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Advice on backup gun for crossbow hunting?
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Picture of holzauge
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So far I've only hunted whitetail deer with my crossbow but black bear numbers are growing where I hunt. I could easily get a shot at one. The deer I've shot with the crossbow have all run out of sight before going down. I've waited an hour or so and tracked them. I've never lost one but some still had the strength to stand when I approached. The idea following a blood trail from a large black bear into a thicket armed with a crossbow is unattractive. I've been toying with the idea of getting a backup gun for emergency use. I'd also shoot it at my club range and might want to try it for deer so I'd want some accuracy. Double action? 4" brl? I want light. I've got small hands. Maybe a Taurus 444 Multi in 44 Mag? Going down to 38+P would open many revolver options but is it adequate in the unlikely event that I might need it? With a concealed carry permit I could legally carry a pistol while hunting in VA. Could a MD resident get a VA concealed carry permit for use in VA? Suggestions?


Sei wach!
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Here in Ohio you cannot carry any gun while bow hunting. I'm glad to hear it's legal there.

Get a Florida concealed carry permit - it's good in 29 states. I don't know if it will let you bow hunt while carrying a pistol in VA, though.

I like a 44 Mag for what you are talking about - short range, heavy cover, angry bear. But they ain't small. I have a 6" stainless Smith.

I reckon a 357 carry gun would work OK.

But don't stop to admire your shot with either one - keep shooting!


Don_G

...from Texas, by way of Mason, Ohio and Aurora, Colorado!
 
Posts: 1645 | Location: Elizabeth, Colorado | Registered: 13 February 2004Reply With Quote
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I am going to tell you what the problem is and you will not like it! You are shooting very short and light bolts that do not have enough penetration combined with small, light broadheads that kill poorly even with complete penetration. Not the ticket for bear at all.
 
Posts: 4068 | Location: Bakerton, WV | Registered: 01 September 2003Reply With Quote
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I think you shouldn't have a back up gun for black bear. You're hunting with the crossbow, make it work!! I think that's the fun of a "primitive" weapon that's more marginal than a firearm. Just make sure you have the right equipment and shoot well. Then go track it down and retreive it. I'd damn well want someone to back me up with a rifle if I shot a grizzly on the ground though.

the chef
 
Posts: 2763 | Registered: 11 March 2004Reply With Quote
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bfrshooter, or anybody else,
I'm new at crossbow and have only shot a two deer and both passed all the way trough deer standing almost broadside. The first went through the both sides of the ribcage penetrating both lungs and damaging the heart. She ran up a hill about 30 or 40 yards into a thicket, lay down and died. The second was hit less well because I hit a blade of grass just in front of her causing the bolt to hit at an angle, but the bolt still went through ribs on one side, a lung and diaphram, ran almost lenthwise through the body cavity, glanced off the hip joint and exited the far ham leaving a sizable hole. Penetration doesn't seem to be a problem. The second doe ran about 20 yrds and lay down where I couldn't see her. But, when I walked up on her she was still able to stand, run another 20 yards, jump a 4 foot fence and fall dead on the other side. The doe weighed 120 and 100 lb.s. I doubt any shot with any broadhead would drop a 350-500 lb. black bear in it's tracks, and hunting in the woods where I'm likely to see black bear a 20-30 yrd. run would put the bear where I couldn't see it from my stand. I'd then wait an hour like I did with both deer and start tracking. It's the thought of following a blood trail made by a big bear into thicket that makes a backup pistol seem prudent.

Re broadheads. I'm open to suggestion. The ones I'm using have folding blades and shoot exactly like the field tips I practice with which is why I like them. I'm open to suggestions, but it's hard for me to imagine how any broadhead could do much more damage that what I'm using. I've just switched to 22" carbon shafts because they changed the recommendation for my crossbow. I shot 20" Al. shafts at both deer but they passed through with energy to spare. What else could I reasonably expect?


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Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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If you are getting good penetration and the blades are opening, then it is just the time it takes the deer to bleed out. A heart shot deer can make 100 yd's or more. Maybe you expect too much as far as time for the deer to die.
I am leery of mechanical broadheads because many take a lot of power to work. As long as yours are opening and going deep, I would not worry. I have a lot of experience with crossbows in Ohio and found many that could never match a compound or recurve for killing power and shots must be taken with great care. The light bolts can deflect quickly in an animal when bone is hit, even a rib. A quartering shot can be death to the arrow, not the deer. I like crossbows but the manufacturers have gone for speed instead of killing power.
 
