Whats the real complaints with crossbows?

boy shooting crossbow

boy shooting crossbowWhat’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.


  • silent chance June 22, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I am born crossbow hunting! In your last comment is why! It introduces new and more people especially children into the outdoor world of hunting! We need more hunters/conservationist! So for me the more ways to hunt and it introduces new people to the sport I am all for it!

  • greg July 12, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Hunted all my life, killed several deer with my Mathews bow but after 3 shoulder surgery s I nos hunt wiea crossbow, I’d give anything to be able to shoot my Mathews again. There’s no advantage if you know how to hunt

    • Matt Staser July 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Greg, That’s the main problem. People that complain about it, have never tried it. If they realized the limitations crossbows have and the drawbacks to shooting one, they wouldn’t be so against it.

  • killchair August 31, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Not having to draw on a deer, with the noise and movement that that can bring, is a big advantage you didn’t mention. That being said, I have no issues with crossbows. My buddy and I go out a lot during archery season here — he has a crossbow, I shoot compound.

  • The Crossbow Complaint. Is There One? ~ AverageHunter.com October 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    […] See the full article here……………………. […]

  • Neil rhonemus October 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    The main thing is hunters need to not be in pissing contests with each other. We need to be united against anti hunter groups.

  • Marty December 26, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I agree with the not having to draw on the deer as a large advantage but then again you don’t make a drawing motion when gun hunting and I do that as well as bow hunt. My complaint is simple physics. These bolts fly faster than our arrows but are considerably shorter and lack kinetic energy. As I’m sure you guys know, whitetails are one tough animal. Without the added force that a longer and sometimes wider arrow transfers into the deer these bolts can be ineffective and end in more wounded deer. I’ve heard the argument of “as long as your broad head is sharp and the shot is in the right place it won’t matter”. Let’s face it, bad shots happen and using a less powerful projectile isn’t responsible hunting. We have crossbow hunting during archery season here in Michigan and wounded deer happen more than it should.

    • Matt Staser January 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      I will admit that the main problem with crossbows is the hunters themselves. Just like using rifles, hunters get a false sense of confidence that anything close will still drop the animal. I think that it’s this false confidence that is causing the higher amounts of wounded animals that it is the crossbow itself.

  • James February 15, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Personally I think the crossbow isn’t as sporting for archery season. Archery compound or not takes a tremendous amount of skill to be proficient at. Where as anyone can look through a scope and squeeze a trigger. I don’t have a problem with it because meat in the freezer is meat in the freezer. But I do look at it like a cheat on archery season. Not unlike early season muzzle loaders that can easily kill out to 300.

  • Gretchen February 27, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I use a crossbow due to disability – I can pull 25 and sometimes on good day 30# on a compound; enough to bowfish with, but not the required 40#. So I come from both sides and feel that it does take practice, skill, etc. to use either bow. I don’t take any longer or more difficult shots with the crossbow than I would have with the compound prior to disability. I do think that many have the wrong impression about crossbows, and agree that it will foster a sense of overconfidence in many. Had to explain to friend who was new to crossbows that just using a crossbow instead of compound wouldn’t magically give him better ability to take a deer in difficult and /or longer range situation. Now the arguments are back because of the introduction of the rifle bill in IL – here we go again….

  • Chris October 27, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Chris from NJ

    I have hunted since the age of 10 with a recurve and compound bows and harvested many dear and even wounded a few unfortunately..
    This year I purchased a cross bow for the first time since I am getting older and having some shoulder isues and last few years did not bow hunt for that reason. I did not want to wound any deer since I could not steady the bow properly and my shots in targets not all in the same area.

    Since purchasing the cross bow I have sighted it in up to 50 yards and no more then that, don’t want to cheat in a way. I have been back in the woods hunting again with the cross bow and that is nice.. I have not harvested a deer yet with the cross bow and passed up a bunch so far since I can bee much more selective now also.

    I do feel guys that hunt now with a cross bow will wound less deer since the accuracy is much greatee and they will be more selective.
    I don’t think it is cheating to hunt with a crossbow and I would rather see a deer harvested then wounded or even hit by a vehicle and be wasted.
    My Friends daughter harvested her first deer at 11 this year and his son of 16 a buck with a crossbow. I probably would not of wounded a few deer when I was that age If I was using a cross bow.


