Bowhunting Innovations: What's the Most Controversial Ever?

There's no doubt the cyclical world of bowhunting has seen a whole lot of change over the years. Fred Bear probably wouldn't have had much need for all the gadgets on the shelves nowadays, and his feathered fedora would've seemed weird alongside the studded jeans, black bows and tribal-style tattoos at the 2013 ATA show.


In the burgeoning years of our sport — the first bowhunting season was held in Wisconsin in 1934 — carbon and plastic were used for space shuttles and Tupperware, and the long bow was the only game in town. Then came the recurve, only to be steamrolled years later by Holless Wilber Allen's compound bow, which was approved for patent in 1969.


Most of the early innovations in bowhunting — aluminum arrows, plastic fletchings, stabilizers and the like — were met with excitement, but in an industry that prides itself on a traditionally minimalist approach, there's been a fair share of new introductions that have gotten the shaft...literally.

The rules of fair chase and ethics in bowhunting are frequently up for debate, but there's no doubt that these bowhunting innovations have caused the biggest stir.


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