Opposes crossbows in archery season

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Why we should be against the crossbow during archery seasons?

Most of the people I talk to about this idea are against it for several different reasons, but I think most miss the point. Some of the comments I hear is that the modern compound bow is as accurate as the modern crossbow, so what’s the difference? I believe this to be true in some cases, but the problem as I see it, we are comparing a bow shooter who has a lot of experience and his accuracy has come at the expense of hours and hours and months of shooting a bow to a person who picks up a crossbow for the first time and in a few days can hold his own against a good compound shooter.

Now take a guy who has never shot a hand-held bow and it will take him months and maybe a year or so of good coaching to reach the same level of accuracy as a week-old crossbow shooter.

If crossbows were to become legal archery equipment, a few things will happen, none of them good. There will of course be several bowhunters who will switch over to the crossbow, these guys will contribute to the problem but not near as much as the other convert. This is the rifle hunter who didn’t want to or didn’t have the time to dedicated practicing with a hand-held bow and wasn’t a participant in the archery season.

Now we have a whole new pool of hunters who will be entering the bow seasons and competing with the previous bow hunter for special archery limited draw elk tags.

More competition for the limited tags is not good but is not the crux of the problem. The crossbow will increase the harvest success rates to a point something will have to be done; remember for every action there is a reaction.

We will have to reduce the number of hunters to compensate for the extra elk being harvested. Both archery hunters and rifle hunters will lose. Not only will the archers lose archery permits but with reduced game populations the coveted rifle tags will be reduced, too. The problem just cascades. We hear rumblings now of Montana expanding archery permits to areas that are now over the counter.

Add the crossbow into that mix and now we are reducing hunter opportunity even more.

Steve Schindler, Glasgow

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