Recommended Posts

How many archery hunters have switched or will be switching from a vertical bow to a crossbow?  Not because they had/have to because of age or disability either, but simply because it is easier.

There are several states that now have as many or more crossbow users than compound users.  There is no doubt that this has resulted in a significantly higher success rate in most areas and along with liberal doe limits has resulted in decreased deer populations (factor in EHD and CWD too).  While there has been an uptick in total archery hunters, most of the crossbow hunters are former vertical bow hunters or firearm hunters who jumped at the chance to lengthen their hunting time with little effort.

Will this lead to decreased opportunities for archery hunters?  I think it will.  I hope I'm wrong.

Also, the rising cost of new compounds is partly because of a drop in sales.  As compound design continues to focus on smaller size with more speed (same thought process as crossbows), the required research and design has to be paid for somehow and if sales volume drops then you have to raise prices to maintain revenue.  Archery dealers are feeling the pinch of reduced business due to lost sales.

For every choice, there is a consequence.  Sometimes good and sometimes bad, but seldom as intended.

A strange aside to this post comes from the TV show Mythusters Jr. in which it was discovered that a compound bow was more precise than a crossbow when both are fired from a machine.  I suppose that could vary from one manufacturer to another, or even from bow to bow.  Too bad we're not as consistent as machines.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought one for the kids to use a few years ago. It's afforded us the opportunity to hunt together while they are too small to use a compound or shoot a slug gun. I actually enjoy shooting it and have hunted with it myself a time or two. My preference is still the old compound bow though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 3/15/2019 at 6:35 AM, MUDRUNNER said:

I bought one for the kids to use a few years ago. It's afforded us the opportunity to hunt together while they are too small to use a compound or shoot a slug gun. I actually enjoy shooting it and have hunted with it myself a time or two. My preference is still the old compound bow though. 

I see that many hunters get their children into the field with them by way of crossbow use.  That is good, but I'm not sure if actually killing an animal is necessary to enjoy the outdoors and (depending on the age of the child) I'm not sure if a child can understand the relevance of taking a life.  The time spent together is what is important at a young age, or any age. 

I definitely could see the fun in shooting a crossbow, although here in Montana I could only hunt with one during rifle season.  Just target shooting could be quite enjoyable I'm sure, but I think I'll stick with my compound.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have had bad shoulders for a good while, think it stemmed from the abuse between lifting in my younger years and work.  Bursitis and rotator cuff issues.  I shot my bow at 70 lbs for a long time, I can still draw the bow without it hurting me without any problem, however the doctor strongly suggested not shooting a compound anymore.  I don't know if TN has really seen all that much of a rise in harvest during archery since it made it legal to use a crossbow during the archery season.  I have not killed anything with the crossbow I bought, just never seem to get decent deer to show up during our archery season.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I've watched how crossbows have improved over the years in both accuracy and reduced weight.  Have I changed?  Nope...no desire to change.  Crossbows are heavier and a lot more difficult to deal with than a bow, both in a treestand and walking to and from one.  Being age 65 now I suspect there may come a time when I can't use a bow.  If that time comes and I'm still physically able to archery hunt, that's when I'll switch to a crossbow.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I made the switch to crossbows.  For me it was all about confidence.  I got into the archery game late, I practiced hard and became very proficient.  But I couldn't get past target panic when hunting.  I killed 5 deer with my bow but 4 of them were marginal shots and I was lucky that I recovered those deer.  With the crossbow there are less dots to connect to complete the shot.  I still have to do my homework and get into range (40 yards or less) before I can get a deer. 

One thing I learned too late was how unbelievably cool it was to be in the woods during archery season.  The things I've seen and the experiences I've had in the woods have been indescribable.  Things I never get to see during gun season.  If crossbows could get more kids in the woods and experience this, so be it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, RangerClay said:

One thing I learned too late was how unbelievably cool it was to be in the woods during archery season.  The things I've seen and the experiences I've had in the woods have been indescribable.  Things I never get to see during gun season.  If crossbows could get more kids in the woods and experience this, so be it.

It is hard to argue with that sentiment.  In my mind, I do find it hard to comprehend that one would need a reason to spend time outdoors.  If you are only in the woods because you are allowed to carry a weapon that you can kill something with, then I am confused.  As a farm kid growing up in the 50s I basically lived in the outside world, whether throwing hay bales or just enjoying the solitude when the chores were all done (it seems they never were).  I need a reason to go to town, but to be in the woods, I need no reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I have taken 5 deer with the crossbow, I still prefer using my compound and I find it easier to transport to and from the stand, as well as handling in the stand. I prefer the compound over the cross bow but that is just my personal opinion. I will say I get the same satisfaction from harvesting a deer with either weapon. I let Carlee's boyfriend use the crossbow this past fall, he had terrible target panic, and I wanted to make sure he was confident when the time came to take the shot. We have had an increase in archery success rate in Pa. since the cross bow has been allowed, but we have also had a reduction in lost deer in my area. I think anything that puts more people in the stand is a good thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you make it easy enough, they will come.

