What’s the big deal with Crossbows? Do they allow a hunter to take a 200 yard shot? Can you shoot a bolt (crossbow arrow) into a mountain side like in the movies? Can they really do any of that stuff we have all come know from watching all the 007 movies? I am no expert, but from what I understand, the answer is no. So what’s the big advantage to hunting with a crossbow?
In Illinois where I am located, the hunting community (the vocal ones anyway) are in a mad rage because the wonderful state of Illinois is catching up with the times and allowing “some” hunting with a crossbow for anyone. The started a new law letting any hunter with an archery permit hunt with a crossbow after our second firearm season. (UPDATE.. IL changed that law to open crossbow hunting for entire archery season. Started fall of 2017) That is a big change from the past when the only people who could ever use a crossbow were hunters with disabilities or a hunter over the age of 62. Pretty much everyone agreed that was fair as we all want everyone to have the ability to get out and hunt. But now that everyone can use them just like most other states, they are all in rage and blaming the state.
So what’s the problem with crossbows. Most hunters (again, the vocal ones) believe that Illinois and the State of Chicago are doing all they can to eliminate the deer population. This is all from a push from insurance companies that are persuading the state to open more seasons and allow more permits for harvesting. So the latest attempt to make it easier for hunters to kill more deer is to let them use a crossbow. When they first presented this, it actually received a lot of fight from the State of Chicago and others because they all felt it was too dangerous. For the same reason we can’t use rifles I guess. So with one wanting the full season and the other wanting none of it, they compromised and went with a half season and made it the last half of the season. So the hunters are really mad now because they feel crossbows are cheating.
But why is it cheating? Is a crossbow really that better than a high-tech compound bow? A good crossbow flings a bolt (arrow) around 350 fps. Isn’t that what compound manufacturers are advertising these days? Can a good crossbow make a clean kill shot at 100 yards? I imagine it could but with practice and proper set up, I know I could with a compound and we see people on TV doing it all the time. Does a crossbow really have advantages over a compound? I am sure being able to rest it on a rail like a gun makes it easier and having a scope makes it easier, but I don’t see much more past that. The ones I have shot are a pain in the butt. They are loud and hard to load. So to me that is a wash. I don’t see what everyone is complaining about. Are they complaining about crossbows or are they complaining because our governor is ruled by the State of Chicago and the big insurance companies and is doing all he can to make them happy by trying to ruin our deer herd. Who knows, but I do know that I will try it. Why not, I need the meat. I will borrow someone’s crossbow and give it a try. I may even use this as an opportunity to get my children out in the woods more and hunt since they can’t pull back a legal bow yet.
Let’s hear your thoughts on hunting with a crossbow. Comment below and check out bowgrid.com for tips on picking out a beginner bow.