Is the Crossbow industry becoming our enemy? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Is the Crossbow industry becoming our enemy?

I'm posting this here, in hopes of getting some rational discussion. In any other forum it will get trashed and closed faster than #2 Duke trap.

I've been watching the feeds (on Facebook) from the 2019 ATA show. Most of the crossbow manufacturers are breaking out the latest and greatest crossbows in their line. Many of which are posting bolt speeds in excess of 400 fps, some in the 450 fps range. Seems the PSE crossbow on the AR base started it at 405fps about 6 years ago, now there is the Raven, and then Ten Point, etc, etc, etc.

Traditionally, archery has been a close encounter endeavor. The fury hit with the compound bow, which expanded the distances out to 40-50 yards, and then again with the crossbow, which some manufacturers are touting firearm accuracy at 100 yards.

Question for discussion- could the speed, accuracy, and longer range killing capabilities of the modern crossbow cause the deer kill numbers to increase to such a degree that it threatens the use of a crossbow in archery season? It's almost like "be careful what you wish for".

For the record, I use a vertical bow in the fall, and a crossbow in the second season (when tags are available) and a rifle in-between. I'm what you would call an opportunistic hunter.

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post #2 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:08 PM
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Hi Hittengguru, You are making a good point, a good example of careful what you ask for is on the archery forum (archery season length).
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post #3 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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First a little about me... I started hunting with a bow in 1999 and used vertical bows up until 2014. I shot 21 deer in that time with a vertical bow. Then a recurring shoulder impingement in my bow arm made practice sessions unbearable and after trying to shot with a softer elbow to reduce the stress on my shoulder, I developed tendonitis in my elbow. I switched to a crossbow. Bought a Mission MXB 360 that shoots Mission bolts and 100 grain heads at 352 feet per second. I've shot 13 deer with it in 4 seasons. I hunt in a management program and shoot a lot of does.

To me, a crossbow is a much more efficient weapon than a vertical bow. It's not without its disadvantages though. The awkward shape takes quite a bit of getting used to. It's pretty much one shot and you're done, so you'd better make that first shot count. I've tried to re-cock from a tree stand and it's not fun. My x-bow is a bit noisier than I'd like. I'm also not able to de-cock without shooting into a target. The pluses are the extra speed (352 fps vs 284 fps with my Matthews Z7 at a 27.5 inch draw length and 67-68 pound draw weight), having a scope and being able to (at least some of the time) rest it on the shooting rail of my climber to get steady. The scope and extra speed increased my self imposed effective range from 25 to 35 yards. (I've not shot at anything farther than that.)

I cringe when I see the ads touting crossbows having rifle like accuracy at 100 yards, and worry that folks will begin to think of crossbows as 100 yard weapons, which in my opinion they clearly are not. I don't know what kind of kinetic energy you'd be getting at 100 yards. I would be concerned that it might not be enough to get good penetration or to open a mechanical broad head reliably on impact. This is similar to the compound bow quest to get better and faster with each design cycle. I too wonder when or if it will reach a point of diminishing returns. Ask DPMS about his experience with a Mission MXB 400 tearing up nocks. If this goes too far, I would be surprised if there wouldn't be a push for upper limits to draw weight and bolt velocities. As for one of ads touting 100 yard accuracy, the Mission Sub-1 is one. However, the selling points are a smooth trigger and release, quietness and being able to de-cock manually without having to shoot a bolt. It only shoots 350 fps.

Last edited by WexfordBowhunter; 01-12-2019 at 01:17 PM. Reason: fix typos, and clarifications
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post #4 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:16 PM
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I find crossbow manufacturers irresponsible advertising 100 yard crossbows, and the old Ravin ad saying meet your new rifle. Sure experienced hunters would know that just because you can hit a paper tartget at 100 yds doesn't mean a deer is going to stand there and not move , but there people, a lot of them who would believe the hype.
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post #5 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:26 PM
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I think it won’t have that great an impact because most people will not be able to take shots that far. I said in another thread about the noise and another member mentioned the flight of the arrow and twigs, etc. However, I completely think they are doing us a disservice with advertising these distances. People against them or that have never shot one may think it’s a given. I am buying a new compound soon and will probably still pull out the crossbow at times. Maybe just how you do. I only used it these last couple years because my compound broke 7-8 years ago just as my kids were showing interest. I knew I wouldn’t have time to hunt alone for a while so I didn’t want to replace it and just invested in a crossbow. My daughter lost interest but my son got quite a few deer with the crossbow. He is 17 now and has wanted a compound the last couple years. We just got him a new compound.
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post #6 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:30 PM
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I hunt with a Excalibur matrix 380 it's a 380 fps crossbow and I will not shoot over 30 yds . I agree with Woods and Wexford , it's the crossbow marketing that makes someone believe that x bows are effective at that range , unfortunately some people believe the adds . I hunt thick areas with both x bow and rifle and I don't think I have ever shot a deer at over 100 yds with a gun let alone a x bow .
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post #7 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:40 PM
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As you said there has been bows shooting over 400FPS for a while now. Scorpyd has had a bow that shoots near 450FPS for a while. Not sure exactly when it came out. Still the majority of hunters are using a crossbow that is less than 350 FPS especially with hunting weight arrows. Some crossbows like the Excals are shot with an arrow that is lighter than the majority use for hunting. For example my Excal 330 is probably shooting 300-310 FPS with the arrow setup instead of the 330 FPS that it is rated for.

Just for comparison though I have seen shots on many hunting shows with compounds where guys are shooting 70,80 and even 100 yards.


The race for speed in crossbows was hot and heavy for a while and then it slowed down for a few years. This year it seems that there were several new "fast bows". Who knows were it will end up going.

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post #8 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:44 PM
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No, they have already been legalized. Advancements in FPS, thermal imaging etc., will not effect their use in bow season. However, technological advancements that make the weapons more effective/efficient could reduce the bag limit or length of season. IMHO.
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Last edited by 35 whelen; 01-12-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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post #9 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35 whelen View Post
No, they have already been legalized.
This.

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post #10 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittingguru View Post
Question for discussion- could the speed, accuracy, and longer range killing capabilities of the modern crossbow cause the deer kill numbers to increase to such a degree that it threatens the use of a crossbow in archery season?
I highly doubt it...loss of hunters will likely cancel out any need for season and tag adjustments.
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