By Will Brantley
Photo by Will Brantley
With so many states now allowing or considering the use of crossbows during archery season, the big debate is whether a crossbow offers significant hunting advantages over a standard compound bow. For the October issue's Field Test section, I recently tested six brand-new crossbows. It was the perfect opportunity to answer the crossbow-vs.-conventional compound question once and for all. I put my Hoyt Spyder Turbo head-to-head against the latest crossbows in the following categories.
Efficiency: My compound bow has an IBO speed of 340 fps, which translates to about 90 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. That's comparatively fast, but most hunting setups, mine included, fall way short of IBO specs. And even if they didn't, the slowest crossbow I tested throws a 437-grain arrow at 307 fps for 91 foot-lb. of kinetic energy and significantly more momentum. The rest of the crossbows simply blew my compound away in this category. Edge: Crossbow.