I disagree with the thought that more hunters is a good thing.  More opportunities, in the form of more access to uncrowded properties would go a long ways towards maintaining hunter numbers.  Increasing the number of hunters by making it easier just causes more problems as this creates an overcrowding issue on an ever shrinking land mass accessible to hunting.  Many of these "hunters" would not hunt if they had to work at it and many are not respectful of the game or the environment.  Instead of a "good thing" we have more trespassing issues along with a gauntlet of other unethical practices.  As we have put a high price on antlers and allowed hunting to become a monetary game, the closing off of thousands of acres to the general public to hunt has been the result.  If one can not afford their own hunting property (relative or friend maybe) or afford to pay an outfitter to hunt on a property under contract, the chances are they are left to deal with overcrowded public land.

If you are lucky enough to hunt the Rocky Mountains with an abundance of public land it is still possible to beat the crowds if you are willing to put in the effort to get away from the roads.  Let's not make it easier.  Every year there are more bow hunters here and a small percentage make it into the back country which puts more pressure on the game and eventually will result in shorter seasons or less tags.

The "road hunters" would really love it if they could hunt with a crossbow here in Montana during archery season.  I can see it now, just stick that crossbow out the window and fire away.  I hear tell from relatives in PA that it's a happening thing there and that was before short axle to axle rigs that shoot 3 inch groups at 100 yards.  The easy road is not always better.

If physically you have to go crossbow, go for it, get out and hunt.

If a crossbow is a choice, well, if it is legal, go for it, get out and hunt.

The best part of hunting is not the kill and in that respect if one is constantly honing their hunting acumen then the choice of weapon used is academic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I remember this same conversation when the compound came out. the bow hunters at that time said the compound with sights was to easy to use, it didn't require the work to get good at and it would bring more people into the sport. As a group hunters need to stand together, we have enough outside groups trying to tear us down. We are loosing hunters every year and not replacing them with young people. I also grew up on a farm outdoors, but my kids did not and giving them the opportunity to hunt archery was worth the purchase of a crossbow. I feel that if you have a license you have the right to hunt with whatever weapon you choose, if you want to have land to yourself you have to pay for that.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

Only compound bow for ever and ever. But my wife always wanted to go shoot with me but it was complicate for her to manage a compound bow so i diceded to buy a crossbow for her. It's easy in use, light weight. She has been using her crossbow for six month and sometimes she's performing better than me.😄

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2019 at 1:17 AM, elkoholic said:

 

The "road hunters" would really love it if they could hunt with a crossbow

Dave, we have that here now. People in trucks road shooting crossbows off road at deer. That really takes alot of skill to pull up along an unsuspecting deer, stop, and shoot out from the window.

Welcome to Forums Steve!

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mathews XT Man said:

Dave, we have that here now. People in trucks road shooting crossbows off road at deer.

I am sure that it is happening everywhere that crossbows are legal and probably even where they are not legal.  I can only hope that here in Montana they will never be legal during archery season.  I realize that not everyone can shoot a compound, recurve or longbow.  I also think that there needs to be limits on how we go about things and if one does not have the skill set to meet those limits, that is just the way life goes.  In a life or death situation it would be a different story.

In our search for the "easy way" we have lost our "way".  The unethical and unscrupulous individuals take advantage of lax, unenforceable laws/regulations.  The TV ad shooting 3 inch groups at 100 yards has people buying crossbows thinking they can shoot deer that far away.  Archery seasons were set up based on short range capabilities of equipment and skill set required of archers.  Now it is governed by technology, laziness, and greed.

Strange to see old posts coming back to life.  New members equals new life, and welcome Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Never.   EVER.

My personal opinion is that crossbows are the participation trophy of the archery world.  If someone chooses to use one in an archery season........fine.  I do not and will not.  And I really don't want to hear about anyone's trophy taken with their "bow" in an archery season.  Use one in a firearms season ??   Sure !!  Fine !!  But they're arrow guns..........not bows.

Right now, I'm dealing with some pretty good tendonitis in my right elbow.  I'm not sure, at this point, if I'll be able to draw my (real, vertical) bow this season.  Will I buy and use a crossbow if I can't ??  NO.   I'll reduce the draw weight of my vertical bow until I can manage it.  If I can't draw 35#...........which is my state allowable minimum and also PLENTY enough to be effective..............then I'll sit the season out.

No participation trophies for me.

YMMV

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.