Crossbows - Good or Evil?

Discussion in 'Crossbow Hunting (Not PSE)' started by Len Backus, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    In Wisconsin I will be able to hunt with a crossbow at age 65. I never considered it until my buddy told me he plans to try it. His motivation is to be able to effectively hunt from the ground. He feels it would be more possible to do so since movement of draw would not be an issue. I think he has a point.

    What are your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Len

    Here in VA about 2-3 yrs ago they made crossbows legal for anyone. We had the usual crying, wailing and moaning of the traditionalist archery crowd that the world was coming to an end and we must all repent and crucify all crossbowers to be saved.

    However, couple years later, they all survived the process and we have a lot more hunters bowhunting now. and everyone seems to be getting along and by all aspects it has been very positive across the state.

    I bowhunt for two weeks in MO every year with a disabled vet who uses one and he kills out to 40 yards and only way he can bowhunt. His new one cost over $1900. Cannot wait to see this beast.

    We are losing hunters more and more every day. If it takes crossbows to get new ones out, then I am all for it.

    They are not bad or good, just another tool. Just have to know how to use it. They cannot shoot 100 yards and hit a 2" circle, they are not the weapon of choice of a poacher yada yada.

    Couple points.

    Crossbows lose KE fast after about 30-40 yards and penetration is critical.

    Cut on impact broadheads are an absolute must. Best I have seen are the Rage Expandables. Super penetration, fly like darts and huge holes.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    About five years ago I could not draw my compound bow and hold it because of a shoulder injury and then Maryland legalized the crossbow. Fortunately, lifting very light weights has cured up my shoulder and today for the first time I broke a minute holding it back at full draw (35# of a 70# bow at 50% LO). I am so happy to have my shoulder back and not need a cross bow. My goal is to hold at full draw rock steady for two minutes.

    For people who need it or want it I think it is fine. As best I could determine there was not much advantage because the new compounds will achieve over 300fps easily. Me and Hunlee will be shooting X Forces except I don't have short arms and 8 children.
     
  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Having never shot one, is it important to have a rest to shoot off of?
     
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Depends, my friend uses one of the steady stix setups and works very well.

    He uses it from the ground and tree.

    My guess is some of the new crossbows are pretty heavy and holding up for a while it would be unsteady. I would use the steady stix.

    BH
     
  6. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    That would be simple enough.
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I think most states allow crossbow hunting for handicapped individuals now. That is a good thing. I applaud that effort. For people who can shoot a regular bow they are much better off because it is a much more effective weapon if you learn how to shoot it. The crossbow is a miracle weapon only in the movies folks. Not in real life.

    Standard Bow: Pros; More accurate, longer effective kill range, can tune bow for better retained velocities downrange, heavier and longer arrows for better penetration. Con; You have to draw on game without being seen.

    Crossbow: Pro; No motion in shooting, don't have to draw. Con; Triggers are terrible on the ones I have seen and most people jerk the shot. Less accurate, shorter effective kill range, Can not tune most of them and arrows fly erratically costing accuracy and retained velocity, velocity loss in combination with short light arrows destroy penetrating power on tartets such as hogs and elk in particular.

    This just kind of hits a couple high spots but in summary the crossbow is a handicapped weapon. The only reason I cringe when people use them in archery season who are not handicapped is because they all think this is some kind of miracle weapon Rambo uses and has awesome destructive power. When in fact it is a very limited weapon as is a standard bow. A good archer would be limiting himself by choosing a crossbow so I have no problem with them being used during archery season from that perspective.

    That is a very good point about stabilizing them also. They do not balance out like a rifle and are more difficult to shoot in that respect. All but the top shooters jerk every shot. With a rifle it is less visible because the bullet exits the barrel in microseconds. With a crossbow it is a much different story. First, rifle manufactures have worked for years to reduce the time between trigger release and firing pin strike. You can time a crossbow with a stopwatch it is so slow. Put that trigger assembly on a few rifles and watch those groups jerk left or right. Now combine that with the time it takes for string release and the arrow to push all the way down that ramp and exit the crossbow. Got to be pretty good not to jerk a few with that baby.

    Crossbows are not the dream weapon a lot of folks think. That is all I'm trying to say. thanks
     
  8. Crane

    Crane Well-Known Member

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    Crossbows were legalized for everyone last year in Alabama. Several novices with the crossbow lost an index finger on their non-trigger hand by sticking it up in the path of the string . Zipped it right off! Sounds like an urban legend but I saw it on the local news.

    The same rheteric comes with the traditional vs. modern muzzle loader.
     
  9. killahog

    killahog Well-Known Member

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    Crossbows

    I hunted with a crossbow for 10 years and when I want to hunt from the ground I still do carry a crossbow. I don't think it is hard at all to hold one steady and shoot it offhand the limbs on the crossbow seem to help balance it out for me the bow is really not prone to rolling right to left. I do agree about the lock time the arrow is in contact with the bow riser that a good follow through is needed. The biggest complaint I have with them is they are so heavy and it feels like I am carrying a lawn chair through the woods.But on the other hand when I am using the xbow I am not packing my 20 lb climbing tree stand.
     
  10. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    I agree with BH, anything that gets more hunters in the woods is a great thing! While I hunt with a compound and would not switch at this point, I wish Illinois would open cross bows up to everyone.
     
  11. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    IMO, it is bogus to let one group use them and another not! There are plenty of 65 year olds in better shape than 55 year olds.

    If someone is TRULY handicapped, then make a special rule, but an age restriction seems stupid to me.

    I bet that an average shooter, not someone that practices a lot :) , will be more accurate with a crossbow and will not cripple as much game as he will with a regular compound bow.
    I have no problem with a crossbow, they are not legal here in NJ, but it is probably just a matter of time.
    When they are legalized, I will own one without a doubt!

    edge.
     
  12. USMC M38A1

    USMC M38A1 Well-Known Member

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    crossbows

    I have used both for years now and like both.Crossbows like my horton are well balanced and not that cumbersome.It uses the same principles as shooting off hand and you can hold it drawn for much longer than you can a compound,but the problem lies in a second shot.It is much harder to put your foot in the stirup and draw it in a tree. With a scope it takes very little practice it is like picking up most scoped weapons gently squeeze trigger till it goes off while looking at target watch it hit its mark.Just a few thoughts on the subject from a hunter who uses and likes both.
     
  13. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Just to make sure my point was understood. The argument of all the bowhunting clubs for years has been that the crossbow is just like shooting a rifle and the ultimate weapon because they did not want them used during archery seasons and felt it is unfair. I was trying to show that it has it's limitations also and I do not believe it is an unfair advantage and support use of the crossbow. I get to rambling and my point gets lost.
     
  14. killahog

    killahog Well-Known Member

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    Crossbows

    Lone ranger, It is going to be very hard to prove that crossbows do not have an advantage over compound bows. I have been hunting with crossbows for 15 years and Have taken deer with it every year. I also Own a new mathews compound and Regularly shoot all year and participate in several 3d archery shoots with it each year. I have also taken 4 deer with the compound. With respect to accuracy The compound bow is without a doubt the more accurate weapon when used by an experienced archer. I feel that where the the advantage really comes into play is when a person that is just getting into archery can pick up a crossbow at a archery shop and leave the store with the weapon sighted in and be ready to hunt the next day. This is an advantage over the hunter who uses a compound bow. I Think that the 65 year age limitation on crossbow users have several good points. I for one don't feel threatened as an archer by the introduction of crossbows because what really makes the difference in success or failure in the woods is not the arrow but the Indian.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008