How to Choose Between Bowhunting and Shooting, Part 3

Hunting is an important American pastime that has real meaning for thousands of families across the country. It’s a challenging and primal sport no matter your weapon of choice, but an argument still rages over which is better: a gun or a bow. If you have been following this series, then you have already read our blog posts on the pros and cons of both shooting and bowhunting. Copper Ridge Outdoors wants to improve your next hunt no matter which you choose, whether you’re looking for a comfortable ladder deer stand or steel plate targets to improve your aim. Explore our collections today to find high-quality outdoor hunting gear and keep reading for our conclusion on the guns vs. archery debate.

As we’ve covered in previous blog posts, shooting and bowhunting each have their advantages and disadvantages. Bowhunters get a longer, less-crowded hunting season and build skills and strength you can’t quite replicate with any other activity. Guns, on the other hand, are more accessible to hunters of all ages and abilities. When shooting, you also only need a few bright orange items to get started, rather than the camouflaged and scentless clothing bowhunters use to mask their approach and close the distance between them and their prey. In the end, though, there really aren’t enough differences to make a gun or a bow the clearly superior weapon. Read on to understand our reasoning.


Guns do have more range than bows, but that doesn’t always mean much when you’re in the field. In some territory, your sightline will be cut down to bow range any way thanks to thick brush, steep hills, or deep ravines. The longer bow hunting season is similarly limited by reality. When will you really have the time to hunt? Even if you are happily retired, there is probably a long list of honey-dos that will limit the time you can take for your favorite sport. Both shooters and bowhunters can also be bound by the tag system — it doesn’t matter how long your hunting season is or how exceptional your aim is, you are still limited to the tags you have. If your local tag system is first-come, first-served or a lottery, your opportunities to hunt probably depend more on your luck than your skill.


Bowhunters need to be especially stealthy because they need to be that much closer to their target. Whether you see that as an advantage or a disadvantage, the playing field is leveled by a gun’s range. Shooters don’t have to be as quiet or careful to get within range of their target, but all hunters, no matter their weapon of choice, do have to be stealthy in some form. For example, you want to keep the wind in your favor to avoid your scent reaching the animal. Even if you are still some distance from your prey, they will probably react to any indication of humans.


Guns and bows are both capable of making clean, ethical kill shots. Both weapons are also capable of making painful, slow kill shots with the wrong placement. No matter whether you choose to shoot or bowhunt, your success depends on your skill. Every hunter needs to learn how to make good, safe, clean shots, and it will take a lot of practice on either weapon. If you favor guns over archery, read our post on nine ways to improve your aim and pick up a few Copper Ridge Outdoors targets to get started.


Why It Doesn't Matter

Many hunters have clear opinions on whether guns or bows are better, but there is no right answer. Your personal preference matters most when it comes to finding the right weapon for your next hunt, and you need skill and expertise to use either one well. There are a lot of gadgets out there to make hunting more accessible to everyone, but nothing can hunt for you yet. It’s up to you.

Why choose just one? There are plenty of hunters out there who pick up a bow for the longer season and then transition to shooting. Here at Copper Ridge Outdoors, we think any choice you make will be the right one, and we make high-quality products to help upgrade your hunting experience. Shop now for great steel targets, hunting platforms, and ATV accessories at affordable prices!