Outdoors

Has modern bowhunting gone ethically off-target?

Colville-area bowhunter Jim Ebel bagged this trophy whitetail buck in Ferry County on Nov. 30, 2013. (courtesy)
Colville-area bowhunter Jim Ebel bagged this trophy whitetail buck in Ferry County on Nov. 30, 2013. (courtesy)

HUNTING — My Outdoors column today features a model bowhunter who recruited capable help and went the extra grueling mile to track and retrieve a whitetail buck (above) after his arrow missed the vitals.

But what about other archers, especially during the bowhunting seasons that target rutting bucks and bugling elk?

There are no good current statistics to support the argument, but all hunters wince at the amount of wounding loss that comes up in conversations. Add it all up and the number of lost animals appears to be significant if not disgraceful.

The advantages archers get in season timing coupled with the advances in archery equipment, trail cams and the increased reliance on baiting apparently has lured more undesirables into the bowhunting ranks. 

A lot of luck and years are invested in a trophy buck or bull.  

We should all be thinking of ways, rules and standards to minimize the waste of such coveted resources.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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