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Discussion Topic: NRA Pushes PA Crossbows

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January 21, 2009

Discussion Topic: NRA Pushes PA Crossbows

By Dave Hurteau

From OpposingViews.com

Over the last several years, there has been a growing debate concerning the use of crossbows in Pennsylvania. At its upcoming meeting, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be voting on a proposal that would make Pennsylvania the twelfth state to allow the use of crossbows during the state archery season. . . .

[The] NRA strongly advocates for any expansion of hunter opportunity and choice when there is no biological reason to oppose the expansion. In fact, states that have allowed the use of crossbows have been able to maintain healthy wildlife populations. Additionally, the recruitment and retention of hunters has improved by removing crossbow restrictions.

What do you think? Should crossbows be allowed during archery seasons?

Comments (33)

Top Rated
All Comments
from jjas wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Love 'em or hate 'em, Xbows are coming on stronger every year.

It's just a matter of time before they are accepted in every states archery season.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm personally against it for those without a disability. I thought the reasoning behind the extended archery seasons in PA was the additional challenge. I'll admit that crossbows have the range limitations of a bow, but experience has taught me that it's the additional movement, not the proximity, that makes bowhunting so much more difficult in PA's terrain. I'll also admit that I do fear, maybe irrationally, the increased numbers of guys in the woods who don't have the archer mentality. Maybe that statement is a bit selfish, but it is honest.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I don't like crossbows but I am not really against them. Its the extra people in the woods that ticks me off, but keeping hunter numbers up is crucial so its a kind of double edged sword for me. The people who irritate me and give hunting a bad image are the same no matter the weapon or the season. For this reason I try to not lump crossbow hunters into one group of people looking for an easy way out. As long as I reserve the right to keep bitching and moaning about crossbows I begrudgingly accept allowing them during regular bow season. Actually here in NC if I could trade allowing crossbows for getting rid of dogs and sitting on your pick-up toolbox on the side of the road and calling it hunting I would gladly do so.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I don't see a problem with it, to be honest. The purpose of the separate season is to provide an opportunity to hunt without the gun hunters in the woods, and adding crossbows to the mix isn't going to change that. If the deer population can support the extra pressure, then why not? Even more importantly, if the herd needs more pressure to control the population, then it's critical to get more hunters out there to kill them, and to use methods that allow more hunters to be successful.

Yes,it's true... crossbows do not fit the elite vision of "the archer", but that's a poor excuse to keep them out of the field.

And at the bottom line, the ends DO justify the means. If permitting crossbows in the archery season will assist with hunter recruitment and retention, then it's absolutely justifiable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stumpthumper wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm against them. It's not the range, it's that you don't have to draw the bow in the presence of the animal, which is the whole deal with bowhunting. I'm afraid that in the interest of increasing recruitment, we're making changes that destroy the meaning of primitive seasons.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

We need more hunters.
We need to sell more tags to fund wildlife.
We need to unify as deer hunters to be strong.
We need crossbows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from john c. wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I honestly think that legalizing crossbows during the regular archery season is going to hurt hunting more than it is going to help it. Ultimately I think it will drive people like myself, who bow hunt primarily because the woods are so quiet and uninhabitated, out of the sport.

I live in Pennsylvania and virtually every conversation I have ever had about crossbows goes as follows: " I wish they would legalize crossbows so I could hunt all fall, regular bows are just too hard to use." Keep in mind that ninety plus percent of the time these are the same guys who go out the day before rifle season and shoot their rifle at the bottom of a coffee can to make sure it hasn't lost its zero since last year.

When did it become a crime to ask someone to show some skill and patience before being able to participate in something worthwhile. I mean I hunted deer for three years before I ever got a chance to kick the safety off on my gun, and I bow hunted for about six years before I ever took a deer. Rather than drive me away from the sport these experiences taught me patience. I get so sick of hearing guys at the Game Commission meetings in PA say, "if kids don't get to see twenty deer a day then they are not going to hunt." This mentality is patently absurd, but I know where it comes from. It comes from kids whose only exposure to the natural world comes in the form of the thirty minute infomercials on the outdoor networks.

