Cross Bows in Iowa....? I hope not

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by thecreedeer, Dec 14, 2014.

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  1. bowmaker

    bowmaker Member

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    Ok as I have said before I am currently using a crossbow because I am old and have bad soulders. I started shooting a compound bow in 1984 with one from Bass Pro with a 65lb draw and 60% letoff. I killed some deer with it, but then in 1995 I move to the farm and built my first wooden selfbow from an ash tree there and put the compound up in the garage for many years. I built my own bows, my own arrows and my own bowstrings and killed some deer with them. When it got to where I couldn't shoot much with these stickbows I tried an old Ben Pearson glass recurve and killed a deer with it. Then when that didn't work anymore I tried to go back to that old compound with miserable results and painful shoulders again. I decided to make the jump to a crossbow and researched the crap out of them and finally decided on an Excalibur Axiom recurve crossbow with a 175lb draw weight and 305 fps.

    I have used this to kill a buck last year and a turkey last spring and to miss two deer this fall. I will go out on a limb and say all those of you who are condeming the crossbow as highly accurate deadly short range gun that shoots an arrow have NEVER made an attempt to hunt with one. Yes my axiom was pretty close when I got it from BassPro in Des Moines because it was already set up and on display there. The sales person didn't know his butt from a hole in the ground about cross bows and I even had to show him the proper way to cock and load it. After I got it home and could tinker with it I got it set up and zeroed from a bench at 20 yards, but then the difference between 20 and 30 yards was a drop of 8 to 10 inches so back to the bench for zeroing. Every time I changed arrows or heads or broadheads or even adding Luminocks it made some times big differences in point of impact and I shot a lot to get comfortable with my ability to make a killing shot all the time.

    When I got to hunting with it I learned more about some of the cons of the crossbow. They are akaward and heavy and noisey to carry through the brush and heavy to hold while in the stand. If you hang it on a hook they can be harder to bring into action than a compound bow hanging in the same place. With the spread of the limbs you must be very carfull about clearance so that a limb doesn't contact a part of the stand or tree trunk or limb and ruin your shot or your crossbow limb. You must also hold it very level or that will also throw your shot way off. They are pretty noisey on the shot and with a proper weight head the speed drops to around 275 fps. One of my misses this fall was a doe that actually ducked under the arrow at about 35 yards as I shot from the ground from behind a cedar tree. Yardage estimates become very critical because the different aiming icons are set for 20, 30, 40 yards and the drop from 20 to 40 yards is close to 20 + inches. I didn't have anything to range on and no time to get a yardage and in the excitment of getting the shot off I might have even used the wrong aiming icon, but the net result was a shot about 8 inches over her back. The next oprotunity came right at the end of shooting hours on an overcast day. Even though there was still legal shooting time it was dark enough that I couldn't see the cross hairs against the side of the buck, so no shot. The next miss came about because of range estimation and second guessing myself. Had a buck come to the field with a doe and hang around for a while. I made a couple of can calls and he came with in to about 40 yards and saw me move as I manuvered to get a shot from the ground again behind a cedar tree. It was getting late and he was moving away when I stopped him with another bleat. Same story as before, no way to range him but I guessed around 40 yards, but because I had shot over on the doe earlier I decided I needed to hold lower to avoid the same thing, and you guessed it, shot under him.

    For those of you who really believe that any shot with a crossbow is a simple slam dunk you are sooo very wrong. The estimate of 75,000 to 90,000 added bow hunters just because of allowing crossbows is way off compared to actual results in other states like Ohio or Kentucky. These states show an increase of 5 to 10 percent and an increase in harvest linked to crossbows of about 1 percent of total harvest. These are deffinatly not the doomsday predictions that I have read on this thread.
    I can still get 1 any sex tag for archery season and one for shotgun so if I kill 1 buck and 1 doe with those tags how am I damaging the herd any more that anyother bow hunter who kills 1 buck with a bow and a doe with a shotgun just because I killed my buck with my crossbow? :rolleyes:
     
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  3. nannyslayer

    nannyslayer New Member

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    #1 rule while shooting a crossbow. Keep your thumb on the hand holding the crossbow down...
     
