This is not an argument against the expanded use of crossbows.
Check it out:
I just got back from hunting turkeys in Nebraska with the folks at Cabela’s, who were good enough to pitch wall tents for us on the prairie and let us loose on the local mix of Merriam’s, Easterns, and hybrids. During the hunt, carrying the company’s new Instinct Lancer crossbow, regular F&S contributor Will Brantley and I belly-crawled to the edge of a cornfield where a big Eastern gobbler and eight jakes milled at 60 yards. Brantley raised a tail fan he’d brought from Kentucky and spun it slowly left and right. Seeing this, the gobbler started to close the distance. But then he got a little edgy, and… pfunk. Brantley dropped him at 48 yards.
Never in a million years could he have pulled that off with a vertical bow.
The next morning, on the rolling prairie, Brantley and I were belly-crawling again, this time toward a big Merriam’s courting a couple of hens. As we topped the last knoll, the gobbler’s head popped up above the grass at about 70 yards. Brantley raised up the fan again, but this tom wasn’t edgy. He barged in, looking to kick some turkey butt, and I bolted him at 30. He dropped like he’d been pole-axed, with neither flop nor flap. When we walked up to the bird, he looked like he’d been hit with a .308.