The word might be overused, but “epic” would definitely described my day yesterday; at least when it comes to the best deer hunts I’ve ever experienced. You see, Wisconsin legalized crossbows for all deer hunters this years, and I couldn’t help but wait in line a few weeks ago to buy the add-on license to my traditional archery license. I have hunted with a crossbow once before (for hogs in Florida), but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about when it came to deer hunting. The upside to crossbow hunting is that you can get started and become proficient rather easily. The hard part for beginners is knowing shot placement; distance limits and so forth. If you’re not an experienced bowhunter already, it’s going to take some time to get use to crossbow hunting, because — although they are awfully accurate — crossbows are still bows that shoot arrows and kill deer via the cutting action from a broadhead. Shot placement is critical.
LEARN HOW TO FIND EVERY DEER YOU SHOOT. CHECK OUT OUR BLOOD-TRAILING CD That being said, I went to the woods yesterday toting a TenPoint Stealth SS, which is one incredibly accurate crossbow. A lot of that accuracy is due to its lightning-fast speed. The SS generates 352 feet per second from its 185-pound draw weight. That results in 102 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. “Wow,” is all I can say after shooting this crossbow; plus, it is only 6.8 pounds, which makes it super easy to tote afield.
Top a quality crossbow with good optics, and you, too, can pack tight groups out to 50 yards and beyond IF you shoot from a very solid rest. Other than that, they are “money” at the normal bowhunting ranges of 20 to 30 yards.
I would like to spin a tale and tell you how I waited in my stand for hours and shot my deer with precision stealth on my part. Didn’t happen that way. In fact, I was only 50 yards into the woods when I jumped a young doe. The deer ran a few yards and stopped. I knew that there’s usually more than one when it comes to does, so I stepped quietly up the trail after cocking the crossbow, nocking an arrow and making sure the safety was in the “on” position.
Sure enough, as I rounded a bend in the trail, there was a big doe standing broadside within easy shooting distance. I instinctively shouldered the crossbow; acquired a rock-solid rest; and centered the scope’s dot on her lung area. Exhaling slowly, I squeeze the trigger.
WHAP! The bolt hit its mark, and the doe mule kicked high into the air. She put her head down and barreled through the clear-cut. Within five seconds, she was on the ground.
I left for the woods at 3 p.m. At 3:07 p.m. I was already on the cell phone, calling my wife.
“What did you forget here at the house?” Tracy asked.
“Nothing,” I replied. “I’m done.”
“What?!” she said.
“Yep, I got a big doe on the ground,” I replied. “Can you come take some photos of me with her?”
It took several moments of convincing before she realized I wasn’t lying.
Call crossbow hunting whatever you like. I call it a heckuva lot of fun. It’s going to be just one more way we make sure our freezers are full for the pending winter months.
Insert smiley face here.
— Ready to join the crossbow revolution? Check out the lineup of crossbow products and accessories in our online store. Select from rope-cocking devices, side cranks, fletchings, lighted nocks, carbon bolts, broadheads, field points, scopes and more. We also have digital copies of Deer & Deer Hunting Magazines with specialized articles on hunting tactics and equipment selection. www.shopdeerhunting.com