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Discussion Topic: On Crossbows For 50-Year-Olds

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March 10, 2009

Discussion Topic: On Crossbows For 50-Year-Olds

By Dave Hurteau

From Michigan’s The Grand Rapids Press:

The door is now officially open.  Able-bodied hunters, 50 years and older, can hunt with crossbow next fall during the early bowhunting deer season.

Much to the surprise of traditional bowhunters, who opposed the move, . . . [t]he proposal was more liberal than expected. It has been discussed for five months by a special subcommittee. The threshold age for able-bodied adults was dropped from 65 to 50 over the last month, changing its focus from assisting seniors to opening the door considerably wider.

What do you think? Would you rather have Michigan’s new crossbow rules or Pennsylvania’s, where crossbows are now legal for all hunters during archery seasons?

 

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

For me, a crossbow is basically the same concept as a gun. You pull the trigger and then the left is up to somebody other than you. But with bow hunting, you are more involved.I would rule with Pennsyvania just because it is all up to personal preference. As long as they do not do anything illegal and population is maintained, it should be OK. I really dont think that it should be restricted to the older people, because it is just another way of hunting. So yes i believe it should be legal to crossbow hunt during archery season. The one thing i will say is that i will respect the man who carries a bow much more than the man who carries a crossbow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

i would have dropped the age some. but 15 years is to much. i would have dropped it to maybe 57-60 some where in there.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My biggest complaint with crossbows is they completly take away the drawing of the arrow which in effect is the most challenging aspect of the whole bowhunting experience. Other than that crossbows are loud, inaccurate, and don't have the range that everyone seems to think they have. I like Michigans policy more because it is geared to let the older folks who can no longer draw a bow participate in the bow season and also keeps those who are able bodied from using them. Thus keeping the archery season a archery season NOT a crossbow season.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Crossbows are way overrated as a hunting tool. I'd say that between 5-20 yds the crossbow is an efficient tool too kill an animal but outside of 25 yds the crossbow bolt drops like a rock.

I think if a guy has bow hunted all of his life but due to age can no longer pull back a bow, I think the crossbow would be a good alternative.

Along those lines of thinking, would you rather see a person in the woods whom is a marginal shot with a bow or a good shot with a crossbow?

I have always considered crossbows the beginning and the end of an archers hunting career. They are great to ween a young hunter into the sport and it will keep older hunters in the wood longer. (they have paid their dues and deserve that right).

If crossbows increase the number of hunters in the woods then it will also increase the revenue from the sales of licenses. I do not think that there is one state agency right now who is not hurting for money.

Last but not least, The sport of hunting in general needs to be unified to defend itself against the constant attacks from different groups. Rather you are a bow hunter, gun hunter, hunt over bait or use dogs we need to remain unified and protect each others freedoms or risk losing our own.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

buckhunter

GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

THANK YOU!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

May I add to what buckhunter said

Do you really think a crossbow really gives you that more advantage…….perhaps maybe. Think about this, as for shooting abilities I have the training and experience to out shoot the majority of hunters hands down! But it’s that hunter can shoot “MOP” at 50 yards and no further than 50 yards with a beet up old 30-30 that gets his deer every year while I go home empty handed, so think about that!!!

It’s not how good you are?
it’s the opportunity to use it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I like the new age limit. I know some people that can't pull a bow anymore that want a crossbow. I'm only 16 but when I can't pull back a bow anymore I'm getting a crossbow. For shure.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I think any regulation that opens hunting to more people rather than less is a good thing.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Those of us old enough to remember when compounds first came out can attest to all the complaining that was done about how holding back such a small amount of weight wasn't really archery, it wasn't fair to the game, blah, blah, blah.

I wonder how many people complaining about xbows just don't want to share the woods, just like I wonder how many traditional archers felt that way when the compounds came out?

The compound was eventually accepted and the xbow will be too. It's just a matter of time.

Jim

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I just bought my first Cross-bow and didn't realize how heavy those suckers are. I was in an Industrial accident over twenty years ago, and injured my back and recieved a waiver to hunt in Kentucky with it.

