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groovy mike's picture
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Tell me about Crossbows

 I don’t see a lot about crossbow hunting.  They look like a hybrid between rifle and archery tools to me.  And I can see the poetential for silent hunting near homes, etc. where hunting is allowed but you don't want to disturb the neighbors.

Up until this coming season New York only allowed crossbows for use by handicap hunters who could not draw a traditional bow.  But as of this coming season it will be legal for any hunter in New York state to use a cross bow. 

The bad news is that it is NOT allowed in the archery only season.  The crossbow has to be used in the regular (i.e. firearm) season.  I still think it’s a step in the right direction though.

What is the effective range of a crossbow?

What would a reasonable price be for a hunting crossbow?

What's the right term for the ammunition for them? Bolt? Quarrel? Arrow?

Thanks for any info! I don't even know what I don't know.

Mike

 

 

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 132
Mike, I'm not going to say I

Mike, I'm not going to say I am a expert but Nebraska just passed the same law as New york, except we can use ours year round. the effictive range is the same as a bow, some would say maybe 10-20 yards more depends on what you are comfortable with. The arrow on a crossbow are called bolts. I just bought a Horton's TRT ultra lite and it is spitting them out at about 337 fps. I paid $500 for mine. The best on the market is tenpoint crossbows, but they run around $1000.

Hope this helps.

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
I second that the Tenpoint is

I second that the Tenpoint is top of the line but other makes are good buys too. Maximum effective range is about 35/40 yards. They are accurate well beyond that distance but bolt energy falls off fast.  With my Tenpoint, I try to keep shots within 35 yards.  Crossbows tend to be noisy and it is worthwhile to invest in after market sliencing devices such as offered by LimbSaver and others. I only shoot carbon bolts, as they are more durable than alluminum. I shoot a three blade broadhead (Wensel Woodsman 150 gr) but have also shot the now discontinued Sattellite Titan four blade, with great performance.  A cocking aid is a reccommended accessory, as it helps aligning the string in the same position each shot.

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Location: Colorado western slope
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I have never used a crossbow

I have never used a crossbow either but have always been intrigued by them. I can see where people don't want them in the archery season because of being easier to use but I think only putting them with the rifle season isn't the best option either.

I always thought that putting them in with the muzzle loader season might be a viable option. Montana is planning to allow spear hunting so I'm sure they can be worked in somewhere that they fit better.

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Location: S.E. Michigan
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In Michigan, they just passed

In Michigan, they just passed the law last year that allowed them to be used during the archery season. Prior to that, they could be used only during the gun season (with a gun license) or by people who had a disablity of the hand, arm or shoulder that would prevent them from drawing a bow.

This new law really upset the folks who were opposed to crossbows (the people who like to call them "crossGUNS") lol because the year before, the DNR had said that they would try it for one year, with crossbow users getting a free, but mandatory stamp if they were going to use one during archery season. I guess they wanted to see how many people were actually interested in using them for hunting. However, after only one year of the three-year trial, they decided to make it permanent. Hoo, boy - the anti crossbow-types were up in arms!

I don't have one and have only shot one once. They are quite noisy, and are as accurate as a compound out to about 35 yards as was already stated. They are also inherently easier to shoot accurately because of the fact that it is already drawn, the string doesn't need to be held, and they usually have a scope, etc. But I see many shots regularly being made on deer at 50 yards plus. I don't believe the crossbow will be able to do that well. They are also heavier to carry, and can be a bit clumsy as well because of that fact.

As was also stated before, from all I have heard, you can't beat a Ten Point.

 

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 132
My horton is 6 1/2 pounds and

My horton is 6 1/2 pounds and is quite load, but a 337 feet per second, the bolt will be threw the deer prior to it jumping the string. As far as clumsy it feels like carrying a gun or you can use sholder it just like a gun.

groovy mike's picture
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Thanks for sharing your experience guys.

Thanks for sharing your experience guys.

I had not realized that so many other states were moving toward crossbows as well. I just might look into getting one. My local archery shop carries them, but until they became legal for hunting I just didn’t see any reason to own one.

They DO look like fun though Yes

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Location: San Diego, CA
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Yeah, as said earlier, there

Yeah, as said earlier, there was alot of discussion about the Nebraska law that passed.  There is a big misconception that they are much more accurate, and can shoot longer than normal compound bows.

Guys were spouting off stats that they saw, where guys claim they hit a pie plate at 200 yards.  Everyone was saying that they should not be allowed during archery.

Truth is, there is no difference in the accuracy and speed/energy in these bows.  Actuall, if you look at this page, it shows that the maximum speed and kinetice energy of a compound actually is just barely HIGHER than a crossbow. Take a look:

http://www.huntersfriend.com/products/archery/crossbows/performance.html

Crossbows are more cumbersome, and they are heavier, making it harder to hold on the animal until you get a clear shot.  The main advantage that people report when using them is that you really limit the movement when getting ready to shoot a deer.  Since the arrow is already drawn and knocked, all you need to do is slowly raise the weapon and pull the trigger.  With the bow, you will need to try and raise the bow, draw back, and then aim and release.  Do all of that while the animal is behind a tree or bush.

Other than that, there is no real advantage to the crossbow.  In my opinion, it's mainly a misconception, and a rush to judgement by the "purists" of the archery world.

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 132
Well said.

Well said.

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