed?

You only know what you know ......that does not mean the unknown is not still occurring!!!

From: Knifeman
30-Mar-21
There is a simple answer, no one likes that. Yes, it makes it easier. Why else would most people use every advantage they can? ifso facto it takes less skill. The problem is people get their hackles up when someone dares to point out they are making the kill easier. Their ox has been gored. The defenses come out, and soon we will be trashing the stickbow guys and the leatherwallers. Ive seen it over and over here. Yes I hunt with a recurve, and still drive a truck, dont own a loincloth or stone points, and use treestands and cameras. And other stuff. I also hunt with guys using compounds, and feel they are my hunting brothers.

From: Catscratch
30-Mar-21
Most people gladly use the best technology available to them (without crossing their line in the sand). ie - a traditional guy my shun a compound, but will usually hunt with the best longbow in his closet... passing on the junk he doesn't shoot well with.

As far as the other stuff goes such as trailcams, satellite data, wind apps, blinds, and feeders... they are just different tools. I would guess that some of the people using as much tech as possible are pretty good at harvesting great deer on a regular basis, by definition making them good hunters. Others can do the same without any tech whatsoever, and are good hunters. While still others (probably the majority) do it with a mix, and are good hunters. Of course there will be slobs in each category just like there will be over-achievers in each category.

To answer the question more directly; yes... woodsmanship skills have probably gone down on average, but hunting skills have not. If that makes any sense.

From: Bowboy
30-Mar-21
Ermine is spot on!

30-Mar-21
There’s no doubt technology makes it easier to find whatever it is you’re hunting. However, all the technology in the world won’t help you consistently execute the shot under the intense adrenaline overload when the moment of truth arrives.

Strip away technology and those that are killers are still going to be killers. They have the passion, drive, and determination to become proficient with whatever weapon is in their hands.

From: SBH
30-Mar-21
Those are crazy stats Midwest. Hard to argue with numbers.

From: GF
30-Mar-21
I started this response over an hour ago, but Man, Oh, Man, did you walk right into this one, SBH.....

“ Just did a quick check on archery elk harvest in Colorado. In 2005, 35,628 bow hunters killed 5112 elk for a success rate of 14%.

In 2019, 51,485 bow hunters killed 5915 elk for a success rate of 11%.”

Yep. And the average American has one testicle.

Was ‘19 the year that there was that big storm that chased a lot of people off of the hill?

Or is it just proof that the ease of use of the equipment and the option of an OTC cow tag IN ADDITION your Rifle tag has opened the floodgates to create a level of hunting pressure (+44%) which has a substantial negative effect on the ability of even the long-time bowhunters to fill a tag? Or maybe the newest 44% are hopelessly inept, but managed a 5% success rate in spite of themselves?

I’d like to see the OTC hunter & harvest stats trended out for every year going back to Year One.

The Null here is that if you adjust to reflect public land hunter density (as more & more units have become limited entry), there has been No Impact on hunter success rates.

Which I don’t believe for a minute, but Null.

Then you have to start looking at weather year-to-year and the years in which advances in let-off hit the market, when affordable, archery-specific laser rangefinders became a Thing and when cow-only tags were introduced, and how those numbers impacted Hunter density during archery and harvest rates not just during archery but also later on each year in Rifle seasons, especially that new (early) Elk-only season.

I’m going to guess that there will be growth in hunter numbers in the years following mainstream adoption of higher tech. For comparison purposes, what does the trend look like on Rifle season tag sales? That tech hasn’t changed much since about WW II.

I’m also going to guess that bowhunter success rates increased over time while hunter density remained relatively flat, and that there is a technology-induced departure from trend in license sales vs Rifle, followed by a tipping point at which success rates begin to level off or decline in Archery (despite tech advances) due to pressure because the animals are getting pushed around so much more and because they start moving onto private land earlier or into limited-draw units.

And it sure would be interesting to see honest numbers on how many Elk are WOUNDED each year over time, but I suppose some of that shows up in Rifle season harvest.

That’s a long list of questions.

Honestly, addressing all of those factors is probably at least one master’s degree thesis which will need to be followed up with a few radio-tracking studies where “collared” hunters push collared Elk around in units which Do and Do Not allow for access via ATV and e-bikes. Null Hypotheses there are that A) increased hunter mobility does not increase hunter success rates B) that it does not increase disturbance of the herds and C) that hunter mobility and hunter success are not correlated at the individual level any differently than at the overall level.

That last one could be interesting....

From: Brotsky
30-Mar-21
Nick, it's the same 5,000 guys killing elk now that did it 15 years ago. The rest just saw it on youtube and it looked like fun! :)

From: Bob H in NH
30-Mar-21
Good hunters are good hunters regardless of tools. They learn to interpret the data they find and make best use of it. "technology" simply increases the volume of that data.

I used to use a piece of thread across a suspected deer run, it told me which direction the first animal went through, then came a thread hooked to a timer, now I have direction and time/date of the first animal through. then add sensors that tracked time, but not direciton. Then add camera that shows it all.

However if you randomly stuck any of the above on random trees, you got squat.

Same for the mapping tools, you still have to know what to look for, then get on the ground and check, it cuts down foot time that's it.

Good hunters make best use of the available info, simple as that.

From: bowhunt
30-Mar-21
I was just looking at statistics for Oregon.

On the east side of the state elk success rates were at 11 percent in 2004.

2018 success rate in these units was 11 percent.

If you look at 2019 there are some alarming statistics. With all the new technology, the success rates in those same units jumped all the way up to 12 percent!

Still waiting for 2020 stats to come out.

30-Mar-21
I have an idea many here have only hunted since high technology existed. They have no idea what hunting was like pre 1970 or, thereabouts.

From: APauls
30-Mar-21
It helps for sure. For those that are driven. It hinders for a lot of others. I know some guys that won't hunt unless they're getting pics of their target animals. As if that animal isn't somewhere at all times. Whatever, suit yourself. Cameras capture such small areas of activity. But no doubt, used correctly all new technology has it's advantages, otherwise no one would buy it.

From: Mint
30-Mar-21
Of course how could it not? Go ahead and fool yourself if your ego can't take it but technology makes it easier to hunt now days. No different than hunting no pressure private ground is easier to hunt than pressured public ground. Do what makes you happy. I hunt public land in the catskills with my shotgun for turkey and have a blast. I've taken one turkey with my recurve on public land since i found the roost the night before. I enjoy both but I'm under no illusion that using the shotgun makes it easier.

From: midwest
30-Mar-21
"I’d like to see the OTC hunter & harvest stats trended out for every year going back to Year One."

Have at it. You seem to have the time.

It's been 11-13% archery elk success in Colorado in every year I've pulled up between 2005 and 2019.

I myself believe the archery technology, social media platforms, and the age of instant information have helped more people get into the woods. But statistics show they haven't really increased success much if any at all and I'm surprised by that.

From: Ollie
30-Mar-21
Good hunters use technology as an enhancement, not as a crutch. They will still be successful without the gadgets and gizmos. The new age Hunter tends to be lost without their high tech stuff. Their success will be much less without the tech as their woodsman skills are so reliant on tech gadgets. I also think many would lose interest and drop out without their cell phone apps, wireless trail cameras, etc.

From: BigEight
30-Mar-21
I do like hanging cams and getting pictures of any deer. I also know that they don't even begin to tell the entire story. Shot my best buck to date this year on a night I was out to get him specifically. The cameras let me know he was in the area but I ended up hunting a spot I only had a picture of him once all year. Like APauls said, they don't just vanish. I put myself between bedding and food and sealed the deal.

From: Jethro
30-Mar-21
"Those are crazy stats Midwest. Hard to argue with numbers."

SBH, read the post directly after yours. Some guys have no trouble at all arguing numbers.

From: BigEight
30-Mar-21
I love my hunting background. I used to go out with some old hand me down bow, no rangefinder and blue jeans because I didn't know any better. No GPS, no cams, no cellphones. I was born in the early 80's so by the time I got to my 20's the technology took off and then I had it all. The more successful I am I start to look for new challenges and start phasing out the technology and change my tactics which include hunting from the ground and going more traditional with the gear. I love the old school way but I would be lying to myself if I said technology didn't make me a better hunter over the years.

From: Bou'bound
30-Mar-21
"There’s no doubt technology makes it easier to find whatever it is you’re hunting. However, all the technology in the world won’t help you consistently execute the shot under the intense adrenaline overload when the moment of truth arrives."

True on any given encounter, but if it's easier to find what you are hunting = more opportunities to kill what you found = greater success even if only driven by the sheer number of chances one gets to execute under pressure.

From: elkmtngear
30-Mar-21
Happy for Technology, due to having 80 percent letoff, as opposed to the 50 percent I had 20 or 30 years ago...it helps me at my age.

That being said, I still shoot the same way I did way back then. So for me, that is really all that has changed.

From: Kurt
30-Mar-21
I bought my first laser rangefinder in 1996. I just looked at a bit of personal data...had 24 P&Y entries prior to the LRF, and around 20 since. Shot my first Colorado eight species pre-rangefinder and my second was finished after the I got the LRF. All were with fingers, feathers and fixed pins.

Technology is nice, I like it and use it (not trail cameras)...but it personally has not increased my success rate. Neither has a mechanical release, a dialing bow sight, carbon arrows, mechanical broadheads or vanes....but I use them all today. I also like my iPhone, InReach, and aluminum F150. Times change, so does equipment.

To be a successful hunter you still have to have time, drive, determination, a bit of skill and some luck. Go hunt hard and have some luck this year!

From: Ambush
30-Mar-21
If we didn't have evolving technology, we couldn't enjoy the virtue signaling posts from the detractors. I bet they only fish with a cut willow, sinew and a bone hook. But then using bait.....

I get a kick out of people that only bemoan technology in the very narrow field of their chosen hobby. Do they really think that no one else can enjoy a sport as deeply as them using a different approach? You shooting a 3" group at fifty yards with your round ball gives you a "better" sense of satisfaction than the guy who meticulously loads and shoots to hit a thousand yard gong?

Can I and have I killed animals with a compound that I wouldn't have with a stick bow? Of course! But are you a better person with more "woodsman ship" or bush craft? I really doubt it.

From: BigEight
30-Mar-21
Rick, I was told that was a no-no! A true traditionalist would go loin cloth or even birthday suit!

From: Ron Niziolek
30-Mar-21
"Strip away technology and those that are killers are still going to be killers. They have the passion, drive, and determination to become proficient with whatever weapon is in their hands. "

Nicely said Wyobullshooter!

30-Mar-21
“True on any given encounter, but if it's easier to find what you are hunting = more opportunities to kill what you found = greater success even if only driven by the sheer number of chances one gets to execute under pressure.”

Archery success rates, at least in the west, say otherwise.

From: Lost Arra
30-Mar-21
Since there is no practice or "skill" requirement in archery hunting regulations, technology like range finders, sight pins and releases probably reduces wounding.

30-Mar-21
Ron, you’re a perfect example. I distinctly remember a certain someone whose “release “ was a leather tab held between the teeth. ;-)

From: Will tell
30-Mar-21
Try hunting with Primitive equipment, self bow, stone points off the ground and you'll know the answer.

From: Airborne
30-Mar-21
Out here in the West with growing human populations and limited winter habitat we have some hard choices to make. If Western residents want to increase hunting opportunity then our methods of take and success rates will have to decrease. If we knew how to increase our animal populations we would have already done this so adjusting how we hunt is the 'low hanging fruit'.

