One of the most hard-to-master hunting sets is bowhunting.
We spoke with one of them to find out what archer hunters are like and what kind of bows and arrows they usually use: the Valencian Vicente Moret Gil.
One of the most hard-to-master hunting sets is bowhunting.
Those who are drawn to this native discipline face a challenge that is as demanding as it is hard to accomplish in each cast: to get as close as possible to their prey to get an accurate shot.
The archer hunter must learn to blend in with nature to accomplish this so that he can see without being seen, listen without being heard, and stalk his prey without risking detection.
Although it is an ancient tradition (primitive hunters already used the bow to get food more than 30,000 years ago), bow hunting is today presented as a minority activity compared to firearms hunting.
Even so, those who practice this type of hunting activity are truly passionate about this art that seeks perfection in hunting: shooting down the piece with a single arrow shot.
We have spoken with one of them for more detail on how the archers hunters are, what they feel when they practice this discipline, or what kind of arches and arrow points they use regularly: the Valencian Vicente Moret Gil, who details some of the basic premises related to this exciting activity in this interview.
– When did your bow-hunting hobby start? Have you hunted with guns before?
My interest in all aspects of hunting stems from when I was very young.
I began to like hunting with firearms at first, like almost everyone else, but after spending many years hunting that way, I decided to abandon it.
I think the reason was that it didn’t fill me as much as it did at the beginning.
Later, I became fond of hunting again after a period of inactivity as a hunter, but this time with a bow, as it was a greater challenge for me.
– In this adventure, who would you say was your godfather?
Actually, I didn’t have a sponsor as such, I was self-taught because I didn’t know anyone from the world of archery when I started and I had to learn by correcting my mistakes.
I have already met colleagues who have been around for more years than me and who have had much more experience after delving further into this modality, who have given me advice and guidance.
– Bowhunting has a large group of followers in the United States. What would you say is the situation in Spain at present?
Bowhunting had a very small group of followers years ago, but at present, since every day more hunters decide to try the bow and many of them even become archers, this type of hunting has begun to take off.
In this way, in Spain, more and more goalkeeper associations and clubs are being formed, uniting to share a common interest that is increasing in our country more and more.
– Does the archer’s hunter hunt alone or in a group? Are there specific areas where this activity should be practiced?
Depending on the modality they practice, whether it be on standby or stalking, archers can hunt both alone and in groups.
About the second question, exclusive hunting grounds for bow hunting are now beginning to appear.
Besides, they prefer to shoot with a bow in some preserves where they normally hunt with firearms, because this causes less stress on the animals.
– At what distance are your abates usually performed? To get as close as possible to the pieces, what tricks do you use?
Shooting distances are very brief in archery hunting.
It must be taken into account that it is a type of hunting in the vicinity of the prey, in the area of its sensory capacities; this makes it more exciting since the prey discovers you at the slightest error or error in the approach.
While it can be fired at 70, 80 or 100 meters, most archers believe that shooting at these distances is unethical because the chances of missing the shot and leaving the prey injured are multiplied, causing unnecessary suffering.
The distances that I usually shoot do not exceed 40 meters for this reason.
I usually use a ghillie suit to camouflage myself and get as close as possible to the pieces, which allows me to fully blend in with the environment and prevent the prey from identifying me.
Also, I try to make the approach against the wind as much as possible, to be able to position myself as close to the dam as possible and not to smell me.
– Some more skeptical hunters believe that the bow is less powerful than a conventional firearm. What would you tell them, from your experience, to make them change their minds?
A hunting arrow placed in the right place is as accurate as a bullet fired from the best rifle, I would tell you. In archery hunting, as in shooting with firearms, the important thing is to get a good shooting location.
– What area of the dam do you normally aim for with your bow in that case?
Well, it depends on the animal.
For example, the wild boar, which is the animal that I hunt the most, has a very low heart.
For this reason, I usually aim for the knuckle area, where all the vital organs are located.
– In a firearm, when shooting down a piece, ammunition is a fundamental part. Therefore, even the smallest detail is taken care of: the type of point, the grain load, the speed of the projectile … Does it happen the same with arrows? What kind of arrows are usually used by you?
Indeed, the exact same thing occurs with arrows as with firearms but increased, since factors such as ‘spin,’ which is the rigidity or flexibility of the arrow tube, must be taken into account.
Apart from the various types of hunting tips, depending on the animal you want to kill, you also have to take into account the type, size and shape of the feathers.
In my particular case, depending on the type of hunting that I practice, I usually use both aluminum and carbon arrows. I use the Easton XX78 Super Slam Digital in aluminum, weighing 655 grains, mainly for waiting time.
I use Eastone’s Nano Epic Realtre carbon arrows with 425 grains for stalking.
– There are several types of bows to practice this hunting activity for the weapon (straight, pulley, recurved…) Which of them are you using and why?
For example, while waiting, I use a pulley bow because it allows me to stay open and aim much longer with the bow than with a recurve bow, in which I would have to release the arrow in just a few seconds.
The pulley arch allows you to keep the arch open almost effortlessly, with the “lent-off”.
This way, when you enter the piece, you have the weapon ready for it.
– What position are you usually hunting most often from? Standing on top of a tree (tree-stand), kneeling, perched…?
“I usually resort to hunting in a “tree-stand” when waiting for wild boars, that is, perched on top of a tree.
Whereas, I almost always resort to a kneeling position when I stalk.
– What targeting components do you normally use in your bow? What other accessories are necessary for your activity to be carried out?
which allows me to aim with two open garlic, because it doesn’t need to be parallel to the string, which increases the field of vision. The self-timer is another element that helps the archer hunter the most, as it is insane to release a 70 or 80 pound pulley bow with your fingers, as it might hurt your fingers.
Moreover, I usually also carry a rangefinder to calculate the distance between the dam and the arch.
When it comes to placing the arrow in the desired place, all these accessories assist us a lot.
– What is the animal that is hunted the most with bow in Spain? And outside of it?
Here in Spain, without a doubt, the star is the wild boar.
For example, outside of Spain, in the USA, which is the place in the world where most archery is hunted, the white-tailed deer is the most popular game.
– Finally, to what extent do you believe that the long-standing reform of the current Arms Regulations could have an impact on your activities?
Well, in the end, it seems they’re not going to force us to guide the arches.
In any event, there are many complaints from all fellow hunters, both bow and firearms, that the reform of the Regulation, where it exists, is extremely restrictive, and I believe that politicians should, at least, ask us and inform themselves better before such reform is undertaken.