Now that bow hunting is here, hunters claim that deer are never left to die of a wound by an experienced hunter. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are hundreds of thousands of animals that are crippled and wounded, lying terrorized in the woods.
In bow hunting, half of the animals hit with arrows, wind up getting away and bleeding to death, dying a slow lingering death. When deer are hit in the esophagus or nose it might take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to die from starvation. There is no instant kill with bow hunting. It's just a tremendous amount of suffering being caused in the name of recreation.
Twenty-two published scientific surveys and studies indicate that the average wounding rate for bow hunting is over 50 percent. More than one out of every two deer shot are never retrieved, and usually die after prolonged agony from septic infection, peritonitis, blood loss, or other complications. Wounding rates for rifle hunting are also significant. Many of these studies were conducted by state wildlife agencies.
For example, "Preliminary Archery Survey Report" Montana Dept. of Fish Wildlife and Parks report 51 percent wounding; "Archery Wounding Loss in Texas" Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 51 percent; "Deer Hunting Retrieval Rates" Michigan Pittman-Robertson Report, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, 58 percent; "Effects of Compound Bow Use on Hunter Success and Crippling Rates in Iowa" Wildlife Society Bulletin, 49 percent; "Bow hunting for Deer in Vermont: Some Characteristics of the Hunters, the Hunt, and the Harvest" Vermont Fish and Game Department (63% wounded. The average wounding rate from all 22 reports is 55 percent.
If hunters killed a dog or cat in this manner, they would be charged with cruelty to animals.