And before anyone calls me an elitist, I would just like it to be known that I come from a family of West Virginia coalminers.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

this is a desperate act.

john c (hey there fellow mountaineer!) hits the nail on the head.

yrs-
Evan!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I hate to see outdoorsman against outdoorsman.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jarrod wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

In Kansas crossbows are allowed in the firearms season, unless you have a disability permit, which then allows the use during bow season.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from mb wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Give them their own season as with other weapon, and I'm cool with it. Adjust that season as to the resource, habitat and how many hunters show up to suddenly hunt with crossbows, and the resulting harvest - other states have experienced HUGE growth in hunter numbers in the early seasons, and big harvest increases too, when crossbows were called bows. Here in PA, we'd have to shorten the season dramatically for archers if crossbows are called bows due to maybe a half a million of those former gun-only hunters take to the field in archery with crossbows! (compared to Ohio and Alabama, etc. - we have WAY more hunters than them, about a million in deer rifle season, so do the math). PSE is now claiming a one inch group at 100 yds. with their new crossbow (check Youtube)! My 30-30 won't do that! Bow? I think not! This is not about being able to use a crossbow to hunt in PA, this is about people not wanting to learn to use, and go thru the inherent difficulties of shooting and hunting with a handheld bow...and manufacturer's licking their chops at the half a million hunters that may buy a crossbow and all the toys here in PA next year. Give it's own season and regulate it separately, like rifles, flintlocks, etc., and you will get to use them. It is not archery, so please don't punish the archers. Crossbows in archery would be like rifles in flintlock season - they're all just guns, right?

Mike, PA

PA has a very large hunter population - almost a million hi thte woods the first day of deer rifle season alone. Calling a crossbow a bow willl ruin and shorten thenow 6 week archery season dramatically as current non-archery hunters will pick up the new toys cuz it has a trigger,

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mb wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Oh, yeah, and they are already legal to use for deer in all seasons BUT archery in PA, by any certified disabled person in ANY deer season, and in the Special Reg's areas (more suburban areas). Archery season is the only thing they didn't get yet.

Sorry about the typo above - don't know how to edit here!

Mike, PA

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i live in a and ihope THEY DON'T LEGALIZIE CROSSBOWS, i am fine with crossbows in rifle season or with injerned people but this will wron archery season

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

An arrow is an arrow... they pass through pretty much every time with minimal damage. You have to hit them perfectly and still follow your deer... I really don't see the big deal except that you can hold an X-bow longer on target than a compound. As far as drawing without being seen, it is not much harder than raising the weapon without being seen. Still a very primitive tool for killing and I have used them all. The argument should be about muzzle loaders that shoot as well as or better than shotguns and even some centerfires...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

WE NEED HUNTERS... ANY AND ALL ARE WELCOME!!! If you fools think decreasing hunting activity by banning x-bows is a good thing you are idiots... there are millions and millions of people in America that have never seen an animal die and eat meat every day! It is us against them and we are losing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I love crossbows and would gleefully hunt with one if allowed to do so. I do tend to prefer a "traditional" crossbow, with a rolling nut release and a recurved bow (I just don't like compounds, not that I would ever protest somebody using a compound crossbow). As far as I see hunt with spears, atl-atls, throwing knives, razor sharp steel boomerangs, axes or flint knives, just no full automatic rifles or RPGs thank you. My Passamaquoddy ancesters used to run the deer down on snowshoes (not that I can, I got the arthritis these days) and cut the bucks throat with a flint knife. As long as it gets the meat, and is some feat, it's kinda neat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

RE crossbows and hunting--

Whether it is a centerfire rifle or a musketloader, a pistol or a bow, a cross-bow or a spear, a BB-gun or a slingshot, it is not the category of weapon that makes a good hunter, but rather the quality of person who uses the weapon, and how safely, competently, humanely and respectfully he or she does so. I've seen quite a few terrible--lazy, incompetent, drunk, foolish or otherwise avoidably stupid--"hunters" in TX, and I retreat and seek cover whenever and wherever I encounter them, or simply leave the area. But "good" hunters never bother me--why should they?, and whatever weapon is in their hands is of little concern or interest to me at all.

