Ever considered how life would be without grocery stores?
You would need to go out and find your own food, which means knowing how to hunt. Which will be your tool of choice between a bow and a gun?
The first thing survivalists consider is finding themselves a weapon. You want to make sure everything you’re carrying with you is functional and useful. Real survivalists will almost always look towards a bow rather than a gun.
If you’re not sure where you fall on the bows vs guns debate, read on to find out our take on the subject.
The Pros and Cons of Bows
So, what are the benefits and disadvantages of hunting with a bow in a survival situation? We’ll list a few of them here.
There are a vast number of reasons you should consider hunting with a bow and arrow.
You’ll Never Run Out of Ammo
When you’re using a bow and arrow for hunting, you’ll never run out of ammo. You can collect arrows after you’ve shot them and they’ll almost always be reusable.
But what happens if you strike a target and it gets away? If your arrows break and you’re all out? Luckily enough, you can make them from almost any material.
Just about anything can be made into a sharp, effective arrowhead. You can use small, straight sticks for arrows. Also, stone chips, glass, keys, computer parts, and anything you can reshape can become broadheads.
Another great part about hunting with bows is that they’re very quiet. They can even be silent if used correctly with a string silencer.
When you’re blending in with nature, the quick silence of your bow and arrow won’t mess with the animals around you the same way that loud gunshots will.
It’s a Multipurpose Weapon
Whether you’re using a traditional string for your bow or you’re improvising with the stuff you’ve found in the wild, your bowstring can do a lot of other things.
You can use your bow string to make a snare, to use it for traps, or even start a fire.
If you’ve found a lot of materials to make bow strings with, you can create a lot of different things. You can use your bow string for anything else, as long as you don’t damage it.
Before you use anything, know how much you have and take care not to damage it.
You Can Make Them Yourself
If you’re smart enough to learn how to shoot a bow with a certain level of skill, you’re smart enough to learn how to make one. You only need a few materials to make something that will help you protect yourself and hunt for food.
In a survival situation, you’ll need some hardwood to make a bow. You can make arrows with cattails and the methods we described above.
Finding string can be a bit more challenging.
You can look for a suitable material for string in vines, strong plants, or thread from your clothing.
You’ll Strengthen Other Skills
A bow and arrow are especially preferable to a gun when you want to hone your other skills.
Bows are powerful weapons that can be difficult to handle. Every time you fire one, you’re strengthening your muscles and improving your hand-eye coordination. There are a number of health benefits of bow hunting.
While it’s true that there are some bows that can shoot up to 400 yards at speeds over 200 miles per hour, this isn’t true for most bows. The sort of bow you’ll use in a survival situation is best at 30 to 40 yards away.
This means you’ll have to maintain your composure and learn how to be stealthy as well.
While there are clearly plenty of great reasons to use a bow, here are a few of the disadvantages.
Lower Rate of Fire
The biggest downfall of hunting with a bow and arrow is that they have a seriously decreased rate of fire. With a modern-day firearm, your rate of fire will be much higher.
This can be a big downfall in a survival situation, but with a little stealth, you can counteract it.
It’ll Take a Lot of Practice
It’s hard to learn how to use a bow with the degree of skill you’ll need in a survival situation. It takes a lot of time and patience to practice, and that’s not something you might have a lot of in a survival situation.
But that’s why it’s a great reason to start learning how to use a bow for hunting now.
You’ll have to be a lot closer with a bow and arrow than you would with a gun in order to get your shot. Most survival bows need to be within at least 50 yards of your target before they have any degree of accuracy.
The Pros and Cons of Guns
Now that we’ve talked about using bows for hunting, let’s take a look at firearms as survival weapons.
Here are some of the advantages of using a gun in a survival situation.
They Have a Lot of Stopping Power
In the bows vs guns debate, it’s clear that guns have the advantage in sheer stopping power. A gun can take down something large with almost no effort and bows just don’t have that feature.
They’re Easy to Learn
Another huge benefit to firearms is that they’re easy to learn. It doesn’t take much information to know how to discharge a firearm and stop something immediately.
This is made evident with the news all over the world. Even children are able to use guns to scare intruders off from their home. And, one of a gun’s greatest disadvantage can be a huge advantage in the right situation. They’re loud, and that’s often scary to a lot of predators.
They’ve Got a Lot of Range
Firearms can be used to hit a range of targets from a wide variety of distances. There are weapons out there that are designed for all different kinds of shooting.
A lot of things will affect the ability for a gun to hit the target from a distance, like the type of firearm you have or the kind of metal the bullet is made of, but there’s no doubt that guns have a much higher distance accuracy rate than bows do.
Now that you know the advantages, we’ll talk about the disadvantages.
One of the biggest issues in a survival situation is an ammunition shortage. If there’s a shortage, there’s nothing that a gun can do to help you.
This means that every single bullet counts. They’re all worth something, and they need to be treated like a precious commodity. With a bow and arrow, you can practice improving your accuracy. In a situation with an ammunition shortage, you absolutely can’t.
And when it comes to bullets, they’re not all the same. Even if you find ammo that can fit your gun, it might not be the right load for it.
Your Gun Must Be Clean
This is the number one rule with keeping a gun for survival. Even if you own a cleaning kit, will you have it when you absolutely need it? What are you supposed to do if you don’t have any gun oil or something you can use that’s similar?
Even if you have a nice stockpile of ammo, it means nothing if your gun isn’t clean. Guns jam and break. A dirty gun is a useless gun.
Guns Are Loud
Something you avoid when using a bow and arrow for hunting is the sound. This is one of the biggest factors guns have going against them.
If you miss your target with a gun, even with a silencer it’s likely that you’ve been discovered. It’ll make your target run and it’ll alert other creatures or people in the area that you’re there.
On top of that, a gun is going to render you unable to hear for a second, unless you’re wearing protective gear. And in both cases, you’re not going to be at the top of your game to know what’s going on around you.
Bows vs Guns: Which is Better?
Where do you fall in the bows vs guns debate? Sure, a gun can be used quickly and without training. But if you miss your target, or if you run out of bullets, you’re out of luck. With a bow, you can sneak up on your target and you probably won’t blow a giant hole in the meat you’re hoping to eat.
The next time you and your family start to go over a survival plan, consider adding bowhunting skills to your to-do list. There’s nothing better for survival than something you can build yourself.
For more tips for surviving everyday life, explore our blog!