Crossbows: Begin preparing for Oct. 1 openings

Are you ready for the crossbow season? It is going to be very interesting to see just how many cross

Are you ready for the crossbow season? It is going to be very interesting to see

just how many crossbow hunters will be in the woods this fall.

I know there are a number in my age group that are quite happy about it; although we would have liked to have the “same” advantage of climbing in that tree stand on Oct. 1 in the Southern Zone.

We also know that those last 14 days in the Southern Zone bowhunting season is when bucks are beginning to chase does. I haven’t quite figured out “why” only the 14 days, but I’ll take them.

Actually, I’ll be in the deer woods with my crossbow Oct. 1, but not for deer. As an avid turkey hunter, I’ve shot several wild turkeys with a crossbow in other states, the last being in Pennsylvania. And I have to be honest, if I see a deer while turkey hunting, I’ll be very tempted to sight in on it, but I would not shoot it.

I’ve talked to quite a few deer hunters who’ve been lobbying and waiting a long time for this, and they’re definitely looking forward to this special privilege. Many of them are looking for a crossbow or already have one. For those who are looking, here are a few things to look for.

Up until two years ago, I was able to draw, hold and shoot my 65-pound (draw weight) compound bow, but I missed the last two bow seasons. I also know many report the “it hurts to draw my regular bow” problem.

This year, I chose the TenPoint Shadow Ultra-Lite crossbow with a 180-pound draw and which weighs just 6.4 pounds.

The reduction in the carrying weight is due to the carbon-injected polymer barrel and trigger housing; and weight is definitely something to consider. Size is also important, and this one is just over 34 inches long.

Today’s modern compound bows can shoot an arrow over 300 feet per second (fps). The Shadow is also up there in speed. Using their Pro Lite Arrows, which are only 20 inches long, they advertise a velocity of 350 feet per second. Just remember, in bowhunting, speed is important.

Now let’s talk about that bad shoulder or back when cocking a crossbow. There are two ways to do it.

You can use a rope device that will reduce the draw weight about 50 percent. For example, a 180-pound draw weight will be reduced to 90 pounds using the rope device.

The Shadow’s ACUdraw is a built-in cocking system that requires just five pounds of effort. It means no more struggling or sore shoulders.

A crossbow feature the Shadow offers, and which I highly recommend, is a good lightweight, calibrated scope with 20-, 30-, 40- and 50-yard dots (


Just as with a new rifle or shotgun, a scoped crossbow’s first stop should be the range.

Shooting from a rest is highly recommended, and the tests should begin by zeroing the crossbow at 20 yards using only the top dot. After putting together a good group, the remaining sighting dots on the reticle should automatically be aligned. Shoot them to be sure.

Lastly, practice, practice, practice, and spend some time on a 3-D bow range shooting the various animal targets. This will help judging distance. I hope to receive a lot of buck tales from crossbow hunters.

Categories: -Sports

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