CROSSBOWS ARE COMING
Rise in the Sport of Crossbows
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 makes
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?
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.
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 www.crossbow.com
TOMORROW: HOW HORTON’S
CROSSBOWS CAME ABOUT