Now, Kentucky has a liberal cross-bow season,and I don't see any reason why most states don't choose to incorporate it in their state.

I think S-kfry hit the nail on the head with his comment, "I think any regulation that opens hunting to more people rather than less is a good thing."
I agree whole heartedly.

It's not as easy as it looks, first of all, I am deadly with my Mathews, Black Max, out to eighty yards, although I rarely take that kind of shot in the field.
With the croos-bow I wouldn't take a shot past twenty five yards, and that may be pushing it, if there is a breeze.

It still is easier for me to carry my Mathews bow in to the field than it is for my Cross-bow.

I wonder why Alabama lowered it to just 50 years old, why stop there? Any ideas?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with s-kfry, but i also think that crossbows should be for the unabled bodies that cannot pull back a bow.

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oldhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I'm into my sixth decade of bow hunting, and can still pull back a 65 lb. compound. I will adjust to a lower weight someday when I have to. I don't see the need for crossbows in archery season.

I lived in Wyoming for a few years, where crossbows are legal in archery season for any age. Guys were shooting scoped crossbows out to 80 yards. Why do you need a special season for that?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Why does anyone need a special season for anything? Nothing about having hunters who use some other weapon on the landscape makes it less likely for a bowhunter to succeed, or for that matter a muzzleloader hunter, or anyone else.

I figure special (limited weapon) seasons are for people who otherwise could only compete in a special olympics. If this wasn't about arbitrary exclusion at the core of it, no one would be arguing about which sort of tension driven projectile is sufficiently technologically backward to count. Especially not when they're comparing technologies -- the bow and the crossbow -- both of which have been around for more than a millennium.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I think the challenge with archery hunting is getting close, not in drawing a bow. I see no problem with cross bows, that doesn't mean i would use one but i don't think they are cheating.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Maybe some of you have misunderstood what I posted. When I said the draw was the single most important aspect of bowhunting I was NOT talking about being physically able to draw a bow I WAS talking about when you get busted by a deer in archery its usually when you're drawing back the arrow. With a crossbow the arrow is already drawn thus taking away the only real chance the animal has to bust you other than scent. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I prefer the laws in MA, in order to hunt with a crossbow you need a doctor to sign an affadavit verifying that you are physically impared to use a bow properly due to physical issues. I prefer that because it keeps everyone honest, mainly because the state can investigate the doctors and the people applying to make sure everything is legitimate. Downfall to that is that it also becomes public record, and that can help or hurt a person (some employers research this stuff out to determine if the person is fit enough for the job)

As for allowing people over 50 or anyone use a crossbow to hunt during archery season, I think that it's not the best thing, but I do feel that allowing the physically challenged to use them during archery season is a good compromise rather than restricting the physically challenged from hunting archery season due to their physical situation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

It's still a string and an arrow and has been around long before firearms. And, as some are pointing out, they have their quirks (range, weight, draw weight), so not everyone is going to use them. If it brings more people and revenues into, and back into, hunting, great.

I live in Michigan, and a friend, once a recurve hunter who can no longer pull the bow, has been looking forward to this for quite some time. Now he can get out there to back up his grandkids. He couldn't get approved under the old rules.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Being form Michigan, like MLH, I think it's a great move. Our state (not to mention our country) cannot afford to lose anymore hunters. Also, our state is in a real financial bind right now, and the state always seems to skim from DNR first. The extra revenue, or continued revenue, will continue to help our resources whether it be hunting or fishing. If any Michigan hunter is upset about this, I would strongly urge them to take a role in the states decisions by checking the DNR's website and looking for the forums and surveys section. This crossbow debate has been on the website for the last 2 months, looking for all hunters opinions and suggestions. Now if the state would only something about the 7 deer tags every hunter can draw, maybe we could start producing bucks like our fellow mid-western states. But then again, maybe it goes back to the revenue issue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Walt, people get busted by deer all the time shouldering their rifles. I don't think the draw is particularly more revealing than any other motion that occurs when bringing a weapon to readiness.

