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    Hit or Miss: Pros and Cons of Hunting with a Crossbow

    So far this year we’ve set up shop at quite a few sports expos and trade-shows. We’ve had the opportunity to see the latest and greatest in traditional bows and camo, but one thing that has been swiftly gaining popularity are crossbows. While crossbows were originally designed to assist disabled individuals while hunting, due to their increasing popularity many states are changing their laws to permit their use during the general bow hunting season or during the general firearms season.

    Another reason people are beginning to love crossbows more and more is their learning curve. Unlike a traditional or compound bow, learning to properly aim and fire a cross bow is much simpler making the learning time much shorter. Add in the fact that they generally have great overall performance and it is not surprising they are swiftly rising in the ranks of preferred hunting methods.
    There are most definitely some great pros and some serious cons about using a cross bow. So, let’s check them out:

    Pro: No Draw Time
    Unlike with a traditional or compound bow, there is no need to concentrate on making a full draw while maintaining your aim to make your shot. Once a crossbow is cocked, a mechanism maintains full draw until the trigger is released. This not only conserves energy for the hunter, it allows him to focus solely on his or her target and properly aiming their shot, increasing overall accuracy. Though it is always good to consider the potential for a poor shot, or for nature to rear her head whenever you’re on a hunt.

    Con: They Can Be Heavy
    Traditional and compound bows are generally relatively light-weight, making it easier to carry them while you hunt. Unfortunately, while there have been many advances in overall construction to make crossbows lighter, the reality is they are still quite heavy. While all the complex parts and pieces give the crossbow quite a bit of power and make aiming more accurate, it also makes it significantly heavier than a traditional bow.
    The increased weight also tends to make crossbows much louder, and in a sport where stealth is your friend this is a big disadvantage. Luckily, we noticed at the ATA show this year that manufacturers have been hard at work improving the overall designs and decreasing the weight, making them much quieter. A great example of this can be seen in Ravin Crossbows.

    Pro: High Velocity
    Thanks to the mechanical systems in the crossbow, these guys are little, but mighty. While a traditional or compound bow will have a draw of around 70 pounds, crossbows often have draw strengths of at least 100 pounds with some of the newer models slinging arrows with up to 200 pounds of draw strength. This increased strength also means an increase in velocity, allowing your arrows to fly at up to 450 feet per second. Higher speeds and more power also means deeper penetration, increasing your odds of a kill shot. However, you should always be prepared in case you have a poor shot or nature decides to rear her head.

    Con: Long Reload Time
    With traditional and compound bows, a good hunter will have an incredibly short reload time, allowing them to send off several shots within 1 minute. Since the only requirement to reload a bow is to slip the knock onto your string and draw, you are not only able to maintain aim while reloading but can reload with just one hand. Reloading a crossbow has many more steps. You must set the shaft, pull the draw until it locks, raise your crossbow, sight in your target, correct your aim, then you are able to let off another shot. This more involved process can easily cost you your animal.

    Final Thoughts
    Crossbow hunting may not be for everyone, but they most definitely have their place. Providing novices, younger individuals, and those who are disabled with a reliable, and accurate, method to bow hunt is amazing. We welcome any additions to our hunting community that allow a broader range of people to experience one of our favorite past times. Though, we do concede it is very important to research the crossbow you wish to purchase to make sure it coincides with your skill levels and abilities. With any luck, more advances can be made in the upcoming year to further improve upon this awesome hunting addition!

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TRANSMITTERS & CARRIERS

Pro-Tracker Radio Frequency Transmitter Alpha

 

The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.

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Pro-Tracker Ultra Lightweight Aerodynamic Aluminum Carrier

 

The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. Our Aluminum Carriers are made from a 7075 aluminum alloy which is typically used in aerospace programs. It is the strongest aluminum alloy in the market and made to resist high velocity impacts.

SELECT OPTIONS

 

RADIO FREQUENCY RECEIVER

ReceiverYAGI Antenna

The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on an easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker® System

VIEW SYSTEM

DUAL CHARGER & CARRYING CASE

Custom Carrying Case

 

 

The Pro-Tracker® Custom Carrying Case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.

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USB charging station for radio frequency transmitters

 

 

 

This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.

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STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

Pro-Tracker Radio Frequency Receiver

The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your trophy with durable state-of-the-art technology.

The compact receiver can track up to 6 different transmitters at once. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read backlit LED screen. By watching the receiver you can even determine if the animal is moving or is stationary.

