2012: 27,580 deer with bows, 8,452 deer with crossbows
2013: 24,288 deer with bows, 10,171 deer with crossbows
2014: 22,375 deer with bows, 11,723 deer with crossbows
2015: 20,309 deer with bows, 11,837 deer with crossbows
2016: 16,996 deer with bows, 11,260 deer with crossbows
2017: 17,034 deer with bows, 14,747 deer with crossbows
2018: 16,069 deer with bows, 15,623 deer with crossbows
2019: 15,884 deer with bows, 17,136 deer with crossbows
2020 harvest numbers by weapon have not yet been released.
Notice both the steady climb of crossbow harvests and the steady decline in bow harvests. We (the IBA) told the DNR...crossbow harvest would eclipse the bow harvest in ten years. We were wrong, it only took eight years. Keep fighting the good fight fellas...or this is what you get.
in fact in the 8 year period the average annual kill was 34K in the first half of the 8 year window and under 31K in the most recent 4 year window.
The increase in xbows while decrease in other bows, could this be due to an aging hunter population?
The Pope and Young Club therefore recommends the crossbow should not be considered for use in any bowhunting only season. Also, the Club strongly recommends that crossbow hunting be abolished from all existing bowhunting only seasons. We encourage all states and provinces which desire to allow use of crossbows for hunting big game, to require mandatory crossbow specific education, licensing, seasons and reporting requirements.
And, before all of the rage-mail begins - I still love and support bowhunting but my ability to shoot well in cold weather has noticeably fallen off in recent years. Don’t plan on giving up any part of the sport because someone else wants to dictate against what has already proven reasonable elsewhere.
What is the trend in firearms/total harvest?
Is the state happy with the current level of harvest?
Are the firearms hunters protesting that “bow” season hunters are hogging all of the best bucks?
Well, we can always hope, right?
Pretty sure that if, in 1972, someone had presented the governing bodies with a 340 fps, 85% let-off compound with an on-board laser rangefinder holo-dot sight and asked them if that’s what they had in mind....
Not likely we’d be having this debate, that’s for damnsure....
I am 62 and waiting on delivery of a new compound, lower limb weight. I also have a tumor in my shooting eye, when vision gets challenging enough I will try switching to left hand, but if I am more comfortable with an Xbox I will go to it and hunt on my own farm and not care what anyone else thinks.
True, unless you want to see bowhunting thrive.
That being said, crossbows are here to stay for many reasons. Aging bowhunters, easier and faster for young hunters to get into the game, easier for the lazy, big money to be made, and on and on.
That being said, my worry is that the harder everyone fights to force them out of “OUR” archery season, is we will lose our archery season. They may end up with their own season, taken out of the “REGULAR” archery season. Rather than sharing a season due to our prejudice, we may lose some season length so they can establish a separate crossbow season. If the OP’s original numbers are accurate, and the trend continues they will be the majority of the statistics and will have the loudest voice, and we will suffer.
While they are not for me at this stage in my life, I think it’s a losing battle, and we better accept that we can all play together, or we may lose more than we want to of our season.
Hopefully the game managers/biologists can continue to fight the legislators for game management to maintain healthy/huntable populations. If I can only shoot 1 deer, does it matter what it is shot with?
Of course we are living in the land of capitalism. And the alternative is?
Was the proud heritage being able to hunt wherever you wanted to, damn private property rights
I'm not following your thought process here. You know there is another thread that addressing the process of just asking for permission to hunt from private property owners. Seems to work for a lot of people
There are so many reasons for the decline of hunting and for that matter many things that used to be the norm. Access may be part of the equation but not a big part.
Yeah..... Your mileage may vary on that one. I think it’s a mistake to presume that familiarity with any one state gives you any kind of a read on that issue. Where I live now, it’s a major deal. During shotgun, tags are limited by lottery to 1 gun per I think 20 acres. Might be tighter than that, and success in 2nd Shotgun is under 5%; then ML and it’s even worse.
But hey, Crossbows. Now the shotgun tags are easy to get because nobody has much reason to buy one anymore...
Again...tread lightly about what you wish and politic for. Think about future outcomes.
