Before you ask, no, it is not about shooting around your neighbors. This is a term mostly known by hunters. Either you hunt for recreational purpose or for a living, when urban archery season starts, they all come together for the opportunity.
Urban Archery Season is a period of time in certain cities, where it becomes legal to hunt urban deer in order to reduce the local population. Several cities and towns join this season to increase opportunities for hunters while controlling deer population.
Urban archery is something I’ve only really started to get into. I got into archery originally to train for competitions, for Olympic archery. Nevertheless, a lot of people practice hunting with a bow and arrow, many of my friends at my archery club have tried Urban archery and really enjoyed it!
Let’s dive into the world of hunting.
Is it legal to hunt with a bow?
In most places, it is. Depending on your state and county, rules change. I am not going to elaborate on each state regulation because that would make this article endless and the local rules for you can be found with a google search (your state + urban archery). Many counties place weight limits on the strength of your bow, many also regulate hunting seasons during the year and zones where it is safe to hunt. These rules are in place to keep people safe and should be followed where in place!
This doesn’t apply necessary to the entire state. Some state regulations for hunting change depending on the local county. Thankfully there are several hunting communities in constant conversation with the regulators, so you can join them on Facebook or on reddit to ask any specific questions.
Be sure of where you hunt or shoot
Something to always keep in consideration, regardless if you’re going hunting or training at a range, always keep in mind your surroundings. One of the first things coaches teach you when starting out with archery is to be fully aware of your surroundings. Make sure you’re not in a place where kids are playing, or families are camping. For practicing Olympic archery, it is easier to determine a specific area where you’ll shoot, since you won’t be moving. But in the case of hunting, try to stay in areas marked as hunting zones and make sure people don’t go there for recreation.
Can you hunt in a neighborhood?
It depends. In many counties with deer population issues, they open Urban Deer Archery Seasons, but it is more or less meant for you to go hunt in your local neighborhood to reduce deer population. It’s a win-win, the state wouldn’t have to pay in getting rid of the excess of deer, and hunters will be happy getting to practice their craft. But many communities don’t feel safe with hunters shooting next to their homes. So, technically you can hunt in your neighborhood when in urban hunting season; but try to get as far as you can from the community playground or your backyard and respect the county safe zones for hunting.
Having said that, several towns are trying to restrict urban archery practice since there is still a risk to life however careful hunter are, there are still occasional reports of urban archery deaths floating around most year. That is why hunters and people who practice this as a sport should always stay in touch with the communities and respect their wishes.
What is the easiest animal to hunt?
While going through many hunting blogs, I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for some big birds like ducks or pheasants to hunt. It’s also widely recommend to hunt squirrels, rabbits and of course deer. The birds and squirrels will be much harder to hit, even as an expert so I would recommend sticking with deer or rabbits.
The deer is a much bigger target with better chances for your first shot to be on target. Nevertheless, you must be patient not to scare the deer or the rabbit since they tend to be nervous animals.
Targeting a bird will see you lose plenty of arrows in the undergrowth and you’ll probably hurt someone if the arrow ends up out of sight.
Is it better to hunt with a bow or a gun?
This depends on your objective; if you’re hunting to get food, a rifle will probably make your life easier since it will most likely kill the animal instantly with good aiming. It won’t make you tired and you can easy take the shot from a greater distance.
But, we are archers, we want the excitement of shooting a bow, and it pays off in so many different ways. Shooting with a bow is a lot more peaceful, it is quite and won’t scare the rest of the pray. Bow hunting season also usually lasts longer than the rifle season.
Then, we all know that archery strengthens or body, you’re actually doing exercise and practicing several useful skills. Shooting a bow requires much more physical effort and many skills, which I would argue make it harder.
I therefore much prefer hunting with a bow than a gun, if I go hunting it will always be with a bow and arrow. There is also one thing said by many hunters about the differences between hunting with a bow, urban archery, and hunting with a rifle. Most hunters will tell you that hunting with a bow evens the playing field. What does this mean? It means that hunters often consider it too easy to use a gun! A bow gives the animal a chance of escaping if you make a wrong move, whereas guns often have longer ranges and are more consistent.
Hopefully you’re looking for the excitement of archery and your decision won’t be between a bow or a gun, but between a recurve bow or a compound bow.
Happy shooting everybody.