I figured I'd confront this question directly, because it's been on my mind since I started answering questions on SO again as a recreation.
I've been trying to increase my reputation on SO by providing the most help I can professionally. Because I'm admittedly a slower typist than many users on the site, and because I wanted to leave most of the common questions to people whom enjoy answering them and are better answerers than I, I started answering bounties at a clip of about two a day.
What I discovered, to my surprise, is this kicked me up to #1 reputation on the site for the current week so far and #42 for last week. While I'm absolutely flattered, I don't see myself as especially worthy of this position. After all, I'm simply answering a smaller set of highly refined questions to the best of my abilities, through experience and the aid of Google, and working with the original posters to solve their problems concisely and correctly.
So, I am simply curious if I'm doing it right or if I've found some loophole that is, competitively, frowned upon. I admit that I quite enjoy answering questions here, and I'd still answer bounties consistently because I find them to provide more interesting puzzles for me to solve. But at the same time, I believe the other contributors to the site in the 100k+ range should be ranking higher than some goof that answered a set of 200, 300, and 500 rep bounties back to back.
I suppose it's just a thing.