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Crossbow hunting debates...

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by BlackBelt, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    Here in TN, crossbows were made 'archery' equipment for last years deer season, and will continue to be legal for this years archery season. As I've bow hunted for years, I thought that I'd like to try a crossbow as a fun alternative to the bow that I love. And man, did I fall hard for crossbow shooting!
    Anyway, after shooting something like 300 shots or so over the last year and a half, I needed to have the crossbow re-cabled, as the cables on it were about to pop. I took it to the largest archery pro-shop in the city, and they 'sort of' refused to work on it. Plus, they made me feel like a heel for hunting with it. Told me that I ought to use a bow during bow season. I just told them that Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency counted the crossbow as legal archery equipment, so it was legal, and I was using it. Went to another archery shop, and basically the same scenario played out.
    Long story longer...I couldn't get anyone to work on my crossbow, so I called the factory. They were the most supportive, professional folks that I've dealt with in a long time. And I WILL be hunting with my legal crossbow this year, as well as with my regular bow.
    What was disconcerting was the fact that these people at the archery shops were so adamant about the crossbow being 'not archery', and folks using them not being true 'hunters'. Kinda reminded me of the old 9mm vs. 45ACP arguments.
    The truly funny thing is that the division amongst these folks at the archery shop runs to the Recurve bow guys don't think that the Compound bow guys are true hunters either. And no one likes the crossbow guy...
    I think that with the numbers of hunters on the decline, anything that can be used to get those numbers up should be considered a good thing. I have made several converts to bow hunting by letting people shoot my crossbow. Of course they go get one, then want to try regular bow hunting. I believe that with a couple of the new converts, gun hunting is the next step this year. How can this be a bad thing? We are talking about guys in their 30's and 40's hunting for the first time, which is statistically out of the normal for first time hunters.
    I think that the thing that these guys need to realize is that crossbow hunting IS here to stay.
    Rant off.
     
  2. noway

    noway

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    Yes the anti X-bow crowds that label dem x-bows hunters as bad hunters or like my favorite person on this forum who goes by the name of six gun symphony [/scarsm off ] who thinks you are unethical because of your choice of weapon :upeyes:

    if it's legal in your state and season by all means hunt with it. Fl just started an x-bow season but it's short I mean like 4 days long if you count the days. Really not worth my investment but I will buy one sooner or later.

    btw, cables for those x-bows are very expensive ;)
     

  3. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    Barnett charged me $45-50 for the 3 cables including the labor to replace them. I will have to do it every 300 or so shots (once a year or so). I didn't think that was too bad money-wise.
    I know some of the x-bow companies make cables you can change yourself without a press, and those are probably a lot cheaper. I guess one day I'll buy a bow press and be able to do my own work on my x-bows and my regular compound bows.
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    Does the portable bow press works ona x-bow? I had one when I used "training wheels" ( compound bows ).
     
  5. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    Blackbelt - I hope you shoot a bid on ethis year with that crossbow.
     
  6. vafish

    vafish

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    Funny you get the same argument from black powder folks on the traditional vs inlines.

    VA just made Crossbows legal in archery season last year.

    I used to archery hunt, but gave it up about 15 years ago. I was thinking of buying a new bow, but my shoulders have been bothering me a bit.

    I just got permission to archery hunt a nice property nearby. So I'm in the market for a crossbow now.

    I think the hate against crossbows comes from ignorance. If you really look at the facts and figures a crossbow has about the same effective range and arrow speed as a good compound bow. The main advantage of the crossbow is that you don't have the movement of the draw with the deer standing in front of you.

    GA did a study after the first couple years of allowing crossbows in archery season. The success rate of crossbow hunters was about the same (few tenths of a percentage point below) the regular bow hunters. But the average age of the crossbow hunters was about 5 years more than the archery hunters. The author of the study thought that was caused by older hunters who had given up archery due to their age and physical limitataions comeing back to use crossbows.
     
  7. noway

    noway

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    I agreed is all about ignorance florida has allowed the x-bows fore disable people for years and this year the new season was allowed on private land but not on public.
     
  8. sopdan

    sopdan

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    Yup, actually my dad has been thinking about getting a crossbow to hunt with because he hasn't figured out how to reverse the aging process(though in MI you need a doctor's note). He used to do a good amount of bowhunting, and has upgraded bows in recent years, but I don't think he's actually gone out with his bow in a few years.
     
  9. vafish

    vafish

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    What type of crossbows are you guys using?

    I'm thinking of getting a Barnett Revolution or Quad 400.
     
  10. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    I'm using the Barnett Quad 400. It's a decent crossbow for an excellent price.
    Pros: Barnett gives great service with 1 day turnaround. One of the fastest x-bows on the market @ 345 fps. Other than cables, Barnett is pretty much user serviceable. Mine is very accurate out to 40 yds.

    Cons: Many archery shops consider Barnett to be the 'dogs' of the industry, and won't service Barnett products. Barnett is a lower end production line crossbow, not hand fitted like some of the more expensive brands.

