John's Journal...


My Crossbow Introduction – A Note From the Author

Click to enlargeEditor’s note: I was introduced to the crossbow about 2 years ago. I had an accident on a 4-wheeler and my rotator cuff was completely torn up. After surgery and six months of rehabilitation, my arm still wasn’t strong enough to pull a vertical bow. And, to be honest, I was concerned that I might further damage my arm by trying to draw the bow. The same year as my accident, my home state of Alabama, legalized the use of crossbows. This legalization provided me with an alternative way to hunt deer during bow season without having to harm my damaged shoulder. During this time, I learned about many misconceptions about the crossbow that I too, once held, along with other opponents of crossbows. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about the crossbow:
Click to enlarge * The crossbow does not increase the range of an archer. As a matter of fact, many vertical bowhunters can shoot much further and more accurately than the crossbow hunters can shoot.
* The crossbow shoots a bolt much faster and harder than the vertical bow. For this reason, it shouldn’t be compared to the vertical bow. The crossbow does shoot the bolt much faster than most compound bows shoot, however, what you gain in speed, you lose in silence. The deer has more time to react once he hears the sound of the bow’s firing. Too, a hunter’s accuracy begins to drop off once the arrow passes the 35-yard mark.
* You have all the features of a rifle - a trigger, a scope and even a stock with the crossbow. This gives some hunters the impression that the crossbow is no longer a bow. However, we fail to remember that the longbow has a sighting system that’s every bit if not more accurate than a riflescope, and some hunters use the mechanical releases that have a trigger.

I think if we boil the crossbow controversy down to its basic Click to enlargeelements, we will see an argument similar to what two little kids may have standing on a street corner arguing over a baseball bat. One child may say, “If you don’t use a wooden bat, then you’re not really playing baseball. An aluminum bat is not really a bat; it’s an artificial imitation of what a bat ought to be, therefore, you can’t play baseball if you want to use an aluminum bat. You can only play baseball if you use a wooden bat.”

Many times, we believe that if someone doesn’t hunt the same way we hunt, then they can’t be considered as good a hunter as we are and therefore, shouldn’t be granted the same rights and privileges as other “better” hunters. To be honest, does that really make any sense? During deer season, if a hunter can harvest X amount of deer, why does it matter what type of weapon he uses to harvest those deer? Especially, if the weapon is an archery implement.

Click to enlargeThe problem many states are having, especially in the Southeast, has to do with reducing the number of deer taken within the state’s borders. If crossbows can encourage more hunters to take more deer, bring more young people and women into the sport, provide opportunities for a bowhunter who doesn’t have time to practice and be proficient with a longbow and allow older bowhunters to stay in the sport of archery longer, then why shouldn’t we embrace the crossbow? The crossbow is a great revision of an old bow that’s found a new place in our modern world of archery.

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 5