click on the link Reigning in Crossbows
Arrowtrade has long seen the potential crossbows had to introduce non-archers to bowhunting and enable older bowhunters to keep in the field. Now, after attending the April ATA Board of Directors meeting, I will admit some reservations.
At that meeting, some board members were concerned that powerful new crossbows were far outpacing vertical bows in performance and would be difficult to consider as primitive weapons entitled to long seasons. The surprising data from the 2017 Wisconsin hunting season, during which crossbow hunters tagged more deer than vertical bow hunters for the first time in history, also drew a lot of attention from the board. Crossbows were just legalized for all Wisconsin deer hunters in 2014 and that is pretty dramatic evidence that modern, high-performance crossbows are easy to use and highly effective.
Comments from retailers and a distributor on the board also indicated anecdotal evidence that crossbows are not serving as a gateway to other forms of archery. Since little practice is needed to stay proficient with them, that can hurt sales of arrows, releases, sights, and many other accessories that retailers depend on to stay profitable.
The board voted 15-2 to study whether the ATA position statement on crossbows, adopted back in 2008, should now be revised. The existing statement reads, in part, "The ATA believes that crossbows are viable shooting and hunting equipment that provide opportunity for a segment of America's hunters and recreational shooters...The ATA leaves the seasons and regulation governing the use of crossbows for hunting to each state wildlife agency. ATA believes that when populations of wildlife, like deer, are overabundant, state agencies should make use of every type of hunting equipment to help control and manage those populations." A study group consisting of staff and board members has formed, has met once and is in the process of gathering data, Arrowtrade was told by the ATA early in June.
In the meantime, I would suggest major crossbow manufacturers declare a halt to the speed race. Speeds in excess of 400 fps and advertisements claiming the accuracy potential at 100 yards and beyond are only going to draw more negative attention from game departments. Nobody in the bowhunting industry will benefit if archery seasons are reduced as a result of the perception that crossbows are morphing into crossguns.
Major sports typically set equipment limitations, from the characteristics of golf balls to the types of engines used in NASCAR. The eight major manufacturers that sponsor the North American Crossbow Federation could consider a 400 fps limit: nothing to be advertised or warranted beyond that. Existing models that exceed that could be packaged with heavier arrows to fit within the new guidelines. With the speed limit in place, manufacturers could still innovate in ways to improve accuracy, comfort, reliability, and ease of use.
Setting these voluntary limits on crossbows would help them be viewed by the public and state game agencies as equipment that is not radically different in performance from a compound bow
-Arrowtrade, July 2018
"What did I say that wasn't true JTV???
Nothing you said was untrue. That is why you aren't likely to get any sort of factual response, just an emotional one. Like them or not, agree with having them in the archery season or not, the fact that they are a "bow" is undeniable.
As to the original article, I found this part quite interesting:
" In the meantime, I would suggest major crossbow manufacturers declare a halt to the speed race. Speeds in excess of 400 fps and advertisements claiming the accuracy potential at 100 yards and beyond are only going to draw more negative attention from game departments. Nobody in the bowhunting industry will benefit if archery seasons are reduced as a result of the perception that crossbows are morphing into crossguns."
First, I doubt very much if game departments set regulations based on advertising and marketing claims of accuracy, power, and lethality. If those claims were to be believed, no bow would be legal, including longbows and recurves.
Second, arbitrarily setting speed limits doesn't really accomplish much. Just more feel good legislation IMHO. If a person wants 400fps, they can get there with their compound.
Ironically, the same can be said about how compound bows compare to recurves and longbows of yesteryear. Or for that matter, even to other compounds from just 20 years ago. Heck, the same can be said about the size of deer herds compared to those of yesteryear.
Not a joke, just reality.
I worked in the archery industry for quite awhile. The impact on dealers was predictable. Whether crossbows are good, bad or neutral for hunting, as they replace bows it definitely is effecting the shops.
Ive got stand locations to go trim for BOW season, see ya .. piss on the f'n crossbows ... have fun little girls ...