  4. CR Archer

    CR Archer Member

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    You sir are a man I admire and respect, as a fellow screwed up shoulder crossbow hunter with 26 years of compound bow hunting I enjoyed reading every word of your post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  5. retiredmurph

    retiredmurph Member

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    Digging for facts I found this article on the Bowhunting.com site.
    copy and paste this entire line.
    www.bowhunting.com/blog/2013/2/20/crossbow-impact-on-michigan-hunters
     
  6. gunrunr

    gunrunr Life Member

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    http://www.bowhunting.com/blog/2014/9/19/the-crossbow-effect/

    That's some scary statistics - they claim 51% of all archery kills are made with a crossbow and they are killing so many deer with a crossbow now, they are considering shortening the archery season. Sure wouldn't like to see that happen in Iowa.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  7. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's how much I'm "not against crossbows.... I had the crossbow permit going into place after my July fall (about 6-7 years ago) while putting up a stand, shattering my arm into pieces and breaking my 7th vertebrae. My whole arm was all titanium pins & plates & screws. Think that make pulling a bow back hard? [​IMG]

    I was very disciplined with rehab that I was just able to pull 60 lbs back by the time bow season came around & was not easy and honestly it hurt a good bit (could have easily used the crossbow that year). (yes, usually 60 lbs would be nothing, very easy). For the disabled, handicapped, elderly- I don't think anyone would argue this. Looking into them, shooting them, etc when I was ready to go, I absolutely felt kinda guilty at how much like a gun they were and how much easier I could get away with things vs my bow. No drawing the bow, no trying to hold it back & not have a deer see me, not having to time my draw perfectly. I really did feel guilty on how much more effective it was going to make me. It was about Sept 25 I finally felt good enough to do the bow and drop the crossbow & felt a sigh of relief. Not that anyone else should feel like I did but I sure had some guilt on how much easier it was. And, by no means am I casting any guilt on disabled using crossbows, they should be proud, have fun & utilize them and the current laws in iowa support all this. Personally, I want to defend the current laws though & obviously our laws and regulations for our delicate resource are under attack & are constantly looking to be pimped out by special interest groups. Only point though I'm saying, yep, I support the handicapped, elderly, disabled. Now, I'm only mentally handicapped so I don't think I'd qualify. Folks physically unable to shoot a bow have a welcome spot in our state's laws. Someday I may be there again and I'll absolutely take one up if my body doesn't allow me to use a bow & arrow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  8. River1

    River1 New Member

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    Won't be long and Farm Bureau will start a crossbow lobby.;)
     
  9. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Huh, kinda like those "unintended consequences" folks don't ever seem to think through with all this stuff?!?! :rolleyes:
     
  10. fletch920

    fletch920 Active Member

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    It seems that the individuals most concerned about the use of crossbows are worried about a delicate resource. What they meant to say was, "trophy bucks". I have yet to ever hear anyone that is not a "trophy buck" hunter make negative comments about crossbows. Keep in mind that the Iowa DNR is not in the business of managing a herd for trophy bucks. They never have been and never will be. Their primary concern is a healthy herd that stays at acceptable population levels. Trophy buck hunting is an obsessive quest for a percentage of deer hunters. It breeds selfishness, paranoia, and jealousy. It is not the objective of the state to support or expand that mindset. Quite honestly, if your interest in deer is for trophy bucks, your best option is to own and manage ground and hunt it with whatever weapon floats your boat. Or, pay to hunt managed ground. But, the states primary concern is to manage the resource in a way that allows the most people an opportunity to gain benefit. Not to provide a few with the best opportunity at a trophy buck.
     
  11. loneranger

    loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Swore I'd leave this post,,but I am still tempted to reading when I see another post. I agree with the last post so far. I remember when I lived up in NE MI. National forest,public hunting area. My friends and I were very proud of our yearling bucks. They were trophies to us. As far as crossbows taking out too many bucks,,com'on,,in Norhtern MI, the stat is that 80% of ALL bucks are taken out during the first 3 days of the rifle season. I have investigated other states that have included crossbows and they show a small percentage of deer taken. Total population of the State residents makes a difference. MI-9million people---Iowa 3 million.
     