""Few Bowhunters Can Ignore This Case for Hunting with Crossbows Crossbows are more popular – and legal – in more places, and statistics show they're not that much more effective than vertical bows.
September 30, 2020
By Patrick Durkin
The perception – and legality – of crossbow hunting has changed markedly over the past two decades. In 2002, for example, only three states nationwide permitted their use for deer hunting: Ohio, Arkansas and Wyoming. Today, crossbows are allowed without caveat during archery seasons in nine of 13 Midwestern states, and across much of the rest of the country.
Ohio has allowed crossbows during its archery season since 1976. It remained the Midwest’s lone ranger until 2009, when Michigan eliminated its restrictions. Various states tried partial openings based on age, season schedule or physical limitations soon after, but most eventually declared crossbows legitimate bowhunting gear: Indiana and Nebraska in 2011; Kansas in 2013; Wisconsin in 2014; Missouri in 2016; Illinois in 2017; and Kentucky in 2019.
The other four Midwestern states – Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota – forbid or restrict crossbows during archery season for most bowhunters. In fact, of the 37 states east of the Rocky Mountains, 29 (78 percent) allow crossbows during at least part of their archery deer seasons. That’s likely because baby boomers like using them, and harvest data show an increasingly clear fact: No matter how hard they try, crossbows will never grow up to be guns.
The Internal Revenue Service, for example, has long defined crossbows to be archery equipment, even though the bow itself mounts atop a gunstock and releases the arrow with a safety-equipped trigger system.
Why does the IRS care? Because it collects federal excise taxes from manufacturers every time they sell a gun or bow. The IRS then channels those revenues to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for conservation efforts nationwide, as required under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. Congress made most archery gear subject to the P-R Act in 1972, and the IRS has ever since required crossbow manufacturers to pay an 11 percent excise tax on their products.
Either way, even the most tricked-out crossbows can’t compete with centerfire long guns for stacking up deer. According to 2018 state-agency harvest data compiled by the Quality Deer Management Association, New Jersey is the only state in the nation where hunters using bows and crossbows registered more deer (57 percent of the total kill) than firearms hunters.
In the Midwest, bows and crossbows combine for 46 percent of Ohio’s total deer kill and 41 percent of Illinois’ totals. Kansas is next at 37 percent, followed by Indiana at 28 percent and Wisconsin at 26 percent. That combined-archery percentage jumped to 32.5 percent of the total deer harvest in Wisconsin after a subpar firearms season in 2019. Even so, crossbows accounted for only 18 percent of the Badger state’s 289,316 total deer harvest last fall and 22 percent of its total buck kill.
Room for Both
Meanwhile, even though crossbows are stable or climbing in popularity among bowhunters, they aren’t making other archery gear irrelevant. The QDMA’s analysis found that crossbow hunters in only three Midwestern states – Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin – took more deer in 2018 than did bowhunters using recurves, compounds and longbows.
Those reports don’t tell the whole story, of course. Wisconsin’s highest archery kill in the past decade was 94,267 in 2012, only slightly higher than the combined 94,084 archery/crossbow harvest in 2019. Crossbows became legal for all Wisconsin bowhunters in 2014. And even though Wisconsin’s crossbow hunters shot a record 30,004 bucks in 2019, that’s 35 percent below 2012’s archery kill of 45,988 bucks. Predictable Results
Still, no one should be surprised if or when their state’s crossbow hunters shoot more deer than “traditional” archers using compounds and other bows. C.J. Winand, a veteran biologist and longtime contributor to Bowhunter magazine, has studied crossbow trends the past decade. He notes two standard changes when states legalize crossbows, both occurring within three to seven years:
1. The crossbow harvest matches or exceeds the “vertical-bow” kill.
2. Crossbow versus vertical use levels off between 50-50 and 60-40 (crossbow-vertical), and then fluctuates annually.
Winand reports that within seven years of a state legalizing crossbows for archery season, roughly 51 percent of bowhunters choose them. But, many shoot both often, using compound bows early and crossbows in later seasons.
Mike Tonkovich, deer program administrator at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said it’s pointless to try “parsing out” differences between crossbow hunters and other bowhunters. Ohio has studied its bowhunters from every angle and concluded that bowhunters are bowhunters, no matter which bow they shoot.
