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Stupid crossbow question


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Have toyed with the idea of a crossbow for a couple years due to a lingering shoulder injury. A month ago, the other shoulder went south, so thinking a lot harder about it all of a sudden.

 

Stupid question - all the crossbows have cocking devices to help you draw. What about a de-cocker? Is there such a thing? Or at the end of each unsuccessful day in the deer stand (hopefully there are none), do you have to just aim at a rock-free spot, pull the trigger, and grind down your broadhead with high-velocity dirt, kinda like with a muzzleloader?

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Same boat, but shoulder looks like it will hold out with a compound vertical bow for another season. I bought a mid range XBow and will use it some when legal. 
 

There are no stupid questions here other than whether to get a flushing spaniel or a pointing dog.

 

As you mentioned XBows are cocked with fingers..OUCH..or hooks, rope and handles, or the same that retract into the stock like mine, or a crank lever. Most modern, more expensive XBows with the crank lever allow you to also decock using the crank lever. Others that depend on the manual type cocking need to be discharged. With those the usual method is to carry/use a discharge bag which is a small or mini target bag and an extra bolt with a field tip. No biggy. Takes me less than a minute to set out the discharge bag and shoot a bolt into it. (You can buy biodegradable polymer bolts that can be shot into the ground to discharge.) What I like about the discharge bag is I get to see if the XBow is still on and the scope hasn’t been knocked off zero. 

 

 

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Like Brad said, many modern more expensive Xbows can both cock and decock with the crank.  My nephew has one that the crank is internal and it’s wicked fast but cost about $1500 I believe.  Mine cost $225 on Black Friday and like Brad, I carry an old bolt (or a cheap new aluminum one from Wally world) with a target tip to discharge at the end of the hunt.   I often pick a distinctive leaf or weed to aim at, and like Brad, check the sights on morning hunts.  I have miscalculated the soil condition and buried the bolt, never to be found.  My bow is pretty quiet, but the discharge still makes some noise before you come down from the stand, which I don’t like in the evenings when it is dark and unseen deer may be nearby.  I like to sneak out as quietly as possible, so I don’t discharge till it get to the truck on evening hunts.  I often wait past legal shooting till it gets dark before coming down, in an attempt to spook less deer on the walk out, especially if there is enough moon to see by.  Some people keep a 1ft cube target in the truck to discharge into, I just use the ground.  One disadvantage to this method is I may shoot my bow once in 10-20 hunts at a deer, so this increases wear on your bow and stings by a factor of 10 or more, excluding practice.  And honestly, I don’t practice a lot.  I check the sights at the beginning of the season, or any time I change something like bolts.  If it shoots where I aim at various yardages, I only practice in the field as described above, and only a little and very occasionally during the season.  Xbows definitely require a lower skill level than longbows to hit the target. But I only started bow hunting when my 10 year old son asked me to take him, when he was too small for anything but an Xbow, and I never turned back.  

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I added a crank to mine the cost was about $70 and it is removeable.  I can uncrank the crossbow without shooting it I find that it is not hard to do   But instead of shooting your broadheads swap out the hunting bolt for one with a target point and buy a small bag target to shoot into keep it in your vehicle and unload the Xbow when you get back to it.  NEVER shoot a bolt that you have shot into the ground again arrows can and will explode with unforgiving results be it Aluminum or Carbon saw it happen to many times when I was shooting competitive archery the cost of an arrow it cheap compared to an ER visit.

 

The crank I use is made by Trophy ridge but looks similar to this one https://www.beararchery.com/collections/archery-accessories/products/bear-x-detachable-crossbow-cocking-crank This fits a AR style stock but there are others out there that fit other style stocks.

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On 9/14/2021 at 4:20 AM, Lurch said:

do you have to just aim at a rock-free spot, pull the trigger, and grind down your broadhead with high-velocity dirt, kinda like with a muzzleloader?

Never

 

You can buy bolts that are meant to be shot into soft dirt to unload.

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Thanks for all the answers.

Pulled the trigger on a Rocky Mountain (formerly Carbon Express) RM-415 today.

We'll give it a go and see what happens. At least I've got an alternative while the shoulder heals.

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17 minutes ago, Lurch said:

Thanks for all the answers.

Pulled the trigger on a Rocky Mountain (formerly Carbon Express) RM-415 today.

We'll give it a go and see what happens. At least I've got an alternative while the shoulder heals.


What type cocking mechanism etc does it have?
 

Even with a bad right shoulder I can shoot my compound as long as I don’t practice a lot which sort of defeats the purpose. But I do prefer it over the XBow. One major drawback in my opinion is the time it takes to recock and set a bolt after shooting my XBow compared to a compound vertical bow. You can miss or you can spine a deer and a quick follow up (and mercy) shot is good to have. Also many management hunts allow multiple deer if a person cares to double up if given the chance. I don’t care how quick a person can crank a XBow, it won’t be as fast as a compound. Even if. A deer skiddadles a crank lever is good for cocking again in a tree stand. I can’t cock mine with the retractable hooks and handles when perched on a small ladder stand platform. I have to climb down to do it.

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It's got both the standard rope unit, plus an aftermarket (but made specifically for RM/CE units) crank cocker/decocker.

 

I'm with you - can shoot the compound a couple times, but every now and then during the draw cycle it's like I hit a painful bump/wall. And range of motion is a bit impinged as well. Being married to a PT, you'd think I'd get all the manipulation/massage/e-stim/etc, but if you've seen the Seinfeld "Massage" episode, you'd know that's not how it works in the real world!

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Wes Stueber

Lurch,

 

Several years ago I bought my first X bow, due to a bad right shoulder.  I got a rubber plug to just put on the end of a bolt.  When I'm ready to climb down, I just pull out the plugged bolt and shoot it @ something on the ground.  It works for me..!  {Mine has the old rope pulley style system to cock it and agree w/ Brad - they are SLOW to reload!}

 

Good luck w/ your shoulder.

 

 

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You don't need a medical issue to want to shoot a crossbow.  They are fun in their own right.    They don't have the sweet feel of a good smooth, well tuned and quiet compound, but they are still cool.  The best feature of a crossbow is that they are easier to shoot accurately while sitting on the ground.  Some days I'm just to lazy to drag a 22lb tree climber into the woods and sweat my way up a tree.   Sometimes the simplicity of just sitting on the ground is nice.

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10 hours ago, MAArcher said:

You don't need a medical issue to want to shoot a crossbow.  They are fun in their own right.    They don't have the sweet feel of a good smooth, well tuned and quiet compound, but they are still cool.  The best feature of a crossbow is that they are easier to shoot accurately while sitting on the ground.  Some days I'm just to lazy to drag a 22lb tree climber into the woods and sweat my way up a tree.   Sometimes the simplicity of just sitting on the ground is nice.

 

 This was it for me. I prefer to hunt on the ground off a dove stool or just sitting by a tree. Crossbows make this much more do-able. 

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