Hard to imagine it will ever go back to what it once was, they like the license sales revenue and I think that many Gun hunters quietly resented us having such a long season to ourselves. This exacts a measure of revenge. What I really worry about is all the slobs shooting deer at long range and not seeing them die on the spot. They clearly recover a smaller percentage of animals shot than experienced verticle bow hunters, and I see that getting worse as more try those 100-yard shots. Then the wounding thing will once again rear its ugly head and we'll have to fight the (revitalized) Antis all over again.
Mmnn, I am sure Pat has already putt in place a golf ad ban and a golf stories / hero shots delete policy. Whew!!! Nip that in the bud!
"But golf is a guaranteed nice outing." Umm.... no.
"It doesn't cost much." Couldn't be further from the truth. It can be done in more cost effective ways than others, but golf is dang expensive.
"No risk." I'd guess more people die on a golf course each year than while bowhunting. I don't know this for sure, but I'd guess it's true.
I realize you were trying to make a point, but man you made some seriously flawed statements in that comparison. Golf as the comparison condition doesn't work very well at all, at least in the way you did it.
I don't know about other states but help me understand how this has affected "real" bowhunters in WI. If a guy with a modern compound is in Uncle Wilbur's apple tree and a neighbor is in his oak tree with a Ten Point, does it really matter in the grand scheme?
I'm NOT a proponent of crossbows in archery seasons. But until we can show substantive evidence that crossbows are having a true, documented detrimental effect on BOWhunting opportunity, it's difficult to make a cogent argument to policy-makers.
We will have a real mess here when the gun only hunters get riled up enough. They will then demand a shortened season for ALL archery hunters. Not that most of the crossbow guys care who they affect.
I am concerned about the segment of hunting society that takes the easy road when it comes to technology. That goes far deeper than this debate. Some will always take the easy way out. A certain segment will tend toward the other extreme. Most will fall in the middle.
Crossbows from the state agency perspective are very much out of Pandora's box. I believe we are better off focusing our pouting sessions on other things at this point honestly.
How is using ozonics….ARC capable range finders...trail cams....iPhone compatible trail cams not ruining bowhunting also. I`m sure all these items make killing a deer easier.
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My comments on accuracy from a thread a while back - posted here again;
In the hands of experienced Deer Hunters, the Crossbow definitely is more accurate, with resulting less wounded deer not being found. From 2007 to 2010, I qualified for, and was accepted as a Hunting Member of Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia. During this time, an old Bowsite Member named Bogunsh?tze was the “Club” President.
We hunted all year-round on Kill Permits in the ‘burbs of Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington, and Loudan Counties in the Northern Virginia area, near Washington D.C. Usually this was on private “big home” properties of at least a 5 acre lot. Some of these mansions were 10 to 15 acres or more. The Deer are still so thick, that Fairfax even opened up the County Parks for Archers.
First, just to start joining the club, you had to have proof of 5 big game bowkills under your belt. Then there was an interview process, and a shooting qualification.
The Club only allowed compounds and crossbows. No Trad gear because of the closeness of hunting near people’s houses, and nearby neighbors could be anti-hunters. You just didn’t want the chance of a wounded deer dying on someone elses property after a bad shot. Seriously, only the most dedicated Trad shooter can consistently hit their target, and those who shoot Trad be honest with yourself. I have a recurve and a self made stick bow, but when I want to hit consistently past 15 yards, I will grab my Hoyt compound. I know my limitations with Trad, and won’t try to bullshit anyone about it.
To qualify with either or both the crossbow and compound, you had to hit a 6 inch diameter target two of three times at 20 and 30 yards with broadheads. If qualifying a crossbow, it could not be supported – you had to shoot it offhand standing.
My last year with the club, 2010, they finally recorded their first crossbow wounded deer that was not found. Up until that year, there had never been a crossbow wounded deer get away. With compounds, the club ran about a 5% or less non-recovery rate. I only stopped hunting with SWMNV due to the traffic on Interstate 95, as I got tired of sitting in traffic jams just to drive to and from the Kill Permit counties.
Crossbows definitely are more deadly in the hands of an experienced hunter that know about shot placement.