T.W. Davidson

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from archer88 wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i got my first deer with a bow it was a seven point here in pa...more impressively it was my first deer and i take pride in my deer bc of all the challenges it represented that i finally overcame. It is more of a challenge shooting a bow vs the xbow. I like the thought of using them in rifle season but it is not a bow as someone already said it is like saying why not use a rifle in muzzleloader season that is a good comparison. After i get one more deer with my compound i am going more traditionally and will pick up the recurve. I find the more challenging the hunt the happier i am after the hunt is over hit or miss it is still a lot of memories made. ps real men dont hunt with xbows

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from superclarke wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I have personal experience with this topic since I'm from Ohio. I coached and wanted to hunt more so I started using a crossbow. The choice was obvious because it is relatively easy to use and master and requires minimal time. I used it for two years ...then wanted more of a challenge and switched to a compoung and eventually a recure. I kept the crossbow and now allow some of my high school students that have never bowhunted to use it. Several have gone on to switch completely over to a compounfd or recurve. There is no argument that it is far easier to harvest an animal with a crossbow than it is a stick bow but what is our ultimate goal as sportsman? I think it should be to recruit and expose as many young people (or old people) to the outdoors as possible.

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from jjas wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

This same arguement comes up everytime there is a mention made about xbows being used in the archery seasons. These same arguments were made about compounds years ago when they first came out too. The traditional archery crowd moaned about how compounds would ruin bowhunting and that they should be used in a separate season, yet look how much more popular bowhunting is now because of the compound bow.

Matter of fact, the same argument was made by the traditional muzzleloader crowd when inlines came out. People complained that inlines weren't muzzleloaders and they should have a separate season (BTW, if we keep adding separate seasons for each weapon, a season will last two days each).

In firearms, we now have more and more people hunting with ARs. They are the gun of choice for many of the younger generation of hunters and like the walnut and blued steel rifles of yesterday gave way to rifles made of synthetics and stainless, ARs are coming on.

Bottom line, like them or not, Xbows are next. Just like compounds and inlines and ARs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Crossbows should be allowed during archery seasons. Remeber the XB debate with us Gun Nuts

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Here is the way I see it. We are all hunters and enjoy the same passion. Whether it's bow, gun, crossbow, spear or sling shot we need to support each other.

I guarentee you that PETA monitors these blogs daily and take from post all the information they can to use against us. Today they discovered that they have support among the hunters ranks to continue the ban on crossbows in PA. Next year they will have support from the gun hunters to shorten bow season and lengthen gun season because yahoos who never learned to shoot a bow are wounding and not recovering their game. It's an endless cycle. The anti hunting crowds best defense is to divide and conquer. I do not gun hunt, hunt with dogs, hunt over bait or hunt on Sundays but I guarentee you I will support the rights of these hunters that do because they will be a time when I need to protect my rights and it would be good to know I have the support and all and not just many.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from William wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I've never been a fan of bow hunting or archery. I begrudge that if there are exceptional bowhunters/crossbow hunters I wouldn't have a problem with it. The problem I do have is finding dead deer every year with arrows sticking out of them or more often holes where arrows went cleanly through deer that have been left to rot because of no desire of some to climb out of the tree stand and follow a blood trail. Combine this with the fact that there really isn't a whole lot of killing power in an arrow unless fired from an exceptionally skilled archer. I like the one shot-one kill mentality and the challenge- but I can't get on the bandwagon for something that essentially either creates sloppy deer kills or injures deer unethically without ending their suffering quickly. I have harvested deer in the past and actually found broadhead points as well which creates a hazard when trying to field dress a kill. To me bow hunting is a personal ethical low point in hunting because of the great potential to wound deer time after time instead of cleanly dispatching them.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I was living in VA when they legalized crossbows for everyone during archery season. It didn't ruin bow season as I was sure it would. Actually the first year there was a large in-flux of people who never bow hunted before but then they dwindled off. Atleast on the national forest which was all I hunted at the time. Many were discouraged that their crossbows didn't shoot "flat" and many had no idea how to judge distance. A crossbow, though decidedly easier than any vertical bow, still requires more practice than a rifle. Shooting beyond normal bow ranges, say 40 yards, still requires different point of aim. This all leads to gettin a good deal on a lightly used crossbow soon after the first season is over if you are so inclined.
As stated in my earlier post I maintain some disgust for the things and do not think using them makes you in anyway bow hunter, but by all means knock yourself out. For everyone worrying about them ruining hunting just calm down. It didn't ruin the bow season in VA.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

William, your either a complete idiot or an animal right activist fishing for a bite on a hunting blog. Wait, those two things are one in the same.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Yes, I realize the grammar is not correct in my previous statement.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

vtbluegrass,
I regret that I have but one good vote to give to your post.

