Jeremy Edge, LPC
PC Gaming and Bow Hunting Are the Same (Besides a Few Things)
I used to be a PC gamer. I used to be a bow hunter. I miss both of them. I’ve recently thought about getting back into bow hunting. The more I thought about bow hunting and gaming, the more similarities I found.
Here are a few things PC gaming and bow hunting have in common.
Different Types of PC Gaming and Bow Hunting
There are many different types of video games. RPG, FPS, or MOBA’s are just a few different types of games that are fun and interesting in their own ways. One gamer may love FPS games like Valorant or Call of Duty while another is all about an RPG like Skyrim or Fallout. It’s a matter of preference.
There are different kinds of bow hunting too. You can hunt with a compound, recurve, or crossbow. You can hunt whitetail deer, elk, or even fish. Bow fishing in a boat in the middle of a lake is a lot different than bow hunting for a deer sitting in a tree waiting for hours for a buck to walk by. Each are exciting and fun in their own way.
Different Brands of PCs and Bows
There are many different gaming PCs. Alienware, Corsair, and MSI are a few brands you can go with for a good gaming computer. For bows, solid brands are Mathews, Hoyt, and Bear. They are all the same and different at the same time. Each brand makes a quality product, but they differ in look, feel, and style. They all serve the same purpose of making a good gaming pc or bow, but there is a lot of personal choice involved in these brands.
Customization of Gaming PC and Bow Parts
If you are looking for a gaming computer, you can buy a pre-made one, however, many gamers build their own PCs. The benefit to this is they can customize their computer to fit exactly what they want. They can customize the following.
Case or Tower
All of these items can be fun to shop for. All of these items can be upgraded too. There are many parts in a gaming PC and it’s fun to upgrade different parts along your gaming journey.
Bows, compound bows in particular, have a lot of parts too. Like a gaming computer, you can buy a Bear bow complete and ready to shoot. Or you can buy just the bow and customize it with different parts. You can customize the following.
Shopping can be fun. Especially when it means we can create a custom bow or PC that fits what you want.
Practice Makes Better
There is a term I learned when learning how to ride a motorcycle, seat time, which basically means practice. You have to spend a lot of time riding a motorcycle in order to get better. The same principle applies to gaming and hunting.
The more you play a certain video game, the better you will get. It could be a competitive game where you increase your skills like last hitting, KDA, and map awareness or an RPG where the more you play the better your character becomes. With any video game, you are rewarded the more you play. One of those benefits is a better gaming experience.
The same idea applies for bow hunting. The first thing you must do is learn to shoot accurately. The more you shoot your bow, the better shot you become. You need to learn the feel of your bow and be comfortable shooting a target from 20, 30, and 40 yards away. The more you hunt, the more comfortable you will be at controlling your nerves. Ask any bow hunter, when a big buck steps out 30 yards from you, it's nerve-racking. And the more you control your shot and nerves, the better bow hunter you will be.
Work and Practice Pays Off
Gamers and bow hunters experience great rewards for their work and practice. If a gamer is playing an RPG, the more they play the more they will level their character and find better items. This makes them stronger and better able to beat difficult objectives and bosses in the future. When they beat a boss or complete a really difficult task, they are usually rewarded with a great item or achievement. Their work pays off.
The same principle applies for bow hunters. If a bow hunter is looking for whitetail deer, there is a lot of work and practice in order to bag a buck. They have to find a good location, set up the stand, and wear the right camouflage for that area and season. While they are hunting, they have to be mindful of wind direction, smell, movement, and noise. But, it’s all worth it when a huge 10-point steps out broadside 30 yards away from you.
Instantly Part of a Tribe
Gamers speak gaming. No matter what video game you play, you are instantly part of the gaming group when you play. Like any activity, there are some people who are mean and abusive. But usually the gaming community is full of kind, fun people looking to just play some video games with others.
There are different types of hunters. You can hunt with a rifle, shotgun, or bow. Compound bow hunters are passionate about their sport. You could be a Democrat from California talking with a Republican from Alabama but if you both hunt elk and shoot a Mathews, game over. You’ve found a new BFF.
While gamers and hunters are part of a close-knit tribe, the activity itself is isolating. PC gamers might be talking with their friends online, but physically be by themselves while gaming. Sometimes gamers will be physically in the same room and have a LAN (Local Area Network) party but for the most part, gamers are isolated from others.
As with gaming, the act of hunting is usually an isolating activity. It's not uncommon for someone to hunt with a spouse or friend, but most of the time bow hunters are by themselves. In order to have the best chance of finding the animal your hunting for, going alone is a good way to go.
The last similarity I see between gaming and bow hunting revolves around variable reward. Many video games have components where players randomly will get a good item or achievement.
You may get a rare drop from an objective or get a rare item from a loot box. When players get high quality rewards at random it feels really good. This is called variable reward and it’s highly addictive. Players won’t find a rare item every time they play or get a rare skin every time they open a loot box. But sometimes they will. This will make them want to come back for more. It’s the same thing as gambling, which can be a disorder.
There is a lot of variable reward with hunting too. You probably won’t see or get a chance to shoot a huge buck every time you get in your stand. The majority of the time you hunt you might not even see anything! But sometimes you will see a buck. Sometimes you might even bag a big buck. And then, you’re hooked.
Big Difference Between Gaming and Hunting
The biggest difference between gaming and hunting comes down to location. PC gamers have a certain location they game at. However, it is usually accessible on a daily basis. Either in your bedroom or living room, being able to play exciting video games is usually within your home.
Hunting on the other hand can not be done at home (unless you live in the country). For bow hunters, you have to plan a certain time and day to go to the woods. There are also certain times of the year to hunt. Deer season in Texas is only between October - January. Even to practice shooting your bow has to be done intentionally. You have to drive to an archery range and usually pay to shoot.
Gamers are indoors and hunters are outside. Gamers are usually sedentary while hunters are a mix of active and sedentary. Bow hunters must walk a lot and physically be strong enough to shoot a bow. But deer hunters have to be physically still when they are in the stand hunting.
What does this mean?
Gaming and hunting have their pros and cons. But hunting does get you outside, increases vitamin D, and keeps you active. Unlike gaming, hunting can be easier to step away from because of natural boundaries like hunting seasons and a physical location to hunt and shoot at.
If gaming is a problem or disorder for you and you are looking for a different, healthier hobby, bow hunting could be worth a shot.
If you are a gamer who feels their hobby is causing more problems than benefits, reach out to me. I would be happy to work with you to help you navigate healthy gaming.