Here in Utah we could hunt general mule deer OTC with 3 easy fixes:

1. All archery hunters must pull back their bowstrings using fingers, no release aids 2. All firearm and muzzleloading hunts will now be flint lock open sight patched round ball 3. Archery season dates stay the same, we set 3, 10-day flintlock seasons from late September to late October to ease crowding

That's all you would need and all deer tags go back to OTC where you hunt every year, no more sitting on the sidelines and we kill the same # of bucks. Yes this is a wild a$$ concept and maybe I am wrong but waiting on the sidelines sucks

Problem is we hunters love our gear and tech so this isn't gonna happen

From: GF
30-Mar-21
“ Good hunters make best use of the available info, simple as that.”

So a guy who sets off into a familiar drainage for the first time in almost a year, hikes up the hill, finds a herd and kills an Elk at 15 yards by knowing how to surf the thermals and be a Sneaky SOB is not as good a hunter as a guy who has had cameras on sixteen different waterholes that he found on some software app, and then connects by calling in some raghorn to 77.3 lasered yards??

From: APauls
30-Mar-21
To be fair, it's probably been a solid 6 months since our last "Woodmanship is gone/doomed" thread. Lack of fixed/mech debates may be to blame.

From: GF
30-Mar-21
ROFL, Adam....

From: Rob in VT
30-Mar-21
Have you ever wondered if quality animals have always been taken, but we just didn’t know because there was no internet or cellular networks back then? If you didn’t live near the person taking the animal you just wouldn’t know.

From: bowhunt
30-Mar-21
There has been ONE thing that has really increased my success on filling my tags over the last 25 years. That is knowledge of the animals I hunt.

I didn't start hunting until I got a drivers license. I had no one to teach me anything. I didn't even know there was an archery season at the time, so I started with an old bolt action rifle my grandpa gave me. I had very little success. I don't even think I ever saw a blacktail buck the first 3 years I hunted. The fourth year I saw one. My buddy and I decided we needed to spend a lot more time up in the cascade mountains to figure these Blacktail deer out. After my 4th rifle season we started going up on the weekends to hike around and learn more about the area and animals. On a weekend in the middle of november we ran up there and it was unreal. While hiking around scouting we had snuck up within 40 yards of two different giant bucks. Wow That time of year is crazy! Bucks like that were never seen by us during day light out hunting, maybe only at night driving back to camp. Later that day we ran into a guy in camo. He said he was deer hunting! It was bow season, wich we didn't even know existed. The next monday we were at the bowshop shooting bows. The shop owner was super nice, and let us put the bows on lay away, but still come shoot at the shop in leagues until we paid them off. We would shoot at the shop or the outdoor range nearby almost daily. The weekends were spent on up in the mountains trying to figure these sneaky blacktail bucks out.

We went from shooting rifles to bows around 20 years ago, and never looked back. Both of us are very successful at filling the tags we get from the time we made the switch.

The number one reason success went up for us was learning more about the animals we hunt, nothing to do with the weapon or gizomos we hunt with.

From: sitO
30-Mar-21
You can't include baiting into the "technology" part of the equation, nor could you consider it hunting by any means.

There's no way to train an animal to come by a trail camera everyday, or a range finder, or OnX, or...but bait, well yea it's for those with zero skills.

From: LKH
30-Mar-21
Go research Oregons pre compound success rate versus what happened after compounds and sights showed on the scene.

There is little doubt that technology accounts for much of todays success.

Hell, just outlaw treestands and popup blinds and many of you wouldn't kill nearly as many big bucks.

From: bowhunt
30-Mar-21
LKH

I could only find information back to 2004

It sounds like you know the answer, what were the success rates pre compound?

Also the question was about technology increasing and, if success rates go up as technology gets better. It seemed as though the question was technology used by hunters in general. I didn't see long bow versus recurve, or long bow versus compound mentioned. I posted info from a period of 16 years of known information. There was no specified period in history in the question.

Then I talked about my own personal experiences. I switched from a gun with a 3 power scope to a bow when I was around 20 years old. The weapon/technology wasn't the reason for my own personal increase in success. It was for sure at the same time i made the commitment to learn about the animals I'm hunting and the areas I hunt them in that led to more success.

I'm not saying I can shoot a a group with a longbow as good as my compound, that wasn't the question asked.

From: LKH
30-Mar-21
I lived there 82-85 as an NROTC instructor at OSU. At that time success for trad hunters was about 8%. The last I heard it was over 25 for archery and about equal to guns (due to the longer seasons). Was a lot of archery vs gun hard feelings going around. Archery lost a lot for a while,

From: Treeline
30-Mar-21
Technology advances have certainly helped to some degree but success statistics across the board from many sources for many species don’t show major increases in success over the years.

I think a lot of folks get wrapped around the wheel with technology and have to have the latest gadget or bow on the market. They spend a lot of time figuring the new shiny thing and looking at the next gadget that will “guarantee them a 400” bull” rather than just hunting.

All those gadgets just get in the way!

I still have no idea how anyone ever kills anything with one of those contraptions with sights that break or move, wheels to get out of whack, extra strings to fly off those wheels, releases to break or lose, etc, etc!!!

Just keep it simple and go kill stuff.

From: bowhunt
30-Mar-21
2004 It was 11 percent 2018 It was 11 percent 2019 It was 12 percent

Both per ODFW statistics i looked up on their website today and can link all 3 reports if you would like.

So your going off memory, and it was AROUND 8 percent for trad only.

Is AROUND an 8 percent success rate pretty dang close to an 11 percent success rate?

30-Mar-21
The whitetail herd is so much larger today that probably has had an impact on success rates as well?

From: bowhunt
30-Mar-21
Treeline and Wyobullshooter kind of made the point I was trying to convey in different wording.

Anyone I have known, or even read about on forums such as this that year in and year out fills tags seem to have a few traits in common.

They do not quit, and they have a pretty good knowledge of animal behaviors.

The weapon they choose is a pretty small part of the equation. Determination and knowledge is a big part of being a consistently successful hunter.

Most of the guys I meet that are always chasing the newest cool gadget don't fill many tags. They think it will be a shortcut to success. They see that as a shortcut to knowledge and dedication.

Success rates have remained fairly flat, a small group of the same people fill a large percentage of the tags, you can probably take whatever piece of "technology" away from them you want, and those same guys will still go figure out how to keep filling their tags.

30-Mar-21
I have found the new technology quite humbling . I had twelve bucks on my trail camera last fall. It is interesting to note I have seldom hunted the place I hang my camera. I have noticed a trend. Almost anyone who has taken the time to get proficient with the hunting tool at hand can take an animal on opening day. Those who have spent a lot of time scouting will take the loin's share. After opening day things shift. The person who attempts to stay scent free and thinks of how he or she gets to the hunting spot tend to be successful as the season progresses. I seem to fall in the third group. I keep hunting as long as the season is on. I hunt different places and enjoy the time in the woods. I may be in a different spot every day . Technology tells us the deer are out there and also tells how far they are away but technology does not make us better. Only hard work and persistence do that.

From: elkmtngear
30-Mar-21
"Just keep it simple and go kill stuff".

Words to live by, indeed!

From: Jeff Durnell
30-Mar-21
"If the technology was ALL taken away, well, would the success be the same nowadays?"

Are you kidding? No. Of course not. But it's entertaining to watch folks try to convince people otherwise. Why do you suppose someone would do that?

Spend the year shunning all archery and bowhunting modern technology, hunt on the ground (no man made blind of course) with a primitive wooden selfbow and arrows, and you'll soon realize whether there's a difference.

From: ohiohunter
30-Mar-21
Are Colorado harvest reports still based on random samples? If so, how accurate can they be? Besides, whitetail are the most pursed NA game that (mostly) require harvest reporting. What are the stats on some Midwestern states? I also think there’s far more tech related harvest on deer than there will ever be for elk. Not only are you competing against the elements more for elk, but most elk hunting happens on public ground where you have to complete with other hunters. Whitetail however are mostly hunted on private land ambush style. Way more new hunters are cutting their teeth on deer than elk.

Where I grew up hunting not a ton of people bow hunted, then a bass pro opened and seemed like the flood gates opened. Everyone and their brother was hunting and it definitely made gaining permission more difficult. Lots of new faces showed up at our local club of which was relatively stagnant of new members for years prior.

From: Grey Ghost
30-Mar-21
I think there's more skill involved in patterning game with my eyes, rather than using technology.

But I'm just a retard who eats crayons.

Matt

30-Mar-21
Do some actually truly believe technology has not made killing animals easier? I mean.. really?

From: Grey Ghost
30-Mar-21
Game cameras are the hunting version of Viagra. Accept it.

Matt

From: ohiohunter
30-Mar-21
I guess if you negate the premise your “skill” level goes up?

Fiber sights, improved releases, dropping rests, in-line muzzleloaders, sabots, factory precision ammo, temp stable powders, non hydrophilic powder, Broadheads.. let’s see some 80’s bh’s!, carbon shafts, faster bows, apparel, vanes, tree stands... every aspect of the sport is dramatically touched in some way.

30-Mar-21
Lots of guys seem to think every hunter is playing the same deck. And, in a way, I guess we are as bow hunters.

It’s short range equipment. The averages for distance of kills is very short. I’m guessing 25 yards or less For all species country wide. What part of that is technology?

Hunters who want to kill, do just that. It’s been that way for ever. No matter technology.

Old school bow hunters who shot trad bows were way better on average then the average trad guy today. Because that’s all they had!!!!! So, If opportunity was as prevalent as today, they’d killed as much game statistically as we are today. With the average shot distances bow hunters kill at. Don’t kid yourself with anything but that reality.

Technology has only helped the dedicated bow Hunter looking to be more efficient. Technology has done little for the average rifle hunter as well. Because shooting those 750 yard gongs doesn’t replicate anything hunting.

That’s my opinion based on assumption. But, it’s assumption that does have bowsite backing if my memory is correct.

From: Lawdy
30-Mar-21
High tech is legal for everyone. I choose not to use it and have always used a longbow and wood arrows because I like them. Cameras are a pain in the butt as I like to scout and do so year round. I do like a ghillie because I only ground hunt, wear mostly wool because it is quiet and warm, and use flintlocks. At almost 75, I can legally use a crossbow but my problem is that how I kill is more important to me than if I kill, plus, I am pretty sure I was born in the wrong century or reincarnation is real.

30-Mar-21
Rick,

A lot of old time farmers will tell you how it was rare to even see a deer, now they are a nuisance. That’s been my experience as well.

From: Grey Ghost
30-Mar-21
KS doesn't represent the whole country, Frank.

30-Mar-21
It helps. But not as much as some would have you believe.

There's a lot of guys out there that have all the best gear and don't kill shit. I mean, look at me...

From: Ermine
30-Mar-21
Technology doesn’t make people good Bowhunter’s. You can have fancy gear and your onx but give it a few days on the mtn and most will quit.

You can have a fancy bow but doesn’t mean your not gonna get buck fever and make the shot

From: midwest
30-Mar-21
When I started bowhunting in '83, you got 1 deer tag, weapon specific, either shotgun or bow. We had a bow season that ran from October until the gun season in early December. If you got a gun tag, you had to draw for an either sex tag. Otherwise it was buck only.

Now we have bow season, 2 different muzzy seasons, landowner tags, party hunting, straight wall rifle cartridges are legal during the regular gun season, late season, special seasons for parks and city limits, and on and on. I can get 2 either sex tags and literally as many antlerless tags as I want if I jump around to different counties, park hunts, etc.

Yeah, things have changed in the midwest in the last 30 plus years.

From: ohiohunter
30-Mar-21
I’m in the same boat as Ike, with my new lightweight alloy oar. I drilled holes in the paddle to make it lighter.

Western hunting is far more physically demanding than eastern hunting. It’s hard to compare apples n eggs. My dad can hunt eastern whitetails all day, but he wouldn’t leave camp in the mountains.

From: Ambush
30-Mar-21
There's guys (and a few on here) that hunt with stick bows and not many gadgets and they consistently kill more than 95% of us tech advanced hunters, year after year after year. I truly believe they have some innate, inborn drive that makes them that way. If they wanted to kill a deer with a rock, they would do what it took to succeed and be happy with a very limited kill rate. It's the challenge.

