Bowhunting: Crossbow vs Compound Bow

When it comes to bowhunting, most hunters have a preference on what they like to use. Some swear by compound bows only with the thoughts that compound bows gives more of a challenge than crossbows. Today, we are going to go over crossbows vs compound bows and why one may be a better fit for you over the other. So let’s get started…

State Laws

Depending on what state you live/hunt in, there may be laws that help you with this decision. For example, up to only a few years ago, you could only use a crossbow during gun season in Indiana. Since a crossbow has a trigger, they were considered a firearm. Then the law was changed to you could only use a crossbow during the second half of the bow season. Today, you can now use crossbows during all seasons.

Before deciding to move to a crossbow, you will want to make sure what the laws are in your own state.

Per state rules as of February 26, 2018 are listed below. The below list is only intended as a quick first glance at if considering a crossbow may be worth the purchase. You should check your current state DNR site for full rules.

State’s crossbows legal deer hunting seasons

  • ALASKA: In bow only areas only, where gun/bow are both in season, bow season for the handicapped hunters (with Exemption Form)
  • ALABAMA: Can use during all of deer season
  • ARKANSAS: Only during archery season
  • ARIZONA: All season for handicapped hunters that have permit. Open to all in firearms season
  • CALIFORNIA: Open to everyone during gun season. Approved use for someone with physical disabilities though there is a process to be approved
  • COLORADO: Can use crossbows during gun season. Handicapped can use during bow season.
  • CONNECTICUT: Can be used during all of archery season
  • DELAWARE: Can be used during all of deer season
  • FLORIDA: Can be used during all seasons
  • GEORGIA: Can be used during all seasons
  • HAWAII: Can only be used by permitted disability hunters
  • IOWA: Only people over 70 all season, anyone during late muzzle loader season
  • IDAHO: Only during hunting season marked “any-weapon”. People that are handicapped may obtain a permit for all season
  • ILLINOIS: Can be used during all of bow season
  • INDIANA: Can be used during all of bow season
  • KANSAS: Can be used during all of bow season
  • KENTUCKY: During Modern Gun Season. 65 and older can use between first Saturday of September through the third Monday in January.
  • LOUISIANA: During archery season
  • MASSACHUSETTS: By permitted handicapped people only
  • MARYLAND: During bow season
  • MAINE: Must have crossbow permit, go through crossbow training
  • MICHIGAN: During any gun season
  • MINNESOTA: During gun season or a permitted handicapped person
  • MISSOURI: During bow season
  • MISSISSIPPI: During all of bow season
  • MONTANA: During gun season
  • NORTH CAROLINA: During bow season
  • NORTH DAKOTA: Must have disability crossbow permit
  • NEBRASKA: During bow season
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: During gun season and permitted handicapped people. Must have crossbow permit
  • NEW JERSEY: During bow season
  • NEW MEXICO: Gun season for everyone, bow season for certified handicapped people
  • NEVADA: Legal in “Any Legal Weapon” season only
  • New York: You will want to check current regulations here
  • Ohio: During bow season
  • OKLAHOMA: During bow season
  • OREGON: Not legal at all, sorry
  • PENNSYLVANIA: During bow season
  • RHODE ISLAND: During bow season but requires bow classes
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: During bow season
  • SOUTH DAKOTA: Handicapped people only during bow season
  • TENNESSEE: During all seasons
  • TEXAS: During bow season besides the county of Grayson
  • UTAH: Any legal deer hunting season
  • VIRGINIA: During bow and gun season but requires a crossbow licence during bow season
  • VERMONT: Legal for 50+ people. Only with disability permit if 49 or uner
  • WASHINGTON: Only legal for people with qualifying disabilities. Requires submission from Doctor
  •  WISCONSIN: Only during gun season. Requires crossbow permit
  • WEST VIRGINIA: During bow season besides McDowell County, Mingo County, and Wyoming County
  • WYOMING: During bow season

Compound Bow vs Crossbow


Credit: Dwight Stone


Hunting with a crossbow is similar to hunting with a rifle but not the same. It is more challenging to hunt with a crossbow then a rifle but not a challenging as with a compound bow.

A crossbow would be a good fit for someone that may not be up to pulling back 75+ pounds, someone who might be physically challenged, or someone that gets cold/stiff easy when sitting in a deer stand all day. I’m one of those people. It may also just be more convenient to use a crossbow if you have never used a compound before but want to tale advantage of bow season (in some states). I always say, the best hunting happens before the guns start going off.

Here are a couple advantages of using a crossbow over a compound:

  • Will be locked and loaded when the time comes
  • Easier to get into a good shooting position
  • Not needing to stand and draw
  • Further shot distance
  • More accurate

Credit: john skewes

Compound bow

Compound bows are the most widely known bows used for deer hunting. They take a lot a lot of practice, patience and strength to use.

Many people prefer compound bows for a couple of reasons. Firstly, people say that it about the hardest way to hunt today. So if your looking for accomplishment, this can go down as a pro. Compounds take a lot of skill to use. Think about how much work goes into using one.

