Wisconsin, like most states, after years and decades of public hearings and wrangling on both sides, finally permitted crossbows to be used alongside vertical bows beginning with the 2014 archery season.
In one short year, hunters seem to like this option. According to the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal and info from the Wisconsin DNR, through the first weekend of the 2015 season, crossbow license sales accounted for 32% of bow licenses sold, up from 26% from the same time last year. The report showed 42,245 crossbow licenses sold through last Sunday, up 16% from the same time in 2014.
I won’t bore you again with the old arguments of crossbow versus compound, but I do know we have a lot of passionate bowhunters from Wisconsin and across the Upper Midwest here on the blog.
What do you guys think of this? Still using your compound, or have you tried the crossbow?
I hunt with both and love both of them. Crossbows help hunters with shoulder problems, as well as those who don’t have as much time to practice as vertical bows. Each has it’s pro’s and cons. but as for me…as long as it gets legal hunters out in the woods and buying liscences, it keeps our sport healthy. Nuff said for me.
I like using a crossbow out of a ground blind or tripod stand. Out of a regular tree stand, I find a compound works better.
Regardless…I’m not over 55 or disabled and I see no reason to apologize for or qualify my use of a crossbow.
IMHO, life’s too short to argue over equipment choices…..
Spot on Cary, although crossbow has always been legal in WI for 65+ and in recent years 55+ and finally just last year legal for all.
Big buck kills were up last year in western WI where I hunt (not sure about the rest of the state) and there’s no doubt crossbows played some role in that. Just viewing the pictures in the local paper and bars told the story. That’s not all bad and so far didn’t seem to have any impact on big buck #’s this year. Probably just less for gun hunters when it’s their turn to hunt.
Still using compound and hope I don’t have to resort to a crossbow for another 20 years, but yes when the time comes and just can’t ethically and effectively use a compound I will use a crossbow. Guess I’m lucky in that I hunt in a valley where I believe very few are used yet. I actually don’t know anyone in the valley I hunt in that uses one. All smiles.
Good luck to all hunters, finally some cooler weather has arrived. Hopefully it sticks around.
Crossbows do not require the same amount of practice and skill as a vertical bow. So the crossbow is the easier route to take for a new hunter that wants to hunt during the archery season but not put in the time and dedication it takes to master the vertical bow. If you were previously just a gun hunter hunting during the gun season only and wanted to extend your hunting time through the archery season, the crossbow is the easiest route to get there. Also people are living longer these days, but an older hunter might not have the strength to shoot a vertical bow in his/hers 60’s and 70’s, so the crossbow is the next best thing. Due to sports and work related injuries, the crossbow comes in very handy for those that can longer pull a bow due to injury regardless of age. Although I don’t shoot a crossbow, I think they will ultimately be good for our sport in the long run. And I am guessing that one day, in my older years, I will be glad that they are around and legal to hunt with, but who knows, maybe by then sling-shots will be the new crossbows.
Crossbow inclusion has changed a few things in Indiana as well.
In 2011, (the last year before crossbow inclusion) archery accounted for 21% of the total harvest.
Fast forward to 2014, archery (vertical bows) accounted for 19% of the total harvest and crossbows account for 10% for a total of 29%.