Crossbow Hunting and The Law
It is not uncommon for states and provinces to require that you take an educational course when you are considering crossbow hunting. Even if this is not required by law, taking a certified bow hunting course is a beneficial opportunity for you to educate yourself about all of the advisable safety precautions you should take when opting for this type of sport.
Courses will allow you to become familiar with the basic use of your crossbow, various arrow types, safety, different parts of your weapon and they will teach you about ethical hunting practices. It is also advisable to register younger hunters in a safety course in order to give them a solid foundation into the level of discipline and respect necessary for hunting. In general, these courses are free or quite affordable. They are worth it.
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Crossbow hunting laws vary between states and provinces in North America. It is important to check out your local laws before you even consider purchasing a crossbow. Here are a few examples to get you started, but also ensure that you are checking they’re up to date laws as they can change;
- States like Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, and Alaska make an allowance for hunters with disabilities to use a crossbow during hunting season
- States like Indiana and Delaware define specific crossbow hunting seasons
- States like Kentucky and Kansas allow crossbow hunting for everyone
- States like Alaska will only allow certified hunters to use a crossbow for hunting
- States like Maryland, Florida, Delaware, and Arkansas are specific about the types of arrows that can be used on specific prey
- States like Delaware will define a minimum pull weight
In North America, provinces and states that do allow crossbow hunting will often time have a strict set of rules, especially when they are indicating what season is appropriate as well as specific prey. There are multiple states that only allow deer hunting, yet New Mexico will allow a wide variety of game including; bear, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, cougar, pronghorn, turkey and more.
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Crossbow Hunting Tips
Tac x tactical experts give you some helpful tips that will aid you in becoming the best crossbow hunter you can be;
- Cocking Device: More often than not, crossbow hunters use a cocking device. It is a challenge to pull back 150 plus pounds of draw weight. Cocking devices make this easier. This device is also beneficial for increasing and maintaining accuracy by ensuring that the string returns to exactly the same position each and every time.
- String Protection: It is important to check your string often for wear and dirt. It is suggested that your rail should be lubricated every 20 shots in order to prolong string life. Make sure you are not over-lubricating the rail because it will end up shortening its life.
- String and Cable Replacement: These pieces will eventually require replacing. Crossbows need to have these parts replaced more than a compound bow. The frequency will obviously depend on how often you use your crossbow. Every other year is about right for recommended replacements or every four years if it is only used on occasion.
- Checking Regulations: Make sure that you are up to date on your area’s laws relating to the use of a crossbow. These regulations are changed often and you do not want to be doing anything unlawful.
- Shooting Platform: Just like shooting with a gun, you require stability for your crossbow. If you are able to rest it on some form of stable platform, you will improve your accuracy.
- Optics: Ensure that you are using the proper lighting system for your bow. There are many options out there.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: This is true whether you are bow hunting with a compound or crossbow or whether you are using a gun. Never put your weapon down in the offseason. The more you practice, the better you will be. Take this opportunity to extend the life of your hunting season. When big-game is done, try using your crossbow to hunt game birds or pests.