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Crossbows


Eric Wettschreck

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A couple years ago I got myself into a pretty bad 4 wheeler accident resulting in a broken neck, sugeries, fun times, titanium body parts, permanent nerve damage and not a lot of feeling in my left hand. I had to give up bow hunting due to when I pull my bow back I can't hold it even close to steady anymore.

Now I'm missing sitting in the tree and thinking about taking up a crossbow for next season. The problem I have is I have absolutely NO knowledge what so ever aboot the different crossbows out there, what to look for, where to even start.

Any crossbow shooters out there? For a guy just starting out what are the things I should be looking for/staying away from when out crossbow shopping?

Side note- when riding your wheelers, do everything possible to keep all 4 tires on the ground and not tumbling over you multiple times. It ends up badly..

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They guys I guide at the Twist of Fate handi capped hunt every season like to use crossbows with the cocking device. It's tough to pull the cable back to get it cocked if you are not 100%.

One of the better crossbows out there is the Ten Point brand but they do come with a price tag.

If the hunters have never archery hunted before and we have 4-6 out of 20 each year, then the Twist of Fate group supplies then with a bow to use for the hunt. Those bows owned by the group are Horton bows but they are a manual cock as the guides do all the cocking for the hunters as the majority cannot pull the cable back enough to get it locked into place. Barnett is another nice crossbow.

I do not know what you are going to use for sights but the red dot scopes are very nice. Thats as long as you remember to turn it off or you will be using alot of batteries. I would go with some kind of scope.

I am sure there are many other brands out there that will get the job done. I would go with one with as much power as you can afford as the bolts can lose thier energy very fast past 30 yards.

One thing I cannot stress enough is when you hand is on the crossbow on the forearm of the bow, keep your fingers down. If you do not, it can get very ugly as the cable when you shoot will hit any finger sticking up and in the way. Good way to loose part of ones finger.

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Sorry to hear about your accident. Hopefully you'll make it back to a tree soon enough.

The crossbow market is growing rapidly and gaining a lot of popularity. Ten Point is known for great quality and great customer service, but I wouldn't rule out Barnett or Parker. Horton and Excalibur are a few others. They all shoot well. I'd opt for one of the newer carbon models available as crossbows tend to be on the heavier side to begin with. Visit a shop and shoot a few and see what you think. Good luck!

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Eric, not to question the severity of your injury, but have you tried shooting bow, and practicing hard at it? I had 3 shoulder surgeries on each shoulder in the past 7 years, I was told I could get the free pass to use a cross bow to hunt from the Dr. I tried at first to shoot the cross bow, while it was kinda fun, I had a hard time cocking it. So I just kinda gave up in bow hunting for a few years. Then a few years back my son wanted to get itno bow hunting, so I got him one, and started practicing with him. I had a really hard time at first. I could barely pull back the 40# bow, and hold it back. I got a different bow, and adjusted the poundage down to the 30's, and I was ok with that, after a few months, I would bump it up a few pounds at a time. I finally got my muscles strong enough to pull, and hold back 48#, and that is where I am at now. There is no way I could shoot league, and shoot 60 arrows at one time, but I could shoot 15 at first, and now I can shoot about 30, before I am to sore to shoot. The way I look at it, I only need to be steady at the first one, after that, I dont think the deer will stand still for more arrows flung its way.

I know your injuries, are far different then mine, I was just wondering if you had tried to just back down to a less weighted bow, 15#?? then just slowly moving up as your arms get used to it. It worked for me.

This bow is perfect for such use. Very adjustable, and light weight.

full-17556-24591-bow.png

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but have you tried shooting bow, and practicing hard at it?

Yes, for a couple of years. At first I chalked it up to the arm just needs to get back in the habit of holding the bow. Never improved. I talked to my doc. He said because of all the nerve damage I have to just get used to it cuz it's not going away.

So, here I am looking at getting into crossbows.

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One thing you'll learn right away about crossbows is, they suck. They're heavy and awkward and a beetch to carry through the woods and up into a tree. You can't really hide behind a tree to shoot because the dang bow is just in the way.

With all that being said, anything that gets you back in woods is a godsend. I'd get one in a heartbeat if that was my only option. Good luck in your search.

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If it keeps you in the woods, I would go for it as you are.

There were a few years when after both shoulders being operated on that I thought that maybe my next bow. Doc said he would give me the permit or fill it in due to other injuries but I said for now, I will keep doing it the way I am.

I am sure one day, if I am still archery hunting 10 years from now I will have to go to a crossbow to keep archery hunting.

