Bow hunting is practised using three types of bow: the compound bow, recurve bow and longbow.
The compound bow is the most common. It has a specially designed drawing system that means the string is not difficult to hold in the tensioned state.

Some shoot roe deer using broadhead points, which are as sharp as a razor blade, others use mechanical points that unfold when they hit the deer. Birds are often shot using blunt points. Bow hunting can be practised both as blind hunting and stalking. Bow hunters must learn to get very close to the game in order to make a shot, and if blind hunting and shooting from a high seat, you need to practice shooting with the bow from this angle. Bow hunting has become very popular in recent years.

Challenges of bow hunting

The big challenge for bow hunters is to get close enough to the game to be able to make a shot.

This is only possible with the very best camouflage for the conditions.

Bow hunters must move silently, including while drawing the bow, when the animal is often already very close.

It is therefore rarely enough to have one set of camouflage clothing, as bow hunting is permitted for summer buck hunting, and throughout the autumn and winter hunting seasons.

You must have clothing to suit the season, and clothing you can move around in silently.

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Hunting stories from a hunter

Good luck!

There are few boys and girls who have not heard the stories of Robin Hood’s archery prowess. Many adventure stories are built up around the medieval knights, who fought or competed with bows and arrows. Legends of knights who could hit their own arrow on the end, splitting it in two, live in the heart of every child. However, shooting with bows and arrows is not as popular among children today as it once was.

Nowadays there are other things that appeal. But among hunters, there is nothing more modern. Many new hunters want a bow game license. The dream of silently sneaking up on a roebuck or hare lives in many of us. There is also nothing more natural than to bag a game animal, take it home, cook it and eat it.

Each age has its own trends, but bow hunting has virtually always existed, and is now enjoying something of a renaissance. The feeling of drawing a powerful bow, releasing the arrow towards the target and hearing it strike home with a powerful thud, sends you back to childhood adventure stories. If you had forgotten what it was like to be filled with childish happiness, you suddenly remember it again. And this joy we feel is for a reason. If it did not exist, we would probably never have felt the urge to become hunters.

The joy is the starting point, and later comes depth and sobriety, when we go from practising on a target to shooting an animal. The joy is still there after a successful shot, but with added dimensions. The silence as we creep around in the woods or along the windbreak brings us closer to what we are doing. The calm and slowness keep us in the moment. If we force things, the hunt will fail.

You might think that this form of hunting is only rarely likely to succeed, and you would be right to some extent. It requires a lot of training – not only in the archery, but in moving around in the right way, so that the quarry does not notice our presence. After countless attempts in which we have heard the roe deer’s ‘bark’ as it warns the rest of the forest, and have had to retreat back to civilisation in disappointment – finally one day everything falls into place. When we come home, we don’t want to meet a spouse who says, “wow, that was lucky”. No, we are masters for a moment! Until next time, when we fail again. Only bow hunters knows this feeling of intensity, when you stand so close to your prey, when you bag it – the gentle rush it gives when you release the arrow and hear it pierce the animal with precision. This is a moment which can only be carried in your heart – nothing compares to it.

Troels Pedersen

Troels Pedersen
40 year old hunter, musician and author from Denmark
Started hunting in 1999
Favourite quarry: Woodcock
Choice of weapon: Henry Atkin 12/70

Best hunting trip:
On 2 November 2016, as I walked with two good friends in undulating terrain among tall pine trees. My dog was searching energetically among the small mossy rises when two woodcocks suddenly took flight together. I still remember the breath catching in my chest when woodcock number two also collapsed in the air. It was as if they both hung there a moment after they were hit before they dropped majestically in a clearing. My dog retrieved them both.

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