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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 03/23/2007
Posts: 27
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Just to make everyone happy we should just give it its own season. The reasons are that it extends the hunting period and some using a crossbow can shoot much further then a compound and there may be chance that it may go to far and you may not know the unintended target.
Another reason why not to put in gun season is because it makes others happy.lol
But the main reason I don't like the crossbow in archery season is that it is sad to see other hunters cheating them selves out of the true satisfacation of a genuine archery hunt. I

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

All right, I know I said I was done with it, but that last comment about hating to see hunters cheat themselves of the satisfaction of a genuine archery hunt is pure BS.

In fact it reeks of elitism, which I can't stand in my hunting or fishing sports. But then again so does this whole crossbow versus archery argument.

I've hunted deer with longbows, compound bows, and crossbows and I can tell you from actual experience that there is no difference in the hunt -- only the weapon. The effective ranges of compounds and crossbows are virtually identical.

By the way, some of my easiest kills have been while using a compound bow. Some of the hardest have been during rifle hunts. Just because you can kill a deer with a bow doesn't make you some sort of elite hunter.

If we're really worried about people cheating themselves out of a genuine archery hunt, I suggest they put down their compound bows (with all those gadgets) and pick up a long bow....

Of course, that's just as silly an argument....

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Archery hunts begin where rifle hunts end.
When you spot a quarry at 200 yds on a rifle hunt. You take the shot. When you spot a quarry at 200 yds on an archery hunt. The stalk begins.

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

That depends where you live. In my neck of the woods, most rifle killed deer are shot within 50 yards. We live in rolling hills that are covered in thick bush and tag alder swamps. It's deer, moose, and black bear country. 30.30s reign supreme here. I do all my rifle hunting with a 30.06 if I can hunt a field. Otherwise, a .44 Rem mag. lever action does the job quite nicely -- fast handling, compact, and hard hitting, a good bush gun.

Agreed, rifle hunting is easier, but bow hunters get longer seasons and undisturbed deer to make up for it. Here our rifle hunt is 2 weeks and the deer are jumpy after day one; our bow hunt is 3 months. I love hunting deer and bear either way.

As for the part about that's where the stalk begins? You'd be a rare bow hunter if you did that. Ninety percent of us wait for them to come to food plots under our tree stands. I'm not saying that's easy, but let's be honest....

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Your assumptions are greatly in need of correcting. No, it isn't rare, as you state. It's called archery hunting.
As I said. That's where the stalk begins. We don't hunt over a food plot or our food scraps or the Safeway produce dept., or from a rocking chair in the bed of a truck.
We backpack in. Work the areas. Follow the signs. Camp in a different location every night and backpack our meat out. I'll take my lightweight takedown recurve or longbow, thank you. I find absolutely no need for a cumbersome, overweight crossbow. Unless I was road hunting, of course.
The compound would be handy in the later season if I haven't filled my tag and the critters are spread all over the countryside. It's a bit on the heavy side but small enough to tredge threw the forest with.

Is that honest enough or would you like to continue?

If more hunters tried this method. There would be a different appreciation for archery season.

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

Fuzzy,

Good for you. Every place has a different hunting tradition. And it's usually as the animals and terrain dictate. What works in one place does not necessarily work in another.

Here, it's tree stand hunting. You're just not going to consistently stalk deer within bow range in heavy woods like ours. I've done it along field edges a few times and even in the woods once or twice, but, for the most part, our cover is too thick to even see a deer at two hundred yards unless you are hunting fields edges, beaver swales, or hydro cuts. For most hunters, it's not the norm or most effective way. And, in farm country, where better possibilities exist, the property boundaries and lack of cover are issues preventing it.

So, I am being completely honest when I say that a vast majority of the bowhunters around here sit in a tree stand or use a ground blind and wait over bait, (which also includes food plots, apple trees, or a farmer's crop.) It's legal here and so most take advantage of it. There's nothing wrong with that either.

We also read sign, scout the area, follow the tracks, learn bedding areas and hunt deer in all the regular ways. Some just add bait to the equation once they've discovered a good area. Which, by the way, is not a give-me. Deer are suspicious coming in to bait. I've been busted enough times to know.

I'm not talking road hunting, by the way. We don't condone it here; it's illegal in fact. We also pride ourselves in our woodsmanship and hunting ability -- we have more wild country in this province than you can imagine. In my county alone we have 350 lakes. I can fish or hunt on some lakes and never see another person. It's God's Country, just as I'm sure the country you describe is.

