John's Journal...


Rise in the Sport of Crossbows

Click to enlargeEditor’s note: The fastest-growing sport in archery today is crossbow hunting. This old method of archery has suddenly caught fire for many reasons. To learn why crossbows are making such a strong impact on the archery scene, we talked with Ottie Snyder, the media specialist for Horton Manufacturing Company.

QUESTION: Why has there been such a dramatic increase in the number of states that permit the use of crossbows during bow season or that have special crossbow seasons for white-tailed hunters?
SNYDER: Hunter numbers continue to decrease, however, the crossbow Click to enlargemakes archery fairly easy for even a beginning hunter to become extremely proficient in a very short time. Youngsters, women and people who have never considered shooting a vertical bow can enjoy a crossbow and begin to hunt quickly. Too, older hunters who may not be able to pull vertical bows any longer have found they can hunt effectively with crossbows. So they pick up the crossbow, which provides a sport for many would-be hunters who are left out of archery because of some of the limitations involved with vertical bows.

QUESTION: What’s another reason we’ve seen the crossbow grow in popularity?
Click to enlarge SNYDER: The whitetail deer numbers continue to increase nationwide, especially in urban areas where hunting is not permitted. We’re seeing more doe deer accidents like property damage to homeowners and even landscapes like shrubs and bushes being eaten by deer. Where gun hunting is unacceptable in suburbia, longbow and crossbow hunting can be safely used to help reduce deer numbers even in the most-populated areas. Ohio is a classic example. In Ohio, we have an equal number of vertical and crossbow hunters, but the deer herd numbers still continue to grow. For 30 years, crossbow hunters and vertical bowhunters have hunted together at the same time in Ohio, and there have never been any problems. I don’t see where there should be any problems in other states where crossbow hunting occurs at the same time as longbow hunting.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: How many states allow crossbow hunters to hunt at the same time as longbow hunters?
SNYDER: There are 10, including: Wyoming, Ohio, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Only three states don’t have some type of crossbow hunting. I think eventually, most of the Southeast will permit crossbow hunting, since deer numbers continue to expand throughout the region. In some areas of South Carolina, you can hunt with a muzzleloader, a conventional rifle or a longbow and take as many deer every day as you can carry out of the woods. I don’t see why South Carolina won’t have a crossbow season in the near future. Kentucky is another state that will probably legalize the use of crossbows in the next few years, and many other southeastern states are looking at the possibility of legalizing the crossbow. There’s a strong grassroots movement in New York to legalize the crossbow, so we’re seeing enthusiasm for crossbow hunting grow and grow.
To learn more about Horton Crossbows, go to



Day 1: Rise in the Sport of Crossbows
Day 2: How Horton’s Crossbows Came About
Day 3: Crossbows Past & Future
Day 4: More Crossbows Past & Future
Day 5: My Crossbow Introduction – A Note From the Author


Entry 326, Day 1