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chucker34

Crossbows - Yay or Nay During Archery Season, or........

39 posts in this topic

...should they get a brand new season of their own? I'm looking for some thoughtful, insightful answers, not just "a crossbow is not the same a bow" or "the DNR doesn't support it and they must have good reason," etc.

I personally am considering getting one for gun season as another enjoyable and now legal method of hunting in somewhat residential areas where hunting is permitted but I'd rather not use a firearm.

I've done a lot of reading the past couple of days and the major nock against crossbows being allowed into archery season seems to be that you don't need to be as skilled or practice as much as you do with a bow. The point that you don't have to hold at draw and can steady your weapon allows you to shoot more accurately more consistently at "longer" ranges (30-40 yards, which most also claim to be the maximum effective range with a crossbow).

Given this fact, many bowhunters argue that legions of rifle and gun hunters who've never considered archery season will take to the woods and decimate the deer population while spoiling the bowhunting experience.

But I personally just can't imagine this happening. It's still a short range weapon (30-40 yards max), and it still takes a lot of skill to get that close to a whitetail. And states where the crossbow is legal haven't experienced the commonly anticipated problems in terms of a new onslaught of archery hunters and dwindling deer populations. The numbers from those state's DNR backs that up.

So is it a question of purity or primativeness? The same arguement traditionalists had when compound bows were introduced? Or when releases and other advancements like treestands were introduced to give the hunter another advantage? Or when inline muzzleloaders took over percussion models and flintlocks?

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As far as I'm concerned, all crowbow hunters could hunt the archery season. As you stated, the states that allow it are not without deer.

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I would prefer crossbows be allowed during the current bow season.

I believe if the bow crowd doesn't want crossbows used during bow season, than a separate season for only crossbow should be created. This would come at the expense of the current season's lengths, or we would need to add additional days to our deer season. Lengthening the deer season is not likely. Since firearms seasons are already short, bow season would likely need to be shortened to create crossbow-only dates in the deer season.

Sure, all hunters would like 3 and half months in the woods to fill there tags. With a separate crossbow-only season all hunters would still have 3 and half months to fill their tags, with the all-season license, only they wouldn't be able to do it with a bow for the full 3 and half months.

My compromise would be a split bow-only season. Sept. 15 through about Oct. 7. Second half of bow only-season would be post ML season to Dec. 31. I think that makes about 6 weeks of bow-only season. Crossbow-only season would be Oct. 7 through start of ML season. Firearm and ML season dates would not be changed. With firearms, bows, and crossbows allowed during the regular firearms season. ML and bows allowed during ML season. I think that would work out to be about 5 or 6 weeks of crossbow-only season. Bow hunters would still have the advantage of being the first deer hunters in the woods.

Excuse me if my compromise doesn't make any sense for Zone 3. I am not familiar with zone 3 season dates.

Again, I would prefer for both bows and crossbows be allowed during all of the current 3 and half month bow season.

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I'll stand by my arguments under the post 'Crossbows are Legal' under the deer forum. No to crossbows.

Quote:

Given this fact, many bowhunters argue that legions of rifle and gun hunters who've never considered archery season will take to the woods and decimate the deer population while spoiling the bowhunting experience.

But I personally just can't imagine this happening.


I strongly disagree with you. I think you'll get a lot of gun hunters that don't want to spend the time learning how to shoot a compound, the weekly practice sessions, the fine tuning of arrows and broadheads, that will take the easy way out if its possible. By easy way out I mean a crossbow. Within an hour they'll be hitting the bulls-eye, just like they could with a gun. The fact that its like shooting a gun will influence many to take up crossbows.

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I guess I look at it this way. As long as everyone is hunting legal and the deer herd is always in good shape and the hunting pressure doesnt hurt it, then give some more opportunities if they would like.

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I guess I'm more with you on this one Harvey. I don't really care one way or the other.

If they made a separate crossbow season I would assume regular archery season would remain open like it does through all of the other ones in MN. I don't think that's necessary. The thing is there are a lot of crossbows being used now. Have a shoulder injury, a bad knee or hip, a heart condition, etc. you can get the Dr. to get you a permit to hunt with a crossbow. I know a lot of guys that have taken up "archery" in their 50's or 60's because they can now use a crossbow. If too many deer start being taken they can cut back the number of tags, but as long as their's plenty of deer & at least in our area they've wanted us to shoot them, why not? It's certainly not an unethical kill, it's not like you're setting land mines for the deer.

As far as someones commentted that a crossbow add's more range I suppose that's probably true for the average & below average bow shooters. I'd consider myself about average. From my understanding though the really skilled shooters can shoot 50 yards & beyond, I'm told a pretty common shot out West, & cross bows just don't pack enough punch at that kind of range. That's just my understanding, which certainly could be wrong.

I think this is a good discussion. I guess if push comes to shove & I have to say aye or naye I'll probably say aye, but I don't really care. It won't affect the amount of hunting I do nor would it have helped take more than maybe 2-3 more deer than I've taken in 16-17 years of bowhunting. I suppose a few more that I might not have missed early on.

