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Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

March 2007 Feature Article:

Confessions of a Crossbow Convert

In our eternal quest for new opportunities, lots of hunters are turning to crossbows. Where legal, they offer a unique challenge. This medieval weapon combines the restricted range of archery equipment with the added convenience of a rifle. I've been watching this trend for several years and finally, this past fall, I decided to give it a try myself. Read more...

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 03/23/2007
Posts: 27
Crossbows

I can see that a crossbow can be fun to shoot but if people want to hunt with one then it should have its own season and should not be mixed with Bowhunting.

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Joined: 01/05/2007
Posts: 169
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

i think they should only be legal during gun season, or let handicaped use it during archery season. and no mater what ever conseder them for p/y record

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 06/03/2004
Posts: 52
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

I'm totally against them unless they're used in gun season. Pennsylvania has ruined their bow season by selling out to crossbow manufacturers and being greedy trying to make more money from selling more bow licenses which are required to use a crossbow. Its digusting

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 06/03/2004
Posts: 52
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

just as the state of PA received kickbacks from crossbow manufacturers so has the author of this article. How is that new Excalibur treating you ? I bet it didn't hurt your wallet

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Location: Ontario
Joined: 04/02/2007
Posts: 26
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

If you don't agree with crossbow hunting, show me some facts instead of wild accusations. In Ontario, where I'm from, it hasn't hurt the herd yet. In fact, our deer herd is growing in leaps and bounds. We have more tags and hunting opportunities than ever before.

I'm quite willing to listen to anyone who lays down a rational argument. Suggesting that the author is corrupt is a sure way to lose your credibility with me. Name calling is the last bastion of those who lack a convincing counterpoint.

This forum ought to be better than that.

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Location: Ontario
Joined: 04/02/2007
Posts: 26
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

By the way, before you say it, I hunt with flat bow, long bow, compound bow, rifle, shotgun and, as of last season, crossbow too.

The truth is modern compounds with peep sights, high let-offs, mechanical releases and all the other paraphenilia aren't that hard to get competent with anymore either. If we're going to get all snobby about how easy a weapon is to shoot then let's all go back to wooden bows and flint-tipped, feathered wooden arrows. That takes real skill.

I know quite a few traditional shooters who roll their eyes at compound shooters. None of it, however, helps hunting. We've got people who'd like to shut down the sport entirely -- it's time we closed ranks and acted together for the good of us all. There's more than enough game to go round. If I have one tag, what does it matter if I fill it with a crossbow or compound?

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Location: Wa.
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Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Unlike the flat bow, long bow, recurve bow and compound bow. The crossbow has a bow, a string and shoots a bolt that is cocked in position and released with a mechanical trigger. This point alone should put it in a catagory other than archery.
It is a weapon that has been around longer than the modern compounds. As far as effectiveness. I myself have never used one but I'm sure it takes practice as does any other weapon.
I use long bow, recurve instinctively and a compound with a single pin sight. I do this because it works for me.
This argument is much like the argument with the inline, scoped muzzleloaders.
If it can be cocked and has a trigger. I don't believe it should be in the archery catagory. If it has a scope and the cap is concealed. I don't believe it should be in the muzzle loader catagory.
The primary problem is the hunting system does not work and they are trying to satisfy every one.
How about we have a species season and use whatever works for ya.

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Location: Ontario
Joined: 04/02/2007
Posts: 26
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Hey Fuzzy,

With all due respect, most compound bow shooters, myself included, use a mechanical release, which as you know is also basically just a trigger. Modern let off percentages also make drawing and holding a compound much easier. Are modern compounds not archery equipment either then?

I just don't get the distinction or why some archers want to alienate or descriminate against other hunters. We're all in this together; we all love the thrill of the hunt. I know plenty of rifle hunters who would eliminate liberal bow seasons if they could and I'm sure no bowhunter would say that's right. Yet we do the same thing to crossbow shooters.

The problem isn't about the weapon. It's about everyone trying to protect their turf. We all want hunter numbers to increase, just not in our neck of the woods.

Crossbows do shoot arrows, their sights are no more complicated than those of modern compounds, and they have roughly the same effective range. I would actually argue less because they are noisier than bows and deer tend to jump the string on them at longer distances. Like my compound, my crossbow is a thirty yard weapon. Tops. And getting a deer within that range takes the same skill that's required in other types of bowhunting.

I used to be the only compound bow shooter in a group of crossbow hunters. Our kill rates, accuracy and hunting techniques were all virtually identical. The only time I felt they had the upper hand on me was in the severe cold weather. Then again, I had it all over them when stalking through the woods.

You're right when you say that crossbows take skill too. True, the learning curve is simpler but range estimation is still critical. And crossbows have a history that pre-dates almost every other type of bow except a few.

My point is that if you allow me X-number of tags, why does it matter how I fill them as long as it is fair and respectful to the animal and people around me? Every hunter needs to set his own ethical standards. If you aren't comfortable with a certain type of weapon, don't use it. Personally, I love them all. They each have their charm and challenges when it comes to hunting.

CVC
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Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Highlander - I agree with what you say and have made the same arguments myself. There is very little difference between a crossbow and a compound bow when a release is used. They now use red dot rifle type scopes on compounds so the similarity is even more so now. Also, I believe I've seen devices that hold the compound bow cocked so again, what's the difference?

To add a couple of points, I don't think there is a problem with letting hunters use cross bows during archery season. The only reason to prohibit them is if there is a safety issue. Archers are camoed up and you don't want someone hunting with a muzzle loader, rifle or any other weapon that shoots a long distance for safety reasons. From what I've read, the crossbow doesn't present this danger.

Now, should a kill with a crossbow go into the archery record books - no, it is a different weapon.

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Location: Ontario
Joined: 04/02/2007
Posts: 26
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

CVC,

I agree entirely. Make crossbow records separate. Records in hunting seem silly to me anyhow. Until, I get one....

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