All About Crossbows, November 19, 2012
Although these deer were taken with the Stryker, one of the world’s most powerful crossbow, they were shot at 30 and 7 yards, within the capabilities of almost any modern crossbow.
This show may be heard following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If it is not the current show, it is still available as an archived show and on iTunes.
Hunts with 10 crossbows from seven makers are featured on this show as the author of the popular book, Crossbow Hunting, describes his experiences with these hunting tools taking game as diverse as squirrels, deer, wild hogs, black bear and alligators in places as far-ranging as Alaska, Eastern Canada, Idaho and Georgia, his home state.
Not only does he use the higher priced crossbows, he very often hunts with the least expensive crossbows in a company’s line on the theory that if these low-priced crossbows will kill game, it is likely that the higher-priced ones will too. These hunts include many around, and even in, his home town of Sandersville where he describes taking two deer on a single hunt in a friend’s backyard and another two from a small parcel of wooded land within the city limits.
Crossbows featured on the show were produced by Barnett, Horton, Excalibur, TenPoint, Parker and Fred Bear. Bear once made crossbows, but discontinued them from their line. The featured crossbows ranged in price from about $150 to over $1,000, with the cost of some 2012 crossbows reaching $2,000.
Modern trends in crossbows are for faster and faster arrow speeds with many 2012 models having 200-pound pull weights. For taking deer, bear and similar game at ranges of 40 yards and closer (the recommended range for most crossbows) pull weights of 150-175 pounds are adequate. Such bows are usually in the mid-price range of most company’s offerings and offer excellent buys as $400-500 crossbows.
If you want the best in modern technology including carbon-fiber and titanium components, cocking accessories, monopods and high-quality optics combined with a brand-name camo stock, this will push the price to the upper end of the manufacturer’s range.
The best service, supplies and support are from companies such as Horton, TenPoint, Barnett and Excalibur who only make crossbows rather than from companies who primarily produce other outdoor items and added crossbows as a sideline. Some, like Fred Bear, discontinued crossbows, while others revamp their crossbows almost every season, sometimes even using component assemblies bought in from other companies.
Modern crossbows allow a young hunter like this to go into the field with an appropriately sized hunting tool that will take deer sized game and older shooters to continue to archery hunt decades after they can no longer pull a hunting-weight bow.
Crossbows were, and are, effective close range hunting tools with sufficient diversity to fit almost anyone’s needs to hunt anything from small game to elephants. I have a number of YouTube videos up about crossbows. Links to two of the most popular are given below: