I was considering getting a crossbow for deer hunting on some private land that I have access to. A friend owns the land and bought one last year from Cabela’s Bargain Cave. I got the chance to shoot it earlier this year and was impressed with how rifle-like shooting one is.
As an aside, my friend’s property is packed with deer and they get into his garden. So, he and his wife want the population kept in check. It’s almost a culling operation but I won’t say that I’m guaranteed a deer. Frankly, I’ll be perfectly happy with a doe. I love venison chili, and you can’t eat antlers.
So anyway, on Wednesday night I went to French Creek Outfitters in Phoenixville, PA, and handled an Excalibur Axiom SMF crossbow. It turns out that I didn't like how it felt. So, I asked the salesman at the archery counter if he had any compound bow packages in the $500 range. I wound up coming home with a 2012 Quest Rogue.
Per the specs on Quest’s website, the bow should be capable of launching an arrow at around 300 FPS. I’m getting less than that because I have a short draw length, only 26” to 26.5”. The shorter your draw length, the shorter the power stroke, resulting in lower velocity. With that said, it is by far the fastest bow I’ve ever shot.
It came as a package which included the bow, Limbsaver stabilizer, kisser button, Trophy Taker drop-away rest, sights, D-loop already installed on the string, sling, and a quiver. I also got a hat. The package was $499. I added a half dozen Gold Tip 5575 arrows with 100 grain field points, and a Tru-Ball Stinger release. After the arrows, release, and PA sales tax, it worked out to $614.
I've been shooting a lot of traditional archery this year. The last time I shot a compound was probably sometime in the '90s, before I sold off my old Bear Whitetail II. Going from one of my horsebows or my longbow to this is like going from a flintlock to an AR-15. Holy cow.
Here's a closeup of the riser with goodies:
The cylinder sticking out of the sight is an LED illuminator for the pins.
I put 30 shots through it last night, starting at 10 yards then moving back to 15. This is my final group of 6. (Point of aim was the black dot over the deer's back.)
Once again, holy cow.
I shot it again tonight at the same 15 yards and got similar accuracy. Tonight, however, I picked different spots on the target for about half my shots, to minimize the chances of hitting my arrows.
This morning I bought an archery tag, because with this level of accuracy I feel confident that I can take it into the woods and make a good shot for a humane kill. Aside from the tag, I also ordered from Amazon a half dozen Muzzy broadheads, practice blades, a broadhead wrench, and storage box.
Finally, I placed an order with Gold Tip for another dozen arrows, which should hopefully last me awhile.
The only downside to all this is that I’m now planning to put up for sale one of my rifles to pay for it.