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I have no arguement with you Blackjack on that it probably is easier to learn to shoot. But I still think the fact that it's a short range weapon would keep the number of new crossbow hunters in check. The patience factor in the field is still at play. Learning how to pattern a deer so you can get to within 30 yards of it would be too much to take for someone used to going out into the field/woods for one weekend a year with their rifle and taking 100 yard plus shots several times at a deer.

So my point is, would some gun hunters try because the firing method is similar, sure. Would it be signifigant? May see an adjustment the first year but probably minimal after that and word gets around that it's not the same thing as gun hunting. In terms of range and style of hunting. You also don't have everyone and their mother pushing deer around the woods as in gun season. So patience would still be required.

I'm not so sure I will get one this year after all due to budget constraints and that I want to get some new gear for my bow. But I will support those who want to try it.

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Also, yes this is a good discussion bigbucks and thanks to everyone for their comments. Good stuff. Hope more chime in.

I also agree that at best, for most shooters, I think crossbows would give you an extra 10 yards. Most of the xbow mfgr sites I visited said 40 yards is the maximum hunting rage as energy starts to reduce substantially after that.

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I would rather see them publisize and perhaps liberalize the requirements to get a permit to use one during the bow season. When I'm over the hill and my body won't let me bowhunt traditionally rather than hang it up I would like to be able to get a permit for a crossbow. I would just like some decent rules and have them somewhat liberal so it does not seem so taboo to have a permit.

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Quote:

I strongly disagree with you. I think you'll get a lot of gun hunters that don't want to spend the time learning how to shoot a compound, the weekly practice sessions, the fine tuning of arrows and broadheads, that will take the easy way out if its possible. By easy way out I mean a crossbow. Within an hour they'll be hitting the bulls-eye, just like they could with a gun. The fact that its like shooting a gun will influence many to take up crossbows.


I strongly disagree with some of this. I don't see crossbows being used during bow season as the easiest way out. High powered semi-automatic rifles would still be the easiest way out. I would think that the hunters looking for the easy way out would still hunt with a gun. The crossbow being fired the same as a gun may lead to some gun hunters giving it a try. Then I think many of those hunters trying a crossbow, if possible, would likely in the future switch to a bow, or go back to the easy way out of gun hunting.

Also, I thought I read somewhere that the crossbow's darts and the bow part needed to be tuned much the same as a compound bow. Not too sure of this, though. Anybody else know?

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I guide for a handicapped hunt in North dakota every year and have for the past 8 years. The majority of these archers will use a crossbow.

From working with these hunters and yes some have very good crossbows as in Ten Points. I think they are very accurate within 35 yards. If I am going to take a 40 plus yard shot and that is a rarity, I will use my compound any day.

The one big downside I see in using them is if you miss your first shot it is very hard to get off another as they are a tad on the loud side when shot.

Long story short, I will keep hunting with my compound until I cannot anymore.

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I agree that anyone that is handicapped or hurt should be able to use a crossbow. There should be some sort of process where they have to reapply and/or prove that they need to use a crossbow though. I talked to a guy this spring that was bragging about his brother-in law getting a permit 6 years ago and still using it to shoot two deer last fall.

The minimum weight for a compound bow in MN was changed from 40 pounds to 30 pounds this year to encourage more youth and women hunters. I would think that would help a lot of older hunters too. Especially when you consider that you can get 65-80% letoff bows.

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I know for the handicapped license for fishing you need to apply annually. You use to be able to have a handicapped license to shot from a vechile and also get a doe permit automaticly and it was a lifetime license but those days are gone. I also believe you have to apply for all handicapped permits annually now.

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It really doesn't matter to me. I agree with Harvey in that if the deer population is healthy, then why not offer options. I would very much like to try using crossbow.

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The disability permit time for a crossbow is determined at the time of application. It is either a temporary or permanent and your doctor checks off which one. I've had a permanent for about 5 years and have not had to renew it. My comfort range is 30 maybe 35 yards. I am not for a separate season but I would not be opposed if they let people hunt the regular archery season. Either way, compound bow or crossbow, it is not easy to tag an archery deer. You still have to get close, be able to bring up your weapon without getting busted, and make the shot.

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fivebucks, how long did it take you to learn to shoot a crossbow accurately? How noisy are they? How many pins do you have on your site?

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I am in favor of crossbows and the way they are used within our current regulations. Last year I saw an older guy walking out to the woods carrrying a crossbow. He walking about as fast as a snail and looked like the wind could have blown him over. I started thinking that maybe he was a bowhunter back in the day and without the crossbow, he would not have the opportunity to get out there and enjoy the early season hunt that all of us bowhunters get to enjoy. I say keep the crossbow regs the way they are...they are working very well and allows those with physical limitation another option to enjoy our outdoors.

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Guys

I know this is a touchy subject but, lets keep this thread from turning to name calling or arguing about it.

