Both methods of hunting has its roots deep into the history of man kind, (though the bow might win when using that comparison,) but ultimately, comparing the two proves to be very difficult as they are far apart in both technique and the necessary skillset required.
With a lot of seasoned hunters, the choice to use either a rifle of a bow doesn’t even surface as they are well trained and experienced in both methods of hunting, and most will tell you that these are two entirely different hunts all together.
Walking and stalking an animal, either big or mid-size game with a rifle can be a lot quicker and you’ll have ample time to set up position and shoo the target from a rather great distance. Especially in open terrain, it can be fast paced with large amounts of adrenaline flowing.
Bow hunting needs patience. A lot of it. Making oneself very comfortable in ones best camouflage clothing, either in a hide or in a tree, you want to be relatively close to the animal, with as little as possible movement for the ultimate kill.
When hunting with a rifle, vehicles can be used most of the time during the day, even with a walk and stalk, and thus, you have the comfort of packing your lunch, having a chat with your PH or friend, and enjoying some scenery.
With a bow, tucked away in your position, any form of processed food is contrary to an effective hunt, as the animals has a great sense of smell. Even the use of deodorant, body spay or excessive use of shampoo alerts the animals that some foreign being is at hand, and would shy away from their usual drinking habits. The animals hearing abilities are not to be sneered at either, and any talking, or even the shutter sound of a camera would immediately spoil your chances of an excellent trophy. (We’ve seen impala get a fright just upon hearing the tick sound of a camera’s auto-focus, but that’s a story for another day.)
Arguments has for years been going to and fro about minimizing the suffering of the animal. We have found that it doesn’t really make a big difference, so long as the hunter is skilled in which ever method he prefers. Shot placement is everything. You can wound an animal with a rifle and kill it with a well placed mark using a bow.
What is important to point out here is that when familiar with a rifle, and having acquired a new bow, kicks in, rather use the rifle, and train some more with the bow.
What ever your preferences, hunt with all your heart. The African bush is waiting for you!