In the last week I've hiked into two backwoods lakes for trout. I plan on doing it again next week. Found a wolf's den last week too and watched 11 pups come out and yip and snarl at my daughter, dogs and I. Later, I stalked close enough to watch the adults and pups interact for a brief while until they busted me. Got photos since the season isn't open here right now.

So, just so you know, you're not talking to someone who is out there a couple of times a year. I fish or hunt 3 times a week, minimum. I hunt big woods too. You can't get a truck anywhere near some of the places I go. I walk in, usually alone, and routinely see bear and moose as well as deer. In other words, I'm just as serious about this stuff as you are.

Finally, I already have a great appreciation for bow hunting -- I bowhunt throughout the season (with crossbow, longbow, and compound), love it in every form, and respect how difficult it can be. But I also have an equally fair appreciation of all the other types of hunting....They are all excellent in their own way and provide unique challenges. Just because you can take a 200 yard rifle shot doesn't mean you should. All sorts of other factors come into play.

All of our hunting weapons (crossbows included) have a place. I don't think that's such a controversial statement.

We're all in this together....

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

I have followed this "elitism" archery hunting/anti-crossbow discussion long enough and feel compelled to put in my two cents worth!

If you want to be a "real" archer, build your own selfbow, wood arrows and knapp your own flint points, wear buckskins and hunt like the native people did before firearms came on the scene!!!

I am an IBEP Bowhunter Education Instructor and have been a Hunter Education Instructor since 1958. If any method is legal in your state or province, then anyone who uses that method is ethically fine, wether you personally choose not to use a particular method of bow hunting.

I have taken game with a compound bow, recurve, long bow and crossbow. My personal preference is the long bow and I have built my own self bows. We longbow shooters like to tease compound shooters about using "training wheels".

HOWEVER, age and injuries prevent me from pulling conventional bows and from stalking through the woods. I now hunt from ground blinds and use a crossbow (I have a handicap permit). With out the crossbow i would be confined to gun hunting. I believe that any senior citizen should able to use a crossbow. As I aproach age 67, I find myself less able to do the things that I could only ten years ago. It is ego deflating to have my son-in-law and younger cousins looking out for the "old man" and telling me to let them do the heavy jobs. But I do appreciate it!

If you personall do not want to use a crossbow, then don't use one but do not try to impose your predijuices on other hunters. As I get older, I really value my opportunities to be in the woods, because I may not have many more years when I am physically able to do so.

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)

Washington also has heavy inaccessible forests, with big mountains.

I have found that the further you get into the woods. the better the hunting.
I bow hunt because it gives me 8 to 10 weeks of being in the woods undisturbed by other hunters. There aren't any other hunters churning up or chasing off the quarry. I'm not disturbing a blind or tree stand hunters claimed territory.

I was always given the impression that the hunter with the most gadgets was in the catagory of Elitest. Here I stand with my recurve, backpack with essentials and a good pair of boots.
Keep it simple. Heavy cumbersome loads do not apply.
Please use your heavy, cumbersome gear and crossbows. Then I'll know that you won't be disturbing my solitude when I'm out.

If you find that hunting with a crossbow gives you gratification. Then hunt with a crossbow but, if it can be cocked. It does not belong in the archery classification. I'll stick with my recurve and a good pair of boots.

If a crossbow gives someone the opportunity to hunt that couldn't otherwise. Then the opportunity should be given.

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

Old Prof,

I'm with you 100 per cent. All this is simply elitism and I can't abide it. I've hunted with an Osage bow I made, compounds, longbows and crossbows too. Love them all and the hunt is no different for the most part, except maybe in a degree of a few yards.

I agree, if it's legal why not take advantage of it.

And, as far as I'm concerned, crossbows do belong in the archery category. Firearms use gunpowder, barrels, shells, primers, and shoot chunks of lead. Crossbows launch arrows (bolts) by using limbs and strings. They kill by blades which inflict blood loss. It's just that the platform is different. But then again my wheelie bow is also different from my osage flatbow too.

I'm for letting every decide what floats their boat.

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Confessions of a Crossbow Convert (feature article)
Highlander wrote:
Old Prof,
Firearms use gunpowder, barrels, shells, primers, and shoot chunks of lead.

That's very true and not all firearms can be used to hunt with, in all seasons, for all critters. Why should weapons that throw arrows be bunched into the same catagory. If it throws a bolt (arrow) and can be set in a cocked position. It should be in a different catagory.

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