Then we have a few that don't kill squat and they very likely wouldn't kill squat with all the tech advances available in archery. But at least with low tech they can tell you that their meager success is more meaningful.

There's a few guys on BS in both the tech and non-tech camps that I really admire. Ok, a couple are more like gods. But it's definitely the Indian not the bows.

30-Mar-21
Matt,

Same in OH where I grew up. Never saw a deer in the Metro Park I ran distance in, they had to cull deer some time back because of damage and collisions. Herd estimates 40 years ago were a lot less than now.

From: GF
30-Mar-21
“ Is AROUND an 8 percent success rate pretty dang close to an 11 percent success rate?”

Math much??

11-8 = 3; 3/8 = 38%

If you don’t have the sense to think that 40% is a big difference, then you can just start sending me 40% of your paycheck. I promise to spend it all on bowhunting.

“I also think there’s far more tech related harvest on deer than there will ever be for elk. Not only are you competing against the elements more for elk, but most elk hunting happens on public ground where you have to complete with other hunters. ”

So if the Tech has caused/contributed to a 44% increase in tags sold in the CO Elk season, that’s not going to affect success rates??

And you don’t think that adding about 50% to arrow velocity and layering on laser rangefinders and accuracy enhancers like high-let-off and releases has any effect on success out west?

Back to the math...

If you triple a hunter’s effective range (say 60 yards vs 20), you multiply the size of his killing field by 9. If you give him a 100 yard effective range, you multiply it by 25.

Math much?

The Tech Apologists will tell you that a “Real Killer” will “get it done” no matter what.

OOOOOOOOKAY, so what about the OTHER 90%-95%???

JMO, if all those Real Killers are gonna gitterdone no matter what, it’s not too much to ask them to use the equipment for which the season was intended, is it?

After all, if a total loser like me isn’t afraid to bet his tag on a Stickbow, it shouldn’t intimidate a Total Badass, should it???

FTR, I don’t give a rip what people use on private land in deer-burdened whitetail states. So long as they kill enough does to keep the herds in check, that’s up to them. Just leave the Public Land Peons like me a little room to work, eh?

And FWIW, please recall that a guy with a 60-yard weapon takes up NINE TIMES the space of a guy with a 20-yard weapon.....

From: bowhunt
31-Mar-21
Hey GF

I’m pretty decent at math!

I put up actual statistics from specific years from the ODFW website.

The other member posted what he THOUGHT HE REMEMBERED the average success rates Over a three year period nearly 40 years ago were.

So when you take my actual statistics of 11 percent and subtract his guess of “around 8 percent” you get a difference of “AROUND” a 3 percent difference in success between compounds and trad in this state from the 1980 tradbow technology to the 2018 technology.

what if his “AROUND 8” Percent success rate was actually 10 percent. Then there would be a 1 percent difference.

Also, I see you posting how easy compounds are to shoot. Your probably a really great compound bow salesmen. Just imagine as a bow sales guy if you told a customer you have this new wheely bow contraption. Anyone can easily shoot it, and it makes hunting really easy. THEN YOU TELL HIM HIS SUCCESS RATE SHOULD GO UP AROUND 3 PERCENT :)

From: GF
31-Mar-21
“ When what if his ‘AROUND 8’ Percent success rate was actually 10 percent. Then there would be a 1 percent difference.”

No, that would be a TEN percent difference. 3/8 is 38%, 1/10 is 10%; that’s 75% less, but it’s still 10% more... and the Average American still has one testicle.

From: bowhunt
31-Mar-21
One more mind boggling thought for you GF!

We were discussing elk success rates in Oregon early 1980s versus 2018

How many more guys do you think used calls for elk in 2018 versus in 1981?

Didn’t Larry Jones make the first commercially available elk call around 1983?

I wonder if that could have had any role in the increase of maybe 3 percent between 1980 and 2018 success rates?

From: GF
31-Mar-21
When Larry Jones released the first commercially available Elk call, people were calling in bulls by blowing on spent rifle cartridges and by beeping the horns of VW beetles.

But OK, I will add calls to the list of technological advancements if you prefer....

From: midwest
31-Mar-21
+1 Ambush. The only way some on here can increase their success is by wanting to somehow lower everyone else's.

31-Mar-21
On a 3D range most compound guys are much more accurate at 48 yards than the stickbow shooters. Does that make killing an elk or caribou at 56 yards easier for the compound bow shooter? By the way, many elk, caribou and antelope are killed at 50+ yards with a compound bow.

From: Jethro
31-Mar-21
GF, your math is incorrect. There is no way that 3% = 38%. The difference between a success rate of 11% and 8% is 3%. Not 38%.

If 1 season 11 out of every 100 hunters are successful, then success rate is 11%. If another year 8 out of every 100 hunters are successful, then success rate is 8%. The difference between the two seasons is 3 less hunters out of every 100 were successful. Resulting in a success rate change of 3%.

From: TEmbry
31-Mar-21
So who won now that they are all laying on the table?

From: GF
31-Mar-21
Math wins. Every time.

And FWIW.... When Larry Jones released the first commercially available Elk call, people were calling in bulls by blowing on spent rifle cartridges and by beeping the horns of VW beetles.

But OK, I will add calls to the list of technological advancements if you prefer....

31-Mar-21
cameras don't make deer show up, they just tell you what showed up and when...scouting is still required...its not magic.

From: ohiohunter
31-Mar-21
Dick, same thing can be said about every piece of equipment. My new undies ain’t gonna put a booner on my wall, but they could put a cougar in my bed!!!

From: Lawdy
31-Mar-21
A former teaching colleague of mine hunts with a crew of guys in the late bow season. They do small drives and spend all day in the woods for the week after gun season. All use compounds, radios, and a couple carry crossbows. In all the years they have hunted as a group, they have killed only one deer during that week, a button buck. They have a great time and all spend the week at two hunting camps. Deer are very scarce up here, so I don’t think high tech is a big factor. I have a friend who is a lone hunter like myself who hunted this past season with a rifle and never set eyes on a deer. He is a tracker and spent the entire season trying to catch up to a lone, big buck, his first season never seeing a deer, and only second season not killing a big buck since he was 14. He is 74. The biggest challenge up here is actually seeing a deer, and not even heat seeking arrows will help with that.

31-Mar-21
You still need skill. Otherwise the success rate would be 100%

From: Lost Arra
31-Mar-21

Lost Arra's Link
Sorry guys but calculating percent change GF is correct. Same math as Wyoming reducing NR tags from 16% to 10% which is a 37% reduction in tags going to NR. Plug in your numbers in the link.

From: Shawn
31-Mar-21
People can say what they want but trail cameras and ecsp. the new cellular ones have had a huge effect on guys success. Some guys are running 30, 40 or more cameras. Take the cameras away from a lot of these guys and I believe success goes down, actually quite a bit. Sorry but when someone has 30 cameras on a 100 acres, they can pattern deer pretty easily. I myself don't use them, I tried them for a bit and thought they gave me an unfair advantage. Shawn

From: bowhunt
31-Mar-21
I simply stated success rates went up 3%.

I guess both of us are technically correct.

I don’t think the way I stated the numbers was misleading.

We are speaking of statistics that are percentages. 8% versus 11%.

I don’t think you would find many when discussing hunting success rates would be confused by the way I described the statistics. If I told you success rates last year were 8%, and went up 3% most would probably guess the new number was 11% in context of this conversation. Kind of a nothing burger in most people’s minds I would guess.

Tell the person success rates went up 40%, they would probably be trying to figure out what the heck changed from last year and it’s a giant increase.

I think I stated the stats in a way anyone reading this would understand.

From: ohiohunter
31-Mar-21
Define skill? Is releasing a string driven shaft accurately enough to hit a basketball skill?? What skill is involved when a guide drops you off at a stand with your crossbow over a bear barrel?

From: GF
31-Mar-21
Glad I don’t have to convince the Finance dept and all of my Stats professors they were wrong....

I don’t tell my mechanic how to fix my car. I don’t tell my plumber how to run pipe. I run numbers for a living.

From: APauls
31-Mar-21
I'll give you a stat. 100%.

The number of threads where GF posts 3 times or more that eventually turn into pissing matches. Somehow or another, it just happens. Like a bug to a lightbulb.

31-Mar-21
I think GF sees a greater picture than most. Many here have a box blind, eastern whitetail mentality, and that is all they see.

From: TD
31-Mar-21
WRT technology.... yeah, I'd have to say archery is "easier" these days. Some darn fine equipment being built right now in comparison to some of the crap they used to make. Amazing really. And I do believe there are more bowhunters these days do to it being easier.... to a degree.

But is it easier than a rifle? That's old tech for the most part.... in many ways. Although they do have the 1000 yard guns, that's still fairly niche from what I see, but then I'm not around it much anymore. When I gun hunted I shot a LOT, started hand loading at 14 or 15, was pretty confident out to 400-500 yards in the right conditions. Literally hadn't missed a shot on game in many many years. If I could see it I could kill it. Great deal easier than sharp sticks, any way you slice it. It got to be as exciting as tipping over tin cans, remote control, automatic. But.... first time full draw on an animal flipped that switch like nothing else, that heart pounding excitement, most fun ever with my clothes on. Now that's why I hunt with a bow. I hunt for that. Others can hunt for their own reasons.... isn't that cool....

I think a good deal of bowhunters have come from the rifle group. To them it sure isn't "easier" any way you slice it. Nothing wrong with folks finding the level they are comfortable at. Or going outside that comfort range when they want more challenge. Well, if not for ego or envy anyway.....

A person can pretty much chose what level they want to play at, even with archery gear. Literally. So why the animosity when someone else kills a great animal or more animals or whatever because in YOUR opinion they did it "easier"? Are you really "competing" against them? Maybe a different sport is in order.....

The greatest effect I've seen by far WRT technology isn't directly in the equipment used..... it's in the information available at your fingertips..... daily contact with literally hundreds of the most talented and dedicated hunters in the world.... not just down at Joe Bob's Sporting Goods or an article in Field & Stream. You can get the right directions from those who have done it, who are dedicated to it. And often encourage folks to get out there and do it who had no idea where to even begin years ago.

Couple that and being at a point in human development where we are at the height of ability to economically and quickly travel (more tech) and much greater recreational time to pursue one's passions with more disposable income..... yeah, you're gonna have folks from across the country and around the world putting in for (fill in the blank) tags.

I think that "tech" has far more impact on the sport than this years fastest, smoothest, most accurate bows being faster, smoother and more accurate than last years.

Now cell phones and trail cams....... that's different..... heheheheh.....

31-Mar-21
Heck of a post TD!

From: ohiohunter
31-Mar-21
Agreed, the transfer of knowledge has put people years ahead of the curve had they been left on their own. Think about all the easy to draw tags that have gone to less than 50% right quick thanks to the WWW.

Adam LOL... most accurate stat yet

From: GF
31-Mar-21
“ Are you really ‘competing’ against them?”

Point creep in Elk states would certainly suggest that that is the case. The 44% increase in total CO archery tags (see Midwest’s post above, from the 30th) would certainly suggest it is so.

From: pav
31-Mar-21
Yawn...

From: ohiohunter
31-Mar-21
Published 02/2017: "Mike Barnabi discussed in Columbus Monthly some theories about this trend affecting Ohio whitetail hunting. He believes one factor is an exploding coyote population that has lead to increased fawn kills across the state. Another, is the shift from gun hunting to archery hunting over the last 25 years. As recent as the early 1990's, the week long gun season accounted for 90% of Ohio whitetails taken. Now, bowhunters and crossbow hunters account for the majority of deer harvested in the buckeye state during a four month long season."

