Moultrie Products
Crossbows now legal for everyone in IL
Illinois
Contributors to this thread:
Newhunter1 09-Sep-17
Burt 09-Sep-17
PSUhoss 10-Sep-17
jstephens61 10-Sep-17
Franzen 10-Sep-17
Franzen 10-Sep-17
Deebz 11-Sep-17
Bentstick81 11-Sep-17
jstephens61 11-Sep-17
Bentstick81 11-Sep-17
jstephens61 12-Sep-17
Bentstick81 12-Sep-17
DozRdeer2 12-Sep-17
deerhunter72 12-Sep-17
Burt 12-Sep-17
Newhunter1 12-Sep-17
jstephens61 12-Sep-17
Newhunter1 12-Sep-17
LBshooter 25-Sep-17
1boonr 26-Sep-17
Zim1 07-Oct-17
Lynn Wilcox 09-Nov-17
Lynn Wilcox 09-Nov-17
sureshot 10-Nov-17
Don K 11-Nov-17
HuntandFish 11-Nov-17
Zim1 11-Nov-17
Lynn Wilcox 12-Nov-17
Lynn Wilcox 12-Nov-17
Bentstick81 13-Nov-17
sureshot 13-Nov-17
Dpat 13-Nov-17
Lynn Wilcox 13-Nov-17
deerhunter72 16-Nov-17
Burt 16-Nov-17
Zim1 18-Nov-17
SteveD 23-Nov-17
petedrummond 23-Nov-17
Dusktildawn 24-Nov-17
Zim1 24-Nov-17
From: Newhunter1
09-Sep-17
Directly from IDNR's facebook posts:

Governor Rauner has signed Senate Bill 1467 making crossbows a legal archery device for hunting during archery seasons. This is to be effective immediately.

Thoughts??

From: Burt
09-Sep-17
Doom and gloom, I tell you. Doom and gloom. LOL

Seriously though. There might be some slug gun hunters who try them out. More likely a whole lot of existing bowhunters will get lazier and swap out over the next few years. I suspect the overall success rates wont change too much. If you were a poor hunter before changing the shooting tool wont suddenly make you a good one. I do however think people will be tempted to shoot farther than they might with a compound (who as a rule tend to shoot better at distance than most stick bow enthusiasts). I do think over time it might help bring more kids into the sport.

If the state really wanted to step up the hunting pressure and drive sales up, a simple flip to allow large bore straight wall centerfires like other states have done would do the trick.

Aside from deer, the one area where this may in fact become an issue is turkeys. There are a lot of spring turkey shotgun hunters who might decide to take up a crossbow for the fall. The bow season is much longer and not nearly as limited.

10-Sep-17
Lots of guys, not only gun hunters will try it. I know of a "disabled" guy who has used a crossbow for years, he couldn't shoot a bow for crap, but put a crossbow in his hands and he has shot 8 to 14 deer a year for the last 5 or 6 years. So I do think it will result in the harvest of more deer. I am not opposed to crossbows, so yes I am going to try it, I shoot a re-curve instinctively and shoot a compound as well, and I do not look down upon guys that shoot a compound with 80% let off. Its just another weapon and an another opportunity to shoot a deer. What ever weapon you choose, be proficient, know your maximum effective range and put the arrow in the right spot. I be the bow hunting community had a fit when the first compound came out and was legal for hunting. We as hunters and outdoorsmen have more things we should worry about than what weapon we use. I have a 12 y/o that cant quite pull back 40lbs yet, he is excited about getting to bow hunt finally. I really don't see how using a crossbow will make you lazier. You will still need to practice, and walk to the woods to hunt. Are compound shooters more lazier than re curve shooters?

From: PSUhoss
10-Sep-17
Zim1 is going to blow a gasket. I hope he takes His mediation before starting a crusade of phone calls and petitions!

Hunters need to have a united front despite the legal weapon they choose to have in their hands.