Posts: 4068 | Location: Bakerton, WV | Registered: 01 September 2003Reply With Quote
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You might also be surprised to learn that black bears weigh a lot less (usually) than 350-500 lbs. It seems that bears are more suseptible to pain than the ungulates are- I've never seen a deer biting at a bullet wound or arrow after they've been hit. Bears just run away, shoot straight and in the right spot then give it a chance to die and go get it. Or keep your back up gun in the truck-go get it while you're waiting for it to die...although this might not be legal in some areas.
 
Posts: 2763 | Registered: 11 March 2004Reply With Quote
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If you want to get a sidearm I would check out the S&W 329pd. I just got one and added a set of Crimson Trace laser grips. It is now my primary back country sidearm. Weighs less then 30oz.
 
Posts: 2153 | Location: Southern California | Registered: 23 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Bulldog563 et al,
I just been told I can't own a Taurus in MD so I'm leaning toward the S&W 357PD (.41 mag). I fondled one this weekend and liked it. It's prob. a better gun than the Tarus (Sc vs. Ti) but costs way more (Sc vs. Ti!), it is not ported and needs a good shock absorbing grip of some kind. Recoil is why I'm leaning toward the 357PD in .41 vs. the 329PD in .44 mag.


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Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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if you don't want something thats going to kick you definately don't want to fire a 329pd. it would be a fantastic carry gun as they are so light, but it kicks like a mule
 
Posts: 93 | Registered: 18 April 2006Reply With Quote
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I don't find the 329pd unmanagable at all with Mag loads and use Specials for the range. You know when it goes off though. I knew it would be a handfull when I got it but wanted a sidearm that would be carried a lot and shot very little. Glad I got it.

Either way I really like the Airlite's as a backcountry sidearm. If you really want one I would keep an eye on GB and GA because very lightly used guns come aroud pretty often.
 
Posts: 2153 | Location: Southern California | Registered: 23 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Confused
What are GA and GB?


Sei wach!
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Sorry, Gunsamerica.com and Gunbroker.com
 
Posts: 2153 | Location: Southern California | Registered: 23 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Ted Nuggets Son just killed a very large Black Bear in Alaska with a crossbow on Spirit of the Wild. I would not wory about the back up gun my self. ditch the mecanical broad heads for a high quality cut on contact and keep your shots under 30-35 yards. I killed a nice Ohio buck last year with a friends crossbow. Nice to shoot but a complet pain in the ass to carry. Hunted with it once that is enough. I definatly prefer my compound with 500 grain arrows.

Will
 
Posts: 581 | Location: Mesa, AZ | Registered: 08 May 2006Reply With Quote
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458Lottfan,
I went with the folding blades because I don't have to do two sessions of sighting in. I've not tried fixed broadhead since bowhunting in the late 1960's.

Got a favorite fixed broadhead?

I also find the crossbow a cumbersome contraption, but I've broken too many bones in by hand over the years to be able to use a bow. I even have to use a windless to cock the crossbow.


Sei wach!
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Holzauge
This year I am trying Wac'em 100 grain tritons for the first time. Prior to this I have shot Muzzy's. The wac'em broadhead seams to shoot well with only a slight sight change. They were recomended to me by the crew at the Archery Headquarter's in Chandler, AZ. These broadheads have become popular with the local bow hunters due to the toughness of the units and good flying caracteristics.

Are you a boxer? Or other Pro Athlet? How do you bust your hands up like that?
 
Posts: 581 | Location: Mesa, AZ | Registered: 08 May 2006Reply With Quote
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That's the same question the orthopeadist asked me when he looked at my Xrays the last time I broke a thumb. No, I've never been a boxer I'm just a Klutz. My gimpy hands are the accumulated consequences of 58 years of Klutzdom. Alas, too soon we get old and too late we get smart.


Sei wach!
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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My hunting buddy killed the second largest of the black bears he's been seeing in the woods behind his house. beer No official wt. yet but the lady at the checking station said it was easily over 400 lb.s and the taxidermist called and said it is easy Pope & Young. I don't have a clue what that means but it seemed to please my buddy. Measured 7'4". He'll probably post his own pictures. Now do you see why I want an emergency back up .41 mag if I should shoot one with the crossbow? Big Grin


Sei wach!
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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My buddy got the word from the taxidermist yesterday. The field dress carcass of his bear weighed @450 lbs. That thing must have been at 525 lb.s whole. Holy freakin wow Batman! Eeker Something came up at work today and I won't be able to hunt Fri Pm or Sat. Maybe next weekend.


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Posts: 621 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: 06 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Crap! That's a definite 44 Mag or bigger!


Don_G

...from Texas, by way of Mason, Ohio and Aurora, Colorado!
 
Posts: 1645 | Location: Elizabeth, Colorado | Registered: 13 February 2004Reply With Quote
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