From: Bake
31-Mar-21

From: kadbow
31-Mar-21
When I started hunting as a kid I had k-mart leather boots, cotton long Johns, blue jeans, a cotton hoodie over several other layers of cotton and some cotton gloves with a high tech synthetic hat. I remember my dad having to make a fire on several occasions to warm me up and dry me out. Clothing advances alone have made a difference in success.

From: t-roy
31-Mar-21
GF DOES give it 110%, though!....Can you get writer’s cramp from typing??

From: Ambush
31-Mar-21
^^^ He might'a got a brain cramp from over thinking too?

From: Ermine
31-Mar-21
Technology doesn’t make people good Bowhunter’s. You can have fancy gear and your onx but give it a few days on the mtn and most will quit.

You can have a fancy bow but doesn’t mean your not gonna get buck fever and make the shot

From: TD
31-Mar-21
Tiger Woods could beat me on a golf course using an old boot.

But as good as he is, I'm pretty sure he uses the best available gear ever developed for the game, within the rules of course.... kinda like Bill Belichick.... He could try it and say he beat em all with wood shafts...... but, no likely not. Not his goal, and the man seems to be all about goals.

Some born with a gift, others work tirelessly to develop it.... and some rare few are both. Come to believe while I may be considered "special".... rare I'm not.

Tiger could probably work on some other skills in his life though..... not sure I could beat him on that either..... maybe driving....

From: Tonybear61
31-Mar-21
My technology is better by nicer clothing, better optics, a vehicle that runs without issues, can check in for work while hunting part of the day. My camp stove is smaller, thermos keeps stuff hot, these are all beneficial. Oh yeah can use compound, recurve, longbow if I want cause everything else is taken care of.

From: midwest
31-Mar-21
LOL @ TD!

From: ohiohunter
31-Mar-21
As usual the dialogue has drifted from the op. Yet the same theme is relentlessly repeated, no one has said technology makes a person a “better” hunter. The podcast was about the direct correlation of technological advances and success, thus leading to the deterioration of woodsmanship. As mentioned those who use tech as a crutch usually lack woodsmanship, equally those with woodsmanship skills do not have to be devoid of technology.

Before all the gadgets woodsmanship played a large role in success, today not so much. For most here hunting is a lifestyle, but there are more weekend warriors now than you can shake a stick at... and the numbers say they kill. I also think it leaves a sour taste in most mouths when success is measured in inches... and a 30yr vet’s harvest is smaller than some city slicker kill from their one weekend per year hunt. For instance Milo Hanson... though not a city boy, certainly not a hunter by most standards.

One mans failure may be another mans success

From: SaddleReaper
31-Mar-21
8% ------> 11% = 3% difference - obviously,

8% ------> 11% = 37.5% change - WRT the initial 8%

If discussing the pool of successful bowhunters only (8 or 11% of them), the increase (over a period of time) of successful bowhunters, WITH RESPECT TO the original 8% being successful, is 37.5% change or increase....

If discussing the pool of all bowhunters, successful or not, and using the entire pool as the basis of measurement of overall change, then the % difference is very low, yes, and as such statistically insignificant?

Does that make sense, guys?

Semantics is important for that 'pissin' match. Which I have no interest in arguing.... GF already beat me up on biomechanics of deer a few months back ha ha :-)

To the OP's question........ I think technology has made many aspects of the overall pursuit and killing of animals "easier" on some level, but with that said, a successful end result still requires a mental/ physical skill set and proficiency level that the best technology cannot replace..... especially with archery tackle. Sending a bullet down range via a trigger squeeze, to the extent of distance within a given shooter's proficiency level, is generally easier by comparison. I still shake with a gun in hand when it's an animal that gets my adrenaline flowing... but its definitely easier. There's been a technological improvement in every piece of gear, tool, or aid for the entire act of what we consider modern day hunting... right down to the clothing materials we wear providing some edge. So where is the "technological advantage" line to be drawn, in order to determine the association of success to skill or technology? In my mind there are no definitive answers to the original question(s) and likely a counter to be had for any hypothetical argument made one way or the other. Gosh I shoulda been a lawyer.... :)

From: Ambush
01-Apr-21
You could get two hundred posts on wool vs cotton vs synthetic underwear on BS.

And the last one hundred posts would be the same four guys that won’t give an inch and figure their last post was the hammer.

01-Apr-21
Any weapon that makes down range accuracy and penetration better, means an easier way to make a kill. You can figure out the rest.

From: SteveD
01-Apr-21
Punt guns I guess were used way back for waterfowl, was it skill or technology for the time/era? Theres your answer. If the hi- technology doesn't make it easier and hence increase success then why the widespread use/ dependance on it?

01-Apr-21
Hard to believe this is even a debate, one has to wonder.

From: 12yards
01-Apr-21
For me, yes, technology and equipment have improved,.......,but age and bodily breakdown has caused my ability to decline at an equal rate, LOL. So I'm no better now than I was as a young buck. In fact, 30 yards has never looked further away in the woods. In other words, I don't know if it's helping me any, but maybe younger hunters.

From: GF
01-Apr-21
“ and as such statistically insignificant?”

You sure you wanna throw down on statistical significance??

LOL

From: pav
01-Apr-21
Being a great archer (fully loaded compound OR bare bones traditional) does NOT make one a capable bowhunter. Shooting skills and predatory skills are completely different talents . Personally, I'd rather be average at both than great at one and poor at the other.

As has already been mentioned, being a great target archer doesn't necessarily translate to accuracy at the moment of truth. Recall an old Realtree video where Olympic gold medalist, Jay Barrs, totally fell apart on a slam dunk shot at a whitetail buck. Guessing Bill Jordan's sponsors outfitted Jay with the latest and greatest available for his Monster Bucks video footage.

Technology is a tool. Used properly, the tool definitely shortens the learning curve. Simply posting on Bowsite is taking advantage of technology. Every one of us on replying to this thread is guilty....some more than others...LOL!

01-Apr-21
Bowsite is not hunting, nobody is guilty.

From: pav
01-Apr-21
Say what you want...I'm a better bowhunter because of Bowsite.

01-Apr-21
Nobody suggested that Bowsite was hunting. What pav said was anyone that comes on Bowsite is taking advantage of technology, which is a fact...as opposed to some that, for some unknown reason, present their opinion as fact. The fact is, Bowsite can damn sure shorten the learning curve on many topics. The trick is knowing who to listen to and who not to.

01-Apr-21
I agree with that point.

01-Apr-21
Prey animals adapt to evolving predators whether they are grizzlies, wolves, coyotes or us hunters. When I hunt lightly pressured prey animals they are easier to figure out than high pressured prey animals.

I believe the deer/elk we hunt today are better at avoiding us than they were 40 years ago. Mostly because other predators (us included) have become more prevalent.

From: RK
01-Apr-21
I'm not sure Charlie. Just because I don't believe there are more predators than there used to be. Is all so cyclical

I think hunters of every era use non existent data to highlight the challenges they face. I think Daniel Boone blamed his successes on whatever he could. To many wolves bears Indians etc

Human nature I think

Being honest I find my successes no different in the last 40 years whether it be deer , elk , bear etc

I

From: ohiohunter
01-Apr-21
Remember when deer didn’t look up?? :-D

04-Apr-21
A lot of good discussion and points on this thread.

Seems like I didn’t explain my thought process correctly, lol.

Take away everything, except the bow and arrow. I’m Not so sure the success would be the same as far as in “ numbers”

Then I got to thinking, Fred Bear, no Kuiu or Sitka, or range finder, or OnX .... he had quite a remarkable run.

From: Treeline
04-Apr-21
Yes Fred Bear certainly did.

Would have to say the best bowhunter of all time was most likely a guy that broke rocks to make his tools. Fed his family and tribe and kept them alive...

From: bowhunt
04-Apr-21
My thinking is along the same line as yours TREESTANDWOLF

Take away the technology, less total hunters. Success rates would probably stay fairly similar.

The guys that know how to kill would figure it out with whatever weapon you give them.

From: thedude
04-Apr-21
Its just another example of pareto distribution. 10-20% get almost all the success. Hopefully we can start management to get more animals on the landacape, but I doubt it because hunters cant agree on anything.

04-Apr-21
bowhunt, thx and this site is filled with those kind of guys.

From: jjs
04-Apr-21
When the change in bowhunting came when the DNR made bowhunting as a management tool with the advancement of technology, just go back to the data of kills along with the technology and you can see the transition spike when the recurve/longbow was taken over. Now include the x-bow and it has been a game changer in bowhunting, stats do not lie.

From: ohiohunter
04-Apr-21
“Killers kill”... killers have in most cases a single tag. So unless killers are poachers this rhetoric is flawed.

04-Apr-21
No, killers cannot all kill the hard way. We were there once and most would not even bow hunt. How soon we forget.

From: Tracker
04-Apr-21
Good hunters still killing most. Know Lots of guys that have more gear than Cabelas and still don't kill sh!T.

05-Apr-21
bowhunt, thx and this site is filled with those kind of guys.

05-Apr-21
A lot of good discussion and points on this thread.

Seems like I didn’t explain my thought process correctly, lol.

Take away everything, except the bow and arrow. I’m Not so sure the success would be the same as far as in “ numbers”

Then I got to thinking, Fred Bear, no Kuiu or Sitka, or range finder, or OnX .... he had quite a remarkable run.

05-Apr-21
Most high scoring P&Y whitetail entered in the book were not taken during Fred Bear's time. Take a look at how many Fred killed!

05-Apr-21
Technology has helped hunters kill easier, and has helped game managers manage.

05-Apr-21
"Most high scoring P&Y whitetail entered in the book were not taken during Fred Bear's time."

they werent farming bucks back in freds time.

05-Apr-21
It is very easy to kill big whitetails today when compared to Fred's time. Multiple reasons why, farming bucks is one of them. Technology, including weapon efficiency is another. Dishonesty is a third, there are others.

From: Ambush
05-Apr-21
And the woods wise, true sportsmen of yesteryear also practiced "if it's brown, it's down" with regard to any bone. With their superior knowledge of their prey, they also knew that a spike was one year old and more tender then the buck with four points per side, meaning he was four years old. And the old school guys knew that shooting does was a sure fire way to ruin hunting for the future. Gone are the days when a true woodsman would study the fur on caterpillars in late summer, so he'd know when the rut would start because a doe's estrous cycle is controlled by fall weather.

I'm almost sixty eight years old and my regulars hunting partners are not much more than half my age. They are savvy, hard working, dedicated, never-say-die, successful hunters. I appreciate these guys for what they are, not their gear or lack thereof.

Whether you are a "true" hunter is in your heart, not in your old woolen mackinaw or your Sitka Stormfront. Not your bow either.

From: Rocky D
05-Apr-21
Last elk killed 65 yards and last mule deer was at 74 yards! Both were ranged with rangefinder and shot with a compound. Neither would have died without the use of technology!

My last whitetail was shot from a climber so how much has technology changed the game? A lot, but this discussion is like many discussions comparing one era against another. It’s apples and oranges, one thing for certain the killers would be the same because of time, energy, and effort put forth by those that are successful! Sweat equity is the great equalizer...

From: GF
05-Apr-21
“ The guys that know how to kill would figure it out with whatever weapon you give them.”

I fully agree. Or whatever gadgets you take away.

And if Bowhunting could be re-booted as a laser-free, fingers on the string, minimum holding weight equal to the minimum legal draw weight, the “killers” would suck it up and work it out while the screw-ups and the opportunists would give it up and stay home until rifle season rolled around. The guys who just love the Hunt would adapt right alongside the “killers”, because the kill was never their #1 priority to begin with.

Everybody wins but the Posers.

And no, I’m not gonna back down from that. If you’re not willing to bet your one tag per year on a bowhunt if the equipment doesn’t give you every advantage that you desire.... yep, you’re a Poser. It has zero to do with how many animals you’ve taken or how many you’ve put into this Book or that; ALL that matters is whether or not you are willing to take that bet.

