Home Forums Campfire Forum "Don't look back – something might be gaining on you."

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    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      No, not a predator in the woods, or even a young phenom with a fastball that catchers fear. This:

      The 2012 “Archery” catalog of a certain large outdoor retailer arrived here today. Seven pages of compounds. Three and a quarter pages of traditional bows.

      And twelve pages of crossbows.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      3-1/2 pages of trad gear is pretty significant, compared to how much was space was dedicated to it in the past.

      Unfortunately, so is 12 pages of crossbows.

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      Kansas just changed its laws this year regarding the use of crossbows during deer season. Crossbows are now legal equipment here during archery season for people with a youth big game permit or folks age 55 & older. More info from KDWPT:

      http://kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/Deer/Legal-Equipment

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thankfully, in Idaho, dart machines are only allowed during general season. I really hope we stick to our, err…guns, on this one.

    • wolfkill220
      Post count: 71

      Here in washington x bows only allowed for disabled with doctor signing off on state game dept. paperwork.has to be a permament disablitie that keeps you from drawing a compound or trad gear.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      wolfkill220,

      Here in Pennsylvania it used to be the same. But then a few years ago, to answer the growing deer population and lack of hunter interest, crossbows were allowed for any archery season. The following year, magnifying scopes were allowed, as before they weren’t.

      I like that hunters are being looked upon as a source of conservation and wildlife management, but…

      What kind of hunters (representatives of hunting / archery) are we attracting? I have no problem with a disabled hunter using an aid (crossbow, etc) to continue hunting. But when these aids are given to anyone, I feel it will attract the “wrong” type of person and ultimately hurt us (and the game) more than it will help.

      I think crossbows will start to attract the lazy/slob hunter who is out for the kill and not the hunt. These are the people who do not want to invest the time to be proficient in their chosen endeavor, but will take the easy way out (imagine these same people when it comes to a tough blood trail, will the game be recovered?). These same “hunters” will, in turn, be used by the “antis” as representatives of us all.

      So who really wins? Well, not the HUNTERS (meaning not the slobs and not the killers) and definitely not the game. There are other things that can be done to control game. Increasing limits, extending seasons, allowing hunting on Sunday (in the case of my state). Not to put our military in any light whatsoever, but I feel it is a perfect example. When there is a need, the standards get lowered and we get a fighting force that is not up to standards. I personally see it “one weekend a month and two weeks a year”. Same for hunting. Game population is exploding, so let’s lower the standard and let anyone do anything. Short term solution? Maybe. Long term detriment? Definitely.

      Just my opinion.

      Alex

      🙁

    • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
      Admin
      Post count: 906

      8) I see a slippery slope ahead.

      I think we are all pretty much in agreement here, but let’s remember to avoid generalized name calling and be respectful of other members who may use crossbows. They are legal in many states and that doesn’t necessarily make someone a slob hunter.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Robin,

      You are absolutely correct. I meant no disrespect to any hunter, nor was I trying to generalize about hunters based on their choice of arms.

      I apologize if anyone took offence at my statements. They were not meant to offend in any way.

      Unfortunately, I have a condition called PEBKAC when it comes to putting my thoughts into writing. It is an old IT term that means “Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair”. 🙂

      Anyway, the point I was attempting to make is similar to the arguments made against compounds, especially in the earlier issues of TBM. By lowering the standard (letting a bow hunter have an indefinite draw time and magnified sights) I feel we are inviting the type of hunters that would give hunters in general a worse image. Yes, I concede that the move would also attract good, ethical and legal hunters like those who are maybe too young to pull back a bow that could be used to hunt, the handicapped, or simply those who prefer a crossbow. Again, I was just carrying the compound argument over to crossbows and providing an alternative for wildlife management.

      Also, the term “slob” hunter is carried over from examples used in the Hunter and Trapper education Program. I am an instructor and use the term in examples to bring attention to those whose unethical and illegal actions make them appear to be a “slob” in the eyes of the public, thereby casting the same shadow on hunting in general. A hunter’s choice of weapon does not make him or her a slob. Again, I apologize if it was taken that way.