    Other than that, a crossbow is pretty much a crossbow in my book. I prefer a crossbow with a crank cocking device, as it can be dangerous to cock one on small deer treestand using the foot stirrup. I added the Barnett crank device to my x-bow, but it cost about half of what the entire crossbow cost. Still, to me it's worth it because I hunt alone a lot, and try not to take any unneccessary safety risks like rope cocking a crossbow in my deer stand.
    I bought the Barnett to try crossbow hunting and target shooting, knowing that if I didn't like it, I wasn't out that much money.
    Now that I really enjoy using the crossbow, I will use it this year and sell it next year and buy a more more customized crossbow that is fitted to me.
    Bottom line is that the Barnett is a good entry level crossbow for a good price.
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    How are you guys de-cocking the x-bow if you don't shot at any game in hte field? are are you just firing the arrow off?
     
  12. vafish

    vafish

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    Thanks for the review Blackbelt. I just ordered a Barnett Revolution from Sportsmans guide. It was only $229. They had the Quad 400 for the same price.
     
  13. wolfy692005

    wolfy692005 pro tinkerer

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    yep... i have the same view of bows as i do guns and motorcycles... as long as you shoot or ride you are ok with me i dont care what you shoot or ride.. that being said, i dont shoot a cross bow.. the reason, because i have shot them and i am better with the compound.. if i was better with the crossbow, you can bet i would be using that where possable... i used to shoot for high country.. and have gotten pretty used to compound and got fairly good with it. Whatever you can take a deer ( or whatever you are hunting) with without causing the most undue suffering to the anumal is what i use..
    happy hunting guys whatever you use.
     
  14. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    I've always heard from every crossbow manufacturer that you should fire a bolt through your crossbow instead of letting the string down to uncock it. And 'dry firing' is strictly forbidden! I did that once and it almost tore the cables off my crossbow. ALWAYS make sure you have a bolt in your crossbow when you shoot it. If you don't, you'll be making a trip to the pro-shop to get it fixed.
    I carry a bolt that is sort of destroyed just for the purpose of uncocking my crossbow. I put duct tape on the end of it where the tip would be to keep it from going so far. To uncock it, I try to shoot it pretty much straight down, but at a slight angle so that it doesn't ricochet back at me.
    When I deer hunt with the x-bow (as with my compound bow), more times than not the deer don't get close enough to take a shot. I'm shooting my 'uncocking' bolt more than regular bolts during the season.
     
  15. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    Wow! That's a GREAT price! Most places the Quad 400's go for something like $279 (internet) to $469 (BassPro Shop w/cocking device). You did well! You will enjoy that crossbow!
    Don't forget to get a rope cocker. I know they are kind of pricey at nearly 30 bucks, but it cuts the strength that it takes to cock the x-bow by 50% or more. That means you'll shoot it a LOT more often (if you are old like me)...
    Congrats!
     
  16. noway

    noway

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    So I'm guessing you carry a non-game bolt just for the decocking ( firing it off with bolt ) and trip home?

    that might be doable for me.

    one more questions, anybody care to describe what and how you hunt from the tree stand with a x-bow? and this pertains to the safeties/cocking/de-cocking the bow?.
     
  17. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    I have been tinkering with the idea of a crossbow. In MI we can use them during the gun season. I personally think they should be in the archery season. If it flings arrows, it is archery. If it is loaded by the muzzle it is a muzzleloader. I don't care what you use as long as it is legal. If it gets more people out hunting, more power to us. We need all the help we can get.
     
  18. vafish

    vafish

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    VA allows crossbows during the regular archery season. But they require a seperate crossbow license. So if you are an archer that also wants to use a crossbow you have to pay $15 for each.

    Maybe that's just their way of keeping track of how many archers and crossbow hunters there are.
     
  19. vafish

    vafish

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    Actually it was $229 and if you joined their buyers club it was $206. I had a co-worker that also wanted a cross bow so we ordered 2 and split the cost of the buyers club.

    UPS says the package should be delivered today. !!!!
     
  20. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    yes, I keep my decocking bolt at the truck. I know everyone says that you aren't supposed to walk through the woods with a cocked crossbow, but I've run into so many deer when leaving my stand area, that I consider it 'still-hunting' back to my truck.
    When hunting from my TreeLounger climbing stand, I actually cock the bow while I'm on the ground and double check the safety to make sure it's on. Then I climb the tree and use a pull rope to carefully pull the x-bow up to me (of course there's no bolt in it at this point). I mention the TreeLounger stand because I consider it a part of my crossbow hunting program. You pretty much have a 360 degree shooting range with it. I highly recommend them if you are crossbow hunting and need the safest stand possible.
    Once I'm in place in my treestand, and the bow is on my lap or in the rifleholder that is attached to the side of the TreeLounger, I'll put a bolt in it and snap the safety off. When I hear a deer, I'll pick up the x-bow and wait until they get into range. Last year I had a 12-15 minute wait with the x-bow at the ready, which would have been fatigueing in another type of stand other than the TreeLounger. Because I'm in a lounging position, I can rest the x-bow on my knee until the deer comes into view.
    That's about it.