Now lets have an honest talk about compound accuracy. Having been required to qualify shooting my Hoyt with SWMNV, I have also had to qualify my archery skills at both the Marine Base at Quantico, VA, and when I lived in Maryland, to apply for special archery hunts there. The Quantico and Maryland qualifications were with field points, at a 12 inch target at 25 yards ( 20 for the Maryland test ). During the qualifications at both Quantico and the state of Maryland, over 50 percent of archers could not hit a 12 inch target at 25 yards with field points, two out of three shots.
My point here, concerning archers and accuracy, is that we can bad mouth gun hunters all day long, slamming them for taking up the crossbow, all the while we don’t’ even weed out those who don’t shoot compounds well enough to join a youth league.
I have shot 3D ranges in California, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland, and honestly, we have a lot of poor marksmen in our ranks. Just being honest. And certainly, there are a lot of people that are better shots than I. However, I have had to qualify several times, and have made the cut.
Yea, I know, “Everyone on Bowsite shoots a 300” – Serbian Shark, Bowsite, circa 2008
Flame away if ya want, but these are my experiences from both shooting and observing others since about 1967 or so, and my observations on those that shoot the crossbow. There is a lot less wounding with the crossbow.
Scoped crossbows may not be a game changer in mid western whitetail hunts where herd reductions are going on and hunters are in decline. Look out western states where game is pressured, already on a limited draw or quota, and more vulnerable in open ranges.
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How do you know this? It certainly has not been my experience with gun or crossbow hunters, or any hunters that are serious about deerhunting.
"I'm NOT a proponent of crossbows in archery seasons. But until we can show substantive evidence that crossbows are having a true, documented detrimental effect on BOWhunting opportunity, it's difficult to make a cogent argument to policy-makers."
I don't know how much more succinctly it can be said. You/we simply cannot argue for or against policy changes without bringing the weight of proof to the table. Short of that, it's an opinion-based argument and rather easily discounted as such.
The only other thing I would say is that crossbow policy could be changed if their use is shown to have an adverse effect on a specific game population in a given state. My example is Ohio which sees a clear majority of archery kills happening by crossbow hunters. My own eyes tell me I'm seeing a steady increase in crossbow users taking advantage of the rut and therefore putting more archery-season hunters in the woods during the time when our breeding-age bucks are the most vulnerable. If the day comes that our DNR and deer managers decide that too many bucks are being killed as a result of heavy crossbow use in the rut period, the door to crossbow limitations could be opened. The aforementioned sentence is simply speculation, but I think it's worth noting that Ohio still tracks crossbow kills separately from all other bow types.
The problem is Evidence /Statistics like "Wounding Statistics" would rely on self-reporting, and how accurate do we think that would really be?
The evidence (or actually usually statistics) that we do have is fairly new, and suggests things like:
-In States where Crossbows are considered Bows, the Crossbow take can sometimes exceed the vertical bow take.
-The number of Licenses sold isn't really increasing.
-The number of deer killed isn't really increasing.
If that's all the "evidence" we are presented with, a logical conclusion is that: Crossbows (are pissing off some people but) not negatively affecting the herd.
The problem (as I see it) is that the Anecdotal Evidence suggests something quite different.
Anecdotal Evidence, to be accepted, depends on you having faith in the person observing it, or presenting it. It's an opinion, it's not fact-based, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.
For what it's worth, here is what I have observed.
As a Bowhunter Education Instructor (of a State mandated course to buy a license). I ask every class: "who here intends to primarily hunt with a Crossbow?" We get about 40% of the class rasing their hands. Most of thes people were already Firearms hunters.
When you start bow hunting with a compound or trad bow, you come to it knowing that the learning curve will be steep. You accept that. You have heard from others (including in the class) that it may take years for you to be able to actually kill a deer. You know that learning the skills (how to shoot, how to track, reading sign and a deer's body language, woodsmanship, etc) are critical to success, or at least consistent success.
