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Your thoughts on crossbow hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by nky1129, May 7, 2011.

  1. nky1129


    May 18, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    Here's my situation: I turkey hunt with my 870 and I've deer hunted with a rifle in the past. Due to time constraints, I've always found it hard to make it out deer and turkey hunting during the short seasons in KY. Since bow season is so much longer (4+ months for deer) I thought I'd give it a shot. Now the problem: I had shoulder surgery two months ago, with another "clean-up" procedure scheduled for later this summer. I was able to get a 55 lbs draw bow back last week without too much pain, but the 70 lbs model made my shoulder burn like it was on fire. The guy at Bass Pro suggested I look at crossbows.

    I've heard some negative chatter about crossbow hunting, along the lines of it being for "little girls." A friend from Michigan even said that unless you were handicapped or a senior, it was severly frowned upon.

    So here's my question: Is the negative stigma widespread? How would my fellow hunters feel if I posted a pic of a nice 8-point with a crossbow draped across it? Is it cheating?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    Do you have a prescription from your Dr. as a determination you are disabled?

    In Kentucky, to hunt in bow season with a crossbow you must be disabled. To be considered disabled you must have a diagnosis/prescription from your Dr. and acceptance of the condition by the state.

    Without that, the crossbow is considered a rifle for hunting purposes and limited to rifle seasons.

    Are you legally disabled?

  3. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    If your goal is just to extend your season and use a crossbow and your shoulder as a tool to do it. Yes, I consider that cheating.

    I can tell you, other bow hunters won't respect you for it. Most bow hunters thrive on the challenge and the work it takes to kill a trophy with a bow.

    I own a crossbow, but only use it for fishing rough fish. Carp mostly and an occasional turtle or gar.
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. I'm the opposite and don't think your cheating, but being smart and a smart hunter.

    If your bow seasons allows for x-bows, any your not breaking any laws, and you want to hunt with one, then by all means hunt with one. I'm going to buy one in the near future, just to take advantage of the additional 1wk x-bow season that was created in my state & stuck in between bow and muzzleloader season. I can also hunt with it during any of the other seasons defined by the state of florida duh, unless restricted.

    Everying one know, your best time to harvest a Trophy Buck is during the bow and muzzleloader seasons, so if you have the oppurtunity to hunt during these times, then by all means , get a x-bow if that 's what you want and go for it.
  5. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    His state is Kentucky and a crossbow can only be used during bow season by a disabled person.

    If he is truly disabled, it's all good.
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  6. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    I've heard that any man who doesn't carry a .50 BMG is not a man.

    Pay no attention to what anyone else 'thinks'. (And I use that term loosely.)

    You are not hunting to impress anyone. You are not hunting to get approval from anyone. As long as what you are doing is legal, then do what you want to do.
  7. nky1129


    May 18, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    You do not have to be disabled to hunt with a crossbow. There is a specific crossbow season for deer. The first half of October, the second half of November and all of December. Beyond that, you can only hunt with a crossbow during the rest of the general bow season if you have a disability.

    Either way, I'll probably just end up getting a bow with a 60 lbs draw weight and just work on strengthening my shoulder so I can be ready for bow season when it starts in November.
  8. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009

    This was your question.

    The answer is:

    You MUST be DISABLED to hunt during bow season with a crossbow.

    Are you diagnosed as DISABLED?
  9. nky1129


    May 18, 2009
    Northern Kentucky

    I apologize for the confusion. My question had a few more parts to it than just that. The part about time constraints was only to explain why I was thinking about bow hunting in the first place. Rifle season is very short. For instance, I purchased my license for Spring turkey, but was unable to get out at all this Spring. As shown at , there is a much longer crossbow season available to non-disabled hunters. That list shows 2010 seasons, as I haven't been able to find an updated list for 2011.

    My intention was just to gauge other hunter's opinions regarding crossbow hunting. I think I've accomplished that.

    Perhaps crossbow hunting is in my future, perhaps not. For now I think I'll work on strengthening my shoulder and just stick to regular bow hunting.

    Thanks for all the input.
  10. Bingo

    Do what you feel is right for you. Post picts when you harvest that big buck :wavey:
  11. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Roanoke, VA
    I bought a crossbow last year to hunt with in Virginia. I have bow hunted for years but do not have the time nor the property to practice every day now. I enjoy the crossbow and still limit my shots to 40 yards and under as I did with a bow.

    Go for it, you will really enjoy it and forget what others think. It is a legal method in your Commonwealth during it's season, GO FOR IT! :D
  12. B.Reid


    Jun 20, 2005
    Ted Nugent shoots a 50 lb bow even for moose.
  13. heehaw


    Mar 31, 2010
    B.Reid hit the nail on the head. I would buy a 50-60 lb bow and set it up or have shop set it up at 50 lbs. This way you would be able to work your muscles back up by shooting more. Hit the vitals and it's a dead deer.

  14. I love my crossbow for deer hunting.

    Use it in the suburbs and can hunt 7 months out of the year.
  15. I envy you. I can hunt maybe 6 months out of the year and 5 of that for deer :wavey:
  16. Problem is we can't hunt on Sundays. I work Monday through Friday (occasional Fridays off) so Saturday is usually my only hunting day. Throw in rain, kids sports, scout camp outs, orchestra and choir concerts and occasionally having to work a weekend and it's no where near as many days as I would like to hunt.
  17. bandmasterjf


    Aug 26, 2009

    Couple things.

    Some archery hunters are elitist a-holes and don't think anything different from what they do isn't legitimate. Truth is that the cross bow has been around over 1000 years longer than the compound bow. You do need to check the laws in your state to see if the xbow is legal to use for a non-handicapped person. In Arkansas it's perfectly legal for anyone use a crossbow. I shot one for 7 years and still own it, but use a compound now.

    The reason I use a compound now stems from an article I read somewhere that said deer see vertical movement better than horizontal movement. With the vertical movement of the horizontal limbs deer theoretically see you moving easier with a crossbow. In 7 years of hunting with a crossbow I shot one deer. I started wit a compound 2 years ago and have shot 5 deer. I'm not going to swear that he science is true, but it sure changed my results.

    Last, why do you need a 70lb bow? Many states minimum draw weight is 30lbs. With a good cut on contact broadhead and a good shot you can kill just about anything with 30lbs. My first bow was 30-40lb. I broke my back several years ago and could barely muster 35lbs when I started shooting. After several months I worked up to 40lbs and got stiffer 40-50lb limbs for my bow. I shot 3 deer with it and got 3 complete pass-throughs and 3 dead deer. I stepped up last year to a 50-60lb and got pretty much the same results with the deer that I shot. If you want to bow hunt I would look at a Martin Bow. (I don't shoot a Martin) They have a lot of draw weight adjustment and you could start light and work your weight up. Honestly though the 55lbs that you can already pull back is more than enough. Check out some You-tube videos of little kids killing big deer with 30lb bows. It will convince you.
  18. bandmasterjf


    Aug 26, 2009

    Just the kind of attitude that I was talking about. If it's legal, to heck with the elitists.
  19. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    It gets harder to draw my bow every year. That said, I start earlier getting the muscles tuned up. First exercise is simply drawing the bow several times a day.You should be able to shoot your bow just fine by fall. My Dad is 85 and this year he is making the transition to a crossbow for Elk. Hope I can wait that long. I have a lot of archery stuff to use up. I have taken 16 bull moose with my bow. Several deer and 1 black bear.
  20. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    I think that anything that gets someone out hunting in the field is a plus. If you want to cross bow hunt then have at it and don't worry about what someone else thinks. You'll be eating venison while they will be pounding sand.