The Ohio DNR, for instance, studied bowhunters’ shooting and wounding rates in 2014–2015, and found few differences between crossbows and compounds. Here are some of its findings by the numbers:
The average shooting distance for all bowhunters was 25 yards, but shots that hit the deer averaged 22.4 yards, almost 30 percent closer than shots that missed (31.1 yards). Accuracy decreased with distance for all bow types.
Most shots taken with compounds and crossbows were 20 to 24 yards; most shots taken with traditional gear (recurves/longbows) were 15 to 19 yards.
The average shooting distance for compound hits was 22.6 yards; the average for misses was 31.6 yards.
The average shooting distance for crossbow hits was 22.4 yards; the average for misses was 31.1 yards.
Compound bow archers released 1,015 shots and connected on 686, for 67.6 percent accuracy.
Crossbow archers released 719 shots and connected on 529, for 73.6 percent accuracy.
Crossbow archers recovered 60 percent of deer they shot at and didn’t recover 19 percent of deer they hit.
Compound archers recovered 56 percent of deer they shot at and didn’t recover 17.7 percent of deer they hit.
In other words, roughly 18 years into the United States’ crossbow awakening, researchers tend to keep finding more similarities than differences between bowhunters using compounds and those using crossbows when analyzing hunting data........""
Nope. You can't bowhunt with a crossbow. You can hunt during what was once bow season with a crossbow in some places. I think saying "vertical" bowhunters and crossbow hunters is silly. If you are hunting with a bow, you are bowhunting. If you are hunting with a crossbow, you are crossbow hunting.
will never happen. there are only two reasons hunting is allowed. to manage game and the generate income for departments and fund the machine. It is not to provide recreation or make hunters happy. if it stopped generating income or controlling populations it would end. therefore it's not going to go away if departments and populations continue to benefit from it.
this movie has played before end we know how it ended and this will be the same. one groups biases and parochial wishes will be swamped by money and biological facts.
enjoy your woods this season as it is an absolute certainty that the number of crossbow hunters will never be lower than it will be this coming year. it's only going up from here boys...............no different than the traditional to compound movement 50 years ago.
There were other changes made in 2012 that affected Indiana's deer population. Increases in antlerless permits, non-weapons specific license bundles offered at a reduced price, late season antlerless firearms season, etc... So, while the numbers appear to reflect lower harvests, that is actually a product of a smaller deer herd.
Bow harvests leading up to 2012 consistently ran roughly 20% of the total harvest. In 2019, the bow harvest was roughly 14 % percent of harvest compared to 15% with crossbow. That represents more than a 40% increase in percentage of total harvest compared to pre-crossbow harvest figures...and a 30% loss for bow harvest alone.
Change is coming from all sides. We have gun hunters that now hunt archery season with crossbows. We lost existing bowhunters to the crossbow. Since the vast majority of new bowhunters have always come from the gun hunter ranks seeking additional opportunity, we have lost that pipeline as well.
Bowhunting...as defined in Indiana for 40+ years...is on a downward spiral. Reality is...it's not coming back. Bowhunters have always been outnumbered by gun hunters. Now, Indiana bowhunters are even being outnumbered in archery season. What's left of our once prominent voice is nothing more than a whisper.
I feel bowhunting is thriving. Opportunities in PA right now are greater than they've been in the 35 years I've been bowhunting. For whitetails in states with unlimited tags, I don't feel crossbows hurt. As long as nobody starts to tell me I "have" to use a crossbow, I have no issue if somebody chooses to use one.
will never happen. there are only two reasons hunting is allowed. to manage game and the generate income for departments and fund the machine. It is not to provide recreation or make hunters happy. if it stopped generating income or controlling populations it would end. therefore it's not going to go away if departments and populations continue to benefit from it."""
Sure it could happen. Trad would get their own primitive season while compounds and crossbows get combined into some other season. The revenue intake would be the same, just split bow seasons. Because more archers use compounds and crossbows....they would get more days than primitive. In that case....did anyone really win?
I was talking about bowhunting as a whole. In PA, deer taken with bows during "bow" season has gone from 100% to around 40%. Thats a giant decline in bowhunting.