I guess to make every one happy we should have just one two week season where everyone runs around the woods naked throwing rocks at animals. Of course someone will complain that my rocks are bigger then his.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from arrowhead wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I am a bowhunter in Pa, and I am a bit uneasy about crossbows being legal statewide during archery season. Most likely, the added opportunity will bring more hunters to the woods and increase the archery harvest. This would disturb the peacefulness of the woods in the early season and probably cut deer numbers a bit. Don't get me wrong, crossbows have a place. In fact, one of my younger brothers who is 11 was able to hunt archery in 2B with me using a crossbow this year. It gives the young, old, and disable an opportunity. However, it is a different weapon from a bow. I believe that it should get its own shorter overlapping season sometime in the fall, which would allow Pa to see what the response would be before going all out.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

The big thing I don't like about them is they take away the single biggest element out of bowhunting. That is the DRAW. The draw is the part of bowhunting that gets you busted by deer more than anything else. Take it away and bowhunting becomes too easy. Other than that I find them heavy,dangerous,inaccurate and loud. Only thing they're good for is handicappers who can't pull a bow back.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I tend to side with the opinion that if it helps get people introduced to hunting or is a factor in getting more people out to hunt, it's a good thing. As Vtbluegrass stated "It didn't ruin bowhunting in VA".
I'm speaking in general terms, but I find it silly that we as sportsmen are allowing ourselves to be drawn into controversies like this. It reminds me of past "what is a muzzleloader?" debates. I have read articles written by people lambasting in-line muzzle loaders simply because they look too "modern". If you're a purist, that's OK with me and if you like in-line BP rifles or crossbows, that's OK too. Bottom line is we all hunt and we need to promote hunting to keep the tradition alive for our children. I'm not saying anything goes simply for the sake of hunting, but if it is a legitimate weapon of some historical value then it should be OK. Fads come and go but a crossbow may be the ticket to get someone started hunting and if that person really likes it he/she may progress to a compound bow and ultimately a recurve or longbow. Even if that person decides to stick with a crossbow, that's one more hunter to add to our ranks. Well, that's my 2 cents FWIW.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nate wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

To buckhunter i have to say i dont like seeing any one going after any one not just outdoorsmen. But the truth is that there are bad people that hunt just like there is in everything else in life.

I'd also like to say to john c. thats one of the things that makes me mad is when people just go out and try to "fling lead" at deer and hope to hit them with no practice during the year.

And to william I to have harvested deer with holes in them but never from an arrow. They have been from bullets. Its a shame to injure a deer and not get him but it happens. I you hunt long enough it will happen. So many thing have to come together perfecty to take that clean shot that every hunter seeks. Only one thing has to go wrong for you to miss that perfect shot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DennyF wrote 5 years 10 hours ago

Crossbows were legalized by the Pa greed commission because they are being run by ecoextremists looking to kill as many deer as possible. This will add to the harvest more along with their bazillion doe tags that never gets reduced, and the tag sales will add extra cash. Most here did not want them. The rifle hunters do not want even more deer killed in archery before they hunt, and archers know its nothing more than a lazy mans shortcut.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from natureguy wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I'm from Nova Scotia (Canada). Crossbows just became legal here--training course or proof of experience mandatory. No special season.
While I appreciate that bowhunters(I have a compound) have some concerns about the perceived relative ease of use of crossbows compared to bows, we are living in a time restricted society and the majority cannot find all the time to necessary to become expert with the bow. Also, as we age, we lose strength , flexability and often come down with physical limitations that can prevent us from using and holding a bow at full draw. The facts, which are mainly not in dispute, are that in most places in North America deer have and are expanding in our suburban areas and need population control. Bowhunters by themselves are too low in numbers to do it. We need any methods which are safe (think projectile range limits) humane and efficient. The fact that bows , crossbows (and even atlatls) are quiet is an added bonus. As deer hunters we should be sticking together and accepting that our preferred hunting method is not the only one. The anti hunters are gaining strength daily. They will divide and conquer us if we let them.
There is room for all methods-- rifle, shotgun, bow, crossbow, atlatl. They all have have their place in my opinion!