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I'm not in favor of crossbows, unless of course they are for disabled hunters. I know this is not true everywhere but the sad truth in my area is that there are unethical hunters here. I know some of those hunters or as I call them slobs, who cant wait for the oppurtunity to use a crossbow. It just seems more apealing to them as it is more like a gun than a bow. Now I'm not saying that crossbow hunters are slobs I'm just saying some of the people I have heard around here talk about using them are the same unethical hunters that irratate me come rifle season. As far as attracting more hunters it seems that there are more archery hunters than there ever has been and it is incresing. The only way to bring the numbers up is to be ethical an introduce family and friends to hunting to carry on the tradition.

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Quote:

I'm not in favor of crossbows, unless of course they are for disabled hunters. I know this is not true everywhere but the sad truth in my area is that there are unethical hunters here. I know some of those hunters or as I call them slobs, who cant wait for the oppurtunity to use a crossbow. It just seems more apealing to them as it is more like a gun than a bow. Now I'm not saying that crossbow hunters are slobs I'm just saying some of the people I have heard around here talk about using them are the same unethical hunters that irratate me come rifle season. As far as attracting more hunters it seems that there are more archery hunters than there ever has been and it is incresing. The only way to bring the numbers up is to be ethical an introduce family and friends to hunting to carry on the tradition.


Sure sounds like another selfish bow-hunter wanting a public resource to themselves. If the "slob" hunters are doing something illegal, turn them in. If the "slob" hunters are doing something legal that you don't like, then get used to it, or get away from them.

If the "slob" hunters took up bows, started taking unethical shots and wounding deer, then should we outlaw bow hunting?

It's thinking that a small group of hunters represents the whole that is really stupid thinking.

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My vote would be Nay for including cross bows into the regular archery season. Have a separate season for cross bows.

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Blackjack,

It did not take too long for me to become proficient in shooting my crossbow being a longtime rifle hunter also. I bought a used one and it came with a scope so it was a matter of getting the scope sighted in. The scope has 3 horizontal lines and your normal scope screws for up and down and right to left. I sighted in the middle line for 20 yards (the lines do not move independantly) and then thru some trial and error I learned where the other lines shot. My top line is at 10 yards and 1/2 way between my middle and bottem lines is 30 yards.

They are fairly noisey. When you are sitting quite in the woods and then shoot, it seems like everything within a couple hundred yards would be alerted. I have taken shots twice that I now know were a little too long and missed cleanly and the deer would run off a ways and stop, trying to fiqure out where the noise came from. I am just glad to be able spend the time in the woods, although once pheasant season starts my dog hates my crossbow.

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Harvey Lee, right on. I want to keep this civil. I would agree that bow hunters against crossbows may be so for selfish reasons in many respects. But I do also think we need to consider the implications this new type of weapon has on the experience and deer numbers. That's why I'm a big fan of studying how its worked in other states and not taking a giant leap at once. Perhaps there is a shortened season at first - only part of bow season, etc.

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Quote:

Sure sounds like another selfish bow-hunter wanting a public resource to themselves. If the "slob" hunters are doing something illegal, turn them in. If the "slob" hunters are doing something legal that you don't like, then get used to it, or get away from them.

If the "slob" hunters took up bows, started taking unethical shots and wounding deer, then should we outlaw bow hunting?

It's thinking that a small group of hunters represents the whole that is really stupid thinking.


So any opinion that differs from yours is stupid?

I’d be inclined to say “Yay” with a “but”.

Being a bow hunter, I doubt many traditional/compound bow hunters would be putting down they’re bows anytime soon for a crossbow. This would more than likely be a new breed of hunters using a new weapon. I’d like to see a required crossbow hunter education class put into place and maybe even a proficiency test. Mainly because you’re now hunting with what is essentially a loaded weapon.

Quote:

My compromise would be a split bow-only season. Sept. 15 through about Oct. 7. Second half of bow only-season would be post ML season to Dec. 31. I think that makes about 6 weeks of bow-only season. Crossbow-only season would be Oct. 7 through start of ML season. Firearm and ML season dates would not be changed. With firearms, bows, and crossbows allowed during the regular firearms season. ML and bows allowed during ML season. I think that would work out to be about 5 or 6 weeks of crossbow-only season. Bow hunters would still have the advantage of being the first deer hunters in the woods.


I agree with giving crossbow hunters they’re own season, but your “compromise” completely eliminates bow hunting during the best parts of the season. I’d gladly give up the first 6 weeks of bow hunting season to crossbow and firearm hunters to bow hunt during the rut. And yes I am well aware that I can bow hunt during the firearm season, but from my experience, there are too many hunters, to much shooting and when I do see a deer it always seems to be running. This of course makes for a tough shot with a bow. And before all the firearms guys get on me, I’m not complaining. This has just been my experience so I opt out of bow hunting during the firearm season. It’s my choice.

If being first in the woods is what concerns you then I would propose the first 2 weeks of the season be set aside for crossbow hunters.

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I have to get my crossbow permit renewed every two years. I think it is great for those of us that aren't able to use regular bows. As far as able body hunters, I am not to sure. I sure wish I could use my compound bow instead. I try every year, but it just isn't in the cards for me.

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