*Crossbows and Other Useless Survival Weapons*
By Buckshot

I am going to dispel some fantasy about the crossbow. Everyone has this image in their head that a crossbow can silently kill at 200 yards. If it is the only weapon you have it is the best one. But if you have a choice a .22 rifle with a scope is far superior but, the best silent game harvesting tool
is traps and snares.  How many of you have the skill to track a wounded deer for 1 mile at night in the thickest part of the swamp when the blood spots are 1 every 20 feet? Don't tell me all of you can, there are some people that can yes, but the vast majority have no tracking skills. I have talked
to way too many bow hunters about losing wounded animals. But, that is another story all together.  How many bolts for the crossbow do you own 12-24-? It doesn't really matter. Sooner or later you are going to lose them then what? Make them? You have the skill to make a wooden arrow strong
enough for a 150 pound crossbow, that will support that kind of pressure, fly straight and kill an animal? If I have to I could, is not an answer. How many bow strings do you have put away? 1-2-3? How are you going to make them when you are out? Sinew, oh really have you ever done it? I am not attacking anyone I am simply pointing out the problems with the crossbow.

Here is a great example I read in Outdoor life 10 years ago about crossbows. If the crossbow is sighted in with a scope at 50 yards it will be 14 inches high at 20 yards and 20 inches low at 100 yards. I am going by memory so it may be worst or better but the author's point was you could not hit a deer with a crossbow unless it was close to a 50 yard range if that is what the bow is sighted in for. Say the deer was only 25 yards away. What was your crossbow sighted in for? How low do you aim? Are you sure? Say you hit a deer that is quartering to you, the bolt zips through the deer. What happens next? The deer falls over dead? Rarely, most of the time the deer runs off like it has never been touched. What you do in the next 30 minutes will greatly improve your chances of harvesting the deer? Do you know what it is? Or let say you missed and the deer runs 20 feet, stops and looks back. How fast can you reload?

 I read an article in a recent magazine about slingshot hunting where the author said he shoots 100 times with a slingshot per 1 kill. I will give him credit at lease he was honest. What does a slingshot have to do with crossbows? Everything. It is part of what I call fantasy survival. I am a realist and I should have been born in Missouri the show me state. When someone says something I try to find out about it because I have read and been told too many theories to bet my life on it. When you are under this illusion that a crossbow is the perfect survival weapon are you willing to bet your life on it?  I read a lot different boards and the 1 thing I have found out, is people have a comfort zone that they believe because of movies and certain products sold to survivalist. That this must be the one to have the answer to silently harvesting game for survival.

I don't believe in it because you are betting your life and family life on an illusion. Hunters have this habit of sticking in their comfort zone too. They understand you shoot the animal, he falls over and dies? This satisfies the quick easy kill concept and is the best way to go syndrome. The truth,
33% of waterfowl (ducks, geese) are wounded and never harvested. This study was done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. It was done in the early 80's. The study was so bad for the hunters it was buried. 33% wounded and lost and an average of 7 shots per 1 kill. How many shotgun shells did you put away? Again I am going by memory but deer hunters are not much better I believe it was a 19% wounded and lost with a gun and a startling 38% wounded and lost with a bow. We can argue the facts all day, you can say this is those slob hunters, I only take perfect shots and never lost a deer.  I have been around way too many hunters over the pass 30 years to agree. You will wound
and lose game. It happens to all of us. So, what is the answer to silently harvesting game? Traps and snares.  With conibear traps you have 98% harvested animal. Meaning a #110 conibear set for rabbits and squirrels will catch and hold 98% of the animals that get caught in the trap. So, 100
squirrels shot at with a slingshot to get one or 98 squirrels in your traps out of 100. A #220  you are in the 98% harvested. The 330 will hold  98% of the beaver that are caught.  This does not mean if you set 1 trap you have a 98% chance of catching something. On the average out of 4 trap set to catch 1 animal. Sound confusing? It is if you are not willing to learn about trapping and snaring.

What about deer? I am going to tell you about a phone call I had. Pre-Y2k. I had a few customers out of country, one from a South American country. Around March of 2000 I received a call and talked with the gentleman that ordered my Survival Snaring Video and 1 dozen Deer Snares. What happened? Nov. 1999 he decided to try and snare a deer for the freezer for his family. He set out the snares and in 1 week took 11 deer. His comment, "I have been hunting the last 3 years without getting a deer?" Needless to say he ordered more snares.

You see this is about true tested proven methods that produce results. This is not some slick Hollywood movie selling a fantasy. But if you are willing to learn you will have the edge over 99.9% of the average American.


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