Finnish Study Puts Bow Hunting on Par with Rifle Hunting for White-tailed Deer

The initial results from a study in Finland led by veterinarian Mikaela Sauvala, as a part of her PhD study, confirm that hunting with a bow and arrow is just as effective as using a rifle.

The detailed scientific study was conducted over a period of four years (2019 to 2023) and analyzed the comparative aspects of harvesting White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with both bullets and arrows. Among other parameters, the fleeing distance was compared for 130 deer harvested with the bow and arrow and 100 deer harvested with a rifle.

It revealed that modern hunting arrows and bullets have similar, if not the same, effects on harvested deer as the average flight distances of deer differed by less than one meter between rifles and hunting bows. These results demonstrate that hunting with a bow and arrow is not only effective but also in line with modern animal welfare standards and represents a safe, responsible, and sustainable practice.

The study’s lead project manager, Antti Saarenmaa, stated: “Our preliminary results show that these findings are similar to our experiences that hunting with a bow and arrow is comparable with other hunting methods.”

For more information and read the study see EBF’s press release.

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