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When bow-hunting education became "mandatory" It was done so  for many reasons. According to the DEC  it was enacted, to promote ethical shots, to train hunters to blood trail, how an arrow actually harvests game and also to ensure the general public that "archers" were safe and ethical. It was NOT grandfathered to any archer, no matter how long they had hunted.

Fast forward thirty years and now we can shoot deer with arrows with no regard to ethical shot placement, blood trailing etc. Does it bother anyone else that some sort of "archery education" class is not Mandatory to hunt with a crossbow? I work at a major sporting goods store where I sell both conventional compound, and crossbows as well. While I am NOT anti crossbow, I am ANTI hunting deer with an arrow, when no education on how an arrow harvests animals is mandatory. I must listen to story after story of 40 and 50 yard shots at deer facing the hunters, shots taken at the neck, shoulders etc. I feel it is tragic that the NYS legislation does not mandate a course on how an arrow harvests game, and blood trailing (at a minimum) for anyone who wishes to hunt with a crossbow. Do we no longer care about how archers are perceived by the general public, or has the abundance of deer in NY clouded our views on what an ethical hunter should be regardless of the type of "bow" that delivers the arrow?    

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If I'm not mistaken, you must possess a valid bowhunting license to hunt with a crossbow. So you would have taken the NYS bowhunters course.

Does that mean that everyone who takes any hunter education course is ethical and takes only ethical shots and follows all game laws.

Absolutely not. But I would like to think the majority do.

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I wish some of the local shops would put on a open day to try out cross bow and educate us on how to use a cross bow.


Sweet Old Bill

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I agree that an archery education course should be mandatory to hunt with a crossbow. The way the NY law stands now, one could fill his tag(s) during the regular season without taking the course, but would need to have taken the course to hunt with one during last (legal) part of the archery season. Since very few hunters would opt to use a crossbow during the regular season, the number of "uneducated" shots should be minimal.

That said however, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there concerning the crossbow and its effectiveness compared to conventional bows. Most of that implies that crossbow is approximately the same as a conventional bow. From my own personal experience with both a compound bow and a crossbow, over more than 30 years: I would rate the crossbow, using telescopic sights, and fired from a rest, as approximately 10 times more effective on deer, and 5 times more effective on targets, than a compound bow fired from a standing position. The effective range is about doubled, and the group sizes at all ranges is multiple times smaller (about 5X for me) with equivalent amounts of practice.

Because the crossbow is so much more "lethal", than conventional archery equipment, the potential exists to greatly reduce the number of wounded and unrecovered deer during archery season. "String jump" probably causes more wounded deer during archery season than any other single factor and that is greatly reduced by eliminating the need to draw with the deer in close. That is a huge advantage for the crossbow. Couple that with no tiring while holding at full draw, waiting for the right shot, and there is no reason a deer should get wounded with a crossbow. Some mandatory education would certainly help realize that potential. Shot placement is still critical, and even though I have seen some pictures of powerful crossbow arrows penetrating shoulder blades at close range, such shots should never be taken intentionally.

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I do not believe you have to have an archery tag to hunt with cross bow....it is a weapon that you use in gun seasons and only the last 2 weeks of bow with a valid muzzleloading tag( I had to buy my muzzle loading tag to hunt with mine last year)...it ONLY requires a "on line" course which is a joke at best.

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While I agree that shooting tight groups at 30-50 yards is much easier with a crossbow than with a conventional compound, the fact is that the the noise of the crossbow being fired is usually much greater than a conventional compound and the speed of the "average" crossbow is only about 10-20% faster than a modern compound. Most people will remember the tight groups their crossbow shoots when shooting at a NON LIVING practice target. NOW let's get real and remember we are shooting at a whitetail deer. If the deer moves only 9 inches, our arrow has missed the lungs and may be in the intestines, neck, shoulder etc. It is impossible to know where the deer will turn, drop or move as it attempts to "jump the string". The best we can hope for is that the deer doesn't move at all! That is risking a wounded deer in our attempt to harvest it. This is, of course, compounded by even greater distances. I tell the customers at our store that, as far as I am concerned, the crossbow should be used at the same distances that a conventional compound is used to ENSURE quick and HUMANE kills. I recommend distances of out to 30 yards. Have conventional compounds and crossbows harvested deer at much greater ranges? Of course they have, and many people will continue to use them at great distances however the risk of wounding regardless of weapon is increased as the distance is increased due to the nature and reaction time of deer. 