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from john c. wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I honestly think that legalizing crossbows during the regular archery season is going to hurt hunting more than it is going to help it. Ultimately I think it will drive people like myself, who bow hunt primarily because the woods are so quiet and uninhabitated, out of the sport.

I live in Pennsylvania and virtually every conversation I have ever had about crossbows goes as follows: " I wish they would legalize crossbows so I could hunt all fall, regular bows are just too hard to use." Keep in mind that ninety plus percent of the time these are the same guys who go out the day before rifle season and shoot their rifle at the bottom of a coffee can to make sure it hasn't lost its zero since last year.

When did it become a crime to ask someone to show some skill and patience before being able to participate in something worthwhile. I mean I hunted deer for three years before I ever got a chance to kick the safety off on my gun, and I bow hunted for about six years before I ever took a deer. Rather than drive me away from the sport these experiences taught me patience. I get so sick of hearing guys at the Game Commission meetings in PA say, "if kids don't get to see twenty deer a day then they are not going to hunt." This mentality is patently absurd, but I know where it comes from. It comes from kids whose only exposure to the natural world comes in the form of the thirty minute infomercials on the outdoor networks.

And before anyone calls me an elitist, I would just like it to be known that I come from a family of West Virginia coalminers.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from mb wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Give them their own season as with other weapon, and I'm cool with it. Adjust that season as to the resource, habitat and how many hunters show up to suddenly hunt with crossbows, and the resulting harvest - other states have experienced HUGE growth in hunter numbers in the early seasons, and big harvest increases too, when crossbows were called bows. Here in PA, we'd have to shorten the season dramatically for archers if crossbows are called bows due to maybe a half a million of those former gun-only hunters take to the field in archery with crossbows! (compared to Ohio and Alabama, etc. - we have WAY more hunters than them, about a million in deer rifle season, so do the math). PSE is now claiming a one inch group at 100 yds. with their new crossbow (check Youtube)! My 30-30 won't do that! Bow? I think not! This is not about being able to use a crossbow to hunt in PA, this is about people not wanting to learn to use, and go thru the inherent difficulties of shooting and hunting with a handheld bow...and manufacturer's licking their chops at the half a million hunters that may buy a crossbow and all the toys here in PA next year. Give it's own season and regulate it separately, like rifles, flintlocks, etc., and you will get to use them. It is not archery, so please don't punish the archers. Crossbows in archery would be like rifles in flintlock season - they're all just guns, right?

Mike, PA

PA has a very large hunter population - almost a million hi thte woods the first day of deer rifle season alone. Calling a crossbow a bow willl ruin and shorten thenow 6 week archery season dramatically as current non-archery hunters will pick up the new toys cuz it has a trigger,

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

William, your either a complete idiot or an animal right activist fishing for a bite on a hunting blog. Wait, those two things are one in the same.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm personally against it for those without a disability. I thought the reasoning behind the extended archery seasons in PA was the additional challenge. I'll admit that crossbows have the range limitations of a bow, but experience has taught me that it's the additional movement, not the proximity, that makes bowhunting so much more difficult in PA's terrain. I'll also admit that I do fear, maybe irrationally, the increased numbers of guys in the woods who don't have the archer mentality. Maybe that statement is a bit selfish, but it is honest.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I don't like crossbows but I am not really against them. Its the extra people in the woods that ticks me off, but keeping hunter numbers up is crucial so its a kind of double edged sword for me. The people who irritate me and give hunting a bad image are the same no matter the weapon or the season. For this reason I try to not lump crossbow hunters into one group of people looking for an easy way out. As long as I reserve the right to keep bitching and moaning about crossbows I begrudgingly accept allowing them during regular bow season. Actually here in NC if I could trade allowing crossbows for getting rid of dogs and sitting on your pick-up toolbox on the side of the road and calling it hunting I would gladly do so.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from stumpthumper wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm against them. It's not the range, it's that you don't have to draw the bow in the presence of the animal, which is the whole deal with bowhunting. I'm afraid that in the interest of increasing recruitment, we're making changes that destroy the meaning of primitive seasons.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

this is a desperate act.