Last Nov I think I was busted by a deer who saw sun reflecting off my wristwatch.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I disagree Mike, it's not only the draw, but the hold, and knowing when to draw so as to be able to hold until the proper shot is offered. I think lots of bowhunter's are busted in this time. Crossbows are ok for seniors and jrs. and the diabled. Just my opinion.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Crossbows are way overrated as a hunting tool. I'd say that between 5-20 yds the crossbow is an efficient tool too kill an animal but outside of 25 yds the crossbow bolt drops like a rock.

I think if a guy has bow hunted all of his life but due to age can no longer pull back a bow, I think the crossbow would be a good alternative.

Along those lines of thinking, would you rather see a person in the woods whom is a marginal shot with a bow or a good shot with a crossbow?

I have always considered crossbows the beginning and the end of an archers hunting career. They are great to ween a young hunter into the sport and it will keep older hunters in the wood longer. (they have paid their dues and deserve that right).

If crossbows increase the number of hunters in the woods then it will also increase the revenue from the sales of licenses. I do not think that there is one state agency right now who is not hurting for money.

Last but not least, The sport of hunting in general needs to be unified to defend itself against the constant attacks from different groups. Rather you are a bow hunter, gun hunter, hunt over bait or use dogs we need to remain unified and protect each others freedoms or risk losing our own.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I think any regulation that opens hunting to more people rather than less is a good thing.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Those of us old enough to remember when compounds first came out can attest to all the complaining that was done about how holding back such a small amount of weight wasn't really archery, it wasn't fair to the game, blah, blah, blah.

I wonder how many people complaining about xbows just don't want to share the woods, just like I wonder how many traditional archers felt that way when the compounds came out?

The compound was eventually accepted and the xbow will be too. It's just a matter of time.

Jim

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I think the challenge with archery hunting is getting close, not in drawing a bow. I see no problem with cross bows, that doesn't mean i would use one but i don't think they are cheating.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with s-kfry, but i also think that crossbows should be for the unabled bodies that cannot pull back a bow.

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oldhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I'm into my sixth decade of bow hunting, and can still pull back a 65 lb. compound. I will adjust to a lower weight someday when I have to. I don't see the need for crossbows in archery season.

I lived in Wyoming for a few years, where crossbows are legal in archery season for any age. Guys were shooting scoped crossbows out to 80 yards. Why do you need a special season for that?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

It's still a string and an arrow and has been around long before firearms. And, as some are pointing out, they have their quirks (range, weight, draw weight), so not everyone is going to use them. If it brings more people and revenues into, and back into, hunting, great.

I live in Michigan, and a friend, once a recurve hunter who can no longer pull the bow, has been looking forward to this for quite some time. Now he can get out there to back up his grandkids. He couldn't get approved under the old rules.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Being form Michigan, like MLH, I think it's a great move. Our state (not to mention our country) cannot afford to lose anymore hunters. Also, our state is in a real financial bind right now, and the state always seems to skim from DNR first. The extra revenue, or continued revenue, will continue to help our resources whether it be hunting or fishing. If any Michigan hunter is upset about this, I would strongly urge them to take a role in the states decisions by checking the DNR's website and looking for the forums and surveys section. This crossbow debate has been on the website for the last 2 months, looking for all hunters opinions and suggestions. Now if the state would only something about the 7 deer tags every hunter can draw, maybe we could start producing bucks like our fellow mid-western states. But then again, maybe it goes back to the revenue issue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Walt, people get busted by deer all the time shouldering their rifles. I don't think the draw is particularly more revealing than any other motion that occurs when bringing a weapon to readiness.

