Bow shooters at all skill and involvement levels had a chance to check out crossbow models six major manufacturers feature for 2012 at Wilson Conservation Club June 2.
Weather cooperated with sunny skies this time, and shooters had opportunities to stop by ranges and try out Darton, Excalibur, Horton, Kodabow, Parker and TenPoint crossbows. "They (shooters) kept telling me how much they learned while shooting on the club range," said Chris Schotz, event coordinator, of reactions from the nearly 300 attendees who took advantage using the gear that day.
Pending legislation would allow hunter crossbow use through the entire big-game season, but Sanborn hunter Rob Hehir, while checking out a TenPoint bow model, said, "This thing would be fun to hunt coyotes." Coyote predation of deer and turkey stocks was a hot topic with presenters and visitors at this gathering.
Along with accuracy, arrow (called a "bolt" in crossbow circles) speed is a noted feature each new season. Horton was one of the first makers of the "reverse limb" platform with its Vision 175 model, which sends out bolts at 300 feet per second (fps).
At this demo, Frank Miskey Sr. and others showed shooters the new Fury 160, which fires at only a 160-pound pull and has been clocked delivering bolts at 360 fps.
Many shooters were impressed with the Parker crossbow's 2-second cocking mechanism, which operates with a push button in the butt plate. Parker and other makers offer devices that not only provide power-assist cocking, but also allow shooters to uncock the bow without firing a field arrow after the day's hunt.
Before hunting seasons were set for crossbow use, shooters such as Niagara Falls hunter Mike Targon picked up on models for target shooting and eventual hunting use. Jeff Pippard at Niagara Outdoors had set up Targon, longtime vertical bow shooter, with just the right hand-crank drawing device on a TenPoint to do everything he could do with a conventional hunting bow.
Jim Rogers, Environmental Conservation Officer, manned a booth with Ken Baginski, Sportsman Education Coordinator. While walking around the ranges, Rogers commented about the superior accuracy of modern crossbows and their use while deer hunting. He said, "Deer aren't paper targets. We owe them a humane death, if we're going to kill them." His remarks had the approval of Floyd Koerner Jr. Safari Club International project coordinator and others at this demo.
State Sen. George Maziarz, sponsor of the crossbow bill in the senate, visited each shooting site and hit in or near the dots on targets for each model tested. Commenting on pending legislation, Maziarz noted, "Things look good in the Senate, but we may need some help in the Assembly."
The New York Crossbow Coalition has striven to finally establish the crossbow as a hunting option in all seasons. Tom Provhe is the Western New York coordinator of coalition efforts. To find out how to help establish new crossbow regulations, check with Provhe at 725-5117 or go to nycrossbowcoalition.com.