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If I'm not mistaken, you must possess a valid bowhunting license to hunt with a crossbow. So you would have taken the NYS bowhunters course.

Does that mean that everyone who takes any hunter education course is ethical and takes only ethical shots and follows all game laws.

Absolutely not. But I would like to think the majority do.

In 2014 you needed a "muzzleloader" tag to hunt with a crossbow in NY. No Bowhunting education course was required. With no training on how an arrow harvests game, and seeing the "shoot/don't shoot" portion of the BHEP course, a non archer prior to their purchase of a crossbow can not make an educated decision on what an ethical shot is on a WT deer, as they have never been trained.

 

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Unfortunately you cannot educate people to not act like a-holes. The woods are full of 'em. 

Agreed, however if these "hunters" have never been educated as to proper shot placement (arrows), prior to their use of a crossbow the burden clearly rests in the hands of our legislators who made this omission in the current laws. It was not the result of the NYSDEC. They had to enact the law as handed to them. 

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I wish some of the local shops would put on a open day to try out cross bow and educate us on how to use a cross bow.

Our store does offer free training on how to safely use a crossbow. We have a 20yd. range where anyone can test them prior to their purchase. As this is not a forum to enhance our sales, I will not reveal my employer..

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You can't teach a course unless you have 3 years experiance with the weapon your using, impossible in nys, perhaps when 3 years has gone by you will see a course in place. If you only have a handful of instructors it can't be done on state level, so the computer class was put in place. I truly hope to see an actual course in the next few years, whether lpary of bow or part of gun.


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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That said however, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there concerning the crossbow and its effectiveness compared to conventional bows. Most of that implies that crossbow is approximately the same as a conventional bow. From my own personal experience with both a compound bow and a crossbow, over more than 30 years: I would rate the crossbow, using telescopic sights, and fired from a rest, as approximately 10 times more effective on deer,

 

 

Believe that and either your experience  or your ability to make rational fact based decisions is very limited or both.

 

 

Because the crossbow is so much more "lethal", than conventional archery equipment, the potential exists to greatly reduce the number of wounded and unrecovered deer during archery season. "String jump" probably causes more wounded deer during archery season than any other single factor and that is greatly reduced by eliminating the need to draw with the deer in close. That is a huge advantage for the crossbow.

 

 

Drawing in the presence of deer and knowing when not to shoot is not an issue for a  experienced bowhunter with even a lick of common sense. But sounds like a problem for you.

 

 

Couple that with no tiring while holding at full draw, waiting for the right shot, and there is no reason a deer should get wounded with a crossbow.

 

 

If no deer should be wounded with a crossbow, why are deer lost ever year in gun?

Maybe because hunters are willing to take hail mary shots never attempted before with equipment they are not familiar with at an unknown distance hoping that divine intervention kills the animal

Sound familiar?

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The fact that the crossbow may be loud compared to a compound is not as big an issue as you may think regarding "string-jump".  Deer are used to hearing loud noises, and it is only "alert" deer that typically "string-jump".  The need to draw a conventional bow, while the deer is in close, is the quick motion that is often caught by the deer putting them in the "alert" state.  By the time a "relaxed" deer reacts to a crossbow (no need to draw), it is too late for "string-jump" to have an effect.    After you get a few years under your belt with a crossbow, you too will see this demonstrated as I saw happen this year.  I watched a six-point buck stand rock solid from the time I released my bolt, 59 yards away, until the time the arrow pierced his heart just below the valves.  I had no silencers of any kind on my entry-level $250 crossbow.  This concept may be too difficult to grasp until you see it for yourself.

 

I remember my last "lucky" kill with my compound.  I tried to draw on a four-point buck when his head got behind a tree.  He must have caught the motion a little.  He paused, quartering away at 25 yards.  When I released the arrow he dropped straight down at the sound of the release, taking the arrow though the neck.  Had I used a crossbow, he would have never been "alerted" by the draw and would have taken the shot thru the chest where I aimed.  At least the tracking was easier for me that time but I wont bank on "guessing" where the deer will be when the arrow arrives.   

 

This is the biggest factor that makes the crossbow a true "wonder-weapon" on "live-targets" compared to a conventional bow.   They seem so lethal that I cant help but to feel a little sorry for the deer now.   Had the native American's been armed with the crossbow, it is unlikely that the white man would have established a foothold on the American continent.   On paper targets, compounds and crossbows may be similar in effectiveness, but on live targets the crossbow is an order of magnitude more effective.  I think we owe it to the deer to hunt with the most effective weapon available but I have nothing against folks continuing to use a compound if they wish.     