john c (hey there fellow mountaineer!) hits the nail on the head.

yrs-
Evan!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jarrod wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

In Kansas crossbows are allowed in the firearms season, unless you have a disability permit, which then allows the use during bow season.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i live in a and ihope THEY DON'T LEGALIZIE CROSSBOWS, i am fine with crossbows in rifle season or with injerned people but this will wron archery season

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from archer88 wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i got my first deer with a bow it was a seven point here in pa...more impressively it was my first deer and i take pride in my deer bc of all the challenges it represented that i finally overcame. It is more of a challenge shooting a bow vs the xbow. I like the thought of using them in rifle season but it is not a bow as someone already said it is like saying why not use a rifle in muzzleloader season that is a good comparison. After i get one more deer with my compound i am going more traditionally and will pick up the recurve. I find the more challenging the hunt the happier i am after the hunt is over hit or miss it is still a lot of memories made. ps real men dont hunt with xbows

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from arrowhead wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I am a bowhunter in Pa, and I am a bit uneasy about crossbows being legal statewide during archery season. Most likely, the added opportunity will bring more hunters to the woods and increase the archery harvest. This would disturb the peacefulness of the woods in the early season and probably cut deer numbers a bit. Don't get me wrong, crossbows have a place. In fact, one of my younger brothers who is 11 was able to hunt archery in 2B with me using a crossbow this year. It gives the young, old, and disable an opportunity. However, it is a different weapon from a bow. I believe that it should get its own shorter overlapping season sometime in the fall, which would allow Pa to see what the response would be before going all out.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

The big thing I don't like about them is they take away the single biggest element out of bowhunting. That is the DRAW. The draw is the part of bowhunting that gets you busted by deer more than anything else. Take it away and bowhunting becomes too easy. Other than that I find them heavy,dangerous,inaccurate and loud. Only thing they're good for is handicappers who can't pull a bow back.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Love 'em or hate 'em, Xbows are coming on stronger every year.

It's just a matter of time before they are accepted in every states archery season.

Jim

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I hate to see outdoorsman against outdoorsman.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DennyF wrote 5 years 10 hours ago

Crossbows were legalized by the Pa greed commission because they are being run by ecoextremists looking to kill as many deer as possible. This will add to the harvest more along with their bazillion doe tags that never gets reduced, and the tag sales will add extra cash. Most here did not want them. The rifle hunters do not want even more deer killed in archery before they hunt, and archers know its nothing more than a lazy mans shortcut.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I don't see a problem with it, to be honest. The purpose of the separate season is to provide an opportunity to hunt without the gun hunters in the woods, and adding crossbows to the mix isn't going to change that. If the deer population can support the extra pressure, then why not? Even more importantly, if the herd needs more pressure to control the population, then it's critical to get more hunters out there to kill them, and to use methods that allow more hunters to be successful.

Yes,it's true... crossbows do not fit the elite vision of "the archer", but that's a poor excuse to keep them out of the field.

And at the bottom line, the ends DO justify the means. If permitting crossbows in the archery season will assist with hunter recruitment and retention, then it's absolutely justifiable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

We need more hunters.
We need to sell more tags to fund wildlife.
We need to unify as deer hunters to be strong.
We need crossbows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mb wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Oh, yeah, and they are already legal to use for deer in all seasons BUT archery in PA, by any certified disabled person in ANY deer season, and in the Special Reg's areas (more suburban areas). Archery season is the only thing they didn't get yet.

Sorry about the typo above - don't know how to edit here!

Mike, PA

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from Tim Platt wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

An arrow is an arrow... they pass through pretty much every time with minimal damage. You have to hit them perfectly and still follow your deer... I really don't see the big deal except that you can hold an X-bow longer on target than a compound. As far as drawing without being seen, it is not much harder than raising the weapon without being seen. Still a very primitive tool for killing and I have used them all. The argument should be about muzzle loaders that shoot as well as or better than shotguns and even some centerfires...

