Crossbow ...yup!


Active Member
I see all the gashing and knashing over the application of crossbows during archery seasons and I would like to throw out some thoughts ...I'm not selling anything here ...just kind of sharing some of my life's experience and resulting thoughts
For the record I have been retired for 10 years ...been thru 3 shoulder surgeries ...and 2 degenerated discs
So I crossed over from a compound to a crossbow over 10 years ago (Dr's permit here in Missouri until this past season)
The things I have come to believe to be true:
My 60/70/80 hour work weeks before retirement had me lying to myself about how much practice I needed and or actually did ...I am being critical of me judge your own self ..
With my compound I have done it all ...kill, miss and wound
10 years of crossbow I have killed 20+ deer ...dead ...period ...but with some clarification ...(1 kill was luck in that I caught a tree limb and got a spine hit instead of a double lung) and two additional clean misses from branch hits
With the crossbow AND retirement .....I obviously had TIME ...time for the right shots ...time to learn the dynamics of weapon of choice and sound and deer and apply that to both my past compound experience as well as my current crossbow learning curve..
My 65lb Bear compound is quieter than any of the 4 crossbows I have owned ...with my compound sound wise I could reasonably expect a relaxed deer to be a harvested deer out to 30 to 35 yards ...30 no wind or rain ...35 with rain FIRST crossbow was about 230fps with a 465grain arrow ...yes an arrow ...the 230fps crossbow rig's noise reduced the the relaxed deer sure kill to 25 yards and another 2-4 yards with wind/rain my arrow speeds increased thru progressive crossbows I am now at 360fps ....this speed seems to be about where present design and material availability keep the crossbow in the everyday shooter category that only asks for rail lube and string wax ...I make this statement as reliable with the good crossbows ...there are a few "brands" who do not have long life results whether cheap parts or or bad quality control ....just research the bow forums will quickly understand this statement
But approaching the 400fps level and above crossbow ... two things seem to start happening ...the $$ starts getting kinda to all the way Krazy ...secondly ...the performance demanded of the very small unit hunters demand seems to take it's toll of most of the major "working" components ....I realize there are always exceptions to everything but again ...this is more directed to the average "Joe" like me ..think this out ....most deer hunters will settle for a 3 to 4" group at 100 yards ...but the benchrest guy is willing to move heaven and earth for that single ragged hole ...just like guys who think arrow speed is everything

Well speed is NOT everything least not to me but each their own ...with my first crossbow pass thru was an every other time thing depending on distance/angle ....with the 360fps I have had all pass thru on over 20 deer with the exception of a spine shot ( speed above 360fps does not appreciably extend range) ( as in sound arrival vs arrow)

Yes I can pickup a crossbow with optics anytime and nail a desert size paper plate at 75 yards ...under 40 yards I have to either pull arrows after each shot or shoot at a different spot each shot or I will stack'em

Bottom line ...hunter ethics , respect for the deer or simply.... the person behind the equipment are what really counts

I Read where many of the oldest crossbow use states are not reporting any appreciable archery harvests

I would think there would have have to be some hump to numbers with the addition of crossbows ...this I base on me and my results over the last 10 years ... in those ten years I have tagged EVERY deer I have shot at except a couple tree limb encounters ...what would my results have been with a compound before before my injuries???

Again my abilities... not yours as everyone is different ...but with a compound I would have had a couple of misses and/or likely a wound out of 20+ shots ...maybe more

So those of you who have a reason to investigate crossbows your research ...put them to your shoulder what real world users say about the +/- of bows that peak your interest ..go on line to someone like Cabela , Bass Pro etc and read customer reviews

