I Stand On Crossbows
(Originally published in the Merritt
as long as I can remember this issue has been
festering among archers. The Internet forums are full of heated
between the vertical and horizontal archers. What puzzles me most is
some archery organizations feed this controversy by purposely spreading
hype and misinformation, and for what? Mainly, to protect their own
are just some of the commonly made statements that surface with
are an ineffective hunting weapon.”
lead to unethical behavior”
are not archery equipment, they are guns with a
are not traditional archery”.
I say. Lets look at some undeniable facts.
the crossbow traditional?
bet. Crossbows are as much traditional as the longbow and certainly
traditional than the modern compound bows. The first mention of
be found from 800 years ago in Europe and more than 1000 years ago in
How much more traditional can it get?
the crossbow lead hunters to unethical behavior?
is the most ludicrous of all the statements against the crossbow.
it is a ludicrous statement for any hunting weapon choice, be that a
longbow, compound or a crossbow. Weapons do not lead to unethical
People, however, can and at times will engage in unethical behavior
of what they use to hunt with. In other words it is the person using
that has to make the decision to use that tool in an ethical manner and
its capability or not.
crossbows or not archery equipment?
they are. A crossbow is styled and functions exactly on the same
of a vertical bow. An arrow is placed on the string and if the string
released it will catapult the arrow off the shelf. The mechanics are
the same too in that just like with any bow the string is attached to
end of a flexible limb that bends backward if the string is pulled and
reflexes when the string is let loose, thus creating the force that
arrow. The only difference is that the bow is mounted onto a
“stick” (that is
all it was in the beginning of the crossbow history) and that the
held by a mechanism that has to be released with some sort of trigger.
different than using a release aid for a compound bow with the only
that the string is not held in place manually with muscle power. The
is mounted onto a stock that looks similar to a gunstock, that is the
similarity it has with a rifle and that does not make the crossbow a
by a long shot – no pun intended.
by a long shot”; that brings me neatly to the
are an ineffective hunting weapon.”
If that is so then how could a small band of Swiss freedom
some 800 odd years ago send the mighty longbow army of the Austrian and
Emperor running and scrambling for safer places? There are many other
examples from early history proving the efficiency and accuracy of the
crossbow. The crossbow, just like any other game harvesting tool, is a
accurate and efficient weapon when used within its limits. A crossbow
the same efficiency and accuracy range as the modern compound bow.
expanding deer populations every where and the efforts of game
to control this deer explosion, more hunting opportunities have been
and seasons have been made longer. Shouldn’t we welcome more
hunters into our
ranks so the wildlife populations can be controlled effectively? What I
understand is that archery organizations complain about the decline of
hunter numbers, yet they fight with tooth and nail to stop crossbow
from joining our ranks.
good news is that more and more American states are slowly
crossbow hunting for every legal hunter, and not like in the past, just
physically challenged. It seems that the game commissions are starting
behind the smoke screens put up by traditional archers and their single
often self-serving, organizations. Ohio, one of the first states to
crossbow hunting has proven that crossbows are indeed a very effective
harvest more deer. It is encouraging to see that more states such as
Kentucky and Tennessee are following the Ohio example and are
crossbow for all hunters. As time goes on more and more states will
despite the cries of the traditional archery hunters and their
where do I stand on the crossbow issue? I guess by now
it’s pretty obvious.
I am in favor of allowing any person with hunting in his blood the
to enjoy his time in the field with the weapon of his choice, and if
weapon happens to be a crossbow, then so be it. As a bowhunter I do not
the least bit threatened by this new “competition”.
Neither do I feel any
prejudice against anyone for the choice of weapon they make, including
bows. Heck, I may even pick up a crossbow to hunt with and extend my
hunting season. There is plenty of room and lots of game to accommodate
law abiding and legal hunter to his hearts content. As I see it
add another dimension and opportunity to our hunting legacy.
me the most troubling aspect in the whole crossbow issue is seeing
energy hunters exert squabbling about the pros and cons of crossbows.
Meanwhile, these same hunters blissfully ignore the real issues that
our hunting heritage. Wouldn’t it be wiser for us to be more
tolerant of each
other and pick our battles with the ones that really threaten our way
instead of with our own?
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