Once activated upon impact with the target the transmitters have a 12 hour battery life. They are also waterproof and rechargeable so they can be reused over and over again. They come with a charging station that can be plugged into wall outlets or vehicle USB ports for extended hunting trips.

 

UNRIVALED PERFORMANCE

The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic and lightweight design of the carriers and transmitters.

Tests have even shown the system does not impact the level of penetration the arrow has. The Pro-Tracker® System has the durability and precision to recover your trophy.

Pro-Tracker Bowhunting arrow sideview

 

ETHICS

deer huntNot only does the Pro-Tracker® system not interfere with ethical shots, but numerous wounded loss studies have shown just how much it is needed in bowhunting. According to one study done by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, 50% of deer that were shot were never recovered.

There are many reasons why it could become nearly impossible to recover an animal. Sometimes game only bleed internally and don’t leave a blood trail, or flee into impossible terrain. Sometimes the weather takes a sudden turn.

Whatever the reason, the Pro-Tracker® System is designed to overcome these obstacles and recover the animal without detracting from the method in which you choose to hunt. Whether in a tree stand, ground blind, or stalking your favorite game, the Pro-Tracker® System is the one sure method for the ethical recovery of all wounded game.

Q.  Is the Pro-Tracker® Legal in my State?

A.  Indicates states where we believe based on our reading of the State regulations the use of the Pro-Tracker System are prohibited.  In no way is this considered to be a legal opinion. 

Alabama: Yes

Alaska: No

Arizona: Use at your own discretion (unlawful to use electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering devices, thermal imaging devices or laser sights; except for devices such as laser range finders, scopes with self illuminating reticles, and fiber optic sights with self-illuminating sights or pins that do not project a visible light onto an animal. I is unlawful to use tracking devices to aid in the taking of wild game).

Arkansas: No (It is unlawful to use electronic tracking devices to locate wildlife or computer assisted hunting equipment)

California: Use at own discretion (has several municipalities, most of which have their own additions or addendums in regards to legal hunting equipment)

Colorado: Use at own discretion (Colorado does have specific restrictions in regards to battery operated equipment on bows and arrows. Tracking devices, specifically, are not mentioned in the regulatory manual).

Connecticut: Yes

Delaware: Yes

Florida: Yes

Georgia: Use at own discretion (it is unlawful to kill or cripple game without reasonable efforts to retrieve. Unlawful to use electronic communications equipment to aid in the pursuit of game).

Hawaii: Yes

Idaho: No (cannot take big game with aid of radio telemetry)

Illinois: No (electronic devices, including but not limited to those that use radio telemetry, are not permitted)

Indiana: Yes

Iowa: Use at your own discretion (it is unlawful to use dogs, domestic animals, bait, radios, handguns, rifles and crossbows , automobiles, aircraft, electronic calls or any mechanical conveyance or device to hunt deer. You cannot use a two-way mobile radio transmitter to communicate the location or direction of game or furbearing animals, or to coordinate the movement of other hunters).

Kansas: Yes

Kentucky: No

Louisiana: Yes

Maine: Yes

Maryland: Yes

Massachusetts: Yes

Michigan: Yes

Minnesota: Yes

Missouri: Yes

Montana: No (electronic or battery-powered devices attached to a hunting bow. – A bow sight or arrow which uses artificial light, luminous chemicals such as tritium, or electronics).

Nevada: No (it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive, or electronic devices attached).

Nebraska: Yes

New Hampshire: Yes

New Jersey: Yes

New Mexico: Yes

New York: Yes

North Carolina: Yes

North Dakota: Use at your own discretion (Telescopic sights, range finding devices, battery- powered or electronically lighted sights or other electronic devices attached to the bow, or the arrow, are not permitted (exception: lighted nocks and recording devices which do not aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow are permitted). Handheld range finding devices are legal).

Ohio: Yes

Oklahoma: Yes

Oregon: No (electronic devices may not be attached to bow or arrow).

Pennsylvania: Yes

South Carolina: Yes

South Dakota: Yes

Tennessee: Yes

Texas: Yes

Utah: Yes

Vermont: Yes

Virginia: Yes

Washington: No (It is unlawful to have any electrical equipment or electric device(s), except for illuminated nocks, attached to the bow or arrow while hunting).

West Virginia: Yes

Wisconsin: Yes

Wyoming: Yes

*Disclaimer:  This research was obtained by the staff of Pro-Tracker and is not to be considered a legal representation as to law. When using the Pro-Tracker system the user must assume any responsibility as to the State regulations that they are in. This is only a guide.