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My grandpa has shot crossbow now for 4 years and he started off with a barnett and I would not recommend it... It was so hard to keep it shooting accurately we needed to resight it in everytime he went hunting... He now shoots an excalibur recurve style xbow... Its so simple with not as many moving parts and he loves it

If I was every unfortunate enough to not be able to bowhunt anymore I would find anyway possible to get out there... Good luck in your quest to get back in the tree!!!

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I would forsure look into getting one then. I figured you had tried.

Other then that, I would go into a shop, and shoot a few of them, then look on line for a good used one, or discounted ones, they always seem to be on sale in the spring/late winter.

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Im new to crossbow hunting, an flipping love it. All i can say is KIS, keep it simple. I certainly wouldnt just go buy one, I did, only casue it was affordable. It seems to be working great, It's a Horton, think theyve been around for awhile, My daughter just cut her teeth on a bear with it. I'm getting another an this time will do alot more reasearch, cause there is so much out there now. You should beable to get into a really good crossbow for as much as youd spend on a verticle bow. You can get slings to cary in the feild an shooting rests for the sitting in stand and this an that an other things to make really fun an ejoyable. As long as your in the wind bud, Good luck.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders

Eric I am with you i have no feeling in my left and it stays in a fist. I bought tenpoint titian got a great deal on it and the end of the season last year. I put it together and put 3 bolts so close i will not shoot at the same dot on my target any more. I have the accu draw and its awesome it has a crank it kind of loud but hey atleast i am in the woods. I am going to camp ripley with my dad the first time since 2005, I got injured in 2006. I have a ground blind to sit in seeing i dont like climbing trees any more. I but the morrel yellow jacket target for crossbows its awesome. I will post pictures and a story when i get my first deer with a crossbow. Good luck

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I have been shooting crossbow for the last two season. I tried all the top brands, Ten Point, Excalibur, Horton, barnett, etc. I ended up with the Strykzone 380 by Bowtech. The local archery dealer didn't even have one in stock but he had all the others. He too had heard great things about these and ordered one in for my to try even if I decided to choose another. In the crono it was shooting 384 fps. At 80 yards I can put the bolt in a pie plate or less on every shot, which might come in handy if I get out west some day. It came with everything, bolts, scope (with reticles), etc. Even after the archery dealer shot it he said he would be dropping some of the other brands and getting more of these in. The trigger on this thing is awesome. I think I paid around $600 or $650. I still have the receipt if you want the exact price. This was by for the best one I shot and about in the middle of the road for price. The worst part though was 2 years before this I had just purchased a new Hoyt. Well at least my son will have a great bow to use when he comes of age. I also use the Rage broad head specifically designed for crossbows. Did I mention I'm already done archery hunting this year smile

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Eric, not to question the severity of your injury, but have you tried shooting bow, and practicing hard at it? I had 3 shoulder surgeries on each shoulder in the past 7 years, I was told I could get the free pass to use a cross bow to hunt from the Dr. I tried at first to shoot the cross bow, while it was kinda fun, I had a hard time cocking it. So I just kinda gave up in bow hunting for a few years. Then a few years back my son wanted to get itno bow hunting, so I got him one, and started practicing with him. I had a really hard time at first. I could barely pull back the 40# bow, and hold it back. I got a different bow, and adjusted the poundage down to the 30's, and I was ok with that, after a few months, I would bump it up a few pounds at a time. I finally got my muscles strong enough to pull, and hold back 48#, and that is where I am at now. There is no way I could shoot league, and shoot 60 arrows at one time, but I could shoot 15 at first, and now I can shoot about 30, before I am to sore to shoot. The way I look at it, I only need to be steady at the first one, after that, I dont think the deer will stand still for more arrows flung its way.

OK, after a chance to fill my tag went bad this weekend, I came back to realize, that 48# draw on my bow, is quite a bit harder to draw back when sitting, or even standing in a small stand with your legs together. I was able to draw it back, to take the shot, but it was far from effortless. I think I put everything I had into drawing it back, and at one point, was about to just pass on it and give up. Looks like its time for me to do some more shooting, or at minimum, sitting on the couch and drawing the bow back a few times.

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Drawing the bow back more and holding it will help buyild those bow shooting muscles.

Some think I am crazy shooting at 70 pounds but for me, if I shoot alot, it is not that hard to do as long as it is not below freezing. At this poundage, my bow can shoot a long ways with 1 pin.

I have had both shoulders operated on and have a terrible back but thankfully I can still use my compound.

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