How to Choose Between Bowhunting and Shooting, Part 2

Hunting has always been a part of human history, but today we have far more weapons and gear at our disposal than our early ancestors did. Copper Ridge Outdoors is here to put those tools into your hands. From pop-up blinds to ladder deer stands, we want to provide you with gear you can trust. Hunting should be about enjoying the outdoors and that perfect moment when your target steps into your sights, not the discomfort or hesitation you feel when using poorly made equipment. Shop our collection today for the right hunting items for you and read on for part two of our continuing conversation on hunting with a gun versus bowhunting.

The biggest technical leap forward in hunting was the invention of the gun, and it has since become the weapon of tradition for modern hunting. There are many varieties and options that are customizable for every person and every hunt. The big question, though, is: why keep with tradition? In part one of this series, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of bowhunting. In today’s post, we’ll be covering the pros and cons of hunting with guns.

Advantages of Guns


Guns are the typical introduction to hunting for a reason: they’re simple. It takes work to be accurate, but the concept of shooting is fairly easy and straightforward. If you are teaching your children to hunt, it will probably be easier for them to handle a small rifle than it will be for them to draw a bow, and they will be able to participate more quickly. There are also many rifles and shotguns to choose from, and you won’t necessarily need to buy as much equipment if you’re a beginner to hunting. The stealth required in bowhunting leads many to invest in gear like camouflaged, scentless clothes which can put a strain on your wallet.

Experience Success

Hunters who use firearms can also have a better success rate than archers. It still requires a significant investment of your time to come home with a prize, but archers often have to spend more time and more energy to achieve the same goals. Bowhunters rely on stealth and patience to close the distance to their target, but when hunting with a gun you don’t necessarily need to wait for your target to come to you. These benefits make shooting more appealing to anyone with limited time outside of work or other commitments, and while the season is shorter than it is for bowhunters, the power of guns evens the scoreboard.

Expand Your Horizons

One of the greatest arguments for guns is their power and versatility. With the variety and range of guns, you can hunt anything from quail to elk. An archer is limited by the range and force of their bow, but firepower in the right hands can conquer animals both big and small at a distance. Amateurs are also more likely to take down their target with the first shot when using guns instead of bows.

Lower Cost

As we mentioned earlier, guns don’t always have the big upfront costs that can come with modern bows and arrows and the gear you need to hunt with stealth. Rifles and shotguns are affordable and readily available in thousands of locations across the country. A good bowhunting kit will likely be both harder to find and more expensive. Guns also age well. A rifle or shotgun will, if properly cared for, retain much of its value over time, if not become more valuable. Bows are subjected to a significant amount of wear and tear and some parts – specifically the bowstrings and pulley/cam systems used on modern bows – will have to be replaced over the years.

Disadvantages of Guns

Limited Hunting Season

Hunters using firearms are restricted to a shorter hunting season than archers, which leads to other drawbacks. You don’t have much choice in when you can go hunting, which can be problematic if you have a busy work and family life. You may also have to watch those days pass you by in the case of bad weather or be forced to go hunting in bad conditions. Another common complaint among hunters who would rather be enjoying the scenery and solitude of the outdoors is that the season for hunting with firearms can be too crowded. If you choose to hunt with a gun, you will probably see many others wearing bright orange and trying to find game in the relatively small time slot allowed for shooting.

Recurring Costs

Choosing guns can save you money on the upfront price tag and the long-term value of your weapon, but using your rifle or shotgun costs money. Arrows may be reusable – if you can find them again – but bullets are not. You’ll have to buy new ammunition every time you go hunting or practice at the range. Maintaining your gun will also shrink your wallet, and buying a high-quality gun safe and gear like a good scope can quickly become expensive. If you want to become a gun owner, make sure you’re ready for the other expenses that will be involved.

Limits on Where You Can Use It

Everyone needs practice, especially if you want to become an exceptional marksman and an ethical hunter. However, guns are more restricted than archery. If you’re a landowner, you may be lucky enough to be able to practice in your backyard. Everyone else will have to find a gun range. Along with paying for ammunition, as we already mentioned, you may have to pay to use a gun range. You may also be barred from some locations during hunting season because of your weapon of choice. Some landowners will not allow guns on their property, granting permission exclusively to bowhunters instead.

Why Choose Guns

There are many more restrictions and laws for guns than there are for compound bows, but shooting comes with unique thrills and benefits that bowhunters have chosen to leave behind. For one, guns have made hunting a more accessible sport for everyone: young or old, wealthy or cash-strapped, buff or out-of-shape. You’ll find plenty of bowhunters who pick up a gun when the hunting season opens, and for good reason. With shooting, you can still experience the thrill of the hunt without denying the ingenuity of modern human invention. It’s a real test of animal versus man, and nothing can compare to the power of a rifle or shotgun.

The debate still rages over which is the superior weapon – the bow or the gun – and which weapon makes for a superior hunter. Hopefully the first two articles of this series help you form your own opinions. To review the pros and cons of bowhunting, read part one, and look for our conclusion to this series about why there is no true winner in this argument. Whether you choose shooting or archery, Copper Ridge Outdoors is here to make your next hunt better. With more than 20 years of experience building and manufacturing outdoor products, you can trust us to create the gear you need with quality you can trust. Try improving your aim with our hunting targets or find the perfect tree stand, whether it’s our ultra comfort ladder stand built to hold 300 pounds or a simple archer’s ladder stand. Shop now!