Who was better at catching outlaws: the law officers or bounty hunters?
Massapequa, New York
That’s pretty hard to say. Bounty hunters didn’t have to bother with jurisdiction. They could go anywhere, crossing county, territorial and state lines to capture their quarry. Federal officers (and private detectives) were the only lawmen restricted by boundaries.
As far as motivation goes, a bounty hunter working alone didn’t have to share the reward with others, whereas a lawman usually had assistance getting his man and had to divvy up the reward money.