Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

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retiredsailor
 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:10 am

Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby retiredsailor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 am

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
crossbow?
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.
It isn't what happens to us, it is how we deal with it, that matters most.

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kellory
 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby kellory » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:35 am

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
crossbow?
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.

retiredsailor
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:10 am

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby retiredsailor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:20 am

Thanks for the tremendous amount of info you provided, kellory.
That is exactly the sort of input I was hoping for. You have made some excellent suggestions, and I will certainly keep these in mind as I move forward. I had never heard or read about having
to use grease for certain set ups. Doesn't sound like something I want to mess with.
again, thanks much for your recommendations. I'll be sure to
Post on this forum what I end up going with.
It isn't what happens to us, it is how we deal with it, that matters most.

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kellory
 
Posts: 2701
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby kellory » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:28 am

My pleasure. Let me know if I can assist you further. :) (I sent you a PM with additional info.)
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.

Bowriter
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby Bowriter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:21 am

I will add just one caveat. There are only two advantages to a crossbow: 1-you do not have to practice as much as with a vertical bow. 2-They allow you to continue to bowhunt when your body starts to wear out.

Everything else is a minus, not a plus.

cpolarbear
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:59 am

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby cpolarbear » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:47 pm

American Hunter just had several good write-ups, you can access them online at:
http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/ ... s-for-fall
http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/ ... ng-part-1/
http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/ ... ng-part-2/

There are a lot of choices out there for many different price points. I believe many states have a 150 lb minimum draw weight on a crossbow to be legal.

PS, I'm another retired sailor who makes regular trips to WV, though I haven't had the pleasure to hunt there yet. Bro-in-law took a decent 8 this year, though ...

cpolarbear
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:59 am

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby cpolarbear » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:56 pm

As with anything else, though, I HIGHLY recommend going someplace to try one out, at least being able to shoulder it, feel it's weight and balance, etc... I checked out a couple recently at my local "Dick's Sporting Goods" and found that the really cool looking one was also more unevenly balanced and heavier than it's counterpart. The one that felt better to me was a Horton product, though not the top-line model...

Good luck!!

retiredsailor
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:10 am

Re: Looking for Suggestions/Recommendations for Crossbow

Postby retiredsailor » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:36 am

Thanks for the various inputs and suggestions. Last week my doctor signed off on my request (required by West Virgina, where I hunt) to qualify me to receive a crossbow permit - due to a shoulder problem. Also last week, I visited the Eastern Sportsman's Show in Harrisburg and handled several different models and brands of crossbows. The one suggestion above regarding the 'balance weight' is a very valid one. I have found that some seem to be front-end heavy, especially once the quiver with a few bolts is added. Since I've started my research into the crossbow world, I've been surprised by several aspects that I'd never heard of or thought about. For example, the need to periodically lubricate the shooting rail.
My criteria is centered around several things, including price, weight, speed (fps), pull weight, overall design, and of course, reading numerous other folks' reviews of the various items. Since I'm approaching 70 years of age and am not a 'big framed' individual, the overall weight of the bow and the pull poundage are certainly factors I must consider. Also, I hadn't previously considered this, but one's height influences one's ability to cock the string.
Have narrowed my search to essentially 4 choices........Barnett's Jackal and Wildcat C5, and the Parker Bushwhacker and Enforcer. Since all 4 of these are considered lower end or entry level items, I haven't found any in local sporting goods stores (they all seem to carry the higher end/higher priced models).
At one booth at the Harrisburg show I nearly bought a Barnett Jackal. The salesman had the unit marked as $350, but with a show price special of $299. The item felt good, seemed fairly well balanced, not very heavy (about 7 pounds), and looks like there is some quality built into it, and, of course, Barnett has been making crossbows for a very long time. However, I procrastinated (as I am prone to do) and after leaving the show, my son and I visited the local Bass Pro Shop..........where I found that their normal price for the Jackal was $299.
Am leaning toward the Parker Bushwhacker, with maybe also purchasing their Sidewinder crank/cocking device. Watched an online video on properly using the Sidewinder and found that it looks simple enough, although a bit pricey.
Again, I appreciate the various ideas and suggestions I've received on this forum. As always, welcome any further inputs.
It isn't what happens to us, it is how we deal with it, that matters most.


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