Although my state is officially a lost cause, I am joining the Iowa Bowhunters Assoc. to lend support to the last domino, at least until it falls.
At times like this I refer to this passage from the amish prayer in Family Guy. "We solemnly believe that although humans have been around for a million years, you feel strongly that they had just the right amount of technology between 1835 and 1850; not too little, not too much. Please deliver us from Thomas Edison, the worst human being who ever lived."
I agree, it also applies to the compound guys that buy the new, latest and greatest compound bow every year (faster, more let off, etc.). Many must be craving even more and crossing over to the crossbow.
That might be the way it works out in a Mobocracy, but in a Republic, the correct way to allocate those days is based on hunter success rates, such that (statistically speaking) you have an equal opportunity to fill your tag regardless of which weapon you choose. Less efficient weapons (as determined by tags filled/hour of hunting effort) get more days in which to get it done.
Which is why CO allocates 4 weeks for Archery and (IIRC) about 4 DAYS for some of the Rifle seasons.
Where the entire conversation falls flat on its face is basically when Archery season becomes an Additional opportunity vs. an Alternative.
If you are forced to choose A weapon for the year, it rewrites the calculus for all of the “multi-season” hunters.
It is no surprise that the newest form of "easier" is being adopted hand over fist, been that way forever. Why should this be different? It's a very small segment who choose to draw their line in the sand behind the newest technology.
You don’t have to worry about the DNR splitting up anything. And it won’t necessarily be the majority of users who get what they want. Any season changes will be dictated by whatever special interest group lines the pockets of the most corrupt politician. You should have that figured out by now.
The PROBLEM is that the line was drawn in the SAND to begin with. On what constitutes archery equipment for hunting in the modern day, the line could have and probably should have been set in STONE in about 1950. What ruined everything is that they didn’t think to proactively outlaw stuff that hadn’t been invented yet; not that I’m eager to live my life in a society ruled by laws against things that might conceivably come to pass at some point in the future, but even then…
Those setting the definition looked at what was generally understood to constitute a “bow“ and they looked at the evolutionary dead end which was the crossbow, and they decided that the crossbow did not fit with their intentions.
The IOC recognized that a Compound puts an archer onto a different competitive plane and ruled against. The PGA has ruled that certain golf clubs & balls confer a competitive advantage and ruled them out. Same thing in virtually every sport. Don’t they even have a speed limit for compounds in 3D Competition? Horsepower limits on Bass Boats?
Bowhunting is one of a VERY few activities in which technological advances have been handed a blank check.
And you guys somehow think that you can keep gobbling up all of the advantages that time & technology have to offer without ever trading anything away, just so long as you don’t cross some imaginary line by adding a “gunstock” (even though in point of fact, I suppose it is more accurate to say that a “gunstock” is just repurposed parts from a crossbow....).
JMO, when the Gun-hunting majority has finally had enough, they’d be damned fools to stop at xbows...
And if you don’t think it will happen, let’s go fishing and talk about it; I know a really nice fly-fishing only stretch right nearby... Single, barbless hooks only, mind you....
That’s not quite what he said. He also said crossbows are great equalizers, which are exactly what 6X scopes, shooting sticks, and the absence of drawing a bow in the presence of game are. Throw in the fact these same people compete for limited archery tags and it is anything but zero impact.
You don’t have to worry about the DNR splitting up anything. And it won’t necessarily be the majority of users who get what they want. These days deer management is dictated by whichever special interest group pays the most coin to the most corrupt politician. The DNR has no power to do anything significant.
Tell me honestly, even though I have never shot a compound bow in my life, that I could go into a local pro shop tomorrow morning, get set up with a compound bow, sights, arrows, stabilizers, a release, a little instruction on the indoor range, drop some cash, and be proficient enough to go out the next day and shoot a deer.
My point is, crossbows are here to stay, just like the compounds once they were introduced, there’s no going back.
My point is that we all should be more worried about banding together with any hunting/fishing group that we can to protect our right to hunt and fish period. We need to put aside our elitist attitudes and present a united front or we all will lose.
