Hunting with the bow and arrow was prohibited in the UK in 1965. In the most up-to-date Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 its legal status remains unchanged. Modern Bowhunting however, continues to develop and to be employed effectively alongside, and often as an alternative to firearms in many parts of the world, including the EU, as part of existing wildlife management and conservation initiatives. The BBA believes that modern Bowhunting would make a valuable contribution to existing UK wildlife management and conservation programs and regional economies, should legislation be reintroduced.
The purpose of this website is primarily to inform and educate the wider British community of the realities of modern Bowhunting, the equipment and methods used, and not least to highlight the qualities and chosen values
of the modern Bowhunter. In doing so we also aim to address some of the misperceptions that are currently in circulation regarding Bowhunting.
The BBA also aims to act as a point of contact and represent the interests, within
the wider International Bowhunting community, of the many dedicated Bowhunters resident within Great Britain, their supporters and those individuals wishing to learn more about us.
Our Mission Statement
The British Bowhunters Association intends to promote modern Bowhunting as an effective humane and ethical method of wildlife management and conservation, in order to set the conditions for a re-introduction of Bowhunting in the UK.
Why hunt with a Bow?
Personal. Any hunt is an intrinsically enriching personal experience. The Bowhunter seeks to enrich this experience even further by employing an even more ethical approach to the hunt. Using fieldcraft skills, knowledge
of his surroundings and his quarry and using the prevailing weather conditions in his favour, the Bowhunter challenges himself as much as he challenges his quarry.
Ethical hunting. Perhaps the core-value of the Bowhunter. Bowhunting is about fair chase. Putting yourself on a level with your quarry in terrain -and in a situation of your quarry's own choosing, where it can use all of its
senses against you. A hunter will not get to within 20 yards of his quarry without determination and having shown his quarry due respect.
Practical. The hunter accepts that wildlife management is a fact of the modern world that we live in. Many countries like the UK, employ carefully managed and strictly enforced programs using a number of methods to manage and conserve wildlife habitats. In many countries Bowhunting is employed in a similar manner to firearms to achieve this. Always humanely, and sometimes as a preferred alternative to the limitations of many firearms.
Training and accreditation
In most countries with Bowhunting legislation in place, hunters are required by law to demonstrate competency in their chosen activity. This competency is commonly based upon the International Bowhunter Education Program (IBEP), which was developed by the US National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF), founded in 1979. The IBEP remains the industry-standard curriculum for Bowhunting activities worldwide and is strictly enforced in most Bowhunting nations. Other countries such as Denmark have adapted the IBEP program to suit their own particular wildlife habitats and environment.
The BBA believes that a common high-standard of education and training is vital to maintain practical and ethical standards within the Bowhunting community. The BBA therefore fully supports the IBEP and currently has nine fully qualified IBEP instructors within the organisation.
For a more detailed description of IBEP training, please read on or visit the NBEF website.