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"I agree that an archery education course should be mandatory to hunt with a crossbow. The way the NY law stands now, one could fill his tag(s) during the regular season without taking the course, but would need to have taken the course to hunt with one during last (legal) part of the archery season. Since very few hunters would opt to use a crossbow during the regular season, the number of "uneducated" shots should be minimal."

 

while yes there should be a course for use of the cross bow there already is a course requirement for archery and firearm ,once they go through the course they are on their own and all see over and over what happens when on their own.

a wise man once said  ...  a hunters true character is revealed in his actions when no one is watching.

"That said however, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there concerning the crossbow and its effectiveness compared to conventional bows. Most of that implies that crossbow is approximately the same as a conventional bow. From my own personal experience with both a compound bow and a crossbow, over more than 30 years: I would rate the crossbow, using telescopic sights, and fired from a rest, as approximately 10 times more effective on deer, and 5 times more effective on targets, than a compound bow fired from a standing position. The effective range is about doubled, and the group sizes at all ranges is multiple times smaller (about 5X for me) with equivalent amounts of practice."

 

misinformation,,,, telling people that a crossbow is approximately 10 times more effective than a compound bow?  the reason people hear that crossbows range should be the same as a compound bows range is because some people believe the crossbow is the absolutely no fail ultimate weapon that they can shoot deer out to 60-70 yards.  now if you wanted to say that its 10 times easier for inexperienced or uncaring hunters to shoot a deer there would be more truth in that statement., 10 times more effective over a compound??? not.

"Because the crossbow is so much more "lethal", than conventional archery equipment, the potential exists to greatly reduce the number of wounded and unrecovered deer during archery season. "

 

"your" crossbow is more lethal than my conventional archery gear???  i can guarantee every deer I ever shot with the bow is just as dead as any dead deer shot with a crossbow.

 

"String jump" probably causes more wounded deer during archery season than any other single factor and that is greatly reduced by eliminating the need to draw with the deer in close. That is a huge advantage for the crossbow. Couple that with no tiring while holding at full draw, waiting for the right shot, and there is no reason a deer should get wounded with a crossbow. "

 

string jump can, does and WILL happen whether you are using a recurve, compound, or crossbow, deer don't react to the noise because they hear noises all the time in the woods makes me wonder just how much experience you have with deer encounters. deer hear twigs breaking they look towards the sound, they hear a metallic sound, or an unnatural sound and they are on full alert.  you ask just about any experienced ethical archery hunter if shooting at a fully alert deer is something they would do and they are going to say no they would pass the shot. 

 

there is no reason a deer should get wounded with a crossbow??  if people took ethical shots your right the number of wounded should go down. will there still be wounded deer? YES,   these are living moving animals, stuff happens, bad hits happen,  you think crossbow hunters don't wound deer? you better do some better research because they DO wound and loose deer, and in your research the same as with compound users the wounding and loss chance percentage goes up from 25 yds.

 

"Some mandatory education would certainly help realize that potential. Shot placement is still critical, and even though I have seen some pictures of powerful crossbow arrows penetrating shoulder blades at close range, such shots should never be taken intentionally."

 

again education only gets you the value of the paper the certificate is wrote on, its what the hunter DOES with that education that matters.  

 

When I taught hunter education classes one of the last thing I told students was that we as instructors can not go out into the woods with each of you, its your responsibility to take the information you were taught in the short time you were here and expand your knowledge but its up to YOU to choose whether you want to be an ethical and law abiding hunter or not.

 

 

 

 

 

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Had the native American's been armed with the crossbow, it is unlikely that the white man would have established a foothold on the American continent.

With statements like that, you just continue to reinforce just how delusional you are.

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I think we owe it to the deer to hunt with the most effective weapon available but I have nothing against folks continuing to use a compound if they wish.     

Then throw down that crappy old crossbow and stay with modern rifles. The rifle is still the "most effective weapon available".

 

You can't have it both ways. Those of us who take up the limitations of archery hunting do so with it in mind that we want the challenge of a limited weapon. That is the whole point to the "special" archery season. Bow season was initially established as a way of handicapping the hunter with a weapon that requires rigid technique and exceptional hunting skills that require the ability to operate in close proximity to the prey. Since the day of it's inception, people have been working diligently to destroy the intent behind the original season and slowly evolve it back toward some other version of "gun season". Almost all of that evolution has been done in the name of  using "the most effective weapon available". If you are serious about that statement, then you must believe that the introduction of bow season was a real bad idea whether you are using a longbow, recurve, compound or crossbow.