  • Jeff Rector November 16, 2016 at 7:25 am

    There is no advantage, first year hunting with crossbow. Hunted with compound until now. You can’t reload crossbow up in a stand. You are one and done

  • Wild M Ranch January 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    A crossbow is not a bow. It is not archery. It should have its own season. The worst part is the ‘dumbing down” of the archer. I already see hunting shows and others say “look at my first deer with a bow,” and it’s a crossbow.

    Outside of that I have no issues. My best friend hunts my farm with one and my to youngest son took his first deer ever at age 12 with one. My father used one his later years of hunting.

    Still, it’s NOT archery and should have its own season OUTSIDE normal archery seasons.

  • Jim January 17, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I hunted with one for the first time this year . I can honestly say I learned a lot and gained a whole new respect. I think that in most ways they are tougher to use than bows or even guns they are very ungainly, their size to weight ratio is off they are heavy . You don’t have the mobility you do with a bow or gun and I know I can empty my quiver in the time it takes to relcock and reload the crossbow. Not to mention try cocking one 16′ up in a ladder stand! I think they should be allowed anywhere . They do have a couple of advantages but in most ways they make the hunt more challenging!

  • Brent January 18, 2017 at 12:18 am

    I’ve been a bowhunter (compound) for 35 years. Every seasons there are several times I could have taken deer with a crossbow but wasn’t able to draw on them with my bow. There is a huge difference in the skill required to take a deer with a bow vs crossbow. As a compound shooter, I fully acknowledge that a recurve or a long bow would be much more challenging than my compound.

    All that being said, I have no problem with people using a crossbow if that’s what they want to use, just please don’t call it Bowhunting. Call it crossbow hunting. This may seem petty but bowhunters have to spend countless hours practicing to be proficient. If crossbow won’t call themselves bowhunters, that will go a long way towards acceptance by the Bowhunting community

  • A Not-So-Average Crossbow for the Average Hunter! ~ AverageHunter.com March 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    […] been a while, but I’ve talked about hunting with crossbows in the past. There are some distinct advantages to using a x-bow during archery season, since it […]

  • JoeyJoeJoeJrShabadoo (@SideshowJon36) May 14, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Eliminate the deer population? The damn things breed like rats and are terribly overpopulated.

  • Dale Knoll October 3, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I’ve killed 2 trophy bucks in my life. A nine point that scored 143 & an 11 point that scored 138. The 9 point was 100 yards with a 30-06. The 11 point was with a crossbow at 25 yards. I had to stand up in my stand and shoot around the tree to get him. I’ve never hunted with a compound bow, but I’m not sure I could have made that shot with one. My crossbow is hard to load & one must shoot an old bolt to unload it because they can’t be dry fired. I always shoot my into the ground from the stand or I brng my target block for when I get to the truck. I think you will find that your range is the same with either type of bow.

  • Tom Coleman December 27, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Hard core bow hunter since i was 18, now at 50 there is NO better feeling that pulling off the shot on a nice buck with a compound bow. The whole sequence of grabbing your bow, drawing your bow without getting detected or busted and making that perfect shot is a “true adrenaline” that is unmatched! I’ve hunted with muzzle and rifle and to me crossbow would be similar. My point here is IF that is your ONLY way to archery hunt i support that. If you choose to use a crossbow and are “physically capable” you are only missing out on that unreal feeling when you get that animal within bow range and you pull off everything perfect to manage to harvest that trophy. My experience with crossbow hunters i know is they shoot their weapon a few days before the season opens to make sure the scope is on! To me that is NOT the true meaning of archery/primitive hunting. Practice and scouting are as much fun and important as “pulling that trigger”

  • How to Build Your Own Crossbow - AverageOutdoorsman January 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    […] conclusion, having your own crossbow is very thrilling experience. Apart from hunting, you can decide to test your accuracy skills there […]

  • Nisha Batel January 14, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the sharing best article.


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

OEDRO SUPER BOWL Sunday Sales - GET UP TO 30% OFF Feb.8th ~ Feb. 29th 15% OFF Special Code?SBD15 25% OFF Special Code?SBD25 30% OFF Special Code?SBD30 $55 Special Code?HSBD55