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Do You Prefer a Bow or a Rifle for Deer Hunting?

What kind of deer hunting do you prefer?

 75% of bow hunters also hunt with rifles when deer hunting.

So the question is:  Since you spent all this time and money to get proficient with a bow…do you also get out your trusty rifle for deer hunting?

Bow vs. Rifle for Deer Hunting

Many bowhunters appreciate the fact that they can get up close and personal with the animals they hunt. The same can’t be said of rifle hunters who tend to shoot their prey from far away.

A rifle hunter can take out a deer from several hundred yards away while a bowhunter has to get within about 40 yards.  Many bowhunters feel a great sense of confidence wielding a weapon it took them so long to become good with.

A RIFLE is much more versatile than a bow as it can kill many different types of game. The fact is that rifle hunting does not take nearly as much practice as bow hunting and it is easy to see why so many opt for a rifle over a bow.

So truthfully, could a RIFLE hunter most likely bag the big one with very little time spent on the practice range?

Things to ponder from the BOW HUNTER’S point of view:

  1. LONGER SEASON:  In many regions, bow season is longer and more plentiful.
  2. MORE SKILL:  A bow strengthens different skills. A bow and arrow are preferable to a gun when the shooter wants some good exercise while satisfying the urge to improve one’s target-directed motor skills.
  3. PEACEFUL:  Nothing is quieter than a bow.  Camouflaged, crouched down, and blending in with nature, the swift silence of a bow and arrow doesn’t disrupt the creatures around you the way echoing gunfire does. If you miss, you have a chance for another shot.
  4. Even the playing field. Using a bow is more of a challenge and gives the animal a better chance.

And now from the RIFLE HUNTER’S point of view:

  1. COST: Using a rifle is actually cheaper than using a bow. On average, a hunter will spend around $1,000 for a rifle and accessories A bow could cost twice that when you consider things like scentless clothing, camo, tree stands, etc. to get within range of the deer they plan to hunt.
  2.  PHYSICAL EFFORT: It is much less work to shoot a gun.  If you burn out early, you won’t have the stamina to wait out a wall-hanger. (AND HOW ABOUT THOSE RIFLE HUNTERS WHO ARE HANGING OUT IN THE BLIND DRINKING THEIR FAVORITE BREW? YOU JUST DON’T SEE BOW HUNTERS DOING THAT!!)
  3.  SKILL: Shooting a rifle does not take nearly as much skill as a bow.  Many rifle hunters only get their gun out once a year and still do pretty well.  You won’t have that kind of luck with a bow–it takes practice.
  4.  ACCURACY: A bullet can do an enormous amount of internal damage, even if it misses the mark slightly.  So does that mean I don’t have to be that good?

Side note: You can drastically cut down on the cost of equipment for bow hunting if you make your own arrows. Just saying!


Depending on which you choose – you may need to pack different items for your trip.

With so much to pack, there’s no guarantee you’ll remember everything, even if you do give yourself plenty of time. Anybody who has ever had to dress a deer with a dull knife can attest to how forgetting one small item like a knife sharpener can be a big setback.

Along with all that packing (which is a fun way to wait out the opening of the season),  don’t forget to get your hunting LICENSE!!

WOW – that would be the worst!! If you get going early you can even do it ONLINE.


For deer, the rut is a marathon, not a sprint. Why should it be any different for you? Unless you tag out in the early phases, you need to brace yourself for the grind.

  •      Eat right
  •      Get your sleep
  •      Keep telling yourself: “TODAY IS THE DAY!!”

Don’t Forget Your Cell Phone when You Go Deer Hunting

Smartphone apps have become important tools for hunters. Here are some ways they can help:

  •       Maps Peak hunting time
  •       Calendars
  •       Camera for photos and videos,
  •       Games to pass the time
  •       Taking selfies while on a stand
  •       Listening to football games
  •       Text messages to hunting buddies.
  •      An external battery pack and/or a solar power source are good items to have.
  • Don’t forget to pack a charging cord.


Like our Facebook Page and let us know if you prefer bow hunting or rifle hunting!


  1. Rob Sterling on August 30, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I use both due to the extended season for bow. I enjoy both equally.

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