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Although I have much respect for a traditional bow hunter, and man using a flintlock, hearing the crystal of modern compound bow hunters with fiber optic c sights 80%letoff,release Aids. complain about a crossbow is like calling the kettle black. That is what you are shooting and the difference is negleable between the two. I would love to see a,week for modern bow an a week for crossbow, znd the rest of archery season for traditionalists. The same with muzzleloader. if your going to use a scope and in line ignition it's the same as a rifle and not useable in regular muzzleloader season.

Sick of hearing the whining about legal hunting impliments being unfair or unmanly to use. Get over it....

should there be a course or an addition to a couse for hunting with a crossbow,yes definitely, how is that done within current laws, more time is needed using crossbows before enough instructors would become available.....

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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Although I have much respect for a traditional bow hunter, and man using a flintlock, hearing the crystal of modern compound bow hunters with fiber optic c sights 80%letoff,release Aids. complain about a crossbow is like calling the kettle black. That is what you are shooting and the difference is negleable between the two. I would love to see a,week for modern bow an a week for crossbow, znd the rest of archery season for traditionalists. The same with muzzleloader. if your going to use a scope and in line ignition it's the same as a rifle and not useable in regular muzzleloader season.

Sick of hearing the whining about legal hunting impliments being unfair or unmanly to use. Get over it....

should there be a course or an addition to a couse for hunting with a crossbow,yes definitely, how is that done within current laws, more time is needed using crossbows before enough instructors would become available.....

That's it right there......most of us use the best weapon we can there is very few who actually use traditional equipment...those are the guys who can complain the rest of use have no business arguing about it....
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The fact that the crossbow may be loud compared to a compound is not as big an issue as you may think regarding "string-jump". Deer are used to hearing loud noises, and it is only "alert" deer that typically "string-jump". The need to draw a conventional bow, while the deer is in close, is the quick motion that is often caught by the deer putting them in the "alert" state. By the time a "relaxed" deer reacts to a crossbow (no need to draw), it is too late for "string-jump" to have an effect. After you get a few years under your belt with a crossbow, you too will see this demonstrated as I saw happen this year. I watched a six-point buck stand rock solid from the time I released my bolt, 59 yards away, until the time the arrow pierced his heart just below the valves. I had no silencers of any kind on my entry-level $250 crossbow. This concept may be too difficult to grasp until you see it for yourself.

I remember my last "lucky" kill with my compound. I tried to draw on a four-point buck when his head got behind a tree. He must have caught the motion a little. He paused, quartering away at 25 yards. When I released the arrow he dropped straight down at the sound of the release, taking the arrow though the neck. Had I used a crossbow, he would have never been "alerted" by the draw and would have taken the shot thru the chest where I aimed. At least the tracking was easier for me that time but I wont bank on "guessing" where the deer will be when the arrow arrives.

This is the biggest factor that makes the crossbow a true "wonder-weapon" on "live-targets" compared to a conventional bow. They seem so lethal that I cant help but to feel a little sorry for the deer now. Had the native American's been armed with the crossbow, it is unlikely that the white man would have established a foothold on the American continent. On paper targets, compounds and crossbows may be similar in effectiveness, but on live targets the crossbow is an order of magnitude more effective. I think we owe it to the deer to hunt with the most effective weapon available but I have nothing against folks continuing to use a compound if they wish.

1st deer are always alert, they are a prey animal and uner 15 yards a deer will not be able to duck any modern arrow. From 18-35 yrds a deer can drop and cause your arrow to miss, over 35 yards deer tend not to react to noise as it is out side their zone of concern. Your 59 yrd shot is the same as shooting a deer at 300 yrds with a rifle. That's is target practice as deer has no clue your there,

hunting is the ability to get close to game within its comfort zone undetected. Shooting it is the anti climax of this skill. It's hard to miss game at 5 yards no matter what your using. The native hunters did not have powerful weapons but had skills that allowed them to get close to game that then afforded them the harvest of their quarry.


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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a slob hunter is a slob hunter no matter the weapon. i agree with the op 100% but guys taking unrealistic shots happens with any implement - bow/gun/cross bow/ muzzleloader..

