In the past decade, 19 states have made crossbows legal in all or part of the state’s archery season. 2012 accounted for four of these additions and either added or extended crossbow hunting opportunities. Indiana expanded its crossbow season to coincide with the regular archery season. Kansas opened crossbow hunting to hunters over the age of 55 and under the age of 15 for the entire archery season. Crossbows are also legal in Kansas for all hunters during firearm seasons and legal for all hunters during the archery season in select counties (urban areas).
Previously in Illinois, crossbows were legal only for handicap permit holders during the archery season. The regulation changed in 2012, allowing hunters to use a crossbow if they met one or more of the following conditions: the hunter was age 62 or older or a handicapped person and has been issued a permit to use a crossbow in the archery season. Illinois allowed all hunters to use a crossbow during the period starting the second Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday through the last day of the archery deer season.
There are several reasons for surge of hunters switching to horizontal bows. The population is aging and as bowhunters “see more miles in the rearview mirror” many are having a difficult time drawing a vertical bow. Crossbows offer the solution to keep them in the field and hunting.
Crossbows are also a great crossover product. Hunters used to taking a firearm afield feel comfortable with a crossbow. The stock, trigger and sight systems are familiar and make the conversion to new challenges and an expanded hunting season a breeze. Beyond that, crossbows are flat-out cool and fun to shoot regardless whether you goal is to punch holes in paper or let the air out of Bambi.
Hunting regulations change regularly, so be sure to check the local laws to where you live or plan to hunt. Here is a link to all of the states and providances in Canada.
While you may not be able to take a test drive of each of the models fear not, we have done the legwork for you. Here are the top 10 selling crossbows on Cheaper Than Dirt!
- SA Sports Fever
- RC-150 Barnett Compound Crossbow
- SA Sports Vendetta Crossbow
- Barnett Jackal Crossbow
- Barnett Zombie 350 Crossbow
- Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow
- Excalibur Axiom Crossbow
- Ten Point Wicked Ridge Raider
- Barnet QUAD 400 Crossbow
- Well, I guess we had to leave something to the imagination. Tell us about your favorite crossbow in the comment section.