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Its Official. I now have an H/C FL Crossbow Permit

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Years ago I had a traumatic musculature injury to my left bicep and pretty much gave up archery. Last year I dusted off my 25yr old PSE Fireflite and discovered I cant pull it back even at the lowest 5lb limit. I have no bicep left and when put into a strain it just knots up into a cramp. It doesnt really affect me much day to day but I miss being the first in the woods archery season.

 

This year I was talking with my Doc and he agreed to fill out the paperwork and I was granted a cross bow permit. FL for the longest held out on any CB hunting until a few years ago and now offers half the archery season open to cross bow and now I can hunt the full season.

 

When I started out as a youth pre compund there werent that many choices out there for archery rquipment. Now they are like AR manufacturers, there are too many to research and the technology is advancing faster than I can keep up with. I need a few suggestions on where to pick up a reasonably priced "kit" wit the bow, bolts and scope. Budget is $400 max, I am not looking for the fanciest cutting edge products, just a nice set up capable of harvesting deer/hogs out to 50-60yds. I would like to put one or two of the 20 does I saw last year in the freezer.

 

Thanks!

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Congrats on being able to get back in the woods during the early season. I missed the entire season last year because of my move and it has really bummed me out.

 

I think you may be misled about the ability of crossbows. While they generally shoot faster than compounds, they have about the same effective range because of the weight of the bolts they shoot. 50-60 is a long stretch for deer sized targets with any archery equipment. Now like anything else with lots of practice it can be done but its a pretty fine line to walk. Another thing you may want to consider with your condition is the cocking mechanism and how you are going to hunt as far as either tree stand or ground blind. Most of todays crossbows load using a string and pulley mechanism. While not as bad as something like a traditional or compound bow they require equal force on each side to cock the bow true. While the string may only need come back 12 or 14 inches the cocking string may need to be pulled 3 times that while having a foot in the stirrup of the bow. This may get into your lack of bicep condition. There are some that use a crank style mechanism built into the crossbow and they provide much more mechanical advantage they can be slower to cock and will add weight to the bow.

 

I would suggest going to a local Bass Pro or Cabelas. They will generally have an indoor range to test archery equipment and look at the different setups and see what your limitations are going to be as far as cocking them especially seated if you are going to be in a ground blind as they are not generally tall enough for an adult to stand up in. Tree stands won't be as restrictive on height but of course the movement is much more noticeable. They will also generally have a broad selection and somewhat knowledge about about the equipment. If you explain your situation most of the employees will be more than happy to let you test cock and fire a few models.

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Michigan got it's head out of it's butt about crossbows several years ago, so I've been hunting with them for a while. The biggest advantage to a crossbow is not having to draw just prior to taking the shot. Ethical range isn't any longer than a vertical bow, and they are louder to shoot due to the higher draw weight and shorter limbs causing a more violent shot cycle.

 

As far as cocking goes....

Rope cockers work well for many because they reduce the force necessary by 50%. So a 150# draw weight bow requires only 75# of force to draw, which sounds pretty substantial until you consider that you are using both hands and one leg to get it done. And you don't use your arm strength as much as you use your grip strength and back.

 

There are crank cockers that will slip over the butt of many bows, and they work alright, but they are slower and pricier, which will cut into your budget probably more than you'll care for. Parker even makes a bow with a pneumatic cocker/de-cocker, but it is heavy and commands a scary price.

 

I'm not going to get into which bow is better than another, because that is purely subjective and a matter of personal preference as much as anything. But, one that you might be interested in is a Barnett Jackal. I only mention the Jackal because it isn't nearly as expensive as a lot of them out there, it has the features that make the endeavor safe (like anti-dry fire), they're accurate, it's relatively lightweight, and the stock configuration is very much like an AR with it's pistol grip & beavertail fore grip.

 

Without doubt the best thing to do is as Red suggested. Go to a Cabela's and check them out hands on. They typically have a range there where you can actually try out a bow before you plunk down your hard earned.

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Thanks for the input guys. I wish I lived closer to a BPS or Cabela's... well maybe its a good thing. Closest to me is Orlando and I think there is one in Savannah, both two hours away. We do have one hunting/fishing store that probly has demo's so I will check there. Wont be buying there because I would probly have to sell my car to get one.

 

Ive been looking at some Barnetts and PSE because I recognize the names but with all the press on the Ravin's I could always second mortgage the house. I will keep looking and try a few different brands and types. Any brands that do not warrant a look? Cocking ease will be near the top of the list, weight another. I do still hunt from tree stands, I have a climber and a ladder stand. Altho the ladder is a PITA to get in the woods and set up, once its there its a solid platform. I generally use it archery hunting and with my grand son.

 

This year, archery takes on a special meaning. Florida has a quota system on most of the Management Areas for black powder and the first nine days of gun season. They also do 3 weekends of hog dog hunting on the WMA we have hunted the last few years. Amazingly beautiful and teeming with game. Its in the Suwannee River Basin and looks like what I imagine Old Florida looked like. Our little group of friends have hunted together for about 25 years so we know the area pretty well. A great group of guys.

 

The last 5 years we have had no issues with permits but we got skunked on 500 chances over the five seasons. Archery luckily is not regulated so we can enjoy that as well as the last few weekends of gun season. i guess the secret is out on this WMA but its just hard to fathom we missed that many chances and have seen so few people in there in years previous. Oh well there are other good spots, we just need to get back out and scout.

 

Keep the info coming, gents. It helps a lot!

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Good for You !

 

What is it about crossbows that these States have a problem with.

I have a grandson who has already taken 2 with a crossbow.

 

What's the objection ?

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Good for You !

 

What is it about crossbows that these States have a problem with.

I have a grandson who has already taken 2 with a crossbow.

 

What's the objection ?

Some states are still a little old fashioned about archery seasons. Crossbows are restricted to folks with physical conditions that won't allow them to shoot traditional archery equipment.

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Some states are still a little old fashioned about archery seasons. Crossbows are restricted to folks with physical conditions that won't allow them to shoot traditional archery equipment.

 

I get that, but what makes the crossbow "evil" ?

 

What is their rationale ?

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Good for You !

 

What is it about crossbows that these States have a problem with.

I have a grandson who has already taken 2 with a crossbow.

 

What's the objection ?

The biggest hurtle is misinformed traditional bow hunters that irrationally oppose them.

The science is mounting, and their fallacies are being exposed. As that happens, the states are changing their rulings to allow the use of crossbows.

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i think it goes back a lot to "primitive" weapons. Crossbows are more advanced even if te development of both pretty much ran concurrently. The fact that a crossbow can be "cocked and locked" indefinitely also moves it into a more modern weapon. You also have to be careful about what types of equipment you can attach. Sighting can be heavily restricted. FL will not allow any distance measuring or light emitting sights but as far as I can tell, scopes are ok. This may be an issue that carries thru to black powder rifles. Folks will buy a set up at Wallyworld and go to the woods only to get a ticket and "Well I bought it that way" does not fly with the Game Warden.

 

I think the main objection is the crossbow is much more advanced than a bow but with all the advancements in compound cams and materials, none of it is primitive much anymore.

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I think the main objection is the crossbow is much more advanced than a bow but with all the advancements in compound cams and materials, none of it is primitive much anymore.

Same can be said with muzzle loaders. Most you see in the field anymore don't resemble primitive weapons at all. Then when you add things like variable power IR reticle scopes, Pyrodex pellets (smokeless black powder substitute), saboted bullets and 209 primers, how is it still a "primitive weapons" season?

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