We already know that bow and arrow is quite a primitive hunting weapon, with the oldest discovered bows dating back more than 10,000 years. Arrows are even much older than that. It didn’t take much for our ancestors to realize that bow and arrow could be used to hunt fish and provide an extra food source. And that’s how bowfishing history begins.
The bow and arrow continued to improve through history. Therefore, people started to make special bows and arrows designed for bowfishing. That’s why we have some sophisticated and complex specialized bows available nowadays.
Modern bowfishing history
Even though it experienced a huge boom in popularity in the last 10 years, bowfishing has come a long way to be a sport as we see it in America today. During the last 100 years, numerous regulations were put up, changed or removed.
At the start of the 19th century, night fishing was on the rise. This unsettled some property owners near the lakes and many of them had to be closed for bowfishing. In most of the places, the state prohibited bright lights, loud noise, and excessive fishing, making the sport to lose its attraction.
Due to a new rise in interest in this sport, the Bowfishing Association of America was founded in 1990. It’s purpose was and still is, to protect both the fishing species and fishermen’s rights. It also took charge of bow and ribbon fishing tournaments and made them more accessible to the general public.
Nowadays, we can even see the whole families going on bowfishing trips or expeditions. While the technological boom resulted in some impressive gear that was almost unimaginable only decades ago. The bows are optimized for maximum power and accessibility and the arrows became extremely fast and durable. But the principle is still the same as it was millenniums ago.