JMHO. You’re free to be as offended as you want. No skin off my nose.

From: pav
06-Apr-21
GF (yesterday)- "If you’re not willing to bet your one tag per year on a bowhunt if the equipment doesn’t give you every advantage that you desire.... yep, you’re a Poser."

GF (on an earlier thread)- "So far, though… We haven’t managed to close the deal on a bull. They only show up within muzzleloader range when we have bows in our hands, and we only get within archery range when we have ML cow tags."

Out of sheer curiosity, does "Poser" only apply to bowhunters that rifle hunt too...or per your definition of "Poser"...does using a ML to put elk meat in the freezer justify the label "Poser" as well?

Here's a dictionary definition:

Hypocrisy - the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform

...and I always thought the "H" in "JMHO" stood for humble?

06-Apr-21
some hunters seem to be confusing hunters goals with game department goals. hunters goals are individual and are often based on managing a personal experience or goal. game department goals are based on managing an entire herd. their goal is to eliminate a certain percentage of animals every year. for the most part, they don't care about what weapon did it, as long is it gets done. funny part is...the more selective the hunters goal becomes...the more the game departments have to expand opportunity and weapons in order to meet their goal. the goals are not the same and they shouldnt be. the reality is that the more selective hunters get the more expansive game departments are forced to get. its self inflicted.

06-Apr-21
Ya Ricky, like the guys who burn their doe tags. What do they think happens in the future when the herd numbers remain over the state's objective?

From: GF
06-Apr-21
Pav...

If you call yourself a Bowhunter, but you will only take that bet with all of the modern conveniences, you’re just an opportunist cashing in on a better deal.

Same deal with scopes sabots and pelletized “powder” and (in a lot of states now) straight-walled cartridges during “muzzleloader” season and crossbows in Archery.

So yeah, pretty much.

And it’s no big deal unless you have your ego all wrapped around it. There’s no imperative to hunt ML season with a roundball & a smoothbore flintlock out of a pure love of flintlocks.... as long as you USE one if that’s what’s required. In CO, they settled on caplock OR flintlock because both were in use during “settlement times”. Roundball or conical, again, since both had been in use back then, and also because they each have some very significant ballistic limitations, and it’s kind of six of one or a half dozen of the other.

Archery equipment was less rigorously defined because crossbows obviously did NOT fit the description of what any reasonable person would think of as “bow and arrow”, and what WAS archery gear was self-explanatory. After all, that definition hadn’t changed in over 10,000 years.

I don’t get wrapped up in calling myself a Bowhunter; I just prefer hunting with archery gear, and yes, partly because it USED TO BE a lot less crowded than rifle season. And now it’s not.

In most of the West, Archery seasons were created as a Hunter Management tool, rather than a Wildlife Management tool. The idea was to create a low-pressure opportunity; Participation was self-limited because relatively few hunters were willing to assume the limitations imposed by the equipment. First the equipment changed, then the participation level changed. If participation is too high, then the Fair & Reasonable solution is to restrict the equipment until participation falls to the desired level. And sorry to disappoint you, bud, but there is ZERO hypocrisy in that.

06-Apr-21
Excellent perspective GF.

From: ahunter76
06-Apr-21

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
b4 compounds, GPS, Rangefinders, trail cams, feeders, tree stands, releases & I used the same vietnam camo at least 10 years. Yes, todays aids make a difference... I started in 1956, killed my first Deer in 1958 so I've seen & experienced much.. I still "walk" my hunting spots even though I've hunted a couple many years.

From: bowhunt
06-Apr-21
Very interesting...

Through this post and another I learned an important piece of information.

GF and Missouribreaks have killed ZERO bull elk with a bow.

Two posters that jump on every elk post and profess how everyone else should hunt, how they are not real hunters because of technology, etc., etc.

They will argue non stop with guys that literally kill a bull nearly every year putting the knowledgeable hunter down, and trying to build themselves up.

Hopefully most can figure this out, and will listen to the multitude of kind, helpful, and knowledgeable members on bowsite.

Funny how most of the guys that are actually knowledgeable on a subject are kind and helpful too people trying to learn.

The “experts” that don’t know what they are talking about, not so much.

06-Apr-21

From: yellow eye
06-Apr-21
Yes I agree with you treestandwolf woodsmanship or fieldcraft is somewhat lost. It is a personal choice what we do. I use a recurve, compound, black powder, high-power. But each time I go out I usually got to ask myself what am I going to carry. Is it the best tool or the most rewarding tool to use. Next to the Gun safe on my wall is a quote from Aldo Leopold. “There is value in any experience that exercises the ethical restraints collectively called sportsmanship. Our tools for the pursuit of wildlife improve faster than we do and sportsmanship is the voluntary limitation in the use of these armaments. It is aimed to augment the role of skill and shrink the roll of gadgets in the pursuit of wild things.” Whish I knew what year he said that… That sums it up for me but to each his own. I teach fieldcraft to the new guys, (I have been fortunate to have some lately), what’s on the ground, some get it some don’t but at least there exposed to it and know what makes me tick. Having said that got a new compound on the way, but the recurve is shooting great, so which one ....

From: ohiohunter
06-Apr-21
Old school hunting pictures are flat out bad ass.. thanks for sharing Ahunter.

06-Apr-21
For the record, I do not figure myself to be an "expert" on anything, especially hunting related. I share my personal experiences, but many know far more than I do.

From: Supernaut
06-Apr-21
"I personally feel the actual skill of woodsmanship has become a lost art. If the technology was all taken away, well, would the success be the same nowadays?"

This is an interesting question and I've enjoyed reading most of the posts on this thread. Thank you TREESTANDWOLF for starting it.

Here is my take on the two part question posed and my opinion is based solely on what I've seen and experienced in my life. I'm 48 and have been hunting the woods of southwestern PA since I was 12 with compound bows, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and over the past 4 years or so recurves almost exclusively for deer although I do enjoy hunting with my flintlock in our second season.

I don't think that woodsmanship is becoming a lost art. I am passing it on to my son just like my dad passed it on to me and I hope my son will pass it on to his children if he has any (hopefully). There were good hunters when I was a kid and there are good hunters now. I think technology has helped a lot of hunters and ,as mentioned in a few previous posts, resources like Bowsite has shortened learning curves. All the "high tech gear" or information sharing won't make you a better hunter if you don't put it to use the right way when you're in the woods and that is where woodsmanship can make the difference.

As far as technology being taken away and success rates are concerned I guess that depends on what you consider technology. If you're talking about heading into the woods naked and making a bow, arrow, string, stone points, feather fletching etc. I think quite a few of us would be checking out the vegan menu. I would also guess that if you traveled back in time and gave an Indian hunting for food the choice between a center fire rifle and a bow that he would more than likely choose the rifle. Fortunately I nor anyone I know has to hunt and kill to solely provide food for themselves or their families. If I did, my recurve would be left a home. On a personal level, since I made the decision to hunt with a recurve I haven't killed as many deer as I did with my compound so I guess my success rate has gone down. I'm ok with that just like I'm ok with others hunting with whatever weapon they choose. I'm just a hunter and I'll keep hunting because it makes me happy.

From: snag
06-Apr-21
In the “olden days” (40s, 50s, 60s) there was a higher percentage of hunters who hunted for meat. It wasn’t so much about the head gear. Couple that up with rangefinders, game cams, etc and the desire to kill the biggest bull or buck and we started seeing this on social media. Then we also might throw in the fact that the baby boomers are the receiving the largest transfer of wealth this country has seen in inheritance. So some are willing to spend more on guided or ranch style hunts. Lots of factors involved.

06-Apr-21
Another true post.

From: bowhunt
06-Apr-21
Another thing to ponder is Are there really way more guys only concerned with horn size?

Maybe it just feels that way because of social media, or the small group of guys that you are exposed to via technology (internet/cable tv) that are of that mindset.

Most I run into are just happy to fill a tag on any legal animal. Sure, if they waited 15-20 years for a special tag they don't shoot the first spike that steps up on the first day of the hunt.

I also know lots of people that don't shoot spikes, but they are meat hunters. A spike bull or deer doesn't give you that much meat compared to an animal a couple years older. They pass because they have a great track record of shooting older bulls/deer by the time the season ends. A nice 5 point bull isn't something most would consider a "trophy" based of horn size, but will put way more meat in the freezer than a spike. Same can be said for deer, bears and all other animals. Yearlings don't have much meat. 3-4 year old animals generally will have almost double the amount of meat, but still not "trophy" size horns.

Just something to think about.

06-Apr-21
Count me as one who just likes to bow hunt, but also admits my compound is much easier than trad gear.

06-Apr-21
"Archery equipment was less rigorously defined because crossbows obviously did NOT fit the description of what any reasonable person would think of as “bow and arrow”, and what WAS archery gear was self-explanatory. After all, that definition hadn’t changed in over 10,000 years."

in case you werent aware, crossbows have been around since somewhere about the 6th or 4th century bc. they were considered archery gear then and they still are. they actually predated the rifle by thousands of years so if anything, the rifle stock was a copy of the crossbow stock.

http://www.historyofarchery.com/archery-history/history-of-crossbows/

From: ahunter76
06-Apr-21

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
As someone said, in the "old" days it was for meat. Well, maybe. It sure as hell wasn't how big a rack was. In the 25 years I bowhunted b/4 compounds became the craze, it was "trying" to tag a Deer. We didn't care if it was big or little, we just wanted to get a shot & "get a Deer".. That was what the majority of the bowhunters in my circle (Adult mentors). If a guy tagged a Doe He got just as big a congrats as the guy with a spike or forky or whatever. YES, 1 DEER PERIOD in those OLD days & more than once a DOE was TAGGED with that one & only EITHER SEX tag. Taking "any" Deer in those 50s60s put you in your fellow bowhunters "celebrety" catagory for a time.. Remember now, mostly taking up a stand near a trail using natural surroundings to conceal yourself & paying attention to "wind". Wind technology for us back then was a piece of "thread" tied to the top of your bowstring (FACT). Sightings were not from a trail cam but when you jumped a Deer while scouting/walking & remembering that spot. Old scrapes, rubs & natural runways were the things I remember filing mentally. I go into a timber now & see a very slight trail, rarely used & think, thats where the old boy walks. I have tried to pass onto my son (An accomplished archer/bowhunter now) those things that "are" important in scouting & blood trailing as I have with a couple bowhunting G-sons. I often felt my "words" fell on deaf ears with my son until we were on an out of state bowhunt. There was another father/son + 2 other bowhunters in camp. The other boy & my son became camp buddies (near same age-20). Anyway, he had shot a Deer & they couldn't find it. They had looked & looked for hours. They were talking on the porch (I was inside) when I heard my son say, ask my dad to go look. He will & if it's dead, he will find it. That was when I knew my son had paid attention. Long story but I did look, I did find & was very lucky too. BUT, I know a kid with his first Deer that thinks I'm a hero & for what it's worthy, made my kid pretty darn happy too. ALL the aids in the world CAN & Do help but some plain old common woodsmanship helps a ton too. Pass what you have learned onto the others.. These were my mentors, they taught me well (1958, annual week long club members out of state N. Wisconsin bowhunt) All on the ground & little or no camo.. Flannel shirts were common.. These were some of the best days of my life.

From: GF
06-Apr-21
“There is value in any experience that exercises the ethical restraints collectively called sportsmanship. Our tools for the pursuit of wildlife improve faster than we do and sportsmanship is the voluntary limitation in the use of these armaments. It is aimed to augment the role of skill and shrink the role of gadgets in the pursuit of wild things.”

That’s from A Sand County Almanac, which came out in ‘49.

