retiredsailor wrote:Am seriously considering moving from my compound to a crossbow. However, I have no familiarity
with crossbows and only know one guy how uses this weapon. (I hunt in West Virginia where one
has to have a doctor's written statement saying that you can't properly handle a compound due to
hand or shoulder problems - mine is a shoulder ailment). Therefore, I am truly a novice at this.
Since there must be a good number of folks on this forum who are knowledgeable of crossbows,
I would welcome inputs regarding what brand, style, poundage, etc., I might want to consider. I'm
not far enough along in this discovery effort to have any idea of what price ranges I might want to consider.
Also, what about bolts? Any specific brands I should consider or shy away from? The advantages of sight
pins versus a scope? And, of course, broad heads are another consideration. Can I use the broad heads
I presently use with my compound or are there brands that are specifically designed for use with a
Since crossbows shoot a good bit faster than compounds, will I need to acquire a special target for
practicing with a crossbow. If so, any recommendations?
If I do decide to go with the crossbow, I want to make sure I have plenty of time to put together
the proper gear and become adequately proficient prior to this coming Fall season.
Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome.
I hunt in Ohio, where anyone can hunt with a crossbow. It is just another choice for bow season, and I use one most of the time. There are some very good crossbows out there by Ten Point, and Excaliber, but most guys I know hunt with cheaper brands such as horton, or Barnett. I use a barnett Demon. Most crossbows are in the range of 150lbs, there are rules for each state as to what is allowed, so make sure you check your requirements. Hortons fire a bolt through a channel that requires rail grease, and can use flat ended bolts. I use a Barnett which fires off a rest and no rail grease. It uses curved nocks to it's bolts. So use the right kind of bolt for each weapon, but as to brand, that is a personal choice. I use Barnett bolts because I know they are right for it, and because the price is the same. As to your sights. peep sight with iron pins work well, optical light gatering pins are good too. I have used a reddot optical sight and like them, but I would not reccommend a scope. The sight picture is great! And you can make out every breath that deer makes, but what you CAN'T see is the small branch between your bolt and it's target. The focas is too good for the weapon. I know guys who use them, and I did. But it cost me a few shots so I replaced it, with a reddot. Broadheads are a large catagory. Almost ever broadhead you would use with a bow will transfer to a crossbow very well. Though they do make mechanicals specifically for crossbows now (it's fairly new) I have never seen the need. Unless you hit bone, you will be makeing two holes in that deer as the bolt passes through, no matter what head you use. I had a problem with broadhead with bleaders planing a bit so I use silver strike mechanicals. They are cheap and they work well, though everyone seems to have thier own prefrence. It is a misconception that crossbow are much faster than bows. It is simalar to being hit by a smartcar /arrow traveling at 60mph, or a mack truck/bolt traveling at 60mph. the bolt has a lot more follow through. Some bows are faster than some crossbows. As for targets, yes get a block target rated for crossbows or you will blow right through it. Layereed targets will last longest and slow your bolt by gripping the shaft. I have owned recurve crossbows and compound crossbows. compounds have a slightly higher speed, slightly longer range (5-10 yards more) and will fit commercially available cases. I had to hand make a case for my recurve. If your shoulder is the problem, there are several cocking devices that can make cocking easier, such as cocking straps or winches. Any good bow shop can set you up with one. You will get one shot, so make it a good one. Practice, and check your sights before each hunt.I would exspect to pay roughly $350-$400 for a starter set ready to hunt, but I haven't priced new ones in quite a while. I would look at used ones as well. You could pick one up fr half or less. One other thing to concider, don't buy something that can not be repaired near you, unless you are ok with shipping times and costs.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.