Of course, they aren’t envisioning a crossbow or a vertical all-but-equivalent.... You say “bow” to anyone who doesn’t keep up with the hook & bullet crowd, and they go straight to a recurve or longbow...
Its common to call out folks who don't want full inclusion as the ones who are causing a fuss and wasting time when they are simply reacting to a dramatic change being forced upon the way things are. Maybe the ones proactively pushing the issue are the ones who are spending time and energy that would be better used on the bigger issues facing hunting.
Most non-hunters don’t necessarily have anything against hunting, they just don’t have the desire to do it themselves for whatever reasons. The majority don’t care if you or I do. Few will fight for our right to hunt because they don’t have a dog in the fight. I know many that would not hunt or field dress a deer unless their life depended on it. But they will eat all I want to supply them with, so I just try to keep them happy.
Anti hunters ,PETA, Friends of Animals, Humane Society etc., want to ban all hunting and fishing. They put animals on the same level as people. These people, organizations, are the loud vocal ones we need to fear. They’re the ones filing lawsuits, getting different hunts and seasons closed down. And being so vocal, tv commercials etc., their numbers are growing.
My point is, we as hunters would best be served with a United front, instead of all the internal fighting that constantly divides us. I would rather sit in my treestand with selfbow across my lap, and have a buddy sitting in a tree or blind 100 yds away from me with a compound bow or a cross bow. I would rather share my woods than lose them. Trad bow, compound bow, crossbow, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader, centerfire rifle, IT REALLY DOES’NT MATTER to the animal we are hunting. Dead is dead. The concern for different seasons should be as much about safety and herd management.
I repeat, we need to ban together, the real fight needs to be hanging on to our seasons all together, to protect our right to hunt from the Anti’s. JMHO
Can anyone and I mean anyone show where the inclusion of full crossbow use in the general archery season has shortened said season?
I’m assuming you’re talking to me here, but I realize how dangerous that is now that there is a “mat“ on every doorstep… The odd thing is that when my parents told their friends what they had named me it was sort of a “oh… That’s… ‘Interesting’“...
As one who prefers hunting from the ground and staying mobile, I see the vastly expanded popularity of “archery“ seasons as a very significant safety concern for me, personally.
But as far as “herd management“ is concerned…
In the beginning, brothers and sisters, the idea was it archery season and would have no appreciable impact on Herd Management whatsoever.
Now we have roughly 1/2 of the country where the deer managers are dependent on archery harvest to provide some degree of population control, and in the other half, the expanded popularity of archery seasons is creating levels of hunting pressure which are creating management issues by pressuring deer and (more often) Elk down onto private property prior to the first rifle season, which is making it difficult to hit harvest targets.
So in effect, a season which was intended to have no appreciable Effect in INCREASING annual harvest is now potentially DECREASING potential harvest for the firearms seasons. And that is NOT SUSTAINABLE.
So if it’s your job to make sure that X number of Elk are killed in your state every year, you are faced with the choice of either reducing participation in Archery seasons or introducing an alternate form of herd control… Such as.... oh I don’t know… Maybe wolves?
I'll turn 60 years old this year. Been bowhunting since my teenage years. Compounds were legal archery equipment in Indiana long before I was physically able to participate. When I first started bowhunting, our archery season was three weeks long with a one deer limit. In the early 80's, WE (compound and stickbow hunters) worked with the DNR to establish a late archery season...and extend the early season by a week.
In the mid-90's, when antlerless only tags were introduced, the state did not allocate any of those tags for the early archery season. It took a few years for US (compound and stickbow hunters) to convince the state to allow antlerless only tags during early archery season.
About that same time, the state began deer reduction hunts in state parks. Bowhunting in the state parks was forbidden. WE (compound and stickbow hunters) were eventually successful in opening state park deer reductions to bowhunting by targeting state parks located in urban areas. The establishment of bowhunting in urban deer zones followed.
Point is, compounds have been legal archery equipment in Indiana for roughly 50 years. Compound bowhunters had a big hand in the evolution of archery deer hunting in this state. I highly doubt Indiana is alone in that regard. Some states added compounds to existing archery seasons. Other states established archery only seasons after the compound became popular. In both cases, compound bowhunters played a significant part in the evolution of archery only seasons.
