bullwinkle wrote:My neighbor hunts with a crossbow over bait - get a shooting rail on your tree stand. He can hold it all day
[color=#FF0000]You are right on the ethical kills. Crossbow shoot just like a rifle.[/color]
I have tried to stay out of this discussion, because I do hunt crossbow, and baiting is legal here. It is your state you are discussing, not mine, but a crossbow does NOT fire as a rifle, nor does it act like one. it is, by it's physics, and the limits of the material, a bow. Not a firearm. The trigger mechanism is completely different, in fact the only thing the two types have in common is the trigger itself, which is designed for the function, so it is "trigger "shaped.
the resemblance to firearms is backwards. It is long guns that resemble crossbows, not the other way around. crossbows were here long before gunpowder. (As long as 400BC), and the shape of long guns derives from what they learned from crossbows.
the ballistics of a crossbow bolt, and and arrow, are roughly equal. The bolt is heavier, and hits with more follow through, but a good compound, and an average crossbow will shoot the same distances. within i few yards. many compounds will out distance the effective range of a crossbow. there are a few high dollar crossbows that will out perform the standard, that is true, but they are NOT the normal hunting crossbow. (there is one that is based on the stock of an AR-15)
I hunt with a crossbow BECAUSE it is more ethical, not less. Because, it make the one shot I get, More lethal, as the follow through will blow two clear holes instead of one plugged with an arrow. My blood trails are short, and obvious. It is the equivalent of being hit by a truck moving 60mph, or a motorcycle moving 60mph, the follow through is the only real difference.
With a bow, there is often a chance of a second shot, not so with a crossbow. My shot is noisy, and the gyrations required to recock the average crossbow, will guarantee, no second shot. and while there a couple of self cockers on the market, they are not the norm, due to the cost.
And as to setting up over a big grain pile, there are a couple of problems with that. First the cost, corn is not cheap, we are up to $10.00 per 40# bag here, and a large pile would be likely be what? 10 bags, that is $100. just for a lure. and most of that will be eaten at night. And once you are busted, you are busted, and it goes to waste. Move it? even MORE of your scent on now, and even less effective. Most guys never move a grain pile for that reason. And if it doesn't move, it is NO DIFFERENT than a food plot. It is food, planted for the sole reason, of luring, and feeding animals.
I have never found it to be very effective to set up over food anyways. I will hunt the approaches and the funnels leading to it, and between bedding, food, and water. where the deer travel, because the bigger deer, will not come to a pile during daylight anyways. only the younger, and smaller deer do (mainly) or the incredibly stupid deer. (of which there aren't many) There is NO STATISTICAL DIFFERENCE here in Ohio, between deer taken with bait, and deer taken without bait. It is just another tool to try. No different than rattling, or scent lures, it is used to try to draw deer close.
There are many ways to hunt, and I intend to try them all before I die. with one exception. (I will not hunt inside a cage) Others will, and that is their choice, as long as it is legal where they are, but it is not for me. As long as it is legal, every choice should be allowed for every person, regardless of age, or infirmary, because your choice of weapon, is as personal as your underwear. and no one else's business. As our season progresses, here (Ohio) we simple add choices to what weapon you choice to use. we start with bow (all bows, including crossbow) and add guns during gun season.(If you choose to use a bow, or a gun, no one cares) There are no conflicts, no problems of any kind, with this arrangement. You simply list what kind of weapon was used when you register the deer with ODNR.
Now, don't tell me a crossbow is a rifle, there is no comparison.
Don't tell me a crossbow requires no skill or stealth, I know better better, all woodscraft is the same as a bow.
Don't tell me that deer flock to grain piles like metal filling to a magnet, because that simply is not so.
Don't tell me there is some great advantage over a bow, because there is not, other than it is stored power over power on demand. but since I never even move (with a bow) until I have a shot, that advantage is nil.
Is there an advantage in using a shooting rail, that is possible, but as a horizontal bow in a vertical world, it is more likely to be busted, because it looks wrong. and the more horizontal, (shooting rail) the more to get busted by.
I will get only one shot, but the one shot I will get, is the more ethical shot. with a quicker kill, and a surer bloodtrail.. But that is all AFTER the shot. All the woods craft is the same, the prep is the same, the range is the same (give or take a few yards) and the hunter is the same. i still hunt with a bow, when stalking, or hunting light. But I know, that the better tool for the job, is a crossbow, in a fixed position, and the better mobile weapon is the Bow, due to the weight of a crossbow.
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.