The Difference Between Bowhunting and Archery

By  //  March 17, 2020

It takes a great amount of skill to be able to use a bow, regardless of why you’re using it. Archery and bowhunting are two forms of art; the finesse it takes to focus on your target and correctly aim your arrow is admirable.

Over the years, a lot of people have shown some interest in them, but they don’t know the    difference between the two sports and can’t really tell them apart. 

So, we’re here to set the record straight and explain the differences between archery and bowhunting.

What Is Archery? 

This is a type of sport where you use a bow and an arrow to aim at a target and shoot for a bull’s eye hit. This requires a significant amount of concentration and calmness to do right. Archery isn’t as easy as you see in the movies, it’s actually quite complex and detailed.

You need a lot of patience and practice to hone your skills. Many years ago, this was a form of warfare, but now it has evolved into a recreational activity and a sport.

What Is Bowhunting?

Bowhunting is essentially an extension of archery. In fact, it’s one of the most common types of it. The idea behind it is that you use your bow and arrow to hunt animals.

It’s regulated by the government to avoid any threats to endangered species.

The bow and arrow experts at explain that you have different bows to choose from depending on the animal you’re hunting and the distance between you and your target may be. But overall, it’s an amazing experience and it’s a very common practice worldwide.

What’s the Difference? 

Technically they’re both the same thing, but the reasoning behind each one is different. While both employ pretty much the same techniques, archery could be for both sport and leisure, but bowhunting is strictly for hunting animals.

Most types of archery activities involve shooting at a still inanimate target, although it can sometimes be a moving target for fun or practicing purposes. Bowhunting, on the other hand, involves a live target that will be moving and you have to accurately shoot the bow to catch that animal. 

Are There Any Other Types of Archery?

Yes, there are other types; archery is broader than just one type. Bowhunting is just one of 4 types available. You can learn more about the three other types in detail below:

  • Field Archery

This is the act of aiming for targets that are unmarked and located at different distances. You do most of your shooting in rough terrain or the woods. This is very organized, and it’s considered to be a field course with various targets. Some of these courses have 24 or 48 targets for you to shoot.

You will have rules that you must follow like shooting three or four arrows per target and the distances should be different each time. It can be around 10 to 60 meters and you’d be aiming at a target face between 20 to 80 centimeters. It’s very enjoyable and it’s an extreme workout too.

  • Clout Archery

This is another field course, but a bit more disciplined than other types. It mimics medieval warfare action, where you experience lobbing arrows towards advancing moving armies.

This will take a considerable amount of skill because your targets are about 180 meters away and it would measure about 15 meters in diameter.

Because of the far distance, these targets will be marked to help you aim better. You will need special accessories and equipment to help you finish this course. 

  • Target Archery

This is the simplest kind of archery and it’s the most commonly practiced one. Usually, it’s what archery tournaments offer to the different archers who want to participate. They can be held outdoors and indoors too, but they’re quite easier than clout and field archery.

Your targets are marked, and the distances could be approximately 18 meters indoors but 90 meters outdoors. Your target size would be 80 to 120 centimeters for outdoor rounds and about 40 to 60 centimeters for indoor rounds.  

Whether you’re doing it for fun, sport, or for hunting big game animals, there is a certain flair for using a bow. It empowers you somehow and a lot of people believe it feels better than using a rifle or gun.

It will take a lot of practice and years of training to perfect your skills with a bow and arrow, but it’s worth the effort when you could feel that adrenaline rush kick in as you nock, draw, then let loose your arrow for the perfect shot.