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from Tim Platt wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

WE NEED HUNTERS... ANY AND ALL ARE WELCOME!!! If you fools think decreasing hunting activity by banning x-bows is a good thing you are idiots... there are millions and millions of people in America that have never seen an animal die and eat meat every day! It is us against them and we are losing.

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from Bella wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I love crossbows and would gleefully hunt with one if allowed to do so. I do tend to prefer a "traditional" crossbow, with a rolling nut release and a recurved bow (I just don't like compounds, not that I would ever protest somebody using a compound crossbow). As far as I see hunt with spears, atl-atls, throwing knives, razor sharp steel boomerangs, axes or flint knives, just no full automatic rifles or RPGs thank you. My Passamaquoddy ancesters used to run the deer down on snowshoes (not that I can, I got the arthritis these days) and cut the bucks throat with a flint knife. As long as it gets the meat, and is some feat, it's kinda neat.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Yes, I realize the grammar is not correct in my previous statement.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I tend to side with the opinion that if it helps get people introduced to hunting or is a factor in getting more people out to hunt, it's a good thing. As Vtbluegrass stated "It didn't ruin bowhunting in VA".
I'm speaking in general terms, but I find it silly that we as sportsmen are allowing ourselves to be drawn into controversies like this. It reminds me of past "what is a muzzleloader?" debates. I have read articles written by people lambasting in-line muzzle loaders simply because they look too "modern". If you're a purist, that's OK with me and if you like in-line BP rifles or crossbows, that's OK too. Bottom line is we all hunt and we need to promote hunting to keep the tradition alive for our children. I'm not saying anything goes simply for the sake of hunting, but if it is a legitimate weapon of some historical value then it should be OK. Fads come and go but a crossbow may be the ticket to get someone started hunting and if that person really likes it he/she may progress to a compound bow and ultimately a recurve or longbow. Even if that person decides to stick with a crossbow, that's one more hunter to add to our ranks. Well, that's my 2 cents FWIW.

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from nate wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

To buckhunter i have to say i dont like seeing any one going after any one not just outdoorsmen. But the truth is that there are bad people that hunt just like there is in everything else in life.

I'd also like to say to john c. thats one of the things that makes me mad is when people just go out and try to "fling lead" at deer and hope to hit them with no practice during the year.

And to william I to have harvested deer with holes in them but never from an arrow. They have been from bullets. Its a shame to injure a deer and not get him but it happens. I you hunt long enough it will happen. So many thing have to come together perfecty to take that clean shot that every hunter seeks. Only one thing has to go wrong for you to miss that perfect shot.

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from natureguy wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I'm from Nova Scotia (Canada). Crossbows just became legal here--training course or proof of experience mandatory. No special season.
While I appreciate that bowhunters(I have a compound) have some concerns about the perceived relative ease of use of crossbows compared to bows, we are living in a time restricted society and the majority cannot find all the time to necessary to become expert with the bow. Also, as we age, we lose strength , flexability and often come down with physical limitations that can prevent us from using and holding a bow at full draw. The facts, which are mainly not in dispute, are that in most places in North America deer have and are expanding in our suburban areas and need population control. Bowhunters by themselves are too low in numbers to do it. We need any methods which are safe (think projectile range limits) humane and efficient. The fact that bows , crossbows (and even atlatls) are quiet is an added bonus. As deer hunters we should be sticking together and accepting that our preferred hunting method is not the only one. The anti hunters are gaining strength daily. They will divide and conquer us if we let them.
There is room for all methods-- rifle, shotgun, bow, crossbow, atlatl. They all have have their place in my opinion!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

RE crossbows and hunting--

Whether it is a centerfire rifle or a musketloader, a pistol or a bow, a cross-bow or a spear, a BB-gun or a slingshot, it is not the category of weapon that makes a good hunter, but rather the quality of person who uses the weapon, and how safely, competently, humanely and respectfully he or she does so. I've seen quite a few terrible--lazy, incompetent, drunk, foolish or otherwise avoidably stupid--"hunters" in TX, and I retreat and seek cover whenever and wherever I encounter them, or simply leave the area. But "good" hunters never bother me--why should they?, and whatever weapon is in their hands is of little concern or interest to me at all.

