Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Question Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    I was all set to go out for my first time hunting last year in firearm season, went to the hunter safety class etc and was about as ready as a newbie could be. Unfortunately the guy I was going with had an illness in the family and we were not able to fit anything into the tight firearm season window.

    This year I want to expand that window with a bow. My only experience with bows was shooting a Parker Enforcer 160 crossbow at Cabelas (I liked it a lot), and then struggling like all hell to use a new Bear compound bow belonging to another forum member. This elicited much ribbing as I could not pull the string back all the way, the 2 times I did manage it I found shooting the arrow where I wanted easy enough, but it was hell to pull it past the breaking point (correct term?). Maybe the reach and poundage were just all wrong for me, I don't know.
    My wife is heartily encouraging me to get which ever I want, but I don't know which to get.

    Crossbow- Pros?
    -Easy enough to cock it.
    -Has a trigger so makes it a whole lot easier as it's a more familiar feel.
    -Cock it and wait for the right shot to come to me.
    -Red dot or scope could offer me better shot accuracy.
    Cons?
    -If I screw a shot up it's going to take time to nock another bolt.
    -I perceive there being a stigma about hunting with a crossbow.

    Compound Bow- Pros?
    -I have seen that many view using a compound or longbow as a purer form of hunting (although to quote another forum member, "Can the deer shoot back? So is any of it really sporting?")
    -If I screw a shot up I can nock another arrow relatively quickly with practice.
    Cons?
    - A seasoned hunter told me he recently switched to a crossbow from a compound as he said pulling the string back and waiting for the shot to come to him could take an eternity and then his arms might be too tired to let off a good shot.


    I guess at this point I have a heavy leaning to the crossbow, I've always kind of wanted one even before I considered going hunting, and maybe my negative experience with that 1 compound bow bolstered it, but I would like to hear some unbiased opinions and input from those of you way more seasoned and knowledgeable on these things than I.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    Bow pros:

    - The challenge is greater because of having to move while an animal is right in front of you
    - You'll respect your kill much more and it requires much more skill
    - its more fun

    Crossbow Pros:

    - you don't have to practice
    - its rifle hunting


    The only people who should use a crossbow are those who can't shoot a bow, its cheating and the fact that its permitted in PA is bullshit. If you want to be an archery hunter, then get a bow, practice, have fun and get good, then go hunting. If you want to be a lazy hunter go get a crossbow, shoot it twice and then go hunt with it...

    you know those guys who hit the firing line 2 weeks before season, shoot 5 rounds and all hit the backstop so they are "Ready for hunting season"? those are crossbow hunters
    Last edited by Dredly; April 10th, 2011 at 07:57 PM.
    The first vehicles normally on the scene of a crime are ambulances and police cruisers. If you are armed you have a chance to decide who gets transported in which vehicle, if you are not armed then that decision is made for you.

    Be prepared, because someone else already is and no one knows their intent except them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    I have both...people who make stupid comments above shouldn't reply to these types of threads. If using a crossbow is cheating...so is using a compound bow since it's not a traditional long bow.

    I say use whatever you want...as long as it's legal. Who cares what the "purist" think...putting meat on the table is the bottom line.

    I find the compound bow to be the best choice if you are up in a tree stand. For hunting on the ground, I find the crossbow to work better since you have a bolt in the ready position.

    I do not agree that you don't need to practice with a crossbow. IMO, you need to practice with whatever weapon you use...be it a bow, crossbow, shotgun or rifle. If you don't practice with your weapon, how in the world can you expect to make clean kills? We all owe it to the animals that we hunt to try to make a clean kill and not allow the animal to suffer.

    Both have their place...if I could just have one, I'd probably go with my Excalibur crossbow.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    I have shot both... I don't find the crossbow challenging at all. You still have to let the critters get close (inside 40 yds realistically) but shooting it consistently was just like shooting a rifle at 25 yds.

    If you want the "Easier" way get the crossbow... If you enjoy the competition get the compound bow.

    I bought a compound bow and never looked back. I will caution you, it gets very addictive very, very quickly.... I shot a 3d course with a guy who sold a shit ton of his guns to buy bows. He now has 12 bows, 1 CC gun, 1 rifle, and 1 shot gun.
    When you are called a racist, it just means you won an argument with an Obama supporter.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    make your own bow, twist your own strings and make your own arrows,
    everything else is just for the posers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigandy1966 View Post
    make your own bow, twist your own strings and make your own arrows,
    everything else is just for the posers.
    Yea, right.
    The older I get, the better I used to be.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    If you have time to shoot and enjoy a bit more of a challenge get a compound. If you don't have time to practice get a crossbow. Hunting in the nice fall weather during the rut is my favorite time to be out that is why I have a bow. My father has a crossbow because he can't pull a bow back due to racing motocross, but I found them very easy to learn. If you have good habits shooting a rifle it is close to the same thing.

    As for the pros and cons missing shouldn't happen if you cannot perform a clean kill you should not be out in the woods. The only difference is a compound takes a little bit of practice where I can take the crossbow out load it up shoot a test arrow (or two) and be ready to hunt. I like to shoot a few weeks in advance with my compound before I go hunting to make sure I can score a clean kill.

    As for saying that it is cheating I think that is ridiculous. Some people don't have time to practice enough for a bow and would rather use that time hunting instead of practicing.
    "I quote no authors but God and experience" Principles Osteopathy

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by aubie515 View Post
    I have both...people who make stupid comments above shouldn't reply to these types of threads. If using a crossbow is cheating...so is using a compound bow since it's not a traditional long bow.

    .
    I can remember when compound bows first started to get popular in the early 70's. You heard the same argument, compound bows were cheating. No real bow hunter would use a compound bow. When I bought my compound bow in the mid 70's I still heard that I was cheating. Many wanted compound bows made illegal to hunt with.

    Now when I hear someone putting down crossbows it makes me laugh. I think bullshit, if they have a problem with it use a recurve bow instead of a compound. I used recurve when I first started hunting. When I first started to use a compound bow it was so much easier it did feel like I was cheating. I did not care because I was after the meat.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    Chip, why don't we go to Cabela's this week? I can guarantee you, almost beyond any doubt, that my bow was the wrong draw for you because of my longer reach. We can go up on Thursday or Friday, you can find one that matches your size. Knowing you, you'd enjoy a compound bow a lot more than a crossbow, just because of the amount of competition between you and Dave and I.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Compound Bow or Crossbow? Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by shooker8 View Post
    As for saying that it is cheating I think that is ridiculous. Some people don't have time to practice enough for a bow and would rather use that time hunting instead of practicing.
    Pretty sure that is exactly the point... it is cheating.

    just like saying if you don't have time to lift and get into shape then use performance enhancers.


    the reason archery season is so long is due to how difficult it is, crossbows virtually eliminate that and the only "difficult" part is posing up where a deer will walk within 40 yards of you
    The first vehicles normally on the scene of a crime are ambulances and police cruisers. If you are armed you have a chance to decide who gets transported in which vehicle, if you are not armed then that decision is made for you.

    Be prepared, because someone else already is and no one knows their intent except them.

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