I was 13 or 14 the first time I read it. That’s pretty subversive stuff, you know, so it must’ve warped me in my impressionable youth. That and Hunting With the Bow and Arrow a few years later on...

Here’s a number for ya....

When I was just getting started in Bowhunting, the average was 7 years for a bowhunter to get his first archery deer.

From: Ambush
06-Apr-21
^^^ There's way more deer now, so it's no surprise that more get killed and sooner in the learning curve.

I don't think the technology makes much of a difference in the eastern whitetail woods. But in the west and in the mountains of course it does. I could kill more with a compound than with a long bow. I could kill more with a muzzle loader than a compound. I could kill more with a centerfire than with a muzzle loader.

With that said, I just don't get this need for some guys to have to look down on others to feel good about themselves. Some deep rooted insecurity, I guess.

From: GF
06-Apr-21
“ crossbows obviously did NOT fit the description of what any reasonable person would think of as “bow and arrow”, and what WAS archery gear was self-explanatory”

OK, I’ll concede on your nit-picking distraction. I guess I should have repeated “a bow and arrow” instead of “archery gear”.

POINT being that when states rolled out Archery seasons and specifically excluded crossbows, it was NOT an oversight; it was central to the Bargain.

From: GF
07-Apr-21
“ I just don't get this need for some guys to have to look down on others to feel good about themselves.”

Well for my part, it’s Not About anybody’s feelings, other than feeling TOO DAMN CROWDED.

I don’t care if people hunt with a compound or not; I care about HOW MANY people are hunting Archery season. It’s 100% about crowd control and dirt-simple logic: The equipment brought in the crowds, so the equipment is what needs to be walked back. How far? Far enough to restore a little solitude out there, give the animals the space that they need, and eliminate any talk about reducing OTC tags. The Managers know how many archery tags can be sold every year, and they’ve passed that mark. It’s not a question of IF tags will be limited, but HOW. And I think the original solution works just fine, but that’s because I’m a Conservative, you see.

As one of the regulars on the wall put it, This is Bowhunting; not No Child Left Behind.

From: Ambush
07-Apr-21
^^^ Ok, well there you go, it is all about you. Why didn't you just say that and forego all the sanctimonious bs?

From: Bowhunter
07-Apr-21
There is zero argument that the technology has changed the game in bowhunting in my lifetime. (Killed my first cow in 1993) I have hunted every western state that has elk. How any bowhunter could argue this today blows me away!! It’s also a reason we are losing our general seasons for elk everywhere. Can’t argue with GF, don’t care if he has killed any elk or not he is right.

From: Bowhunter
07-Apr-21
The ability to hold your bow back forever with 80+% let-off...that alone kills a pile of bulls that otherwise would have lived another day

07-Apr-21
"Well for my part, it’s Not About anybody’s feelings, other than feeling TOO DAMN CROWDED. I don’t care if people hunt with a compound or not; I care about HOW MANY people are hunting Archery season. It’s 100% about crowd control..."

there you go. its easy to see that for you this really has nothing to do with the integrity of bowhunting, and everything to do with the number of other hunters you want to share your personal experience with. even as almost every state is experiencing a significant drop in hunter numbers, you dont care as much about technology as you do about preserving your exclusive club...thats sad. reminds me of the guy that sells his house in the city and builds in the country to get away from it all. then complains like hell when someone else does the exact same thing down the road from him.

From: GF
07-Apr-21
“ this really has nothing to do with the integrity of bowhunting, and everything to do with the number of other hunters you want to share your personal experience with. even as almost every state is experiencing a significant drop in hunter numbers, ”

Nope. Not even close. (And don’t get me wrong - I really don’t much care what people do with overabundant whitetails on private property until their actions adversely affect hunters on the adjacent, Public areas.)

#1 - The Elk states have a problem with too much hunting pressure during archery season. Not only are the hunters complaining about it being too crowded, there is evidence that the Elk themselves are unduly stressed and they are frequently being pushed down onto private property early in the season so that they are nowhere to be found on public land when the first rifle season opens up.... and the concern is that that is preventing overall harvest goals from being met. And that is going to trash the landscape.

So what we are talking about here is the FACT that in places like Colorado, they are very seriously considering reducing the number of bowhunters going field every year.

And the question is HOW.

“ you dont care as much about technology as you do about preserving your exclusive club...”

More BS. It’s not and never has been an “exclusive club“. From day one it was WIDE OPEN to ANYONE willing to bet that one tag per year on their ability to fill it (or at least have a fulfilling experience) using archery equipment. You just had to have the cojones to take that bet, or be willing to prioritize solitude over steaks.

But the equipment has changed to such an extent that that self-limiting model is no longer sustainable, and there are more people participating than either the herds or the participants can/will tolerate.

Equipment advances caused the problem, so equipment restrictions are the equitable solution.

“ reminds me of the guy that sells his house in the city and builds in the country to get away from it all. then complains like hell when someone else does the exact same thing down the road from him.”

Must be baseball season… Strike Three.

The NIMBYS here are the compound shooters who whine about point creep and whose blood boils at the thought of Crossbows For Everyone or “100%“ let off compounds.

50 years ago, Archery Elk season was like a bunch of cowboys having a friendly horse race; no real prizes, but open to all comers. Then people started showing up on motorcycles.

From: bowhunt
07-Apr-21
1.US population has gone up nearly 50% since 1980 (Year the compound ruined hunting seasons :) )

2.There is high demand for big game rifle hunts also.

3. At least where I live(Oregon), demand for big game tags is not on a decline.

4. Last report I saw about declining hunting license sales(Outdoor Life Magazine) showed a huge majority of decline was in SMALL GAME LICENSES.

I'm pretty confident the days of high quality unlimited OTC tags on public land are a thing of the past no matter what weapon restrictions are placed on the different tags.

There is simply TONS of people that love being in the outdoors hunting.

07-Apr-21
"I don’t care if people hunt with a compound or not; I care about HOW MANY people are hunting Archery season. It’s 100% about crowd control..."

your words, not mine. pretty hard to walk that one back. seems that everyone is welcome in your club as long as it's not in your public land, chasing your preferred game, and with any other type of archery equipment than what you like.

you didn't even get to strike 3 dude. you hit the first fastball into triple play.

From: APauls
07-Apr-21
Wish I had something to add to this _____show. Bottom line is generally speaking you will always find outspoken people who wish the world is and would stay exactly they way it was when they were in the prime of their life. They will use whatever justification necessary to try and turn things back into "the Good Old days."

Well, those days are gone. The world is, always has, and always will be forever changing. Those that adapt thrive. That includes mentally. I find many "seniors" that are bent out of shape the best hunting was 30 years ago, it will never be like then. I also know many seniors that say the best hunting is today, it's never been as good as today. Lends me to think a lot of it has to do with mindset.

07-Apr-21
all this hair on fire stuff about bowhunting getting too easy because of technology sure doesn't seem to show in the colorado archery elk harvest numbers.

2015 - 5746

2016 - 5116

2017 - 5507

2018 - 5730

2019 - 5915

2020 - 5366

07-Apr-21
I think a lot has to do with where people are hunting ( state laws, game populations, etc) and what species one is hunting and discussing. It may or may not be the heyday of hunting, depending on the above.

From: Rocky D
07-Apr-21
Ricky, I am a compound user who has killed several animals with a recurve. Go get yourself a stick bow and give it a shot or just lay your rangefinder down and take the sights off and see how easy it is!

07-Apr-21
Rocky D...ive only hunted with a recurve with no sights for decades.

From: midwest
07-Apr-21
Agree with APauls. If you're so unhappy with the current bowhunting situation, you should definitely find another hobby. I, for one, can't believe how good we have it these days even after 37 years of playing the game. We have so many hunting opportunities it's ridiculous. Finding solitude and plenty of game in the bowhunting woods is easy if you have a half ounce of ambition.

From: Airborne
07-Apr-21
For the Western Big Game hunter here are your two options in the long term: 1. More weapon restrictions=Lower harvest rates=More hunting opportunity 2. Current weapon systems=Current harvest rates=More hunter demand (population)=Less hunting opportunity

Pick your poison ladies

From: pav
07-Apr-21

pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
Here's some vintage technology...Bear Whitetail Hunter compound my parents bought for me in 1978. Killed my 1st big game animal with this bow...an Indiana whitetail, taken opening day of my second bow season. (Don't ask how many years it took to kill whitetail #2...LOL!). Compounds were being marketed by at least eight different bow manufacturers by 1974, four years before I owned one. I can't recall a time in my sixty years on this earth when compounds weren't popular for bowhunting? Maybe had I been paying attention back in grade school...

From: Bowhunter
07-Apr-21
Airborne couldn’t have said it any better.

From: ohiohunter
07-Apr-21
More hunt opportunities can be a double edged sword if the G&F put out more tags in a given unit... also some units are thin on public land.

From: Rocky D
07-Apr-21
Ricky, simply do the reverse...

07-Apr-21
"Ricky, simply do the reverse..."

why? i dont have anything to prove. im bow hunting the way i enjoy bow hunting. if someone else wants to make it easier or harder that is of no concern to me. makes no difference to me if the guy in on the next piece is shooting a selfbow or a crossbow. hes allowed the same number of tags i am. thats the point. the game departments set the rules based on what their managment goals are. i work within them in a way i enjoy. if i cant find a way to enjoy it, ill do something else.

From: GF
07-Apr-21
“ all this hair on fire stuff about bowhunting getting too easy because of technology sure doesn't seem to show in the colorado archery elk harvest numbers.”

OK. Now trend that out going back to 1980 and tell me what you get. Make sure you get the licenses sold while you’re at it.

I agree with Airborne... Mostly.

“ More weapon restrictions=Lower harvest rates=More hunting opportunity ”

I’m not at all sure that walking back the technology limit on the archery season would decrease the success rate any… And honestly, I think it would go up, because such a large percentage of today’s Bowhunting population just isn’t going to be willing to take that bet without benefit of a high let-off Compound and a rangefinder.

Harvest TOTAL will decline, of course, but the success RATE would most likely see a noticeable increase as those who are sufficiently hard-core to keep at it with whatever is permitted simply keep on doing what they’ve BEEN doing... but with just a fraction of the disturbance that the Elk are subject to under the present circumstances. Either that, or they’re not as good as they think they are ;)

From: ahunter76
08-Apr-21
Compounds became the craze bigtime in 1974 in my area. I know because I had a shop/lanes with 200 recurves hanging that I could not sell.. Lots of Archery shops & bow manufactures had a tough time adjusting to the change.

08-Apr-21
"OK. Now trend that out going back to 1980 and tell me what you get."

there is a hundred million more people in the united states now than there was in 1980. common sense tells us that some of those additional hundred million are going to be hunters and some of them might even hunt the same public land as you. even so...in many places, we have more game than we had in 1980. a quick check shows that in 2005 colorado had a post hunt elk population of about 258000...in 2019 it was about 292000. they might not all be hanging where you hunt but like you said in your first post, if youre a decent hunter..."you can find 'em." one of my favorite places to hunt back in the 80s is now a subdivision. times change, good hunters adapt to the changes.

From: ELKMAN
08-Apr-21
I would say that the single biggest factor contributing so many "Quality" animals being killed now is the massive influx of guys willingness to wound several to get their picture with "one"... 60-70- 80-90 100- yard shots are now the norm, and certainly not hard to get. (Or make for that matter) It takes ZERO skill to get within 80 yards of animals during an archery season. I would say much more to do with the modern "EGO", than the modern equipment... JMO

08-Apr-21
What ELKMAN states is quite true.

From: Treeline
08-Apr-21
Probably more of what ELKMAN describes happening than anybody would want to know about.

Just plain bad sportsmanship.

Would say it’s probably even more prevalent in the “Long Range Rifle” craze that has taken off in recent years than archery, but still a problem.

Then, there are some guys that are just plain lucky! Or maybe blessed...