  12. earl

    earl Stonecold

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    The fact is all dnr's someway or form mange the herd for trophy bucks and always will. If iowa starts loosing it's status as a trophy state and nr stop pounding on the door to get in which brings in the almighty dollar watch what happens. If you stop and take around the other states trying to be a trophy state (with point restrictions, four on one side, got to have a minimum spread and etc.) dnr's and tv hosts are trying to breed trophy hunters. The phrases ( QDM, BBD or let the little ones go so the big ones grow ring a bell. Iowa is one of the biggest states that push it , just turn on your tv. As far as trophy hunters goes, any one that buys a hunting license is seeking that almighty bruiser, just some people aren't as lazy as others or maybe they just try for that trophy buck a little harded. Well then comes the crossbow and everyone sees the dollar and trophy buck .
     
  13. Liv4Rut

    Liv4Rut Active Member

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    Land acreage makes a huge difference as well. Michigan has 19.3 million acres of forested land. Iowa has 2.7 million. Huge difference. Which one should have more deer?

    The only reason those bucks were trophies to you as that is all that was available. Michigan slaughters their 1.5 year olds. If you grew up your whole life where you see 25+ 1.5 year olds a hunting season and you have hunted many years they dont seem to be trophies anymore.

    Most the states you are comparing statistics too are one buck rule states pennsylvania, kentucky, ohio... These states can never be compared to Iowa. If Iowa was a one buck state there would be very little impact if crossbows were implemented. Iowa is a 2 buck state. There are 75-90,000 other hunters that are only using one tag right now. How many out of that number will want their second tag if they can use a crossbow?? Crossbows attract gun hunters. Is it 1% that would have no impact or is it 20% that could have a negative impact?

    That is what needs to be carefully analyzed in the decision in my opinion.
     
  14. retiredmurph

    retiredmurph Member

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    If everyone is so worried about "our delicate resource" why not shorten the season?

    Does it really take around 90 days of hunting to fill your tag?

    I'm not advocating shorting the season, but if we are so close to destroying the herd as

    some seem to think maybe it's time to consider it.

    I'm sure no one wants to give up part of the season. So in my mind it is a simple

    matter of ME, ME, ME, Don't take away from ME, but don't let someone else enjoy the

    sport because it MAY take away from ME. It's like everything else in the world. I want

    mine and to hell with everyone else. (Pardon the bad word}
     
  15. Truth&Honest

    Truth&Honest Member

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    Access, access, access....we don't need anymore hunters during the bowseason. How many of you have empty farms nearby with no bowhunters during November that are needing hunters ? If so, please post location.
    The reason hunter numbers are not growing ? access. If I was new to the sport today, where would I find a place to hunt besides public that is pounded. I could maybe get permission on a farm with other hunters, but then I'd be interferring with them in most cases. And owning 40-80 acres is not the solution- you need 200+ acres to grow a decent buck every year....don't expect to own 40 and shoot big bucks every year.
    Leave the crossbows to disabled and late muzzy season.
     
  16. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    We just did. We just had this fight. We had DROVES voicing to DNR, Governor, DNR public sessions, Legislature, etc that we were going down the wrong road. We eliminated Late Shed Buck Season with rifles and we eliminated November doe season. For VERY GOOD REASON, in my opinion and many others. Who were we fighting to get "seasons shortened"? It was MAINLY special interest groups like Farm Bureau for example. Same type of group we'll have to fight with Crossbows, a special interest group with a financial motive. $$$$$
     
  17. nemohunter

    nemohunter Member

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    Missouri is having this same debate now, all I can ask is if most pro crossbow people claim that shooting a compound doesn't take much time or skill to hunt with anymore then why is there a need for crossbows to be allowed for anyone other than the elderly or disabled? Seems to me that there is a very clear advantage to using a crossbow. I just don't see the need to do it other than crossbow companies wanting to sell more crossbows.
     
  18. Bowtech84

    Bowtech84 Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ I agree with this!

    On a side note. Can you use a crossbow during turkey season with a gun tag?
     
  19. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Trump 2020

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    I don't either. If you can physically pull a bow back, then why do you need a crossbow?
     
  20. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker Moderator

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    I've noticed noticed most of the guys that are pro crossbow on here are the same people who are supporting party hunting and the shotgun seasons..

    Maybe we should allow crossbows but eliminate both the gun seasons. Equal trade off of you ask me.
     
  21. loneranger

    loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record,,I haven't shot at a deer with a firearm since1993...
     

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