From: jstephens61
10-Sep-17
Zim1 has all the answers for all of Illinois' problems, just ask him. The problem is not to crossbow, but the mind set that I need to kill 8-14 deer a year. It's not that DNR issues x number of tags, its that they're filled, most times with button bucks and 2 year olds. If we control and police ourselves, it won't matter what the weapon of choice is.

From: Franzen
10-Sep-17
I found one of his public land spots over the weekend... I just followed the trail of used tissues. 3...2...1...

From: Franzen
10-Sep-17
As for my opinion, I don't necessarily agree with crossbows being allowed in the archery season. In my opinion the benefits are minimal, and the motives questionable. Yeah you might get a kid into the archery season a year or two earlier, but it in effect just instills in some kids that they can simply take the easier(est) route. Surely that societal trend levels off somewhere, but that is only my hope. For others it won't make a bit of difference I imagine. I could go on, but in reality it isn't the end of the world, or hunting as we know it.

From: Deebz
11-Sep-17
I'm pretty stoked about it. My wife has used one due to a disability that could result in broken bones while drawing a vertical bow. Hence, I've helped her sight hers in and shot it a bit...long story short, they're really fun to shoot. I have a couple of spots where I hunt that I can't get a good treestand in, but using a crossbow on the ground could be lucrative...I fully intend to take her crossbow out this year. She won't be hunting seeing as how she's expecting our 2nd child Nov 1. I may not like it, I may love it...but either way I will definitely give it a shot.

From: Bentstick81
11-Sep-17
Declining deer herd + Paul Shelton(The Liar) + Crossbows + Illinois??? Doesn't surprise me in the least. 8^)))

From: jstephens61
11-Sep-17
Oh brother.......

From: Bentstick81
11-Sep-17
Newhunter asked for thoughts. I gave mine, glad you don't agree Stephens. That's alright with me. 8^)))

From: jstephens61
12-Sep-17
Other states have had allowed crossbows for years and they still have deer herds. It was more your comment about Mr. Shelton, blaming one man for any decline in the herd in your area. Insurance lobbyists have more influence than he does. Did he bring EHD or CWD to Illinois? Does he force you to shoot 2 or 3 does a year? Does he recruit hunters from Cook County to come down and shoot 2 1/2 year old bucks? There are a lot of factors that go into the "plan". To blame one person is missing the big picture and will not accomplish anything. We need someone to blame and hate, but it won't help anything.

From: Bentstick81
12-Sep-17
jstephens, I put Shelton in there as a Liar, which he is. I talked to him, and brought a few lies he told, to his attention, and you could've heard a pin drop. He would not answer. If you re-read my post, i called him, for what he is, A LIAR. I didn't say ONE word about him being the problem. He is part of the problem, without a doubt. The list i gave in my first reply, tell me what did i say in there, that isn't a fact? Shelton is a, yes man puppet, on a string, for the Ins Co., and Farm Bureau. Shelton will not stand up against them. The money them two feed him is too sweet. You can't rely on hunters to manage their own herd. This will NEVER happen. If the permits are so easily available, they are going to shoot as many as they want.

From: DozRdeer2
12-Sep-17
SIB: The minimum pull on a legal bow was reduced to 30 pounds earlier this year. Tom

From: deerhunter72
12-Sep-17
I thought there'd be more doom and gloom forecasted with the news:) The crossbow, aka x-gun, topic has been beaten to death many times on Bowsite. I've participated in some of those bashing sessions. From now on I'm just going to sit back and laugh. To each their own.