From: GF
08-Apr-21
“ there is a hundred million more people in the united states now than there was in 1980. ”

Yep. And chocolate tastes better than paint.

One minute you’re telling me that game departments are desperately trying to recruit more numbers as license sales decline, and the next minute you tell me that it’s only natural that the hunting population should be on the upswing because we have more people. So which is it?

In Colorado, there are units with waiting lists for tags that run decades deep. They aren’t having ANY trouble selling tags.

Now it appears that a season which was never expected to have any appreciable effect on the size of the herd... is adversely affecting the ability of rifle hunters (the primary management tool) to meet the harvest requirements.

“ times change, good hunters adapt to the changes.”

So do good game departments.

From: bowhunt
08-Apr-21
"It’s 100% about crowd control and dirt-simple logic: The equipment brought in the crowds, so the equipment is what needs to be walked back. How far? Far enough to restore a little solitude out there, give the animals the space that they need, and eliminate any talk about reducing OTC tags. The Managers know how many archery tags can be sold every year, and they’ve passed that mark. It’s not a question of IF tags will be limited, but HOW. And I think the original solution works just fine, but that’s because I’m a Conservative, you see."

You keep complaining there is to many people out there archery hunting

Then you want unlimited over the counter tags for archery

You want to ban technology (not sure what your exact definition of that is) to control archery hunter numbers because you don't have fun anymore.

News flash... There is a whole bunch of guys out there having a fantastic archery hunts every year!

You act as if all these archery guys are just going to go grab a rifle if King GF could implement his "technology ban".

You do realize that currently there is more rifle hunters than archery hunters. The "tech" ban isn't just going to push a majority of the archers to rifle. There is already high demand for those tags, they wouldn't be able to just go get the other tag, and many really enjoy bowhunting.

If your "tech" ban was implemented, a whole bunch of us would just learn to shoot what was legal.

We would still bow hunt, and still go have a fantastic time, just like we do now!

From: Ambush
08-Apr-21
"Walk back" the technology so guys give up. Those guys just go back to rifle. Those guys don't have enough tags or season. Now those guys that used to be (sorta) bowhunters say, "hey those few trad guys are getting too much time and tags, let's take it by sheer numbers." Bye bye archery seasons and solitude.

GF, you should really just lease a ten acre corner on an Amish farm. Nobody to bother you and it would be just like the old days of no people and very scarce game. But you'd be hunting your way and killing an animal is a far distant second to just hunting them anyway.

Man, a lot of the stick bow hunters must cringe when you "represent" them.

08-Apr-21
"We would still bow hunt, and still go have a fantastic time, just like we do now!"

Not true, many would not hunt the archery seasons if crossbows and compounds were made illegal, we were there once. I am not advocating that, but most would not become serious stickbow hunters.

From: Airborne
08-Apr-21
There is a simple archery limitation that would decrease lethality and yet doesn't ban any weapons and compound guys can still use compounds:

An archery hunter must pull back and release his/her string using their fingers, no release aids

There ya go! Keep the compound, no trad weenies vs compound chads. Ya just have to pull back your bow sting with your fingers like Allah intended ;-)

08-Apr-21
"So which is it?"

they can both be accurate depending on where you hunt. they can both be accurate within a mile of each other.

in a nutshell I think it all boils down to this. you are not happy with your personal hunting experience and its easier to blame things like technology, too many other hunters, etc than to make the changes necessary for you to be happy.

From: Airborne
08-Apr-21
This ain't about 'you do you' or forcing one's weapon system on another. This is about hunting opportunity and not sitting on the sidelines waiting for your turn to hunt. I don't care what weapon we use, as long as that weapon means I can hunt every year throughout most of a western state on public land then great--hand me the atlatl fellas, I get to hunt!

Waiting 20 years to hunt an elk is lame--we could open most units in the west up to OTC and kill the same number of critters if dudes had to pull back their bowstrings with their fingers and if their rifles were flintlock muskets & round balls.

Dudes like their toys though so it won't happen

08-Apr-21
Not much to add after what bowhunter, Ambush, Airborne and Ricky just posted. I’m pretty confident their observations reflect the opinions of 98% of those following this thread. However, there is one thing I can’t help but notice about these type of threads. There are a certain few trad purists that will post ad nauseam about the evils of compounds. They typically have low success rates and wear this fact like a badge of honor. Then there are those such as Jaq, Treeline, and others that just go out and consistently kill stuff. Must just be coincidence.

From: Lawdy
08-Apr-21
I hunt everyday after work, on the weekends, and don’t worry about high tech. If the day comes that I lose that right because of high tech destroying a season that a bunch of stick bow and traditional muzzleloader guys fought for, I will fight to go back to what our seasons were. I was one of those who fought to get a muzzle loading season in the 60’s. We had 10 days of either/or. Now it is bucks only in our zone as the inclines jacked up the kill.

From: GF
08-Apr-21
“Then you want unlimited over the counter tags for archery”

No, that’s not what I EVER said. I said that I’m in favor of SELF- limited OTC tags for Archery; available to anyone who wants to buy one on the one simple condition that they are willing to sign up for something that is difficult enough that most people would rather take their chances somewhere else.

“ You want to ban technology.... to control archery hunter numbers because you don't have fun anymore.”

Nope. It’s not about whether I or anyone else is having “fun” or not (and really, most of the time during an Elk hunt really isn’t all that much “fun” or even all that “pleasant” if you think about it; done properly (IMO) , there’s actually a fair bit of actual suffering involved ;) ). It’s not about ME and it’s not about what I WANT, either; it’s about what the herd can sustain.

You guys are so wrapped up in yourselves trying to make everything all about me and prove me Wrong that you don’t even know when you agree with me.

“ If your ‘tech’ ban was implemented, a whole bunch of us would just learn to shoot what was legal.”

Yep. That IS the desired effect. A whole bunch, but nowhere near All. Just enough fewer that a lottery system can be taken off the table as means of limiting the hunting pressure to what the resource can handle.

As Airborne said, chances are real good that just eliminating the mechanical release would be ample remedy; if that’s not enough to drive the demand to a sustainable level, then the next logical thing to remove (IMO) is the laser rangefinder, but it might be overall better and more enforceable to put a hard limit on %let-off.

And don’t worry - the guys who sell bows for a living would be DELIGHTED to sell you a new Colorado-Compliant Compound every couple years.

From: bowhunt
09-Apr-21
Oregon is in the exact scenario you are describing. Issues with herd health

7 out of the 14 NE Oregon units that are currently OTC are WAY below bull/cow ratios objectives set by fish and game in least 3 of the last 5 years. Archery is over the counter, rifle is a draw that takes 1-7 years for a branch antler bull tag depending on the unit. 7 additional units actually have more archery hunters than rifle or more archery harvest per hunter than rifle season. All 14 units are going to a draw in 2022 for archery season.

Controlled tags are the solution they came up with after 2-3 years of study and public testimony.

The unit I have spent the last 10 years learning very well is going to be one of the units going to a draw. If the elk need that, I’m fine with it.

Making compound bows, rangefinders, or releases was nothing I ever saw that even got on the radar of fish and game for controlling harvest.

Remember in these 14 units that are OTC for archery currently, rifle tags take between 1-7 years to draw now depending on the unit. They will probably reduce archery tags by around 15-20 percent in the units that need reductions to get bull/cow ratios up, so MOST bow hunters will still draw every year. A lot of that tag reduction will be for non residents.

Most will still hunt every year. Ban “technology “, what tag are they going to get? Rifle tags are already on a 1-7 year wait in these 14 specific units that are currently OTC for archery. The controlled tag numbers seems like a fairly simple solution .

From: DanaC
09-Apr-21
Not so sure this should be an either-or question. Yeah, technology can extend your effective range, but you still have to master it. The bow - even a wood longbow - is deadly to a lot further than many (most!) archers can hit reliably. Adding sights, release aids, cams. etc. etc. will help the archer hit further, but in either case, the percentage of shooters who can get the full potential out of the bow is small.

Compare this to a rifle - how many shooters can get _full_ killing range from an iron-sighted 30-30? Or a 30-'06 with a 3-9x scope? yeah, _you_ might be able to, but I've watched a lot of shooters at the range over the years who struggle with a scope at 100 yards. Now, toss in one of those fancy scopes, with dots and hash marks for elevation and wind, and see if they shoot better or just get more confused! I got a few dollar to wager... ;-)

09-Apr-21
I agree it does not have to be technology OR skill, both factors are at play each and every day we hunt. Simply a matter of degree and reliance.

From: Lawdy
09-Apr-21
I follow these threads and occasionally opine, but the reality is that high tech is going no where and will continue to expand. I have always believed that promising “free” wins elections and anything that makes success easier will ultimately become accepted and defended. There is no reason to defend high tech, human nature dictates that it isn’t going anywhere and things like the crossbow and air bows will eventually be considered “primitive.” Those of us that simply enjoy the hunt with trad bows or flintlocks will still use them, trading distance, pin point accuracy, and reliable ignition for the thrill of letting an animal come within 10 yards before dropping the string or flint. It’s a passion and way of life versus a means to an end. Nothing wrong with either.

09-Apr-21
Lawdy, believe it or not, some of us compounders also enjoy taking close shots. Choice of weapon doesn’t have to dictate shot distance.

09-Apr-21
Many animals are killed at very short ranges with various weapons including compounds, crossbows, rifles or whatever. It is down range where some weapons excel, while others are limited.

09-Apr-21
knowing what your limitations are with a given weapon, and knowing when to use technology to become proficient with whatever legal weapon you choose, and actually being willing to use it, is also a skill...quite possibly the most important one.

From: Ambush
09-Apr-21
Lawdy : "It’s a passion and way of life versus a means to an end"

Only the pure of heart and spirit, like yourself, can experience this passion.

And all the rest of us are just kidding ourselves and others with fake passion.

Lawdy: "Nothing wrong with either." But you obviously think there is. Or is it ok as long as we admit that we are just takers and posers and not really hunters? Then we are at least honest.

From: GF
09-Apr-21
Ambush ... in the words of King Louie....

UNWIND your self....

What Lawdy is talking about people who use what they love BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT and that’s the end of it.

If that makes you feel like he’s asserting some kind of moral superiority, I’m thinking that’s not about him.

From: Lawdy
09-Apr-21
You can blame the old movie Robin Hood and the Davey Crocket tv shows for my passion for longbows and flinters. When I step into the woods with my longbow or Tulle de Chasse, I just feel good. No elitism or superiority about it, just feeling like I have gone back in time. I like proving to myself only that I can make meat like my forefathers did, and failure rests with me, not my weapon. I was impatient, didn’t keep the primer dry, didn’t practice enough, or spent too much time staring at the track and didn’t catch the fact that the deer j hooked on me. My fault, not the weapon.

From: Lawdy
09-Apr-21
Ambush, just read your comment. You need to relax. You are in the majority, primitive weapons is all I use, a very tiny fraction of hunters overall. Guys like myself offer no competition to you and other modern bow hunters. You control the narrative, votes, and influence, not us. We trad guys still use the weapons these primitive seasons were designed for. Look at what they have become and will become in the future, numbers rule, but I still have fun, no matter what season. God Bless.

From: pav
09-Apr-21
You guys are aware some states never even offered an archery only hunting season prior to compound bows? For those states which did start out with a primitive archery only season (pre-compound), I'm curious how much different bowhunting opportunity must look today.

Indiana's first archery only deer season was established in 1961...the year I was born. I'm told it was a nine day season. Less than a decade later, compound bows were hitting the shelves.

By the time I started bowhunting here in my home state during the late 70's, archery season opened the second Saturday in October and ran four weeks. Today, our archery season opens October 1st and runs non-stop through the first Sunday in January. We (modern bowhunters and traditionalists) were instrumental in getting a late archery season established and then getting archery equipment legalized during firearms season. Additional bowhunting opportunity was NOT handed to us on a platter...we had to earn it. I doubt we have many traditionalists in this state willing to sacrifice the opportunity offered today in exchange for the original primitive season design.

