Deer hunting is changing. It always has been and always will. My grandfathers hunting heydays were between the 40's and the 80's. Deer hunting was gun hunting and that was it. Look at old magazine covers. You saw a lot of them had squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, and upland bird hunters on the fall editions. Why? Because of very few bowhunters and the idea was that deer hunting was gun hunting.
Then the compound comes along and changes that ideology. Thru the 80's and 90's more people dropped the idea of small game hunting and did more bow hunting. As funny as it may sound there were guys who were excellent small game hunters and the tactics they used have been lost for the most part compared to what I have see from the average Joe that wants to go out and shoot a few squirrels. And most hunters during this time period started focusing their time and resources over to whitetails.
In the last 20 years I would say technology has really changed the game of deer hunting and I am seeing a lost art in regards to woodsmanship and the ability to figure out and harvest a whitetail. And from what I said earlier its reminiscent of the individuals who lost the art of being able to hunt small game efficiently.
This technology jump in the outdoor industry has caused the want for "efficiency". Meaning I want the best to help me do the least. Some say that is efficiency of time and resources and others will say thats because you are lazy. Arguments can and will be made from both sides and no need to waste time over that.
I have never observed a sport whether it be of woods, field or water or diamond, court or gridiron that reverses there actions to return to their roots or the old ways of doing things. One could say baseball has tried but even that game has instant replay, radar guns, metallic batting helmets and now Wrigley has lights. Everything moves forward...... whether it be for the better can be debated but where do you draw the line??? Even a recurve is considered a technological advancement over the longbow. Should we argue over that? And here's something to think about. Why don't we argue over that?
From a personal side I have never considered myself a gun hunter or bow hunter. Just a deer hunter. I grew up with no family that owned any land to hunt. I had to cut my teeth on public and knock on doors. Last year was the first year in 31 years of hunting that I was able to gun hunt private land for the first time over public. 90 percent of my deer hunting is on public land.
Moving forward I think you're going to see gun hunting dissapate more than archery. Personally gun hunting leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's organized chaos. I see the worst of characters come out at this time due to a myriad of reasons I won't list but sure most of you can guess. I see deer in a panic mode and even though I am a hunter I respect the animal to the highest degree and do not care to see any animal with the fear in its eyes like I do during gun season.
Long story short, for me deer hunting is during the archery season and I think the numbers are showing that for most people out there. The crossbow allows me and Im sure others out there to level the playing field a bit amongst those who can afford to own or lease land.