From: Burt
12-Sep-17
Zim1 has his heart in the right place. He wants a good hunting experience for everyone. Its just a difficult thing to get on public land in Illinois. Big deer and solitude don't mix here. Once the word gets out, there will be people crawling all over your special spot and doesn't take long to get shot out. Its just the nature of such small parcels of open land. We have all experienced it - pull into a parking lot and find it is... Well, a parking lot! Full of trucks and guys out in the woods we had carefully scouted. So new rules that ease the transition for more hunters to get out and kill deer just strains the public resource. I truly is a non issue for large private land owners. How the manage is their own prerogative though whacking the doe population has not necessarily been the positive QMD promised in most areas. Plus after all the hard work tuning equipment and practicing its somewhat disheartening to see a novice punch a bunch of bolts into a tiny target with ease. Its either cheating or we've been doing it wrong lol.

Maybe we need a thread about which new crossbow we are going to use? That might stir up more fun than a good old rage debate. ??

From: Newhunter1
12-Sep-17
When I started bowhunting 15 years ago I was a young guy 33 and strong. I could pull back an 85 lb bow and thought why not. I did that for about three years and sold it, but the damage was done. Prior to that I was in the Marines and army for 1o years as an infantry man humping pack that weighed more than me. I was young and didn't listen to the older Marines about not trying to be hercules...but the damage was done. After the Marines I was an over the road trucker for a moving company. I was that guy who would throw a hide-a-bed couch on his back and hump it to the house to "save" time. Many of the older truckers tried to warn me, and of course I didn't listen and the damage was done. After becoming a teacher, I joined Martial arts. I studied Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and Judo for the last 20 years. I thought I was listening to the older martial artists, but again I'm hard headed. One knee, one shoulder surgery, twice both knee ligament torn, multiple injuries to both shoulders...well the damage caught up with me. I could not even pull back my bow last year and I had to go to a crossbow. I didn't even get to shoot a deer with my bow and luckily i got one with my shotgun. It's been 9 months since my last shoulder surgery, and I can barely pull back my compound or my recurve. My permit would run out on October 25, and I doubted that a doctor would sign their name on a permit request...was literally told one doctor didn't want their name on anything going to the state of Illinois in case they were audited. Now I do not have to worry about getting to the doctor.

From: jstephens61
12-Sep-17
Semper Fi brother. Been down the same road, they trained us to be bulletproof. If you want to use a crossbow to stay in the game, then by all means, go for it. You'd be welcome in this neck of the woods anytime.

From: Newhunter1
12-Sep-17
Thanks Jstephens

From: LBshooter
25-Sep-17
Listening to compgun shooters complain about xbows is laughable. You guys are spewing this tripe about xbows that was spewed when compguns hit the market. It makes shooting easier so why do you guys who use compguns complain about something that you yourself are doing, making it easier? Lol

From: 1boonr
26-Sep-17
it is funny that the same argument traditional guys use against compounds the compound guys use against crossbows, both are lame.

From: Zim1
07-Oct-17
Wildlife managers should be managing our deer, not politicians. How have politicians done with the Illinois budget? Oh ya first state in the country to attain junk bond status + highest combined taxes in the US + #1 in population loss.

Ya sounds like a plan.

From: Lynn Wilcox
09-Nov-17
Percentages: bow type used for harvest = Xbow : 2005... 3.87%

2006 ......4.06%

2007......5.08%

2008......6.00%

2009.....6.58%

2010......7.39%

2011......8.34%..... Last data I had....

2017.....28.86%......wow....

From: Lynn Wilcox
09-Nov-17
Through Sunday, November 5, 2017, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 27,703 deer, compared to 22,985 for the same period in 2016. 

Cumulative harvest to date has consisted of 52% does and 48% males (14134:12939).  During the past week, harvest sex ratios were 36% does and 64% males as rutting activity increased.

Top five counties were Pike (892), Fulton (771), JoDaviess (613), Adams (596), and Jefferson (588).  

...

21% increase.....

From: sureshot
10-Nov-17
Looks like deer population is back up

From: Don K
11-Nov-17
Is the population up? Or are that many more hunters in the field now?

