Bow hunting or bowhunting is one of those sports that you either love or you hate - a bit like fox hunting in the United Kingdom. Town people hate it and anybody involved with it and country people see it essential to cull wild animals that could otherwise become a nuisance.
In spite of its macho image, which was encouraged by the film the Deer Hunter, there are growing quantities of women who go bowhunting. The big difference between hunting with a rifle and hunting with a bow is distance. A hunting rifle with telescopic sights can deliver enough punch at 600 yards to take down a deer with a single shot almost wherever it is shot in the chest. On the other hand, a hunter using a bow with a fifty pound draw weight will need to be within about forty yards to be able to deliver the same sort of lethal punch, if the shot is accurate to the heart.
This means that if you seriously wound an animal from 600 yards, it will most likely be dead by the time you get there, clambering over fallen trees and rocks, but if you severely wound a deer from forty yards you see its pain.
This has a sobering effect on most bow hunters. The vast majority of bow hunters do not want to witness this and they do not want the creature to suffer either, so they wait for the right shot. If it is not there, they do not shoot.
A hunting bow has to have a draw weight of at least fifty pounds to hunt large game and that used to mean quite a sturdy recurve or longbow, but the compound bow was invented in 1966. A compound bow makes use of pulleys to help with the draw, which permits less beefy people to achieve a draw weight of fifty pounds, which has opened up bowhunting to women and adolescents.
Large wild animals are dangerous and some will attack without notice if they feel threatened. This leads to a danger zone around wild animals. Every sort of animal has a danger zone, for a lion, that could be pretty large and for a stag less so. This danger zone is an locale outside of which you are fairly safe.
If you are hunting with a gun, you can stay outside that danger zone without difficulty, but with a bow and arrow, well, you often have to get within it. This enlarged risk supplies a greater rush for bow hunters - a bigger thrill. Especially if they are hunting bears or mountain lions.
In contrast to the Deer Hunter, most bow hunters go on prearranged trips these days. The hunting trip is organized with the aid of a specialized firm which will provide guided excursions into areas known to have large numbers of the animals you want to hunt.
These professional guides know how to bait zones to attract your prey; they can advise on safety aspects and they take a big gun in case a hunter is too stupid to follow their advice. Regrettably, the gun is for use on the animal, not the idiot.