John's Journal...


Crossbows Past & Future

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: What’s the future of crossbow hunting in the United States?
SNYDER: Crossbow hunting is the fastest-growing segment of the archery business. I’d like to see it continue to grow, just like I’d like to see all forms of archery keep on growing. Many adults haveClick to enlarge learned that they can take their youngsters bowhunting with them when they shoot crossbows, because the youngster can shoot a crossbow before he’s old enough to draw a vertical bow. When that youngster gets big enough to shoot a vertical bow, you can take that same crossbow and give it to the next oldest son or daughter, who then can shoot it. A crossbow can go through the hands of several young people in a family as they become interested in bowhunting. The crossbow is to hunting what the Zebco 33 is to fishing in that, anyone at any skill level can be successful with the crossbow or the Zebco 33.

QUESTION: What seems to be the largest section of the hunting population that’s starting to utilize the crossbow?
Click to enlarge SNYDER: So far, it looks to be youth and women. But we are also seeing a number of urban, upper-echelon-management hunters who spend five to six days a week at the office and have had to give up archery because they’re so busy. They don’t have enough practice time to be proficient with the vertical bow. The bowhunter who doesn’t have the time to practice with a vertical bow can zero in his crossbow in 30 minutes and then be ready to hunt without having to practice for hours like he or she will with a longbow. There’s less time for hunting and fishing now than there’s ever been. People are so busy that when they have the opportunity to go hunting, even if they haven’t had time to practice to be proficient, the crossbow still will meet their needs.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: With more and more deer moving into suburbia, are you seeing the crossbow utilized to solve urban deer problems?
SNYDER: Yes, but it is not only the crossbow being utilized to solve the urban problems. The vertical bow is too. In most states, bowhunting is seen as a recreational pursuit instead of a deer-management tool. However, in those urban areas where firearm useage is restricted, the crossbow has really found a home. For instance, in Ohio, six of the top 10 counties where deer are being taken with a crossbow are very-urban counties.

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 3