bullwinkle wrote:Kellroy - you make some good points but I completely disagree with you regarding crossbows not being like rifles
I practice my bow almost every week to stay proficient. In 3D tourney, I am normally in the top 3. Pretty decent shot for an old guy. I have shot a crossbow twice. I outshot my bow!!!! With little practice they are very easy to shoot - just like a rifle. I agree on the range and the one shot but don't think this is the same challenge as bowhunting
I have the ultimate respect for long bows and recurves - they are a serious step up from compounds
If it is just about killing deer. He is a very easy way:
Build a stand with a shooting rail 18-20 yards from your bait. Put the stand in a pine tree with very small shooting lanes to protect your cover. Make sure you think through wind direction and where the deer will approach from
Put the bait up against a back drop so they have to face away from you
Put out enough corn to be eaten everyday. Whether is is 1 gallon or two, try to make them want to come first. Time it in the middle of the day so they move early. Add a little molassas if you want to make it real attractive. Molassas is cheap
There is the recipe. You can have your tag filled opening weekend. Trust me, I did when I was young - I killed things but it wasn't really a challenge or much of a sport. I am not too proud of it to be honest
Please don't compare food plotting to baiting. It would take me a book to write down what I do now for my hunting experience, habitate development and deer hunting.
Bullwinkle, that is almost funny. I started with recurve, then long bow, then compound, then crossbow. Not because it was easier, but because as my skill grew, I could get into places, near deer, I could not before. My woodscraft was being tested, not just my aim. Yes, I could do as you suggest, and build a killing range to your design, if I chose to be that kind of hunter, just as you could hunt from within a 1-3 acre pen, and be just as legal. neither would be ethical in my mind. My feeder, serves the same purpose as your food plot, it is to give the deer a reason to stick around the area. it is a lure. You can call it nourishment, or enhancers, or food crop. it doesn't matter, it serves the same in the end. They only real difference, it your food is planted, and mine is placed. Your's is the better draw in fact, for no feeder will ever pull deer from standing corn, or a good food plot. They hit a feeder, when they do not have a better choice.
There is more skill needed for the shot itself with a bow, that's true (assuming the crossbow has been properly tuned, and sighted in.) but the shot alone, is not all there is to the hunt. In fact, while the shot placement is important, and the judgement of the hunter is tested, The shot is but a small part of the hunt itself.
I've hunted with a bent stick, and a bootlace, with knife cut arrows, and been successful, I've hunted rabbits with a spear, just to see if it could be done, and succeeded (barely/ got one rabbit all day) I hunt rabbits and squirrels with a slingshot now, because it is silent, when setting up for a drive. So don't make the mistake that I take the easy route. I don't. i hunt with crossbow, (primarily) because I feel it is more lethal and hence, more humane. IF I take the shot, it dies quickly, not drawn out over hours, and miles. (been there/ done that)
I'm a meat hunter, and I'm working to fill a freezer, that much is true, but it cost me the same for processing for a button buck as a fourteen point buck, so shooting small ones is a stupid move, unless you are hungry NOW. And does taste better anyways. We get only one buck each year, no matter how it is taken. bow, crossbow, or gun. (shotgun here/ shorter distance) and several does, So we are very picky about what bucks we take.
We both COULD hunt in ways we choose not to. You COULD hunt your food plots as a killing ground, by simply fencing it, and leaving the gates wide at night. Push a button, and all the gates close together, and then just push the deer to the far end and start shooting. (It would be legal, but hardly ethical) But you wouldn't consider that hunting, anymore than I would do as you suggested. legal, or not. crossbow is just a tool, how it is used, is up to the wielder, just as your bow is just a tool. The hunt, is in your heart, your mind, and your eye, your judgement, your training, your ethics, and lastly in your equipment.
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.