      I think the original post is what got me thinking along these lines. It seems that crossbows are being pushed by large hunting outlets. Why? Well, I would offer that one reason is that it makes hunting “easier”. In my state, an argument for crossbows has been that they have the same range as a compound. But couple that with a magnified scope and put it in the hands of a “questionable” hunter and who here doubts that 100 yard shots will be attempted, and possibly even televised on Hunting TV?

      Lastly, all ethical and legal hunters need to band together. This goes for rifle, black powder, crossbow, compound, traditional, primitive, and any other ethical and legal means to take game. There are enemies at the gate and if we are divided, we have little chances of winning.

      Again, my apologies for any offence taken. It was not my intent.

      Alex

      😳

    • wolfkill220
      Post count: 71

      Alex i agree with you we as hunters need to start standing together or in the end we will all lose .I started as a rifle hunter still like putting one in my hands here and there to take some yotes but got into archery cause needed more challange started with the compuond now shooting a mohawk longbow looking forward to oredering a super schrew .But if the worst happens and my shoulder keeps going on the down turn then i will pick up a xbow over not hunting anymore .here in washington we lost baiting/hound hunting for bear because none hound hunters wouldnt stand beside the houndsmen .in the end UNITED WE STAND DIVEDE WE FALL

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Wolf– while I agree with you in general, IMHO the old “united we stand” slogan often as not has been used against ethical hunting by unethical hunters and organizations, and enough said about that here.

      Alex, I pretty much agree with you right down the line. Weapons that require less skill and thus less personal investment in learning, attract more but less-skilled and less motivated hunters. Many, but not enough of them, eventually graduate when they learn the basics and start craving more challenge and personal satisfaction in “success.” Where I get upset in all of this is the impact such weapons as compound devices and x-guns can and do have on trad hunters and archery seasons. Easier, low-skilled weapons attract more, lower skilled hunters, who nonetheless kill more game and before we know it our archery seasons are threatened with being restricted due unsustainable kill numbers. Virtually all archery seasons are classified as “primitive weapons.” To interpret a merely historical weapon like the x-gun as “primitive” is an error of semantics that works against us. While busting seasons down into shorter bits has all sorts of pitfalls, I’ve come to believe that’s inevitable if we wish to hunt traditionally without mobs of non-trad “archers” out there with us, too often on ATVs. I’d strongly support, for example, a monthlong archery season in CO for trad archers, overlapped by two weeks for compound devices and NO x-guns, never ever in any archery season. Another way to fairly deal with compound devices skewing kill ratios for “archery” seasons would be a law cutting one percent of the hunting season for each percent of let-off at full draw. We can have longer seasons, or more “efficient” weapons, but it’s patentently undemocratic to expect both.

    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      David Petersen wrote: Easier, low-skilled weapons attract more, lower skilled hunters, who nonetheless kill more game and before we know it our archery seasons are threatened with being restricted due unsustainable kill numbers.

      Yup. Hence the “… something might be gaining on you” in the title of this thread.

    • wolfkill220
      Post count: 71

      Just because you shoot a recurve or longbow over a compound has nothing to do with ethics . I have seen guys hunting with trad gear taking unethical shots.Just as I have seen guys like myself shooting a compound which I can hit a 3inch circle at over a 100 yards all day long never take a shot past 40 yards on live game .We can sit here and argue about it all day my thing is with the united we stand was simply we all need to join together no matter what form of weapon we shoot to better our sport not lose ground cause one group thinks they are better than somebody else.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      wolfkill220, I agree that ethics has nothing to do with weapon choice. But I think you hit the nail on the head. You CAN make a 100 yard shot. That didn’t come overnight, even with your compound. My point is that a crossbow, which requires little skill and no practice to make hits (notice I didn’t say “consistent”), coupled with a magnifying scope that lets you count whiskers at 200 yards, IN THE WRONG HANDS can potentially be an issue for all ethical hunters. (I’m getting tired of writing legal. If you are ethical, you are legal, not necessarily the other way around.) It’s not just the distance (let us all recall the 180 yard shot Howard Hill made on an Elk) but shooting well beyond your skill level, especially when your skill level is zero since skill is not necessarily required.