Some, but very clearly not all gun hunters have accepted this. And SOME, (but very clearly not all) new Crossbow hunters, have accepted this. If you want to be a "one week out of a year" Deer Hunter, you probably will choose a firearm. You know that if you choose a bow, and you don't practice (or scout) at all, that you have a very low likelihood of success. OR, you learn that the hard way, and then you'll either practice and scout or you quit bowhunting,
A crossbow as a hunting implement allows (some) people to come to "bow hunting" with that same attitude. It's THESE people who are the problem, or the potential problem.
Some of you are saying, what's the problem? They are legal, and they are as deserving as the next guy of a deer, and an opportunity. That's true, but what I have seen time and time again is that the Crossbow Hunters who have the Gun Hunter mentality: -1) Take shots that are beyond their capability and that of the weapon. -2) Due to inexperience they are nearly as good at Blood Trailing as experienced Bow Hunters.
Someone who is a decent shot with a rifle can shoot good target groups with a Scoped Crossbow at 60-100 yards with little to no practice. If they take that attitude to the field, bad things happen. Since they have a Gun Hunter's mentality, they don't understand or accept that their arrows fly way slower than the speed of sound, and their target accuracy is in no way reflective of what is possible/ethical on game.
In our Classes, We stress, over and over, that the crossbow is a Short Range Hunting implement. Some accept that fact, but you can see it in their faces, some are thinking: "screw that, I can hit with my crossbow all day long at 75 yards, I can hit with my rifle at 200 yards". Unless they have a decent grasp of physics, they don't understand (or care?) that the deer can take a step or 3 before the arrow arrives. How many gun hunters know what "jumping the string" is?
I used to be a Deer Warden in a suburban town in CT. We ran a bow hunting program on town land to reduce a very high population, and we accepted only experienced bow hunters. We had 2 guys who shot a crossbow (this was with a medical exemption, as it wasn't allowed for everyone at that time). Both of these guys were compound shooters before they hurt their shoulders. What I saw was when they stretched their range beyond 40 yards (we were pressured to take every deer we could), the quality of their hits went down, and the blood trails got longer, and the number of non-recovered deer went up. More Liver hits, and more gut shots. Those deer likely died, but they weren't recovered.
We have all met, and heard of people who shoot a deer and don't recover it and don't seem too upset by that experience. I'd venture a guess that it pisses each and every one of us off. I can tell you this with confidence: More of those guys shoot a crossbow than a vertical bow, and they are always the ones who never came to crossbows from the compound or trad bow world. They expect the deer to die like the ones they shot with a rifle or a shotgun, quickly, and nearby. When that doesn't happen, they don't have the skills and experience (and sometimes the desire) to look until they either find it, or are sure it lived.
Yes, most of my observations are opinion based, anecdotal not provable facts. But I can tell you this, I am certain of them. Guys here who have picked up a crossbow as a cool tool, or because it's so damn cold late season, or because of a bad shoulder or whatever ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. You (they) will hunt just like you always have, no matter what you have in your hands. You respect the animal. People who pick up a crossbow one day, and hunt deer the next day have none of that respect.
I was in Bass Pro a few months ago with my girlfriend buying her some last minute arrows for a hunt we were traveling to out of state. The guy there sold 2 crossbows to the previous 2 customers. After they left I asked them if he thinks they'll practice with them much before they hunt with them. He said "nope, I guarantee, both of those guys will be hunting deer tomorrow with the crossbow they bought today". I asked him if that was typical, he said: "they pretty much all do that".
THOSE people are the problem.
I have a relative in another state . Had not taken a deer with a bow in 2-3 years. Use to shoot well when younger. Shooting a dated bow with fingers . He just lost his touch and didnt practice ( biggest reason for all his wounds and misses) . He bought a crossbow three summers ago. Was bragging to me over the phone the other day ,that he took 18 deer with it in 3 years. He does get numerous permits , but I don't think that many. Twice last fall he texted me pics of does ,he had just taken , and went as far to say he texted numerous people trying to give them away and wanted someone to tag them . Conservation officers are on to him, but so far they have not got him. He tells me about his close encounters with them. Feed yourself and keep it legal. He is just feeding his ego.
And, almost every animal in the west is already on some sort of limited draw or quota.
For the diseased midwestern whitetail deer herd I would suggest one longer season, use any weapon including guns. Get the numbers in check where game managers deem necessary.