Some people want the challenge of using a compound bow, I know I love it. It takes a lot of practice shooting from different positions including different height levels. If you already bow hunt, I’m sure you know that. Shooting from an elevated position (tree stand) shoots different than making our shot at ground level. We have all had that miss from the tree because you over shot… If you are thinking about buying a compound bow, I suggest reading our article titled 3 Best Bang For Your Buck Compound Bows of 2018.

Here are a couple pros for using a compound bow:

  • Nothing makes you feel prouder than dropping a buck using a compound bow
  • Harder hunt equals more of an accomplishment
  • You need to be skilled being mindful of every move you make


Whichever choice you make, you will need to prepare and get to know your tools. Each requires you to set them up personalized to your style. You will want to practice as much as possible and shoot from as many angles/heights as possible.

Sources: Images used under Creative Commons. Images have not been changed.

6 Saltwater Game Fish That Fight

Saltwater fishing is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people. If you are lucky enough to have that opportunity, chances are you will have memories for a lifetime. With the cost to go out for the day being so high, you want to make sure you are targeting your dream fish.

There are many types of deep sea fishing in different price ranges, but today we are going to cover some big fish fighting game. I say, if your going to do it, go big! If your lucky enough to hook into one of the below, you are guaranteed to come home tired and satisfied.

Credit: Slippy Slappy


If there is one thing you can say about Wahoo, is that they are very fast. These fish can get up to 60 miles per hour. When they hit your bait, they hit hard and run. There are a couple different fishing strategies but the most common is fast trolling. You will find Wahoo in tropical to subtropical waters year round.

Not only will Wahoo give you a fierce fight, they are also highly sought after for taste. Wahoo normal size is between 40″-65″ with the heaviest recorded at 158 pounds. Here is more information on the Wahoo.

Credit: Nic Taylor


Tarpon is one of the most sought after big game fish for saltwater anglers. People travel the world for their chance to hook into one of these beauties. The Tarpon is a beautiful fish and the fight is wonderful thing to watch. These fish can launch themselves 10 feet out of the water during your battle. Besides the fight, another cool thing about tarpon is that you can spot fish them in shallow water.

Tarpon can be found in warm water. One of the most popular place is Boca. These fish have been recorded up to 8 feet long and weighing as much as 355 pounds. You can check out tips specifically for Boca Grande Tarpon fishing that gives more information on fishing this beast.

Credit: Luyen Chou


A fish with a restaurant named after it (Bonefish Grill). Like the Tarpon, Bonefish are on the top of many anglers list to fish. People will plan a whole vacation around fishing these oddly named fish. Not nearly as big as the other fish on this list, some may not think they are worth the time and may pass over the chance. If you ever get the chance to fish for Bonefish, DON”T PASS IT UP! They may only reach 20 or so pounds, but the fight they give is priceless.

The best way to fish these type of fish it by sight fishing with a fly rod. When they hot, you will know it and the these rockets take off, so hold on tight. If you want a good fight on smaller gear, Bonefish may just be what your looking for.

Credit: Kim


Marlin of course is probably the fist thing you think of when thinking bog game saltwater fishing. And of course it is going to be on our list. If you think of the movie fast and furious, you will know what to expect when you hook into a Marlin.

These are smart, stealthy, big and violent fish. If you get the pleasure of going a round with one, you will remember it for the rest of your life.

There are many types of Marlin and they can be found by trolling off shore in tropical seas.  Believe it or not, female Marlin are much bigger than males. They can reach up to 14 feet in length and over 1,800 pounds!

Credit: Jonathan Vail


Like Marlin, the Sailfish is a worthy opponent for anyone wanting a fight of a lifetime. They are huge, fight hard and jump as good as any other. On top of all of that, they are fast, being clocked at up to 56 miles per hour! Your gear along with your body will be begging for for mercy. Though Sailfish are  smaller in size than Marlin, they give you a run for your money.

Sailfish average in size around 9-10 feet on the large size, weighing roughly  170-200 pounds. They can be found in most open water. There are many types of Sailfish and are known to migrate.

Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife


Greater Amberjack is the last on our list of saltwater game fish that fight. They hit violently and fight with an enduring livelihood. Amberjack hang out around cover like wrecks and reefs. Something to keep in mind is that they will head for that cover when they feel a threat.

Amberjack are found in warm waters with heavier cover. The average weight is a tough fighting 40 pounds. Not as big as some of the others on the list but they give one heck of a fight. You can plan on a hour or so to get the fighter in and they are runners!

In conclusion

There are many worthy fish in the sea that will give you a fight of a lifetime, above is a list of our “bucket list” fish to catch. For the everyday angler, checking one of these off their list may be the trip of a lifetime. Checking them all off…well, a guy can dream.

If you have had the pleasure of tangling with of of these beasts or another, we would love for you to contact us to share your story.