      As I said before, I support any ethical hunter. I, myself, hunt with multiple weapons. I enjoy archery the most, though I have yet to take an animal with the crooked stick, but every hunt with it re-energizes me. My issue is that all of these gadgets and simplifiers are making novice hunters overconfident in their abilities. Remember how different shooting an animal is from shooting a target. I also worry about how hunters will be represented. Making questionable shots on an animal, wounding it and leaving it to die will add serious fuel to the fire for antis. Do you think they will distinguish an arrow from a bolt, or (more likely) try to outlaw all archery using wounded and dead animals in their propaganda?

      One of the first things we teach in the Hunter-Trapper Safety Course is that hunters are about 10% of the population, antis are about 10% of the population, and the other 80% are the people who will let hunting continue, or outlaw it all together. Sometimes the way to keep the image high is to raise the standards a bit. We may not get the numbers, but it will be quaLITY over quaNTITY.

      Still, all ethical hunters need to support one another. Not just those divided by weapon choice, but things like game type as well. I For example, I am not a predator hunter, but anyone who is has my support (again, so long as the practice ethics). Same goes for waterfowl, small game, etc.

      David, I couldn’t agree more. It would be nice to have a “traditional/primitive” season. Let’s face it, with arrow launching devices approaching muzzle-loader range, traditionalists have less and less opportunity.

      Great topic and great discussion.

      Alex

      8)

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      After my last post, I happened to read the article “Now You Know” by Dick Robertson in the Summer ’91 issue of TBM. I believe Mr. Robertson is making the same point I and many others are making about quality over quantity. I hope Fall ’91 is also a sold out issue so that I can download it and finish the article.

      Alex

      🙂

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1033

      Go for it brother – you are on the light Path – a new Jedi !

      haha

      Scout

    • Brazos
      Post count: 4

      This past January I lost use of my right hand due to nerve damage. If you look at my hand you would quickly realize it is majorly screwed up. I required cervical fusion of my spine to stop the deterioration of my hand (I am LH). Every doctor and surgeon that looked at it said it was the worse they have seen. I sold my fully decked out Mathews compound as I could not shoot it. But I could shoot my Howard Hill longbow. All my hunting buddies said don’t give up on bow hunting as a crossbow would keep me out there. My answer was “crossbows are for pu$$?$s”. My hand is still screwed up after the surgery and it will take 2-3 years to regain more function and strength but most likely never get it all back. I will overcome and am shooting quite well.

      All that being said Texas started allowing crossbows during archery season a few years ago. Personally I don’t care. It’s still not a rifle and if it gets people hunting than that is good. Personally I believe real men use bows and even though I find myself disabled I will continue to figure out a way. Just have to practice more.

    • james gilmer
      Member
      Post count: 131

      bass pros red head catologue 8 pages of machine bows 8 pages of dart guns , no pages of trad bows

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      3 Rivers

      Kustom King

      Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear

      Big Jim’s

      100% trad bows. Why bother with the big box junk purveyors for anything?

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      😯 Because if I buy the compound with the carbon arrows and the mecanical heads and trigger release and get all the populat camo and get all the scent blockers and deer pee I can get, I will get that P&Y record without even leaving my house (and isn’t that what hunting is really all about?). That’s what it says on the magic box that talks to me and tells me how to live my life. It wouldn’t lie to me. I mean, how can you possible get deer or elk or moose with things that aren’t big and shiny. And do you see how they go through that jelly stuff? Oh wait, the box is telling me I need something called a “Pet Rock”. Better add that to the list.

      😆

      Seriously though, in my opinion it’s because the promise of big rewards with little effort is just too much. For others, they just prefer the mechanical version. I am not here to judge them, but I am sure they are the extreme minority.

      Alex

      🙂

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      As always there are many sides to stories like these. Is it more ethical for someone to take a 15yd shot on a deer, after, any hours of practice and gut shoot it duebto nerves, or to take a 25yd shot in the lungs with a compound?