Do the bowhunter clubs in the west want scoped crossbows for all hunters, and all species, during general archery seasons, why, why not? Or, are hunters ok with scoped crossbows for all during archery seasons as long as they do not come to their states and limited drawings? I have news for you, the scoped crossbowers will be coming west in force as the new midwestern archery season generation largely do not own bows, or know how to shoot them. They will want elk, mule deer, antelope, sheep, moose, bear, lion etc with their long range scoped crossbows.
It`s a coin toss depending on what day it is...."Crossbows are evil" or "CWD will be the end of all deer hunting".....you really need some new material.
The older I get, the less I care about what the next guy is doing. Everyone has their own agenda and should spend their limited amount of time however they best enjoy it.
We need all the hunters we can get. Open your minds and try some different methods. Start with traditional gear. It will show you how foolish this anti Xbox argument is.
Also, all deer licenses are limited draw, as are many elk licenses. Point creep is a big problem for all limited species tags. Rifle (crossbow) hunters competing for a limited number of tags will exacerbate the mess. It's less about the weapon itself, and more about the potential for exponentially more pressure on the resource.
You can't compare Colorado with a state like Wyoming where nonresidents are so limited in opportunity, bowhunters can also rifle hunt on the same license, resident hunters are relatively few compared to other states. Colorado has half as many elk hunters as the TOTAL population of the entire state of Wyoming.
But... in a state that has a four month season with something like a deer-a-day limit, unlimited OTC licenses, largely private land hunting out of trees or blinds, and a deer overpopulation problem, crossbows in "archery" seasons are a different situation. Every state has their own variables to consider.
I thought this thread was about WI? I read the OP and it sure looked like that or is this just another in your long list of xbow threads and "bowhunting is dead" threads? You need to add to your playlist.
Trapper posted........... With the pending setting of the length of the WI crossbow season there are clearly opinions on all sides of the discussion but in order to understand, you need to first know WHO all the sides are. They are all the hunters trying to kill a buck so that means, Bowhunters, Crossbow hunters, Gun deer hunters and Muzzle loader deer hunters all care and yes, if All are honest, the prime objective to killing a buck (and hopefully a big one). Deer hunting is as much a "Buck-centric" event as it has ever been. For as long as deer seasons have bet set, weapons efficiency and success rates have been the primary metrics used to determine how much time is allowed per weapon and why the archery deer season is longer than the gun deer season but in the end, hunters want equity in their potential success based on the projectile they sling at that buck since those bucks are a limited resource.
With 4 years of data gathering for the crossbow deer hunter collected since its inaugural season in 2014 and decades of the same usage and buck kill success rates for bow and gun deer hunters already long known, all members of the deer hunting community are able to see for themselves and understand just how efficient and successful each weapons type has been and this success data is being used to set the duration for the crossbow deer season. The most recent data collected during the 2018 deer seasons shows that the most efficient and successful buck killer per license sold is the crossbow deer hunter with a buck kill success rate of about 30%, The next most successful buck killing weapons type per license sold is the gun deer hunter at about 22% and the archery deer hunter at about 15% success at bringing home a buck. That means the crossbow hunter has nearly double the success killing a buck compared to bowhunters and the Crossbowers success is even higher than the gun deer hunter. Gun deer hunters, certainly care because they go last after the bowhunters and the crossbow hunters have removed many bucks from the landscape. The lonely Muzzle loader hunter is dead last and is made up of guys with a unfilled gun-buck tag after the gun deer season when there are the fewest possible bucks on the landscape.
