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advantages/disadvantages of crossbow?
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I'm new to the crossbow thing. I would like opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of the crossbow vs. regular bow (compound or recurve). The crossbow is faster but from what ive read doesnt really reach much farther than a regular bow.
 
Posts: 53 | Registered: 18 December 2012Reply With Quote
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Picture of cooperjd
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crossbows are obviously a hot topic in the archery community. below are my opinions, and they are worth exactly what you paid for them Smiler

1. i have no problem with crossbow hunters during archery season, it helps more people get into hunting, and thats what we need.

what i'm afraid of with the newer crossbow hunters that have never bowhunted, is a bit of overconfidence in shooting since its so easy to get proficient with a crossbow, if you have prior rifle shooting experience.

i would list that as a disadvantage. just because you can hit a target at 70 or 80 yards with a crossbow, it might not be such a good idea to fling an arrow (or bolt) at a whitetail at that range. deer (as well as some other critters) are bad at jumping the string, and they can really get out of the way at longer distances.

crossobws:
--easy to get proficient and shoot accurately
--fast and flat shooting
--not a lot of movement in a treestand, so less spooked game
--when using a rest (always, imo) can be very accurate and probably will make better shots on game in a higher % than a vertical bow

but some cons:
--louder than a vertical bow, so can spook game a little easier at the shot
--they are heavy, usually requiring a rest
--depending on the treestand or blind, they can be too bulky to move effectively and you may lose some shooting lanes
--some bowhunters will turn their nose up at you Wink
--may not practice as much due to the 'ease' of shooting, which can lead to a little more panic when buck fever sets in and no muscle memory
--hard to de-cock, and often must shoot them to make them safe again after hunting
--some archery ranges do not allow them
--some targets will not work as they are too fast / tear up targets faster than vertical bows

thats what i can come up with off the top of my head. my local club is very divided on the crossbow issue. i shoot my vertical bow a lot (compound bow, peep, sights, etc...) and will gladly challenge any crossbow shooter shooting freehanded out to 80 yards. a xbow shooter off a rest will beat me, freehanded, i believe i have the upper hand, as the xbows are just too heavy.

like any bowhunting, try to get them in close, pick your shots carefully, and do not shoot at a fully alert deer. even a 400 fps crossbow will not beat a deer that wants to duck your string. be safe, have fun, and go hunting.
 
Posts: 748 | Location: Castle Pines, CO | Registered: 19 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Everything Cooper says is true.

One thing I've noticed since I had to give up my vertical bow due to bad shoulders too is range estimation becomes VERY critical. A crossbow bolt starts out very fast and flat shooting, but due to the lesser mass, also drops off in speed, especially at longer ranges. That affects trajectory immensely.

While I would have considered shooting an animal out to 60 yards with my 70 lb. bow, I seriously doubt if I'll ever shoot my crossbow that far. The bolt drops too fast and adequate penetration starts to become an issue. So for me, 35 yards is about the longest shot I'll take with my 160 lb. crossbow on game.

While I wish I could still shoot my bow pain-free, at least my crossbow allows me to get out in the woods before the "pumpkin brigade" invades... Smiler
 
Posts: 816 | Location: Whitlock, TN | Registered: 23 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of Highlander7
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Cooper made some very good points. I must admit I'm a Xbow user but, converted due to the same reason as Shof "bad shoulders." It has allowed me continue hunting and I'm not complaining about it one bit. I do miss the compound and may someday convert back with the new lighter, easier to draw bows. I do agree though that it seems more people have picked up the crossbow first and have never hunted or shot a compound bow. It may just be that I'm getting old but, maybe it's getting more people out to hunt. Although you can say the same with people buying muzzle loaders for their early season hunts.

I do not practice or shoot any further than I was shooting with the compound (40 yrds). I've taken 11 deer with both and the furthest shot has been under 27 yrds (which happens to be my first bow kill ever).

One of the biggest challenge I see is hunting in a horizontal instead of a vertical plane from a tree stand. Depending on the width of a tree you may not be able to get the backside of tree shot.


MSG, USA (Ret.) Armor
NRA Life Memeber
 
Posts: 582 | Location: Chester County, PA. | Registered: 09 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Picture of thecanadian
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You wont get a 2nd shot with a crossbow. On average CB are much louder then their vertical counterpart. They are also very difficult load in a tree stand. The advantage to a vertical bow may mean a 2nd shot at a trophy, or a taking out the doe that the the buck was following. I have only been archery hunting 5 years and have found myself capitalizing on both scenarios.


"though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."

---Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 1064 | Location: Eau Claire, WI | Registered: 20 January 2011Reply With Quote
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I going to a cross bow for starting this year for the same reasons as many bad shoulders.

I bow hunted for 45 years started with a long bow, recurve, compound, There most likely been a dozen times I used a 2nd shot.