      Not saying this is concrete, but just a what if? Personally I would rather a hunter shoot thatwhich they are nost profecient with.

      My brother used to hunt with a scoped xbow (Ohio) but he has a inoperable cataract that impairs his vision dead center of his eye, so he has to kind of imagine where the crosshzirs bisect.

      I could never criticize him for his choice. My dad used one his last few years of hunting. Crossbows are almost as primative as long bows, and maybe older than recurves. Certainly older than fiberglass laminated bows and the carbon arrows we primative archers use.

      I am not judgin anyone based on what they shoot, but I will judge them on how ethical they are in the field.

    • Roger Norris
      Post count: 91

      We lost that battle here in Michigan. Now we have crossbow hunters everywhere.

      Make no mistake….crossbows being driven down the throat of individual state game organizations is a sales strategy, nothing else. In all the debate over crossbows in Michigan (and it went on for years) I never met one person, just and individual hunter, who already owned a crossbow and wanted to hunt with it. Excepting persons disabled, I never met one guy who had an Xbow, shot targets with it, enjoyed “xbow history”….and was just looking for an opportunity to hunt with it.

      We were overrun by lobbyist, salesmen, and out-state carpetbagging “hunters” who begged, and ultimatley threatened lawsuits to steal our bow seasons in Michigan. Why? So companies like 10-Point could make more money.

      It’s wrong.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      handirifle, I agree with what you said. I have long wondered how someone who makes an X-Bow using primitive tools out of nothing but wook, hemp rope stone point and feathers is any less “trad” than someone who has a carbon-fiber recurve made by a machine, shooting carbon arrows, fake feathers fast-flight string and broadheads that can stick into steel. That being said, in my opinion “trad” is about the experience, not just the weapon or material. I do not fault your brother, or any ethical hunter for using their weapon of choice. My argument against the X-Bow is it’s potential to attract “slob” hunters. Take the recurve in the above example. Before you even shoot it you need to spend conciderable time with it. Brace height, nocking point, arrow spine, etc. Then, you need to spend weeks upon weeks shooting just to become “ok” at 10 yards. Compare that to the scoped X-Bow that the mega-store sells you. They sight it for you and you are ready to go. In fact, it it possible to stop at the mega-mart on you way to hunt and buy the very weapon you will be hunting with as soon as you leave your car. Again, to me “trad” is a process, not just a weapon. Imaging if X-Bow hunting was legal, but only during rifle season. Would saled be up like they are? I am thinking we need a “trad” season. Even X-Bows allowed, but only those that you actually have to practice with for a long time. Also, any self-made weapon (up to and including muzzle-loader, no rifles). Only restriction is no scopes or sights. Then, give the wheel-bows and “modern” crossbows and rifles their season. IMHO, of course. Be well.

      Alex

      😀

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      Yea I agree, it’s a mentality in many ways. As goofy as CA is, some of their game laws do make sense. For example, crossbows ARE legal, but only during general season, as you mentioned. During primitive seasons, they allow muzzle loading rifles 45 cal and above, but iron sights only, but compound bows are allowed. No crossbows though.

      I would have no objections to a straight limb type crossbow during a primitive season, personally. I would never hunt with one, but the straight limb cross bow goes back a LONG way, so if it’s a “primitive” season….but that’s me.

      I know guys that say no tree stands, no range finders, so where does it end. I say it ends with the hunter like that saying, I will not use any of those things, and I will limit myself.

      Heck there are guys that rifle shoot deer at 600yds. I cannot and would not. To me a “traditional” hunter is one that matches his wit and skills against that of the animal he is after.

