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Will Crossbows Destroy Hunting As We Know It?

Change is difficult and unsettling, and raises questions about the future, whether you’re dealing with a computer, a new whiz-bang cell phone, or a crossbow. For more than half a century, archers have enjoyed special seasons and taken great pride in the challenge and ethics of taking game with “stick and string,” so it’s little wonder that the onset of the crossbow, with its firearm-like characteristics, great power, and simplicity, is viewed as a threat. Will special seasons be limited? Bag limits lowered? The challenge and dedication of archery disappear?

POMA 2013 148Patrick Durkin covers this issue in detail in this Bowhunting.com post, citing specific examples from Michigan and Indiana, major whitetail hunting states:

Even though the sky hasn’t fallen or Armageddon unleashed on the 19 states that now include crossbows without restrictions during archery season, we still hear dire predictions and gloomy forecasts of buck overkills and crowded woods in the years ahead. Pfft. Stop it. Critics need to start offering some facts and figures to support their predictions if they desire any credibility. In the meantime, their fears make me think of this quote by Mark Twain: “I’ve seen many troubles in my time, only half of which ever came true.  The fact is…”

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.