Last Nov I think I was busted by a deer who saw sun reflecting off my wristwatch.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

For me, a crossbow is basically the same concept as a gun. You pull the trigger and then the left is up to somebody other than you. But with bow hunting, you are more involved.I would rule with Pennsyvania just because it is all up to personal preference. As long as they do not do anything illegal and population is maintained, it should be OK. I really dont think that it should be restricted to the older people, because it is just another way of hunting. So yes i believe it should be legal to crossbow hunt during archery season. The one thing i will say is that i will respect the man who carries a bow much more than the man who carries a crossbow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

buckhunter

GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

THANK YOU!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

May I add to what buckhunter said

Do you really think a crossbow really gives you that more advantage…….perhaps maybe. Think about this, as for shooting abilities I have the training and experience to out shoot the majority of hunters hands down! But it’s that hunter can shoot “MOP” at 50 yards and no further than 50 yards with a beet up old 30-30 that gets his deer every year while I go home empty handed, so think about that!!!

It’s not how good you are?
it’s the opportunity to use it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I like the new age limit. I know some people that can't pull a bow anymore that want a crossbow. I'm only 16 but when I can't pull back a bow anymore I'm getting a crossbow. For shure.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I just bought my first Cross-bow and didn't realize how heavy those suckers are. I was in an Industrial accident over twenty years ago, and injured my back and recieved a waiver to hunt in Kentucky with it.

Now, Kentucky has a liberal cross-bow season,and I don't see any reason why most states don't choose to incorporate it in their state.

I think S-kfry hit the nail on the head with his comment, "I think any regulation that opens hunting to more people rather than less is a good thing."
I agree whole heartedly.

It's not as easy as it looks, first of all, I am deadly with my Mathews, Black Max, out to eighty yards, although I rarely take that kind of shot in the field.
With the croos-bow I wouldn't take a shot past twenty five yards, and that may be pushing it, if there is a breeze.

It still is easier for me to carry my Mathews bow in to the field than it is for my Cross-bow.

I wonder why Alabama lowered it to just 50 years old, why stop there? Any ideas?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Why does anyone need a special season for anything? Nothing about having hunters who use some other weapon on the landscape makes it less likely for a bowhunter to succeed, or for that matter a muzzleloader hunter, or anyone else.

I figure special (limited weapon) seasons are for people who otherwise could only compete in a special olympics. If this wasn't about arbitrary exclusion at the core of it, no one would be arguing about which sort of tension driven projectile is sufficiently technologically backward to count. Especially not when they're comparing technologies -- the bow and the crossbow -- both of which have been around for more than a millennium.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Maybe some of you have misunderstood what I posted. When I said the draw was the single most important aspect of bowhunting I was NOT talking about being physically able to draw a bow I WAS talking about when you get busted by a deer in archery its usually when you're drawing back the arrow. With a crossbow the arrow is already drawn thus taking away the only real chance the animal has to bust you other than scent. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I disagree Mike, it's not only the draw, but the hold, and knowing when to draw so as to be able to hold until the proper shot is offered. I think lots of bowhunter's are busted in this time. Crossbows are ok for seniors and jrs. and the diabled. Just my opinion.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I prefer the laws in MA, in order to hunt with a crossbow you need a doctor to sign an affadavit verifying that you are physically impared to use a bow properly due to physical issues. I prefer that because it keeps everyone honest, mainly because the state can investigate the doctors and the people applying to make sure everything is legitimate. Downfall to that is that it also becomes public record, and that can help or hurt a person (some employers research this stuff out to determine if the person is fit enough for the job)

As for allowing people over 50 or anyone use a crossbow to hunt during archery season, I think that it's not the best thing, but I do feel that allowing the physically challenged to use them during archery season is a good compromise rather than restricting the physically challenged from hunting archery season due to their physical situation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My biggest complaint with crossbows is they completly take away the drawing of the arrow which in effect is the most challenging aspect of the whole bowhunting experience. Other than that crossbows are loud, inaccurate, and don't have the range that everyone seems to think they have. I like Michigans policy more because it is geared to let the older folks who can no longer draw a bow participate in the bow season and also keeps those who are able bodied from using them. Thus keeping the archery season a archery season NOT a crossbow season.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

i would have dropped the age some. but 15 years is to much. i would have dropped it to maybe 57-60 some where in there.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

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