The simple fact is, a crossbow meets the definition of a bow. Saying it doesn't can really only be argued on an emotional level. A selfbow is a bow. A longbow is a bow. A recurve bow is a bow. A compound bow is a bow. A crossbow is a bow.
Whatever a hunter chooses to use within the law is completely up to them.
I use a recurve. Have for decades. Have never owned or hunted with a crossbow nor do I have any desire to. Those who do have no impact on my experience.
As to the impact on the archery industry, the same was true when compounds came on the scene. Those who adapted flourished. Those who didn't failed. No different than any other industry.
This is what is tearing the hunting sport apart. If someone don't do it or like it then let's close it or move it into another season. These thinkers are just thinking of taking away the chance of someone else getting a chance of shooting 'their deer'.
Here in Ohio were crossbows have been legal for years and the sky has not fallen. We also have the complainers who want to shut down the Youth Season 2 weeks before gun season because a adult may shoot a trophy buck out of season. Just plan selflessness because they think someone may get a chance at 'their deer'.
Who defines "bow"
220-2-.03 Legal Specifications for Bow and Arrow
(1) A legal bow for hunting is defined as either a long bow, a recurve bow, or a compound bow or a crossbow.
(2) It shall be unlawful, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, for any person to hunt deer and turkey with bow and arrows that are not in conformance with the following specifications:
(a) Bows must have a minimum peak tension (within the user's normal draw length) of 30 pounds. Crossbows must have a minimum peak tension of 85 pounds at normal draw length.
(b) Arrows shall be equipped with a broadhead which has a minimum cutting diameter of 7/8 inch and 2 sharpened edges.
(3) Crossbows must be equipped with a working safety.
As you can see, there are differences...…..However, these are what can be used in OUR archery season.
Do any of you know if the deer numbers shot with xbow's in Wis were higher due to efficiency, or numbers - and were those numbers augmented by folks leaving archery? In other words, did you have 100K bow hunters, then they legalized xbow's and now there are 100K bow hunters and 75 K xbow hunters, or did some archers slide over, and some gun folks slide over so you ended up with a similar kill rate per hunter or hunter hours but more folks in the woods with xbow's so they just naturally shot more deer?
There is actually two answers to that question.
In our every day lexicon, the definition is as posted.
In terms of how the game departments define what constitutes “archery equipment” it varies by state. Not a lot different than what defines a suitable draw weight, broadhead, or even arrow size.
At the end of the day, game depts define what weapons can be used during each season.
Archery should be a personal journey of learning how to shoot the bow and arrow that requires a person holding the tension on the string before loosing the arrow. This, takes time to learn properly to develop the skill necessary to place an arrow on the spot intended by the shooter.
To me, 80% let off is almost a vertical crossbow, plus, how many would shoot a wheel bow as a bare bow, no sights or releases..... I've met a few, but they were oldsters who couldn't hold steady a 60lb. bow anymore, but wanted the challenge of flinging arrows by their own wits....
I agree with you Rhody. That's why I choose not to use a crossbow or a compound. Problem solved.
So going by this, do you also think that tent blinds don't belong in archery season either because the deer cannot see you draw....or do anything else for that matter?
You bring up a very valid point WW. Both a crossbow and a tent blind greatly reduce a deer's ability to see hunter movement. The tent blind goes even farther by reducing scent dispersal, noise, etc.
So really, is it a matter of not wanting to make things easier, or a matter of getting to pick and choose what you use to make things easier?
Just for the record, I shoot recurves. I do not like modern compounds because:
1. They are heavy, complicated and are just flat out butt-ugly.
2. You can become proficient enough with one to start hunting within a month or so after you first get one if you shoot enough. I taught a deer camp friend who wanted to learn bowhunting how to shoot the compound he bought, and by the fall he was able to kill his first deer with it. He and others now are bowhunters, but they do not love archery, they just like to hunt more.
Now both of these things are why I do not like crossbows (they are like carrying a fire hydrant into the woods and make a tricked out compound seem like my 2 1/2 pound Super Kodiak) AND compounds. So I don't shoot them. Problem solved. If you do then I wish you all the best. Have great bow season!
There are ongoing efforts to CX that proposed NRC amendment on Thursday's vote.