Bowhunting Dangerous Game
Bowhunting has been studied in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, and numerous other countries around the world. These investigations have revealed that bowhunting is both a practical and ethical form of recreational hunting. These studies and years of evaluation have convinced game managers around the globe that when done with proper training, all species may be pursued with archery equipment.
Specific studies have included some of the largest bears (grizzly & polar) in the world which, in their own right, are classified as dangerous game. Other examples would be the large cat of North America (mountain lion 80-90 Kg) and the Australian Asiatic water buffalo (1,000 Kg.) which are bowhunted routinely.
From his primal beginnings, man has been fascinated with the challenge of hunting animals currently recognized as "dangerous game". The intrigue of pursuing these animals has always fascinated the human hunter.
The fathers of modern bowhunting, Saxton Pope and Art Young, were also the pioneers of bowhunting on the Dark Continent, traveling to East Africa to bowhunt for lion in 1925. Since that time, many an adventuresome bowman have searched the jungle and brushlands of Africa in pursuit of the most revered dangerous game animals on the face of the earth.
As modern archery equipment has progressed technologically, so has the expertise of the bowhunting sportsman. With proper knowledge of the animals being hunted and armed with appropriate equipment, all of the animals mentioned in the following pages can be harvested in an ethical and humane manner.
To minimize the risk of wounding an animal and hence precipitating a perilous situation for the professional hunter and bowhunting client, great care must be exercised. The professional hunter should assess arrow placement and determine if the depth of penetration is lethal. The decision to dispatch any bow-shot animal with a firearm is at the discretion of the professional hunter. The fact remains that in most dangerous game hunting situations, the bowhunter will have only one arrow opportunity to make the kill.
Due to the extreme difficulty of penetrating the larger animals and the ferocity of their response when wounded, the issue of when and where to shoot is paramount. Bowhunters taking this challenge will have to be cool, calm and calculating if they intend to harvest any of these animals without the assistance of a firearm.
Equipment Recommendations for Dangerous Game
After carefully reviewing the collected data from successful dangerous game bowhunters and independent penetration tests conducted by a number of reputable sources, the following recommendations for equipment were developed.
It should be noted that an equal amount of longbows, recurves and compound bows were used and in the proper configuration of draw weight and arrow mass, were equally effective. Therefore, for the purposes of these recommendations, "bow" refers to all three types mentioned above. It does, however, exclude crossbows.
|Lion||Leopard||Buffalo||Elephant||Rhino||Bow Weight||+60||+60||+70||+80||+80||Arrow Weight||500+||500+||700+||950+||950+||Kinetic Energy||65 ft. lbs||65 ft. lbs||80 ft. lbs||105 ft. lbs||105 ft. lbs|
* KE should be achieved with the heaviest projectile that will fly accurately.
It should also be noted that of equal importance to the recommended equipment is tuned arrow flight. The projectile must fly true and impact the animal with dart-like precision to maximize penetration.
- Arrows can be made out of wood, fiberglass, carbon or aluminum.
- Broadheads cannot be barbed or have any moving parts.
- Broadheads should be of a modern configuration with a minimum of two cutting blades and a minimum width of 2.8 cm.
- Lion and leopard can be hunted with any fixed or replaceable blade broadhead. Any number of blades are permitted.
- Buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros can only be hunted with a single forged, two bladed head that has its cutting edge beginning at the tip.