      To me it’s important to have the love of the sport, more than the love of the weapon. Kinda like I tell tree huggers around here, I worship the Creator, not the creation.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Very true. It’s funny you mentioned the 600 yard shooting. I had another example in another post using that example. I don’t know many people who start off like that. I can respect a hunter that takes (and makes) a 600 yard shot after practicing years to get out to that range over a hunter who picks up a scoped X-Bow in the morning and is “attempting” 100 yard shots that afternoon. To be honest, I am all for something else as well. I have read about the “pains” that people go through in Germany to get a hunting license. It is not a 1-day powerpoint presentation and multiple choice quiz. They have to spend months proving they understand game laws, can identify game, and they have to prove proficiency. Imagine if we could do that here. I know it would never fly, but imagine how strong hunting would be. A side-effect would also be that the antis would never have a leg to stand on in their arguments. They wouldn’t have the gut-shot, wounded and ignored animals. Sure, there would be less-than perfect shots, but I wager the person who took 0.00000001 seconds to practice before hunting will also be the person who takes 0.00000001 seconds to look for wounded game instead of trying to find somehting else to shoot; whereas the person who took 6 months to a year to simply get permission to even hunt would probably take more time. Sorry if my generalization offends anyone. That is not what it is meant to do. But as it says on the bottle: “Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild…”. Be well.

      Alex

      😀

    • vajd
      Post count: 29

      If my shoulders wear out or I have some other injury that prevents me from drawing. I’ll be hunting with a X-gun myself, I hope it will never happen but atleast I’ll still be in the woods.

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      lyagooshka wrote: Very true. It’s funny you mentioned the 600 yard shooting. I had another example in another post using that example. I don’t know many people who start off like that. I can respect a hunter that takes (and makes) a 600 yard shot after practicing years to get out to that range over a hunter who picks up a scoped X-Bow in the morning and is “attempting” 100 yard shots that afternoon. To be honest, I am all for something else as well. I have read about the “pains” that people go through in Germany to get a hunting license. It is not a 1-day powerpoint presentation and multiple choice quiz. They have to spend months proving they understand game laws, can identify game, and they have to prove proficiency. Imagine if we could do that here. I know it would never fly, but imagine how strong hunting would be. A side-effect would also be that the antis would never have a leg to stand on in their arguments. They wouldn’t have the gut-shot, wounded and ignored animals. Sure, there would be less-than perfect shots, but I wager the person who took 0.00000001 seconds to practice before hunting will also be the person who takes 0.00000001 seconds to look for wounded game instead of trying to find somehting else to shoot; whereas the person who took 6 months to a year to simply get permission to even hunt would probably take more time. Sorry if my generalization offends anyone. That is not what it is meant to do. But as it says on the bottle: “Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild…”. Be well.

      Alex

      😀

      No but like Germany, what you would have is some tree hugger that became the Forestmeister, telling you what you can and cannot shoot. I want no part of Europe’s laws game or otherwise. I will take my chances against the Anti’s.

    • garydavis
      Post count: 101

      You’ve all made some pretty persuasive arguments about specific practices and their values. All are thought provoking and I’m going to have to chew on them awhile.

      There are more than a few people on this little island I live on who take a deer from their bedroom window or porch often with out regard to season. I don’t really feel any different about what they do than what I’m trying to learn to do hunting with a trad bow. It’s all just making meat.

      I do get upset with guys that just rip out the back strap and leave the rest of the animal in the ditch.

      I think what I’m trying to say is that it is the individuals intention that counts and how that fits in with their own sense of right and wrong, not necessarily what society has determined to be proper. That’s what I think anyway. Great topic!

      Thanks,

      Gary

    • Rogue
      Post count: 84

      How do you get the genie back in the bottle? Technology is here to stay.(at least for now) Heck I was thinking that 3 pages of trad in one of those catalogs is progress 😆

      I actually believe that more and more people are starting to gravitate twards trad because they find that they are missing somthing that cant be filled with another gadget.

      Lets face it shooting a bow is FUN. Even while hunting I have seen guys that wont (waste) an arrow on grouse because their gizmo wheel will destroy every 300gr shaft it launches. Where as I can shoot an old stump, pick up the arrow sharpen a little and continue hunting.