whatever your choice's still the person behind the equipment ...happy hunting

Whatever is legal,I just don't allow on my place during archery season.But have no issue with a hunter with the issues you spoke of.I will say this there has to be a raise in numbers killed that follows the numbers of crossbow users if the state has a way of accurately reporting it.I believe it was Ohio that reported a number higher than archery kills last year.In Kansas they have no way to know as they just survey a few.Speaking of surveys,we found out in Kansas that they use survey monkey and they donated money to anti hunting such as HSUS
First legal beginning here last year with anyone. Bow kills both season up about 10000. I have friends that use them. Not a problem for me but also not interest for me. To each his own. My only complaint is a scoped weapon but can say same of so called primitive ML seasons and some of the attachemtnents for bows. I don't whine about them but I do think the industry really promoted them as a viable weapon as sales are crazy with them. And if DNRs could come up with a season to kill deer with cars and they could make more money and kill more deer, then they would jump on it. Again, have at it, just don't count me in.
Same debate when compounds or inline MZ became all the rage. Hunter numbers (and influence) are waning in many states. We are nuts to be discouraging something that may bring greater numbers, particularly women and youth to the sport. I shoot compound and recurve---I'd shoot even if I gave up hunting. I've had significant shoulder surgery on the left and need it on the right so I'm particularly empathetic of those with physical limitations. I've shot crossbows and enjoyed the experience. If it's legal and folks are well trained, I have no issue. Just my .02.
For guys with physical limitations I fully support. Hope WI always has this.

With the continued advance in xbow technology and the fact that xbows really don't require much skill to shoot I do wonder why does bow season and xbow season run at the same time

I love my bow but at the same time I'm hunting. Just think of all the great deer we've all had to pass because they were out of range.

At some point it's going to be hard for a lot of bow hunters to keep going at it with a bow. Fortunately I'm of the age where my days are numbered anyways with a bow
Come on man.

I shoot every weekend. Shot 60 arrows this weekend. Was #1 and #2 in my last 2 3D's and the longest I have ever center punched a deer is 48 yards.

No way I could do it at 100 and be confident.

75-100 yards is a new game. My taxidermy bill would have been a lot bigger last year if I shot an xbow. Kind of sad for us die hard hunters. More about killing than the chase
Newest crossbow add out there states something along the lines of "look at your new rifle" groups at 100 yards.Most of these use an AR rifle for everything but the limbs
Very classy comments fellow deer nuts! ...glad to see constructive thoughts ...yes we all are slow to change ...and I do think Xbows increase harvest ...but I feel like it's deer going to the freezer instead of the coyote ...

I forgot to say something about my personal yardage stats ...3.5 yards out to 44 in the rain ..over all average is less than 18 yards per my log ...

Tongue in cheek I am sure but as for long range Xbox forget it ...Xbow is much louder and much more in the deer's hearing range than the compound ...hears the straight skinney ...have a speed nut friend with a 420fps Xbox a "the block" target beside a huge oak behind the oak and my buddy slowly moving away from the target ....arrow and sound ...finally started to arrive together between 42 and 44 yards for my vote ...long range Xbowing in no wind/rain (50+yards) not a reasonable decision ..even with the very fastest Xbows made today
My max crossbow range is 50yards and i practice a lot, my max compound range is 50yards as well. They both shoot similar speeds, yes u can hit a paper plate at 100yards with a crossbow with some practice but same can be said about a compound, doesnt mean its smart to hunt with that in mind.
My max crossbow range is 50yards and i practice a lot, my max compound range is 50yards as well. They both shoot similar speeds, yes u can hit a paper plate at 100yards with a crossbow with some practice but same can be said about a compound, doesnt mean its smart to hunt with that in mind.

100% right on
I'd trust shooting a nice quiet bow farther than my crossbow. Due to how loud it is, my limit is 30 yards because I want no part of a wounded deer due to string jumping. My tree stand is intentionally 20 yards from the main trails.

Only a slob hunter would take a 75 yard shot with a crossbow, and 50 is the limit of being ethical to me. There's just too many bad things that can happen in that time.
I think I would prefer to see states go to a whitetail season period. Pick a start date and end date and a number of tags and be done with it. Half or more of our total season time in AR is either MZ or MG. At the end of the day game and fish departments are setting seasons to achieve a total harvest number. Remove the orange requirement once in a tree stand or ground blind. If you get shot there it wasn't an accident. Equal time opportunity for every hunter and should cut out most of the infighting re: weapon of choice. Hunt with what you want too. Respect the game and respect your fellow hunters.