I got this email one time from one of the top whitetail biologists in America. He said I could use his name if I wanted to post it, but I have decided to keep it mum because there is a still small but vocal minority of crossbow haters out there, and I don’t want this man to get a bunch of hate mail. (BTW, it is not Grant Woods, whom I quote often on the blog.) The scientist wrote:
Mike: I have enjoyed your articles and posts on the use of crossbows in archery seasons over the years, and feel you have been as unbiased as possible. While the crossbow debate has lost some vigor in recent years, it can still bring out the passion on both sides of the isle.
People ask me what I think about the crossbow from a deer manager’s point of view. In my opinion it is a short-range weapon and therefore identical to the recurve, long bow and compound bow in this regard. I believe that hunters should be allowed to use the most accurate weapon of their choice, as long as it is a short-range weapon, during any open archery season.
I would further argue that crossbows can be used more accurately than recurves, long bows or compound bows by a wider range of hunters. Therefore, crossbow use would not only likely increase hunter participation, but also simultaneously reduce per hunter crippling losses. Our resource, the nation’s white-tailed deer and other big game herds, would be better served as a result.
Not a fan. First drop tine buck visiting our KS property and some slob trespasses with crossbow on neighbor and shoots him high lung with pass through. Neighbor finds bolt and I get pics of buck with hole in side. Luckily he has survived and though a little worse for wear, surviving and healing well putting weight back on. My POV, it’s put a weapon in the hands of (some) gun hunters during bow season who have difficulty enough making a clean shot with a gun. Pinpoint accurate from a rest, but held offhand, far worse than a compound bow.
Recurve…have hunted with one. Compound…killed some deer with them. Crossbow….have killed deer with it. My Dad is 83 years old and cannot possibly shoot a bow enough to deer hunt with it. Age robs strength, steadiness, and a lot of senses. The crossbow with a good scope has given him the opportunity to hunt deer when the weather is nice in places he can get too that aren’t overrun with gun hunters. He has a chance at a quality hunting experience that he probably would struggle getting any other way. Boys…it’s deer hunting any way you color it! Whatever gets you out there to enjoy what the man upstairs put out for us to see is good enough for me. Thank goodness we live in the U.S.A. where we are free to do it! Nuff said….time to check cameras!
I think the guys who get so caught up in what is the “Right” way to hunt close range that they bash other hunters are ridiculous. It’s part of the evolution of hunting and if it helps to grow our hunting numbers, and is a more accurate/efficient way of taking game then it’s a positive thing for our sport.
Hunt with a crossbow and apologize to no one for it!
“Therefore, crossbow use would not only likely increase hunter participation, but also simultaneously reduce per hunter crippling losses.” This quote is the main reason I hope crossbow hunting comes to Missouri soon. The white tailed deer would definitely be better served.
To me, shots over 40 yds. are too risky and uncalled for with any bow type. Sure, we see the 40-100yd shots, but what is not shown or edited out? I can not fathom anybody taking a 50+ yard shot at a deer w/ a bow of any kind. I don’t care how great a shot they may be. I simply do not think that’s “hunting”
One of the main reasons your guy says he approves of Xbow hunting is crippling loss. I would have to disagree here, not from the equipment choice stand point but from the Hunter’s experience alone. Now I’m thinking this from pure experience and I don’t have data to back this up, maybe a poll would be good here. But I see way more compound, recurve, traditional shooters practicing with their equipment than I do Xbow shooters. I think the reasoning behind this is that Xbows are easy to use. A person just can’t go out and buy a bow and be heady to hunt the next day, like he can with a Xbow. The hunter has to become very familiar with the vertical bow, to become accurate with it. Believe me 3D can be very humbling. Now I will say I believe in all types of hunting if it is a legal means of killing an animal. I don’t care what you use as long as you are good for hunting I will call you brother.
If you are talking about a recurve or longbow hunter….I agree. If you are talking about a first time compound owner, then yes it would take some time to become proficient @ 30 yards or so.
But if you are talking about an experienced compound bow user, then I have to disagree. The last new compound I purchased, I was shooting bullseyes @ 30 yards within a very short time. Why? Because I had been shooting compounds for a long time and with today’s equipment it doesn’t take long to set up the peep, pins and rest.
Plus realistically, I can put my compound away for 6 months, pick it up and can normally begin shooting bullseyes @ 30 yards.
Sorry, the post above is mine.
The name of the game is hunting and too many anti crossbowers forget that to get a shot with any archery gear one must first get within range of the quarry. I’ve seen archers on TV take 100 yd shots at game with compounds. To me that is no longer short range shooting.
Crossbow inclusion for all Indiana hunters was a bit controversial when it passed a few seasons back. For some, it remains a hotly argued topic.
But since that time, archery hunting has accounted for a larger percentage of the total harvest and I see that as the wave of the future due to one simple reality…..
As time passes and hunters are forced to share less available ground, I see fewer gun hunting opportunities and more reliance on archery to help manage the deer herd.
And in the interest of complete transparency…..yes, I own a crossbow.
Do I like to hunt with it? Sure. Out of a blind or tripod stand it’s handy. But out of a tree stand, I find it’s easier to hunt with a vertical bow.