      Bill

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      handirifle,

      Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with foreign game laws. My point was to keep the standards high upon entry to keep out at least some of the “slob” hunters. The laws themselves I cannot speak for. As a “Hunter-Trapper Education” instructor and a “Successful Bowhunting” instructor here in PA, I think we are not doing what we can to ensure that people truly have a grasp on two important hunting fundementals, safety and ethics. The course is set up for two days, but it is still limited on time and resources. Most (99%) of instructors are volunteers, and the material and props are somewhat “used”. On the flop side, the HTE course is free for people to take, as it should be. I know we will never go to a European system. I believe a person has to pay to take the hunting classes in Germany, so it would take hunting away from quite a few people, and I disagree with that. Anyway, I do see your point. Thing is, I think that is already happening here already, like the CA game commissioner or someone who got fired for taking a mountain lion, which is illegal in CA, but he was hunting in ID (I am sure there is more to the story, but it’s the first example that popped into mind). Be well.

      Alex

      😀

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Our biggest concern ought to be in keeping our freedom to hunt and each of us can then be concerned with the weapon of our choice. It won’t matter what your choice of weapon might be nor mine if hunting is closed to us. It has happened in many places in the world and there’s folks in our country putting out a lot of money to stop it here.

      I love to hunt and I own many types of weapons to hunt with and I will hunt with any one of them (no crossbow but that’s just cause I choose not to own one)when it’s the season for it and I figure that’s my business. I figure a person not so good with a trad bow maybe ought to be armed with an xbow and scope so as not to be running around sticking animals and losing them:?::?:?: I mean how hard can it be to squeeze the trigger. I don’t care who you are, unless your using a firearm, a “100 yd.” shot with anything with is not practical or ethical. So spoken, that’s what I think.

      I have the right to hunt and it’s a prime concern for that right to possibly be taken away. Granted at my age of 67 it’s probably not going to happen in my time but my children and especially my three grandsons may have an issue. Heck, kick me if you want but I hunt as I choose and I have no problems how others do so as long as they’re legal and ethical about it.

      Just my 2¢ worth, Ralph

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Agree with Roger. Same thing here in NC. I have not gone over to the Public Land this year. Figured it was mobbed with crossbowers. Its all about the $$. If you will notice none of this seems to be sustainable in the long term without constant changing and manipulation of hunter opinion to keep turning it over. Without that type of market manipulation the market would tank in a year of two. They are trying to emulate the success of compound market. Apparently it makes money for somebody but I’m not feeding it.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Just reread this thread, my perspective is that to hunt with trad gear we must refine every aspect of the hunting process in order to close the gap and kill an animal, we must also be prepared to pass up or miss opportunities (in my case most opportunities) that a hunter armed with a firearm or even crossbow would not think twice about.

      Using traditional hunting methods to me is more a philosophy (just checked the thesaurus and I think that’s the right word)

      A guy next door at work tells me he wants to hunt, what he really wants to do is kill something and have a trophy for the bragging rights and there are plenty of PH’s that will facilitate this for him, in my mind this does not make him a hunter and I don’t want to be associated with him as a hunter.

      These are the target customers that xbow manufacturers prey upon promoted by TV and the big stores who must have something new to sell this year, we can only hope that occasionally they find someone that wants to become a hunter.

      From my side of the pond there is every combination of hunting restriction you can dream of and in some cases no restriction to the point where I can shoot certain species of deer and wildfowl all year round without a permit, no bag limit and no formal instruction just need access rights.

      In many European countries we still suffer under the inherited view that hunting is for nobles and the rich however many of these people have never ‘hunted’ but they have killed lots of animals.

      As for education I have mixed views many folks taking to hunting in latter life have no idea about safety, fieldcraft or how to prepare an animal or even take care of themselves outdoors.

      I always considered myself competent when it came to butchery until I spent two days with a master butcher, boy did I learn a lot. Even had some praise from the wife, no more ‘how fast were you going when you hit this then’ or ‘it might make a stew’ she can be very cruel sometimes. Which goes to show that there is always something to learn.

      I’m looking forward to The Good Hunt and the reaction I will get from the guys at my hunting club when I get to show it, I’m the only bowhunter and considered something of a curiosity or a bit mad.

      Mark.

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