T.W. Davidson

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from superclarke wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I have personal experience with this topic since I'm from Ohio. I coached and wanted to hunt more so I started using a crossbow. The choice was obvious because it is relatively easy to use and master and requires minimal time. I used it for two years ...then wanted more of a challenge and switched to a compoung and eventually a recure. I kept the crossbow and now allow some of my high school students that have never bowhunted to use it. Several have gone on to switch completely over to a compounfd or recurve. There is no argument that it is far easier to harvest an animal with a crossbow than it is a stick bow but what is our ultimate goal as sportsman? I think it should be to recruit and expose as many young people (or old people) to the outdoors as possible.

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from jjas wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

This same arguement comes up everytime there is a mention made about xbows being used in the archery seasons. These same arguments were made about compounds years ago when they first came out too. The traditional archery crowd moaned about how compounds would ruin bowhunting and that they should be used in a separate season, yet look how much more popular bowhunting is now because of the compound bow.

Matter of fact, the same argument was made by the traditional muzzleloader crowd when inlines came out. People complained that inlines weren't muzzleloaders and they should have a separate season (BTW, if we keep adding separate seasons for each weapon, a season will last two days each).

In firearms, we now have more and more people hunting with ARs. They are the gun of choice for many of the younger generation of hunters and like the walnut and blued steel rifles of yesterday gave way to rifles made of synthetics and stainless, ARs are coming on.

Bottom line, like them or not, Xbows are next. Just like compounds and inlines and ARs.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Crossbows should be allowed during archery seasons. Remeber the XB debate with us Gun Nuts

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I was living in VA when they legalized crossbows for everyone during archery season. It didn't ruin bow season as I was sure it would. Actually the first year there was a large in-flux of people who never bow hunted before but then they dwindled off. Atleast on the national forest which was all I hunted at the time. Many were discouraged that their crossbows didn't shoot "flat" and many had no idea how to judge distance. A crossbow, though decidedly easier than any vertical bow, still requires more practice than a rifle. Shooting beyond normal bow ranges, say 40 yards, still requires different point of aim. This all leads to gettin a good deal on a lightly used crossbow soon after the first season is over if you are so inclined.
As stated in my earlier post I maintain some disgust for the things and do not think using them makes you in anyway bow hunter, but by all means knock yourself out. For everyone worrying about them ruining hunting just calm down. It didn't ruin the bow season in VA.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

vtbluegrass,
I regret that I have but one good vote to give to your post.

I guess to make every one happy we should have just one two week season where everyone runs around the woods naked throwing rocks at animals. Of course someone will complain that my rocks are bigger then his.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

Here is the way I see it. We are all hunters and enjoy the same passion. Whether it's bow, gun, crossbow, spear or sling shot we need to support each other.

I guarentee you that PETA monitors these blogs daily and take from post all the information they can to use against us. Today they discovered that they have support among the hunters ranks to continue the ban on crossbows in PA. Next year they will have support from the gun hunters to shorten bow season and lengthen gun season because yahoos who never learned to shoot a bow are wounding and not recovering their game. It's an endless cycle. The anti hunting crowds best defense is to divide and conquer. I do not gun hunt, hunt with dogs, hunt over bait or hunt on Sundays but I guarentee you I will support the rights of these hunters that do because they will be a time when I need to protect my rights and it would be good to know I have the support and all and not just many.

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from William wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I've never been a fan of bow hunting or archery. I begrudge that if there are exceptional bowhunters/crossbow hunters I wouldn't have a problem with it. The problem I do have is finding dead deer every year with arrows sticking out of them or more often holes where arrows went cleanly through deer that have been left to rot because of no desire of some to climb out of the tree stand and follow a blood trail. Combine this with the fact that there really isn't a whole lot of killing power in an arrow unless fired from an exceptionally skilled archer. I like the one shot-one kill mentality and the challenge- but I can't get on the bandwagon for something that essentially either creates sloppy deer kills or injures deer unethically without ending their suffering quickly. I have harvested deer in the past and actually found broadhead points as well which creates a hazard when trying to field dress a kill. To me bow hunting is a personal ethical low point in hunting because of the great potential to wound deer time after time instead of cleanly dispatching them.

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