Anyone made the switch from a compound to crossbow?

chevyman181

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Dec 17, 2019
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I'm starting to have back and shoulder issues and the DR said I might think about doing away with the compound bow and consider a crossbow. I started hunting with a bow and killed my first deer with one. Just thought I'd see if anyone has made the switch that may not have wanted to and see what they think.

The only positive I can see is, it might give a person a little more range.
 

oldillini

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I have a crossbow, but it never even went to the woods in 2 years. Still loving my compound. Had shoulder surgery 4 years ago and with help of great surgeon and excellent PTs, I was shooting again in 6 months.

I am sure your doctor knows what is going on, but I have always looked for a second opinion.

Hope all goes well if you do need to make the switch.
 

F250

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I have been using a crossbow for 10 years. I have taken a couple dozen deer with one. Some crossbow manufacturers brag about 100 yard accuracy. That’s fine for target shooting. My max range for deer hunting is 35 yards.
 

targetpanic

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I had to hunt with one the year my rotator cuff surgery was scheduled (who in their right mind would schedule surgery in the middle of the rut??). I shot it a bunch when I bought it in late summer and hunted with it up until my surgery. They suck to hunt with IMO. Awkward as hell carrying to and from tree and awkward aiming/supporting while shooting at deer and a PITA to reload in the tree.
 

SaskHunter

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A few years ago I went from compound to crossbow due to a shoulder injury. As archery season includes crossbows back home all I had to do was buy one and go hunt. I filled a few tags with that crossbow, a couple deer and a bull moose.

When my shoulder was back to 100%, I sold the crossbow and went back to my compound bow and never looked back until this winter when I injured the same shoulder pretty badly. With lots of rest and physio, I managed to get my shoulder back to normal-ish and can draw my bow again so I am looking forward to taking it out tomorrow morning for the archery opener!!!

If I ever get to a point where I can no longer shoot my compound, I would/will change to crossbow if I can, early archery season is an awesome time of year and not worth missing out due to an injury.
 

seeth07

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They suck to hunt with IMO. Awkward as hell carrying to and from tree and awkward aiming/supporting while shooting at deer and a PITA to reload in the tree.
This for sure. While they are convenient for just being able to point and shoot rather than draw and hold a bow, its not as convenient in a lot of other aspects. Weight, bulk, reloading after a missed shot, freehand shooting while standing is difficult (especially if you need to hold that position for a long period of time while you wait for a deer to make his last step you need).
 

derek_s

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Feb 20, 2019
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I'm the same as the other folks. Got a crossbow after shoulder surgery and hunted with it but put it away after I was healed up. I didn't find it as fun to shoot as a compound. They will help you stay in the woods though.
 

Henry22

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I borrowed a crossbow a couple times last year and ended up buying one a few weeks ago. I still plan on using my compound some but the crossbow gives me a little more range when needed and the ability to take some of my family and friends hunting that don’t have a vertical bow or have bad shoulders/injuries. The guy that sold it to me calls em string rifles and I have to agree. Definitely doesn’t feel the same as bow hunting. I did get one with a handle crank for cocking it and I can decock it with the crank as well. There’s a lot of options on the market to sort through
 

Tikka06

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I’ve been using one for the past 2 seasons. I don’t dislike hunting with it but it is hard to carry through the woods. I prefer a compound but it’s not in the cards right now. Maybe next year hopefully.
 

F250

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Major injuries and surgeries on both shoulders and my back over the years. The crossbow is the only choice for me if I want to take advantage of archery seasons.
 

shannerdrake

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I have had major shoulder issues (torn muscle and dislocation) and had a partial lung removal that split my ribs and cut a bunch of muscles and nerves in the process. I also moved and lost my backyard range. In short, I was unable last year to get comfortable and confident with a vertical bow so I used a crossbow.

It is another tool in the toolbox. I thoroughly enjoy shooting a vertical bow. It is therapeutic and relaxing. A crossbow isn’t something you shoot for fun. You shoot it to get sighted in and use it for its purpose. XBows are great in urban hunts where a heart shot is needed instead of lungs and I know guys who hunt urban geese from ground blinds where shotguns aren’t allowed. They are also a ton of fun for turkeys.

They have their place is what I’m saying. I would say all things being equal my effective range and accuracy double. So I can hit with my crossbow at 40-50 yards as accurately and consistently as I can my compound at 20-25. Where a vertical bow is more of an art, a crossbow is more of a science.