I am going to the cross bow to allow me to keep hunting.

I tried asking all the deer I killed with a bow and firearm if it matter how they died and none of them ever told me it did.
 
Posts: 18040 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Picture of Labman
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Just saw this post. Here's the answer to your problem - push a button and cock your crossbow. I saw one in an archery shop a few years back. Worked as advertised.

http://www.parkerbows.com/cros...etail&detailsku=1109


Tom Z

NRA Life Member
 
Posts: 2150 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: 07 January 2005Reply With Quote
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One advantage of the crossbow is for hunters that don't get much field time with a regular bow. Every year we see pix on the news of some deer walking through a field with an arrow sticking out of him. A crossbow is much easier to shoot accurately for those with limited experience or practice. Another advantage is that a crossbow allows one to hunt later in life than would be possible with a drawn bow. I still like the excitement of having a deer near me on stand, and having to draw when he lowers his head or passes behind a tree. I'll use compounds as long as I can.
 
Posts: 19361 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of Beretta682E
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quote:
Originally posted by Biebs:
One advantage of the crossbow is for hunters that don't get much field time with a regular bow. Every year we see pix on the news of some deer walking through a field with an arrow sticking out of him. A crossbow is much easier to shoot accurately for those with limited experience or practice. Another advantage is that a crossbow allows one to hunt later in life than would be possible with a drawn bow. I still like the excitement of having a deer near me on stand, and having to draw when he lowers his head or passes behind a tree. I'll use compounds as long as I can.


Sure Biebs - just tell me if you want the Ruger 375 for backup - given your shooting skills - you need me to back you up Cool


Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

Bernard Baruch
 
Posts: 13067 | Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida | Registered: 22 July 2010Reply With Quote
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quote:
you need me to back you up Cool

And ruin more perfectly good Black Spruce trees? :-)
 
Posts: 19361 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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I must admit,, I just bought my first cross bow,, and I was looking over my shoulder like I was guilty of something hoping no one I knew was seeing me.. I never really considered cross bow hunting,,, bow hunting.. until now. I had right shoulder rotater cuff surgery in November 2011, did 8 months of therapy and went back to Africa bow hunting august 2012... Now the left shoulder begins to hurt, i did therapy for 6 months prior to my african bow hunt this past august. The 9 animals I harvested was preceded by 9 very painful pulls on a compound bow,, tuned down to 60 lbs. Now the shoulder finally is to where I can not pull my bow back. Due to Obama care,, you remember that part about if you want to keep your insurance you can????? well BCBS cancelled my policy so it will be after the first of the year before I can have my left shoulder repaired...
Problem is my bow hunt is scheduled for this weekend,,, either swallow hard and take a cross bow or stay home.... I will never look down on a cross bow hunter again!!!

cocking the bolt is not painful for me,, I just can't raise my left hand over my shoulder. I got a Cabelas "Instinct" and it is rated at 390 fps,,,, shot dead on right out of the box,, IT IS LOUD!!! it better be fast or the string jump will be an issue, it weighs 6.9 lbs,, my 416 rigby weighs 13 lbs,, I can't lift it either!!!

Getting old and the body parts wear and tear have caught up with me. I truly intend to get back with my Matthews compound as soon as I can,, but if I can't.. I guess I will just be one of "those" guys now


you can make more money, you can not make more time
 
Posts: 786 | Location: Mexia Texas | Registered: 07 July 2006Reply With Quote
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Having hunted now with my cross bow the real advantage I found is not having the movement that it takes to draw a regular bow.

Lift aim shoot sitting, standing, kneeling very little movement.

Plus my shoulder doesn't hurt.
 
Posts: 18040 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...THOUSAND-births.html

I have no problem with taking an albino ,they are not sacred .In fact they are much easier for predators to see and take.
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With Quote
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I sold my crossbow, after using it one season. I bought it due to a shoulder injury two years ago. It was heavy, even though it was one of the lighter ones on the market. It was clumsy carrying through the woods. I didn't like sitting in the blind with it cocked, even though the safety was on. The thing was loud, even with string dampening equipment on it. It just didn't feel right.
This year, I rehabbed my shoulder and can now easily draw a compound at 55lbs. I'm back at it with the compound.

Mike
 
Posts: 72 | Location: grand rapids michigan usa | Registered: 28 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I bought a crossbow last year after injuring my shoulder. One of the big advantages that I haven't seen mentioned is that my kids can't hunt during the archery season because they are too small to draw the minimum weights and draw lengths required by state law. I can load the crossbow up and we can go hunting.

My shoulder has recovered and I'm back to hunting with a compound. I'll still use the crossbow from time to time but I prefer hunting with a bow.
 
Posts: 481 | Location: Midwest USA | Registered: 14 November 2008Reply With Quote
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