Crossbows are often considered tools for new hunters, elderly hunters, and those with physical limitations, but they’re available to everyone during archery season in most states. You could benefit from incorporating a crossbow into some of your bowhunting strategies regardless of your age, gender, skills, or mindset.
Most modern crossbows are:
- accurate right out of the box and don’t require much tuning
- easier to become proficient with than a compound or recurve
- easy to operate thanks to mechanical cocking devices
- incredibly powerful, making them ideal for big-game hunting
- quieter and less intimidating to use than a gun
- rugged and durable
- don't take up much space.
In addition, crossbows benefit the archery and bowhunting industry by supporting businesses, increasing participation numbers which in turn increases conservation funding, and helping hunters control deer populations, especially in urban areas where firearms may be restricted.
6 Ideal Situations for Crossbow Use
Truth is there are some situations when using a crossbow can be advantageous, including:
- when they’re struggling to use or find success with a compound or vertical bow
- in cold weather when tight muscles and baggy clothes make drawing a vertical bow difficult
- when they’re confined to a blind or small space with limited room for drawing a vertical bow
- when pursuing species with extremely good eyesight, like wild turkeys, and minimizing movement is key
- when hunting a new species and the transition to learning the animal and habitat is overwhelming
- and when they need more energy for penetration, such as for hunting hogs or big game
Accepting the Crossbow
The decision to use a crossbow or a vertical bow is personal. Whether someone uses a crossbow to start bowhunting or finds their way to one after an injury or because of time constraints, crossbows have their applications and can be good tools for any hunter, wherever the law allows. Thankfully, awareness and acceptance of these tools is steadily increasing.
Know the Regulations
Before you buy a crossbow and take it hunting, check your local and state regulations regarding appropriate crossbow usage and approved equipment.
Crossbow regulations vary by state and are ever changing. According to the TenPoint Crossbow Technologies website, crossbows are legal to use during archery seasons in 28 states and many other states allow them with certain restrictions. For example, some states only allow physically challenged hunters to use them; others only allow private landowners to use them. Some states also have speed caps on crossbow usage, while others have minimum bolt length requirements. If you’re unsure of the laws — or which license to buy — call your state wildlife agency and talk to a representative. Then, visit your local archery pro shop to see, test and inspect multiple crossbow options to find one that fits your body and budget.
It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the crossbow or a vertical bow because both are welcome at Bushmen Safaris. Contact Dani Anderson-Baker at [email protected] or call 208.322.5902 to learn more about hunting at Bushmen Safaris.