Many sportsmen who are involved in hunting have a favorite weapon. Some are long range hunters who choose to challenge themselves by finding the perfect long range opportunity. Other hunters relish the old smoke pole. Famous hunter Jim Shockey was the first to harvest record book quality animals of the 27 North American big game species using a muzzleloader. I personally, have hunted with a firearm (an ancient Winchester Model 70), muzzleloader, and compound bow. One group who prides themselves in the ultimate handicap when it comes to weaponry are recurve archery hunters.
Most recurve hunters will tell you that their weapon has about a 20 yard effective range. Compare that to a 40-60 yard effective range with a compound bow, and you can see the challenge. Add the primitive and instinctive draw motion and colorful wood construction of many recurve bows, and you do feel a certain primitive connection with ancient hunter gatherers.
While I was researching this post, I came across one amazing archery site http://www.3riversarchery.com/TrophyRoom2.asp?p=0&name=Brown%2FGrizzly%2FPolar+Bear&gameid=9
These guys hunt giant bears using recurve bows.
I loved this quote from the site, “I shared this hunt with my uncle, an Alaska resident, stalking this dry, 8’4″ sow (the only lone bear we observed in 14 days) while she hunted red salmon on a lake shore. Shot her three times from 25 to 35 yards and she feel in sight. It was all over in a matter of 20 seconds. All arrows hanging by the fletching on the far right side, grouped tight through the lungs.”