In Wisconsin, it was 105. Oklahoma, 91. Pennsylvania, 39. These were the number of days during the 2014 season that crossbow hunters could take to the woods for whitetails while rifle hunters had to sit at home.
Based on comparing statewide archery and firearm seasons, these numbers could be the ticket to your filling more tags. Almost 30 states now permit the use of crossbows during the entire, or at least some part of, archery season (not counting those states that allow crossbows for physically challenged or senior hunters). More are considering crossbows for future seasons. Instead of waiting to unlimber your Remington or Ruger, perhaps it’s time you spent the fall stretching a string.
Today’s hunter-friendly crossbows are priced so attractively that you almost can’t afford to miss out. Many fully outfitted crossbows cost less than a bare rifle, and essentially they buy you more time in the woods. Here are six that will up your odds this season. All you need to add are broadheads—most come with field points for practice—and more vacation days to your schedule.