From: HuntandFish
11-Nov-17
Lynn Wilcox, could you please give a link to where you found that information. I used to have it on my old computer but it took a crap and now that I have a new computer I can't find it again. Thanks!

From: Zim1
11-Nov-17
Keep in mind this legislation took effect AFTER our hunting regulations were published. So many if not most folks were unaware of it. Next year will certainly be higher. But we have nothing to worry about. Why would we possibly not trust Illinois politicians to manage our deer herd?

12-Nov-17
around here everyone knows it, word spread like wildfire, a factory that my friend works at, he knows of 11 guys that bought crossbows to hunt with for this fall, that's a pretty good increase. Im sure the archery harvest numbers will be several thousand higher

From: Lynn Wilcox
12-Nov-17
Hunt&fish....that old Xbow info is not published online anywhere I know. Like a lot of hunting info, our IDNR likes to hide the true facts from everyone. That bowhunting data was requested from the IDNR, posted in the UBI's newsletter & emailed to me by a friend.

The new 2017 data was posted in Dale Bowman's article this week.

From: Lynn Wilcox
12-Nov-17
I expect the buck harvest Increase to be even higher then the total increase. Other states that legalized Xbows showed significant buck harvest spikes. The long range Xbows will put the hurt in IL buck population, for years to come.....8^(

13-Nov-17
a friend of mine shot a nice buck with a crossbow, but when he posed for the pictures, it had his compound in it......hmmmmm guess he is embarrassed to show it.

From: Bentstick81
13-Nov-17
I know that the opinion I'm about to give, will not settle well with some. It hasn't in the past, but I'm not going to get into an argument over it, but, Something to keep in mind. Years past, in the Archery rules and regulations, provided by the DNR, this is not the exact wording, but it was to the effect, that you could not use any device that would hold a compound, drawn. Unfair advantage to the deer. Now, we have cross bows. So what made the DNR change their minds??? I know, "$$$". Crossbows will have a very negative impact on our, already plummeting deer herd. You don't have to worry about getting busted on the draw. So why would our DNR, allow this into affect, without a fight? Hmmm. I know. I don't have a problem with people with disabilities, using them, but cross bows, used by able bodied people, should be in gun seasons, only. It's time that our DNR do their job, manage our wildlife, instead of money to dictate, how they do their job. JMO

From: sureshot
13-Nov-17
Any data to show crossbow legalization decimated a whitetail herd in any state?

From: Dpat
13-Nov-17
Sureshot Exactly!!!! All the doom and gloom but it has not happened anywhere else that crossbows have been legalized. I guess Illinois will be different than all the other states. I don't use a crossbow and don't care who does. I'm pretty sure it wont be the end of deer hunting in Illinois.

From: Lynn Wilcox
13-Nov-17

Lynn Wilcox's Link
http://www.capitol-outdoors.com/2017/11/round-6-archery-harvest-numbers-stay.html

Monday, November 13, 2017

Round 6 Archery Harvest Numbers Stay Above 2016 Numbers

"From this time last year harvest totals have an increase of 4,789.  This is the final round before the orange army (shotgun season) hits the field."

The numbers tell the story boys & girls .......

From: deerhunter72
16-Nov-17
Just got back from my annual week long hunt in White county. For the first time, I hunted with a crossbow. I had bought one a few years ago when I had some hand surgery, but never really hunted with it. I'll tellyou, anyone who thinks it's an advantage should try hunting with one. They are heavy and awkward in the stand. It actually cost me a shot a nice buck when the buck heard the safety slide off. It was absolutely no advantage when I had a a really nice buck walk within 35 yards right at dusk. They do not make anything automatic. You can't shoot every deer you see. I had shot opportunities on probably 60% of my sits last week, but in the end I killed just as many as I usually do with my compound-0. Granted, that's my choice, but it was eye opening to me to find that the crossbow didn't give ME any noticeable advantage.