Below are two groups. The first is my vertical bow at 40 yards. That’s at the end of the summer after several hundred practice shots. The second is my crossbow at 100 yards. It was the first and only 100 yard group I have shot and I shot that after sighting in. Which by the way only took about 10 shots. The three arrows at 100 were literally my 10, 11, and 12 shots out of that crossbow. EA9522D6-CDFD-43BA-BF9B-6B7F2808FCEF.jpeg A48780ED-E9D7-449B-A73A-DB4E31AE304F.jpeg
 

Bob-WY

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For me it's personal. I don't view. Rossbows as archery, I know, very controversial view. I would not move to a xbow. In fact my wife is bypassing this bow season waiting on shoulder surgery

Where legal, if you want, go for it. To us they simply aren't archery
 
R

rwc101

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I'm taking a crossbow out this weekend for the first time. Can't say I like the thing. It has got me thinking of picking up a compound, but I'm not sure if that's a great decision with my shoulder and back.
 

TheGrayRider

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AF4D2D50-08C0-45E1-945E-299CFDDD46F3.jpeg

October 2021 - Indiana. I love hunting with my old crossbow. Not as expensive or compact as the new crossbows but still accurate. Legal equipment now in all archery seasons here. Good luck this upcoming season, TheGrayRider.
 

chevyman181

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Dec 17, 2019
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I'm taking a crossbow out this weekend for the first time. Can't say I like the thing. It has got me thinking of picking up a compound, but I'm not sure if that's a great decision with my shoulder and back.
I'm in the same boat, I have a bad shoulder and arthritis in my upper back along with some other issues. I was told to make the switch a few years ago but didn't. Now my back is getting so it starts to "lock up"during and after shooting. We pretty much shoot year round so it's not one of those deals "because you haven't shot in awhile."
 

Keep on

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Arthritis in my wrists and shoulder have moved me to using the X-bow. I was never a hard core archer, but always spent some time in the woods during archery season. I made the switch 3 years ago and don't plan on picking up another vertical bow in my lifetime. I don't shoot past 40 yards hunting even though I can get great groups to 60 in my back yard. Am just glad it allows me to keep enjoying the archery season when the leaves are changing.
 

drexal

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May 4, 2021
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I tried to switch when I was having shoulder issues. I took it out once and didn't like it, so I went back to bow hunting the next season. There are a lot of nice compact, lightweight options out now that weren't available then. Maybe next time I need to make the switch, it'll be different.
 

shannerdrake

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Arthritis in my wrists and shoulder have moved me to using the X-bow. I was never a hard core archer, but always spent some time in the woods during archery season. I made the switch 3 years ago and don't plan on picking up another vertical bow in my lifetime. I don't shoot past 40 yards hunting even though I can get great groups to 60 in my back yard. Am just glad it allows me to keep enjoying the archery season when the leaves are changing.
This is a great post and well written. If it's a difference of getting out there versus not, it's an absolute no brainer. Happy to have you in the deer woods friend!

Also, there are a whole bunch of people who frankly have no business shooting a vertical bow due to their unwillingness to put in the necessary practice to be proficient AND limit their shots. I have one "friend" who seems to wound a deer every year or two and it's always because "mechanicals suck" or his bow "must be out of tune" or "hit a limb." He's also the same guy who usually shoots his bow with the first time with broadheads the night before in his headlights. I wish he'd either take of a crossbow or find a new hobby if we are being honest.

On the flip side, I really can't stomach the idea of someone not getting out in the woods because of some misplaced pride that won't allow them to pick-up a crossbow when their body won't let them pull a bow. If that person really think's its too easy than treat it like a bow. Limit your shots to 30 yards. Stand up before shooting. Use a single pin red dot. I even saw a guy shooting an old Barnett crossbow instinctively with no sight at all because he didn't want too much of an advantage.
 

RealMuddyboots

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Dec 28, 2021
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Three surgeries on rt shoulder. Botched full repair in 2019 where surgeon did not remove calcium deposit resulting in shredding of rotator beyond repair. Pain 90% of time. Kind of ignore it. I still can shoot my Hoyt but it is now with new limbs to shoot in low 50's lbs. Killed nice buck 2021. Problem is I have maybe 20-25 shots a year in shoulder before I have zero strength to pull back. I have Bowtech 380 from gift when I retired in 2012. Killed few deer with it. Works fine. Gets me in woods. Opens up some new opportunities with it. Interesting to sit on ground in heavy cover and kill deer at <10 yds. Added new layer of fun! Let deer walk into crosshairs close range on the ground still gets blood pumping. I am buying another crossbow that has crank system since getting harder to @#)(# with pulleys. Shoulder just giving out day by day. Really good option when your shoulders just keep breaking down. Buy one with crank system which some can uncock with it. Big deal. Trigger needs to be decent at 3lbs. Shoot heavier arrows out of it to gain penetration and noise reduction. You don't lose much with crossbows in speed but gain better performance especially if you shoot mechanicals. Crossbows really help us older fellas keep hunting since we all prob abused our bodies far too much thru life.
 
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