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Archery Are Archery People Snobs or Elitists?

Are Archery People Snobs or Elitists?

As bowhunting and general archery participation continue to see an uptick, sportsmen who take part in these pastimes advertise their aptitude across social media and squeeze their accomplishments into every conversation possible. Do they think they’re better than gun guys — and everyone else?

Bowhunters only make up about a third of all hunters, and firearm sport shooters outnumber target archers nearly 3:1. The leading reason archery fans list for their weapon choice is the added challenge of this shooting tackle.

While masterfully shooting any weapon requires some degree of skill, archery demands a level of physical strength and prowess all its own.

Drawing back nearly half your bodyweight takes more muscle than pulling a trigger. And perfectly placing carbon on a wary whitetail 20 yards from your stand takes more stealth than throwing lead at an unwitting animal a football field away.

And as the legendary Fred Bear said, “You can learn more about hunting deer with a bow and arrow in a week than a gun hunter will learn in his entire life.”

Lumping all hunters and shooting enthusiasts together is akin to handing out participation trophies on field day. It’s just not all equal.

As a result, bowhunters call for hunting seasons separate from crossbows, keep exclusive trophy records, and hail their exploits as the highest level of sportsmanship.

They proclaim themselves elite athletes.

The reality is traditional archers typically think they’re superior to compound shooters who look down on crossbow users who still rank themselves above muzzleloader hunters who place themselves before the general orange army.

But the same can be said of sniper-like long-range shooters who turn a nose up at the average Joe firing his grandfather’s gun at a target barely 100 yards downrange.

There’s some extent of elitism at just about every level within the ranks. If you didn’t think your style of hunting or shooting is the best, why would you do it? Why wouldn’t you take pride in a skill you’ve worked hard to master? If you’ve struggled your way to proficiency in the hardest form of anything, don’t you want a little respect for the accomplishment? 

So are archers snobs? Yeah, maybe a little. But haven’t they earned it?

If you’re a seasoned archer, don’t let anyone shame you out of wearing it like a badge of honor.

36 thoughts on “Are Archery People Snobs or Elitists?”

  1. TBB,

    An elitist and a snob can be easily distinguished when the snob starts proclaiming the superiority of his method of hunting over everybody else. The elitist would simply stay quiet and nod while feeling superior despite what others would say.


  2. I think one should be able to take pride in a job well done; no matter what tools were used.
    However-I think I can concede that when you do it ‘the hard way’ you will always take more pride in the accomplishment-snobbery is when you start sticking your nose up in the air; and usually ends with you tripping over the big stick that you didn’t see because of it, LOL…
    And I think there is a big difference between thinking of yourself as being an ‘elite’; and being one-kind of like Siraniko said.
    Although-I suppose a little bit is justified for those who did take the hard road; methinks…
    BowBully-Any chance that we can get a primer series on archery and bowhunting; like BB’s ‘teach me to shoot’ series? It would be a great help for us noobs who don’t even know where to begin; short of nocking an arrow; pulling it back-and letting it fly….

  3. Bow BULLY,

    Meat on the table however you ethically do it.
    Projectile in the BULLSEYE in difficult conditions.

    “Drawing back nearly half your bodyweight takes more muscle than pulling a trigger. And perfectly placing carbon on a wary whitetail 20 yards from your stand takes more stealth than throwing lead at an unwitting animal a football field away.”
    The bent over dumbbell row along with planks are all it takes to have the strength do the draw. Other skills required are much more similar especially out of the stand, blind, and bathroom window.
    Pulling the trigger may not require much physical strength but knowing how to stalk your prey coupled with when to and when not to press the trigger is a highly sought after skill among the Nimrod.

    Shooting CLEAN 5/5 everytime you ski into the 50 meter range after a few Km of masterful hard work… now that is an athletic endeavor.

    We can all keep the Sporting Life viable or we can turn on one another in our prideful way…
    I prefer a more convivial and welcoming atmosphere that has been maintained in this PA Blog to this point.


    • Shootski

      Well said. The idea that the ability to “pull half your body weight” sounds daunting to me,, as at 240 pounds, I doubt I could do that. I, too, feel that hunting is a great deal more than the weapon used. I have learned much from bow hunting, but no more than I have while carrying my .270.

      I suppose if one feels superior to others, for any reason, it says something about their character. There is likely something that we all do well,, and many others that,, well,, we suck at. Snobbery and elitism smell too much alike for my taste.


      • edlee,

        Not to worry! If you pull half your body weight you will be among the top 0.1% of bowmen in terms of draw weight capability; most all bows require far less. “A modern longbow’s draw is typically 60 lbf (270 N) or less, and by modern convention measured at 28 inches (71.1 cm). Historically, hunting bows usually had draw weights of 50–60 lbf (220–270 N), which is enough for all but the very largest game and which most reasonably fit adults can manage with practice.”
        But if you want to be in that top 0.1% some tips from The Bow Bully will help along with those bent over Dumbbell Rows and Planks with various progressions will get you there!
        If you can do a 4 minute plank with one leg elevated and full 30lb bent over Dumbbell Rows you could easily do at least a 100lbf draw with a little technique instruction.

        So The Bow Bully could do a blog on dry land training for archery!


