The amount of dedication traditional archery requires and the patience it takes to harvest an animal might dissuade some from trying a stick bow. It’s likely the reason the number of traditional hunters is relatively small.
But Acadian Woods Bows’ Tim Mullins said it’s a number that has only been increasing.
“In the last 10 years, traditional archery has grown by leaps and bounds,” he said.
Mullins said he’s seen people get into the sport as another challenge, like the progression from when someone feels they’ve mastered hunting with a compound bow.
Stephen Raggio of the Louisiana Traditional Bowmen said his group has about 50 members and that he’s seen more people interested in traditional archery as of late.
“I hope it continues to grow,” Raggio said. “We’ve been doing good with the club for the last few years, trying to reach people and get them in and shoot a little bit to learn about the sport.”
Raggio said newcomers to the sport are seeing what he and his fellow traditional hunting friends have known for a while: The sport is more about the art rather than the harvest.
That art is something that one can connect to as a purer form of archery, , Bobby Pagitt said.
It’s an art in which mastering the skill of the sport comes first and a harvest is simply an after effect.
“It takes a lot of practice and a lot of effort to do anything with it, to get where you can shoot accurately,” Raggio said. “Then you have to learn how to hunt with it, more than a lot of other types of hunting. You don’t want to go in the woods if you have to kill something with a bow and arrow.
“It’s more like you go if you enjoy hunting. That’s what it’s about. If you kill it’s lagniappe.”
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