Crossbow Myths By Ten Point Crossbow
Aug 1, 2007 - 7:24:35 AM
Popular Crossbow Myths vs. the Facts by Ten Point Crossbow
Myth:A crossbow is not really a bow.
comparing a crossbow to a compound bow, shot with a release, the differences between them are:
The crossbow trigger mechanism
holds the draw for the shooter.
The bow assembly is positioned
The crossbow is aimed like a
weapons fire an arrow equipped with a broadhead designed to penetrate an
animal, causing it to hemorrhage to death.
The arrow coming from both weapons travels approximately the same
distance, at approximately the same speed and energy, with approximately the
Myth:Crossbows make deer hunting too easy.
Fact:The advantage a crossbow has over a conventional bow is that it
holds the bow in the drawn, or ready to fire, position for the shooter.
While shooting a crossbow is generally easier
to master than shooting a vertical bow, it cannot be argued that it is just
The crossbow hunter must
have the same woodsmanship ability and nearly all of the same shooting skills
as the vertical bowhunter.
Myth:Anyone can pick up a crossbow, practice for an hour, and be ready to
head to the woods.
Fact:Any experienced crossbow hunter will tell you that there are many ways
to make a bad shot with a crossbow.
First, if a crossbow is not cocked perfectly straight, it will not shoot
If the bowstring is pulled
even 1/16th of an inch to the right or left of center, that
difference can translate into a six-inch error at 20-yards.
Additionally, like any conventional bow
shooter, a crossbow shooter must maintain a proper stance, control breathing,
squeeze rather than “jerk” the trigger, steady the entire body, and follow
through (watch the entire arrow flight through the sighting mechanism) after
And finally, the crossbow
hunter must also be a good judge of distance and be practiced at shooting the
crossbow at varying distances between five and approximately 35 yards.
will shoot much faster and farther than compound bows.
controlled conditions, a series of velocity and kinetic energy tests were
performed on 2 compound bows with 70# peak draw weights (248 and 205 feet per
second) and 2 crossbows with 150# peak draw weights (228 and 242 feet per second).
The bottom line was that both the compound
bows and crossbows produced similar ballistic results.
That is, the crossbows did not shoot farther
or faster than compound bows, as some people claim.
If fact, the arrow from the crossbow begins to lose
velocity and energy slightly faster than the compound bow after 30 yards of
flight because it shoots a lighter/shorter arrow.
However, that difference, while measurable,
is slight and insignificant considering the typical whitetail deer shot is less
than 30 yards.
Myth:Crossbows have the knockdown power of a
Fact:Comparison tests have proven that there is a negligible ballistic
difference between compound bows and crossbows.
These tests disprove the claims that crossbows perform like
In other words, a crossbow has
no ballistic similarities to a firearm.
Myth:Crossbows shoot as flat as black powder rifles.
Fact:Again, through comparison tests it has been proven that crossbows do not
perform the same as firearms.
typically start loosing velocity and energy at 30 yards compared to a black powder
rifle which begins to loose velocity and energy at 100 yards or more.
Myth:Crossbow hunters are less experienced than conventional bowhunters, and
will injure more deer.
Fact:There is no evidence to support this claim. Crossbow hunters
must apply the same basic skills and techniques as conventional
All hunters have to start
Nobody enters the woods for
the first time as an expert.
As a hunter
gains more experience in shot placement, judging distance and overall hunting
skill, they become far less likely to injure a deer.
In addition, one of the largest groups of new
crossbow hunters are experienced bow hunters who can no longer hunt with a
conventional bow. They bring a vast amount of prior bowhunting knowledge with
them. Finally, plenty of conventional bowhunters injure deer.
The best approach to the issue of ethical
shooting would be for individual states to consider requiring proficiency
testing for all hunters.
Myth:Crossbow hunters are less ethical, dedicated
and proficient than conventional bowhunters.
Fact:This statement requires one to assume that
conventional bowhunters in general are skilled experts, who share a common passion
and fervor, and are inherently ethical hunters.
At face value alone, that assumption is unsupportable.
It is safer to assume and easier to support
the argument that many conventional bowhunters would have greater success and
more “ethical hunts” if they used crossbows.
Myth:The crossbow is the preferred poaching weapon.
Fact:At the request of the American Crossbow Federation, Michael J. Budzik,
the then Director of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, wrote a letter on
December 13, 1999,
addressing various crossbow related issues.
In his letter he addressed the poaching issue with the following:
“From a law enforcement standpoint, violation statistics are
just about equal between crossbows and vertical bows, and the total of both is
an extremely small portion of the overall enforcement effort.”
As you can
experience and data suggest that the anti-crossbow claims about crossbows being
the preferred weapon of poachers is simply not true.
Conventional wisdom also suggests that the
crossbow would not be an efficient poaching weapon.
Myth:Crossbows are unsafe.
previously mentioned letter from Michael J. Budzik, he also states:
“Likewise, our statistics regarding hunter incidents
(accidents) show very little difference between the two bow types.
Since 1976 we have had only 21
archery-related hunting incidents; 10 caused by longbow and 11 by
Harvest data suggest that more
people hunt with crossbows than with longbows in
some crossbow manufacturers have been pro-active in adding additional safety
features to their crossbows to reduce hunter/shooter injuries and also reduce
the opportunity for a dry-fire situation.
Myth:Permitting crossbows in bow season will decimate the deer population.
published year-by-year deer harvest data going all the way back to 1900.
first allowed crossbows in archery season in 1976 and the conclusions are
Over the 18 year span since
crossbow use was permitted, crossbows did not decimate the deer population; the
archery season was not eliminated or shortened; and crossbows did nothing to
diminish archers’ opportunities to hunt or their chances for success.
On the contrary, the opposite occurred.
The deer population increased; the season got
longer; more counties opened for hunting; more hunters participated; and the
harvest-to-permits-sold ratio improved dramatically.
Data available from
Georgia support the same
conclusions as that of
Myth:Allowing crossbows will overcrowd the woods, decreasing the chances of
success for the conventional bowhunter and will threaten the existence of, or
at least, the length of archery-only seasons.
Fact:Referring again to the
data, since the advent of crossbow hunting during archery season, the deer
population has increased; the season got longer; more counties have opened for
hunting; more hunters have participated; and the harvest-to-permits-sold ratio
are: these crossbow myths have no merit.
To the contrary, the crossbow has expanded participation in hunting at a time
when such expansion is both desirable and needed.
Finally, crossbow use has not caused the
harm that the anti-crossbow proponents have predicted.