Rick Cunningham: Why I Bowhunt

Staff Writer
Hays Daily News
Rick Cunningham

When hunting deer, you have a lot of choices.

You can hunt with a muzzleloader, a crossbow, a gun, a recurve (longbow), or a compound bow.

I choose to hunt with a compound bow. I feel a lot of pride when I’m successful because it’s very challenging.

There are some who still choose to use a longbow, or recurve. I have a lot of respect for these hunters, as they have accepted a real challenge. It’s as close as we can get to hunting like the very first bowhunters.

I like to hunt during the bow season. The deer are more relaxed, and you get to hunt the rut. The woods are far less crowded with hunters. Another reason I love to bowhunt is because of the long history and traditions of archery.

Many times, I think about how long bowhunting has been around. I think about our earliest ancestors. We know because of carvings and paintings that are hundreds of years old that show the use of bows and arrows. For the Indian, hunting was not a hobby but a means of survival. His success meant life or death.

I often think about the founding fathers of bowhunting, like Art Young and Sexton Pope, who befriended an Indian named Ishi who taught them how to bowhunt. People like Howard Hill, Fred Bear, and Ben Pearson who had a lot to do with the early growth in popularity of bowhunting. Bows and arrows have had a lot of improvements over the years, but I still feel that connection with the bowhunters before me.

No matter what weapon you choose to hunt with, we all need to stand together as hunters, defending our right to hunt. We also need to practice so that we can make an ethical shot. We owe it to the animals we hunt.

When you are out pursuing deer, please hunt safely.

May God bless you all.

Rick Cunningham is an avid outdoorsman from Ellis, KS