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I cant argue with any of that G-man as it correlates quite well with virtually all the experiences I have had over more than 30 years of archery hunting.  I guess those folks who keep piping up say "string jump" is a big issue at 60 yards are just a little lacking in practical hunting experience.   Once folks get a few years and shots under their belt with a crossbow they will appreciate it a little more.  I don't really agree that deer are always alert.  Mature bucks maybe, does with fawns, mostly, but 1-1/2 year old bucks during peak rut are prone to destraction, such was the case with my horny 60 yarder.    

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Sick of hearing the whining about legal hunting impliments being unfair or unmanly to use.

And the best way to eliminate that is to eliminate all special seasons and just have one season that includes all weapons. That's kind of where things are heading these days anyway. Special seasons are simply something to call a segment of the year, not so much a limitation of what weapons should be used. That went out the window decades ago.

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This is my second season hunting, first season was strictly with a recurve and I took a bad shot on one deer and was jumpy about taking shots on deer after that. this year was my second season and I had plenty of shots at deer but found that my issue was knowing when to draw my recurve and what the deer was "likely" to do when they came in so i could set up close enough to get a shot. at seasons end I decided next year I will be using my crossbow a lot more as it would have opened up a lot more shots for me and kept me from getting busted. and nothing I learned about a crossbow I didn't pull from the hunters/archery education class

 

if there was a class to teach how to hunt I would be all in, but I don't think my bad shot or missed opportunities had anything to do with the weapon I was using, its just tough learning how to hunt without someone to guide you along the way. and on those days when I was freezing and holding a bow waiting for a shot your nerves really get to you and mistakes happen when you don't have experience or your just plain and simple drained.   

 

I personally found the hunters education class useful but redundant and only paid the most attention to the experiences they shared and bits of knowledge that was shared about hunting more than anything.

 

 going to a class dedicated to crossbows in my opinion isn't needed and could be added to the hunters education class.

 

a class specifically dedicated to going over the basics of hunting different animals (the do's and donts ) would probably go over much better. course they did do that to some degree in my hunting class and gave me a dandy little book which I always keep in my pack. but most of the limited information I learned came from time in the woods and you tube

 

 

 

 

 

 

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a class specifically dedicated to going over the basics of hunting different animals (the do's and donts ) would probably go over much better. course they did do that to some degree in my hunting class and gave me a dandy little book which I always keep in my pack. but most of the limited information I learned came from time in the woods and you tube

I would think the best way to handle x-bow hunter safety training would be to include the mechanics of crossbow shooting into the existing bowhunter training classes, and require that course to hunt with a crossbow. That way they get familiar with the way broadheads work, where to aim for most effective killing with a broadhead, and other features of killing through hemorrhaging/cutting rather than impact killing. Much of the hunting procedures would apply, and the limitations could be taught.

 

The problem with adding more unique, weapons-specific courses, is that there is a lot of repetition, and huge amounts of time required for each one. When you start stacking up 3 or 4 of these courses, the time required gets darn near prohibitive and no doubt discourages a lot of participation.

 

Think about it ..... firearms courses, bowhunting course, trapping courses, now add in a new x-bow course. Pretty soon somebody will be coming up with a fishing course ..... lol. Enough, already.

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I like the idea of including it as part of the regular bow-hunting course. I would look at other nearby states, that have full-inclusion in archery season, and see what percentage of participants use which type of weapon. Course content could then be weighted accordingly. Maybe they already do it, but a little section on muzzleloaders in the regular hunting course would be good also.

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    • By Hookhunter20
      Just wanted to post a video of one of my successful bow hunts this year. Something about documenting your hunt and self filming adds even more of a rewarding feeling to a bow harvest when it all comes together. *Disclaimer*  I don't think I'm a "pro" nor am I trying to be just love filming and tinkering around with the editing. The audio on the video from my second doe harvest is much better than this one, I figured out a few tricks with the editing software recently and I'll have that one done by the weekend. You can skip through the talking parts if you want the shot happens around the 3:20 mark.  
       
    • By jimmyfromjersey
      I am selling a Ten Point Crossbow Blazer HP package.  Excellent bow, ready to shoot.  Comes with 3X scope, sling, ACUdraw, 4 bolts and 3 broadheads.    I live in NJ but hunt in the Catskills.   I will be traveling to Margaretville Friday morning and can bring the bow up the NYS Thruway thru Kingston and Route 28 West to Arkville if anyone is interested.   
      Priced to sell at 500.00     
      Text for pictures or feel free to call me and speak with me the old fashion way.   732-330-2004    Jimmy  
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