Crossbows, unlike compounds, have been around for centuries. Yet crossbows were not considered an acceptable weapon during archery season until crossbow manufacturers saw the potential sales and began pushing the envelope. Full crossbow inclusion in archery season has always and always will be their target. That is the ONLY way to maximize profits. Unfortunately, we're losing ground to crossbows more often than we're winning. Bowhunting will not vanish because of crossbows, but as bowhunter numbers drop...because of crossbows...we become more and more irrelevant to those entities making decisions which affect our future.
I hadn’t thought about it before, but that certainly does explain why the NRA was backing Crossbows in Archery seasons, doesn’t it?
Your version of bowhunting isn't necessarily or has to be the same as someone else's version.
Yep, because most people who hunt with arrows are only in it for what is in it FOR THEM. Longer/additional seasons, more tags, better timing and no requirement to give up any more tech than they want to.
I mean, I dunno... Are crossbows out-selling compounds in any states where there is no blanket inclusion Archery Season???
And are compounds still out-selling crossbows in any states which DO allow unrestricted use of them during Archery??
Yeah. Didn’t think so.
If Bowhunting is going to survive, it will have to mean more than just extra chances to fill more tags.
Is a person who hunts with a crossbow during archery season somehow less than the person who hunts with a vertical bow? Should they not be considered bowhunters? Are we or should we be that elitist of a group?
Crossbow use by the fit in archery season is equivalent to Kim Kardashian entering a "girl next door" competition. Does that answer the question?
Spare me. The rules are what they are. Or maybe I should say they were what they were, and least in the beginning… Accepting the rules and playing the game as it was conceived at the outset does not make you an “Elitist“. Expecting those who come into the game after you did to stick to the same rules that you accepted when you came in does not make you an “Elitist“. That’s just basic Sportsmanship. Square Dealings. If you don’t like the rules, just choose a different game.
This one has gotten too damned crowded as it is.
What kind of person you are is determined by how you voted.
Just for the record, I use a compound bow for 95% of my bowhunting. But did take out my dad's crossbow during late season at times and also my flintlock at times. But that flintlock makes me a true muzzleloader hunter verses the guys that hunt with percussion guns and even more so than the inline guys. :)
But hey........ ya'll keep fighting against your fellow hunters. It's worked out so well in the past.
Hmmm....pretty sure you are a few years younger than me. That would mean compounds were likely legal archery hunting equipment before you ever had an archery tag in your young pocket. Point being, the rules of the game had already changed before you decided to play. Maybe YOU should have chosen a different game?
As long as you’re talking about Archery seasons... SOLD!
Let’s DO go back to when we were allowed to hunt only ONE season per year. Let’s DO go back to when the technology was so limiting that only a handful of hunters were willing to bet their ONE season on their ability to have a satisfying year with a bow. Let’s DO expand the Any Weapon season dates and bag limits enough to meet the harvest goals.
Hunting’s future will be secure as long as the majority of non-hunters are willing to believe that it is about more than blood-lust and bragging rights and that the conservation/wildlife management aspects are more important than their own ambivalence about killing an animal in the woods instead of a slaughterhouse. Hunting’s future SHOULD be secure under the NA model just on principle, of course, but there’s a lot to be said for popular support at the voting booth.
It is BEYOND abundantly clear that the vast majority of bow hunters… or I guess I should say Bowhunting Season Participants… would rather be using firearms in the first place. I’ve been saying for 25 years that sooner or later, the Riflemen - representing the vast majority of all hunters - would grow tired of seeing the bar for entry to archery season continually lowered and more and more deer taken from the woods prior to THEIR preferred season and that eventually they would lose their tolerance for Archery seasons AT ALL. And if it should ever come to a point where we don’t even have rifle season hunters willing to speak up on our behalf, how long do you think Bowhunting will last when some anti-hunting group gets it onto a ballot measure?
Seems to me that you can’t expect to be respected if you’re not willing to act respectably in the first place. And from a gun-guy’s perspective, there is absolutely nothing worthy of respect in cashing in on extra tags and extra days in the woods just by buying a crossbow.