        • Shootski

          Mine is a 65# . I haven’t shot it for a few years,, the shoulder replacement didn’t work as well as I had hoped. Now I am using a crossbow,, something I would not have done before my spinal cord injury. We do what we must to continue our loved pastimes.
          Since I have not the use of my legs, I haven’t exercised my lower half,, but my upper half was pretty strong before the shoulder thing. Then there is the normal (for me) issue of being a bit on the lazy side. Throughout my life, my occupation was always enough to keep me fit. So I seldom had need of other exercise. Some things change,, but my aversion to the rituals necessary for “working out” has not.

          I, too, would enjoy reading what the bow boy has to say about the mechanics of the use of bows. Of course,, I will read anything he writes about exercise,,, and grin.


          • Ed,

            Don’t know your circumstance but have worked with Wounded Warriors getting them swimming and kayaking. My son works with sit skiers. Sounds like you have kept yourself going and I think that says you can be proud of that without limit in my book!


  4. Bow Bully,

    To echo Shootski and Gunfun1, it would be good if you could grab a bow or crossbow an just review it, We want to learn about new stuff so show it.


  5. TBB,

    I would very like to see a good crossbow test. How to test, how to shoot, all these small important hints and tips.
    I bought compound crossbow with 190lbs… and the first time I tried it I was shocked how powerfull it is. I did not test it properly so far for accuracy and long range shooting. I would really like to read something about it. I think it was mistake to buy something that powerfull.

    • Yogi,

      I always though of airguners as cheapskates compared to powder shooters what with the price of BBs and pellets!
      I guess I need to change my mind on that…at least as far as field points! Lol
      I wonder what the life expectancy is for a broad point?


      • Shootski

        I guess you have to consider the cost of the arrows and broad heads or mechanicals together. At $80 per dozen that works out to $6.66 each,, and a mechanical for about $10 apiece and you are getting into some pretty expensive ammo. It’s a good thing they are reusable,,, most of the time.

        Thank you for your kind words and for your support of veterans. I am a member of the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, myself. Of course, our organization is no part of the more well known “Project”. We organized and named ours a couple years before they did and are only a very small regional thing.

        I did a great deal more in the early years of my injury,, but at 75,, I have cut back quite a lot.


        • Ed,

          I guess I always think of myself as a Retiree but yeah I’m a Veteran too!
          You only have me by two years but I managed to get through 26+ years most of it overseas without collecting a Purple Heart or all too much permanent damage; only by the grace of God.

          • Shootski

            I thank you for your service, as well. I had no idea I was talking to a “Lifer”. I briefly considered it, but life has a way of pushing you sometimes. I can’t complain,, even with the paralysis. It didn’t happen until pretty late in my life so I had already done a great deal of what I wanted. Was saving some things for retirement,, but like I said,,, life pushes.


      • Shootski,

        I’ve never seen a formal study on broadhead longevity but I have a Zwickey Black Diamond thats been the demise of 07 or 08 whitetails and it’s still cooking. Usually they wear out or should I say they get out of kilter from a lot of sharpening. It changes their weight and profile so they don’t shoot to the same POI due to being lighter than their quiver mates.


        • BobF,

          Never thought of those things like the change sharpening would change the weight and balance (CG) of the arrow resulting in different POI. Let’s go into business and make adjustable and add-on shaft weights to keep the CG and gross weight the same the same in a quiver of arrows! I wonder which has the greater effect on the Ballistics gross weight changes or CG/CM shifts? Another Blog topic for The Bow Bully!


          • Shootski,

            You just opened up the proverbial can of worms with that last question. Testing has shown that best accuracy is achieved in hunting weight arrows shooting broadheads with the the CM at somewhere between 11 and 14 %. FOC ” front of center “. To obtain your desired percentage is basically a juggling act reached by changing shaft length, broadhead weight, broadhead adapter weight, larger or smaller feathers/vanes, and even knocks. The rule of thumb is what you do at one end affects the FOC percentage at the other end. All of this is affected by the type of bow. you’re shooting, shafting material, your shooting style and a myriad of other factors. ” I never said this was going to be easy ” All you can do is mix and match till you arrive at the point that your arrows come off your bow perfectly and all go where they are aimed. Easy Peazie, right? Modern compounds are actually pretty easy to get good arrow flight out of. Non centershot stickbows being shot with fingers are a whole different ballgame!

            As far as going into business, sorry to tell you this but internal shaft weighting systems have been around for a long, long time. I’ll have to pass on that offer.

            Where is Bow Bully when you really need him? My finger is sore from typing.


        • BobF,

          I have always admired Bugs Bunny!
          When I was assigned to HQEUCOM the other Service types would need their BDUs to deal with the Navy Dress Uniformed (with combat silk scarfed) STINKER dropping Common Sense bombs on their Action Plans. Don’t see much of that in Eastern Europe Ops just now…
          BUT The Bugs; now he was a REAL STINKER!


  6. Of course we’re better 🙂
    Not really, just different.
    My sons and I do both…and enjoy them the same…nor do we consider one ‘better’ than the other…again just different.
    It does require a bit of a different mindset (especially when talking recurves/longbow)…a zen sort of thing IMO…wherein the journey becomes more important than the destination.
    But that’s a whole other thing.

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