From: Burt
16-Nov-17
As suspected folks are migrating to the easier, more efficient tool. Looks like a bunch of hunters are indeed trading in their compounds for crossbows. (I doubt it's longbow or recurve shooters.) I do suspect it has helped some with the overall numbers but until I see success rates I would hold judgment on whether this is a bunch of gun hunters extending seasons (significantly more archery tags sold) or existing bowhunters killing more deer (similar tags to previous year). I do believe the weather has been more cooperative and maybe there is some bounce back from EHD. I think if the gun totals are flat while archery is higher for the season we will know for sure.

Regardless the bell is rung and the crossbow will be in Illinois to stay. As I half heartedly joked a few years ago, 80% letoff & release aids will join round wheels & tabs in the obsolete bin where feather fletched wood arrows & stick bows still have a following.

By the way I've shot a couple different crossbows. They are loud and slow to span/load so aint nobody getting a second shot if they miss. Plus unless its equipped with a crank there is no way someone will safely draw one of these things in any treestand I have ever owned. There are definite differences in design. The really powerful compound designs are fast and accurate but very heavy/awkward compared to regular bows and even firearms. However the recurve crossbow I handled was much more ergonomic by comparison. Its a good foot shorter and not super heavy so the idea that they are all bulky is wrong. Don't see myself giving in to the temptation any time soon. Still too attached to my Wing and Grizzly. Besides since moving to Alabama I really only get 3 weeks of bow season to enjoy before the 3 month rifle season kicks in.

From: Zim1
18-Nov-17
Bentstick81, I'm quite sure the ILDNR had absolutely no say in this matter. This crap was drummed up by three thoroughly greased politicians, each having zero wildlife management education. They were the ones who took the coin to further exploit a tapped out public resource. I'd say the chance that any of these cheats ever hunted at JEPC was slim and none. And slim just left town. I'll be paying a personal visit to the one in Wheaton as soon as I conclude my quality Iowa public land deer hunt ~December 1st.

Those who think there will be no impact are delusional. Indiana public has taken a big hit since their adoption 5 years ago, and they weren't protecting their rut from guns prior (16 day peak rut Nov. shotgun season). Illinois has protected all but 3 days in November for decades. HUGE difference. I've seen truck loads of nonresidents packing crossguns cases at the hotels on I-80.

From: SteveD
23-Nov-17
Zim1, your spot on about public here where I hunt in Wisconsin its made a big difference, if your hunting public your quality of hunt will be going in the tank,and soon.

From: petedrummond
23-Nov-17
Numbers dont back up the gloom and doom with an increasing herd and picture perfect weather. Sorry zim wrong again.

From: Dusktildawn
24-Nov-17
While this State definitely has it's financial problems and mismanagement of many agencies is apparett, good public labd is still available. Depending upon where you live, some travel time may be required, but seeing and harvesting deer is manageable. However it is aggravating to see deer hunters run off good public land somtgat pheasant hunters can have 8 weeks of fun. Several spots where both could coexist with a little planning and good sportsmanship. Hope you all have a great 2nd half of the season and please be safe.

From: Zim1
24-Nov-17
pete, The first half numbers most definitely do support my point. And unfortunately anyone who has experienced hunting public in a previously protected state go to crossguns does not need numbers to quantify the quality loss. Just look at Ohio & Indiana. Don't compare crap states like Tennessee & Michigan. This is flat out common sense, either you have it or don't. Hunted public in 5 different Midwest states for 25 years. I've witnessed the slide first hand.

BTW - Do you have any idea what has happened to the quality on Illinois public lands since 1990? You seriously think there are no consequences for liberalizing regulations? Illinois & Kansas too big hits on public quality when they let their doors wide open to nonresidents. To this day I still have 4 Kansas NR deer points. They will never get burned though because of what one politician did to reduce their public quality for coin. Not worth it anymore.

I think there's a hell of a lot of people that comment on this subject who do not have first hand experience over 25 years.

  • Sitka Gear