From: GF
10-Apr-21
I’m not going to pretend to speak for everyone who prefers a single-string bow, but PERSONALLY, I don’t give a rip what people use on private land in states that are up to their eyeballs in whitetails.

PERSONALLY, I would rather have four weeks hunting the (extremely limited) public land that we have here without having to contend with so many other “bowhunters“ (the majority of which now use crossbows) than 4 months with much higher pressure.... but our deer managers are desperate to get the herd under control via whatever means prove necessary, so what I PERSONALLY would prefer has to take a backseat to the management requirements.

And that’s really easy to say out here, because when I can get access to private land, I have a 4 1/2 month season where I can use whateverthehell I want.

It’s easy to get spoiled that way.

But to Lawdy’s point....

CT Used to have a muzzleloader season which was limited by draw, but also limited to flintlocks with patched ball, and I believe smoothbore was requirement as well. That took place in the first half of November. Then came in-lines.

So the DEEP decided to allow in-lines, but they moved the season to December, and nobody showed up. So now there are unlimited licenses for “muzzleloader“ season (because of the surplus deer population) which has a success rate of about 4%.

Not exactly a Win for someone who was happy to tag ANY deer that walked by, so long as he could use a flinch-lock to do it.

I guess you have to decide whether you would rather have a (statistical) 20% chance every two or three years or a 4% chance every year.

I have ZERO experience hunting where Lawdy lives, so I have absolutely no clue how much more difficult it is to punch a tag which is buck-only versus either sex... but I am prepared to be very understanding of how frustrating it is to be one of the guys who helped make a flintlock season happen and to live to see the season restructured around the capabilities of what our essentially fully modernized, single-shot weapons.

Paul (@TheFort) scores a lot of props around here for tagging an Elk (and I like Paul and I admire him, and I hope to grow up to be like him someday), but if you were to ask me straight up who is more Bad-Ass, I would have to say it’s Lawdy. I’m going to guess that Lawdy would disagree, but that Paul would not.

That’s why I admire both of them. Equally.

But Eastern private-land Whitetails and Western Public-Land Elk are two completely different animals, both literally and figuratively. Out East, archery is the best tool available for managing to a higher harvest target; out West, Bowhunting appears to be getting in the way.

JMO, getting the in the way of people who have an important job to do is not the way to get them into your corner when tough decisions need to be made.

JMO.... The people at CPW who authorized those ADDITIONAL , cow-only archery tags in an attempt to increase the annual total harvest committed a massive blunder; they gutted the entire purpose of the archery season (which was to provide a low-pressure, high quality, low-success hunting opportunity for those willing to take that bet) in an attempt to turn it into an Elk population control measure, when what they really should’ve done is to make more cow tags available in the rifle seasons so that people without access to private land would have a good chance of filling the freezer with some extremely tasty Elk meat...... so long as they weren’t too hung up on antlers. And I think a lot of people would be up for that. Especially among Residents. I might even go so far as to guess that there would be a lot of ranchers who would be up for allowing people onto their property to hunt for free on a cow-only tag, if for no other reason then to reduce the amount of hay that those damed Elk are eating on their property.

People get pretty funny when antlers are involved, but when it’s just cows eating their haystacks, things change…

Anyway… Point is, you can’t generalize from overpopulated whitetails to overpressured elk. It just doesn’t work.

From: shade mt
10-Apr-21
Everybody has an opinion, right or wrong.

But if every single person here would use a recurve or longbow, no trail cams etc....and hunt big public land and no feeders......it would be hard to argue the results. Regardless of opinion.

Some guys would do well, some wouldn't, just the way it is.

10-Apr-21
successful hunters realize that conditions and animal behavior changes throughout hunting seasons for a variety of reasons. Hunting pressure...weather...food supply...rut...and a number of other things all play a part. pressured animals tend to migrate to areas with less pressure. in many cases, that means public to private land. no shocker there... some hunters are able to adapt to those changes or even use them to their advantage and some hunters would rather blame someone else.

From: Lawdy
10-Apr-21
GF, I am definitely not bad ass when it comes to hunting, but thanks for the compliment. I spent all last season just trying to see the buck I scouted last summer. I was out last weekend poking around his haunt and caught him watching me. Pretty sure it was him, letting me know that he was still there if I wanted to lose again. The moose are breaking out of their yards, so night time driving is getting hairy. The bulls are out now and once the cows calve, they will be out licking salt off the roads and feeding. That is when it gets really dangerous at night and we get roadkills for the freezer. If anyone is planning on a drive to Northern NH or Maine, be aware of the moose.

From: pav
10-Apr-21
As usual GF, you completely missed my point. You keep pressing about the "good old days" (pre-compound)....which I'm pretty confident were gone well before you ever started bowhunting. My point is, regardless which state we're talking about, those original archery seasons likely did not provide nearly the same bowhunting opportunities as today. Compounds were a big part of the evolution. I used Indiana as an example because I can quote most of that history off the cuff.

I'm pretty much done here...as this entire discussion has little to zero merit IMO. I simply cannot envision Colorado ever removing compound bows, sights or release aids from their definition of legal archery equipment. If/when the state decides to cut back on elk bowhunter numbers, I believe that avenue will either mirror the deer regulations (100% draw) or remain OTC ...but with caps.

10-Apr-21
Are you guys still debating if technology plays a role in hunter success? I mean really, how is that even debatable?

From: GF
10-Apr-21
“ Are you guys still debating if technology plays a role in hunter success?”

Nah, not really. It’s not as if you can have a rational debate with a guy who shoots a compound and thinks that crossbows should be illegal for archery season because you don’t have to draw the bow in the presence of game.... and then will tell you that being able to hold 8 or 10 or 12 pounds at full draw instead of 50 or 60 doesn’t decrease their chances of getting busted on the draw.

And Uncle Ricky was just explaining to me how if I had any smarts I could take advantage of the fact that the animals are being driven down out of the wilderness areas (like the one I’ve always hunted) onto private property. So far he’s been a little sketchy on the details, but I have a sense that it involves large amounts of cash flowing out of my pocket and into someone else’s.

Either that, or he’s going to suggest that I just drag a tree stand up the hill and camp out on top of one of the fence crossings onto the ranch. Wheeeeee! Head to the high country and park your ass in a tree for a week!!

Yeah, nope.

I mean, I know where all of the crossings are, because they’re kind of hard to miss. Besides, I’m too damn lazy to haul a freaking compound up the mountain, so it’s not like I’m gonna trouble myself to cart around 20 pounds of metal for no reason.

“ IMO. I simply cannot envision Colorado ever removing compound bows, sights or release aids from their definition of legal archery equipment.”

Well, when the CO season was ENACTED, nobody envisioned compound bows even being invented or release aids being permitted. Everybody knew about sights on bows a long, long time ago, and I don’t think any serious person has ever suggested that they should be taken off the table, since they were never disallowed in the first place. You can’t say that about mechanical releases, because they were specifically excluded for a long time.Laser rangefinders? Nope. Not a Thing. I don’t think even NASA had them then. Of course, NASA might not even of been a Thing then, so there you go…

It was a failure of imagination on the part of the legislators & regulators that allowed all of this advanced technology to gradually creep into a season which was conceived specifically to provide a reduced technology opportunity, but I don’t see how a failure of imagination on your part constitutes a good reason to not correct an oversight once the oversight has been demonstrated because a problem.

Or is what you’re really saying just that you can’t imagine even showing up for that kind of a hunting experience, so you can’t imagine that anybody else would, either?

Because really, that’s exactly what was intended in the first place. Or so I was taught when I took Hunter Ed.

From: ohiohunter
10-Apr-21
You write longer text than a woman scorned.

10-Apr-21
"Or is what you’re really saying just that you can’t imagine even showing up for that kind of a hunting experience, so you can’t imagine that anybody else would, either?"

no...what im really saying is that even though i only hunt with a recurve with no sights, haven't shot a compound in decades, and have never even held a crossbow...never owned or used a laser rangefinder...i just don't feel threatened by them...and theres a whole lot of low tech bowhunters that feel the same way. many of us dont feel everyone has to enjoy bow hunting the same way we do...pretty basic stuff really.

10-Apr-21
The OP asked if it was technology or skill that leads to success. There was no mention about what was enjoyable.

From: shade mt
10-Apr-21
Lots of really good bowhunters that use all the latest and greatest...

Lots of really good bowhunters that dont...

And lots of bowhunters that end up mostly just taking their bow for a walk.

I figure whichever category you fit into.....long as you like it that's all that matters.

I been pretty darn successful with a stickbow over the years..

but I also know a few very successful bowhunters that use most of what technology has to offer. And if you think they are only successful due to technology?...lol..your sadly mistaken...

From: DNEWER
10-Apr-21
Or is it choosing wich laws to follow or not follow and blaming LE when you get busted? That seems to be the formula for success lately

11-Apr-21
"The OP asked if it was technology or skill that leads to success. There was no mention about what was enjoyable."

no but the person i was responding to did. i dont think anyone would argue that technology can help a hunter be successful. all some of us are saying is...so what. if you want a particular advantage...use it...if not...dont. but dont expect everyone else to feel the same way you do. for the most part, not only has technology it not had a negative effect on herd management, in many cases it has been necessary in order to meet management goals. is this the case in every hunters favorite hunting spot...probably not...but game departments dont manage for that...and they shouldnt.

11-Apr-21
I agree, technology can help with game management and game managers and others will adjust populations and quality accordingly. In many cases those adjustments are in the forms of reduced seasons, limited draws, quota seasons, minimum size, semi restricted areas(parks), APR's etc. Most of this is not noticed in the case of eastern whitetail hunting but is in areas such as Alaska with full curl rams, 50 inch moose, limited licensure for big bear seasons etc. Lots of other states have limited draws or quota seasons for elk, deer, lion, bear, turkey, antelope, moose, sheep, goats etc. Technology will not deplete the resources, there are safe guards in place to limit hunters and opportunity.

11-Apr-21
I'd like to clarify that my original post came about... listening to a podcast from 2 pretty well known guys in the hunting industry. I simply was "repeating" the statement made during the podcast. What's enjoyable is any way you want to hunt, with any weapon, is fine with me, honestly, as long as your out there.

What is interesting about technology and hunting, however you decide to define it, is if technology were not available, I'm not so sure the "success" numbers would be the same. Clearly, it would not. While this thread has taken many different turns, there are a ton of valid points.

I grew up around recurves, and now I won a beauty (Struggle Stik) Its a blast, and I wll continue to work on it, but I prefer my "wheel" bow. (Technology)

Has anyone seen Aron Snyder's Mt. Goat kill? On a ledge, over top over the goat, and he aced the shot. No technology there (I don't think) Dedication is required to be successful. Traditional bowhunting is hard stuff, and humbling. Yes, technology has helped, increased the number of kills ( And probably wounds, but that comes with the numbers of guys using it)

Have a good day and go fling some arrows!

11-Apr-21
This was a good discussion thread. Much of the disparity in views are simply due to one's age and experiences. When I started bow and arrow hunting tree stands were illegal, your archery tag was good for a deer OR a bear. You were allowed one deer per year, if you were unsuccessful with a stickbow, you could gun hunt. Getting a bow shot at a deer (any deer including fawns) was a feat in itself. Baiting was unheard of, and technology was fiberglass and single pin sights. Like today, hunting was enjoyable.

11-Apr-21
"What's enjoyable is any way you want to hunt, with any weapon, is fine with me, honestly, as long as your out there."

yep. the sooner we realize that everything isnt always about us as individual hunters, the better off we...as well as the hunting community...will be.

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