Due to the wisdom of those involved with creating the separate crossbow deer season, we are able to capture and drill down and see not only who but when these bucks are being taken out of play for every weapons type. This separation of seasons was a sticking point with some that wanted the crossbow season rolled into the archery deer season hoping to ride the coat tails of protection of an archery season that has been around since the 1930's but the bowhunting community saw what transpired in other states and did not want to be punished or penalized because of the successes of the crossbow deer hunter (and successful they are) So those that were thinking of the future were smart to do so. Speaking of the future (which comes at us far faster than we ever anticipate and surprises us yearly with next years new weapons release) the rapid advances of the modern crossbow which is now at the doorstep of 500+ feet per second. (Scoryped boasts 480 FPS in 2019). Nobody can argue that the crossbows of 2025 will make today's crossbows look like relics and the crossbows of 2035 will have advanced in power, speed and range to a level nobody thinks possible today. Meanwhile, the bowhunter will always be limited in power and range by his own strength to pull back whatever peak weight he is strong enough to draw with a deer at spitting distance. That physical strength limitation is what keeps bowhunters throttled the lowest buck kill success rate of all weapons. And while we are speaking of the future, additional weapons that will want placement in established seasos already exist but more will follow. Once such weapon is the pneumatic powered, broadhead tipped, arrow slinging Crossman "Airbow". Despite it being an air rifle that allows the user to muzzle load a hunting arrow, the maker is lobbying for its inclusion in archery deer season in every state because they were clever enough to include "bow" in the name and because it propels an arrow. The state's decision makers will be pestered until they are forced to find a home for this and other weapons we haven't even realized yet but since the "Airbow" is here and already knocking on the door, there will be those wanting a faster and easier weapon with far greater range to remove more bucks from the swamps and oak ridges of WI. Because the "Airbow" propels a broadhead tipped arrow and has a stock, trigger, safety and scoped sights and can be shot from a rest and will be easy to use by kids and women the elderly and disabled and increase participation and increase license sales and money the DNR can certainly use, the crossbow community will not doubt trip over themselves to welcome the "Airbow" into their season because these are the exact claims they made as they tried to gain inclusion into the WI archery seer season. But dont bet on crossbowers being so inviting. They will likely object, claiming that it is not fair, too powerful, too easy and a different weapon than what they limit themselves to. They will not want to be punished for the success rate of a clearly superior weapon that would be included in "their" season. Bowhunters will of course call them hypocrites but just think, if the state had made the error of lumping crossbows into the WI archery deer season, the "Airbow" could just as easily be lumped into the "Archery" deer season. That is why the forward thinking folks back in 2014 fought to keep crossbows separate from a human powered bow and arrow season.
With that said, we currently have a human powered season in which bowhunters limit themselves in effectiveness by choice in using a weapon that restricts their range and killing potential based on their own human strength that has been documented as having the lowest buck kill success rate of all the weapons types and now thanks to the separate crossbow season we have a stored energy, shoulder discharged and powerful weapon with a demonstrated buck killing success rate double that of bowhunters and the gun hunting community is looking on from the sidelines knowing they are no longer the most lethal buck killers in the woods which was the reason the gun deer season is shortest of all the seasons and last to hit the woods.
These are the reasons the Natural Resources Board has tasked the DNR with creating a scope statement and recommendations for a crossbow season duration that is shorter than it was during the data gathering years but still, far longer than the gun deer season. This is a future thinking move on their part with the goal of equity in take of bucks which drives license sales in the cheese state. It also seeks to bring back those folks that are leaving the archery and the gun deer season because the data shows that since the creation of the separate crossbow season, license sale for bowhunters and gun deer hunters have dropped. Even before the data was collected, buck hunters knew there best chance to kill a buck was with a crossbow and the long season during the data gathering years so they stopped buying an archery and/or gun deer license and sales and revenue to the Dept. had declined.
The season setting being undertaken by the NRB will result in a crossbow season in WI that is still quite long (certainly longer than the gun deer season despite the crossbow having a buck killing success rate higher than their lead bullet slinging cousins) and with less days than the archery deer season and will seek to establish an equity in the success rates of all the weapons types in WI.
Also in 2011 -2013 the years leading up to the crossbow season “bowhunters” killed 44k, 45k, and 41k bucks. There was no alarm then going off that we need to do something. It was a grand old time on the WI. landscape. Crossbow hunters kill 38k and the sky is falling.
What these purists don’t understand is we already don’t kill enough deer and we have to put up with early antlerless gun seasons in October and the Holiday gun hunts in December. Reducing the kill will bring on even more special gun seasons to reduce the herd and bring it to management goals.
Also a doe can only conceive once a year but a single buck can breed several doe’s. Social acceptance is to control doe numbers but it makes more sense to control the buck numbers.