Enter the crossbow. Their inclusion into bow season wasn’t my choice. I’d rather that not be the case unless medically needed. However, they have been greeted with open arms by a vast majority of hunters.
It’s time to get real. Crossbows are not going to shorten anyone’s season. In any state or, for any animal. That variable gets hung on the new mantra of predators management. Not the crossbow. Don’ t confuse that.
The chance of drawing Elk tags as a whole, are decreasing as we speak. For lots of reasons. Crossbows aren’t one of them. Mule deer numbers have been going down for 20 years. Making tags for hunting them decrease. Crossbows aren’t the cause. Moose numbers are declining now. Crossbows aren’t the issue. Etc....
I keep hearing how the crossbow is going to shorten our bow season. Yet, there is already things in play to ensure that. None of which are related to crossbows. Instead, it’s a direct correlation of the protection of predators versus prioritizing ungulate populations.
I wish the crossbow wasn’t an option. But, it is and it’s here to stay. I’m not sure it attracts new hunters as much as it lets half hearted, back forty whitetail hunters be more efficient. It lets kids start earlier. And, it helps to keep older hunters in the whitetail woods. Because I don’ t care what anyone says, they are limiting when you gotta carry one of them to hunt with. So, it’s definitely catered more towards the one tree stand bait hunting whitetail guy versus a fella that hunts differently. And western hunting being at the top of the list of different ways to hunt.
Anyways, I figure we better get serious about how to recruit new hunters. That’s what is going to save us. Not sectors of existing hunters arguing over morality concerning their weapons choices.
Based solely on observations here in Indiana, not sure I agree with that? Lots of gun hunters have taken up the crossbow here. Some may have eventually became bowhunters for added opportunity, but there is zero incentive for that now.
Right now, the only reasons even more have not flocked to the crossbow is the fact that some western states still do not allow crossbows, and the P&Y club only allows bow and arrow kills. Once those barriers are removed, the collapse of bow and arrow hunting will accelerate.
All the data points to what Pav is saying
Makes no difference what people WANT to believe. Truth is what it is
Walking is easy-riding a bike is easier- driving in a vehicle is even easier. All get you where you are going-just depends on how easy you want to make it
Humans usually take the easiest method
That’s because they’re not legal in most western states… YET. And in the meantime, compounds are doing plenty of damage as it is.
The difference is that with whitetails, Compounds crossbows are a boon to herd management, because they increase the harvest total and there are just too damn many of them. Just about every place that has whitetails… has TOO MANY whitetails...
In a place like Colorado, the additional pressure brought on by compounds becoming easier and easier to use (and issuing cow-only tags for Archery) apprars to be having an adverse effect on the harvest total for the first RIFLE season, because the Elk are getting pushed down on the private property earlier and earlier. So there, the problem is the PRESSURE, which could be alleviated by restricting the technology permitted.
Call me crazy, but if the perceived “effective range” and the ease of use of the modern compound have caused a Hunting Pressure issue, then it’s time to roll back the ease of use until the Bow season no longer affects the Rifle harvest.
It really doesn’t matter what weapon is being used by people in Colorado pressuring animals onto private ground. They would still be there hinting. Not to mention, biking, hiking, fishing, etc.... Let’s not get into the droves of sheep, cattle, dogs, and cowboys in the woods at the same time. Or, the fact that many of these grazing operations are purposely running those elk onto private ground. Where the landowner who owns that livestock, is selling hunts.
None of the issues you referred to matters due to technology. It just ain’t so.
Hunt with a gun, muzzle loader finger on the trigger game approaches, boom... bullet is shot. GAme dies due to energy transfer, maybe blood loss. Hunt with crossbow, stock is up finger on trigger game approaches , slam.... bolt is launched. Game dies due to blood loss. Flat parabola; judging distance not critical, scopes typically in use. Hunt with hand- held hand released bow, game approaches, need to draw, (1 game sees you is gone, 2- game doesn't see you) hold, (longbow shoots), hold, hold (recurve shoots), hold, hold, hold, hold, (compound shoots..) All you gain with a compound is perhaps more time, a flatter parabola (depending on the long bow or recurve) and in all cases animal dies of blood loss. Proper yard estimation critical, body angle, tracking skills all come into play. Any questions??