By Mia Anstine, WomensOutdoorNews.com
It is no secret that childhood experiences are the foundation of what we know and love as adults. I have had a lot of people ask me why I enjoy shooting and hunting with a crossbow. I like to hunt with other means as well, but I became fascinated with crossbows as a child.
My brother and I loved to watch action movies, and in one we saw someone with a crossbow. After that we wanted one. My brother was 5 years older than me and he took high school wood shop. For his “open project” that year, the one where he was allowed to choose what to make, he made a crossbow.
I had to beg him, but he finally let me shoot it once. It was not the safest invention ever. Who am I kidding? It was not safe at all. It was extremely hard to cock. If you bumped it when it was cocked, there was a chance of a misfire, and there was no guard to keep your fingers out of the way. My brother didn’t want me to shoot his invention because he was worried I would cut off my fingers.
Thankfully, crossbow technology has changed significantly since my childhood. Now, any time I see one, I have to check it out. I am always amazed at the manufacture’s technological advances.
Several years ago I found a crossbow I fell in love with because of its safety features. The Ten Point Crossbow comes standard with 3 safety mechanisms:
The grip guard keeps fingers safely below the flight deck. It ensures you don’t forget where your fingers are and accidentally put them in the path of the strings or cables.
Dry fire inhibitor
This inhibitor locks the cocked bow so that it will not fire without a fully inserted bolt (a crossbow arrow is called a bolt).
Ambidextrous trigger-safety switch
The TenPoint has a standard ambidextrous trigger-safety switch, similar to that on a rifle.
I use my TenPoint, Carbon Fusion CLS, in shooting classes, demonstrations and for hunting. It is 38 inches long and has a draw weight of 185 pounds. The trigger weight is 3.5 pounds allowing the shooter to make a steady shot. When the trigger is pulled, the bolt hits its mark at about 150 feet per second and with over 100 pounds of force. When used with the proper bolt and broadhead, the crossbow is a deadly hunting tool.
I began taking a crossbow along on my hunts as an alternative to a rifle. In my resident state of Colorado, as well as in neighboring New Mexico, crossbows are not legal to use during archery season.* I enjoy the crossbow because it adds a challenge to the hunt, is quiet and weighs no more than my hunting rifle.
The only challenge I have had using my crossbow for hunting is reloading. This may make you think, “With 185 pound draw weight, how can you even cock it?” Ican pull the bow, I am just too short to get the string into the locking mechanism. Thankfully, TenPoint thinks of everything, including those of us of the smaller stature.
TenPoint offers crossbows with an AccuDraw cocking device. This device includes a cable and pulley system that is attached to the bow. The device, combined with a claw type hook, allows the user to simply crank a handle and it draws the string and cocks the bow. This system is safe, efficient and since it is attached to the bow, it’s always with you. It is, however, a bit slow if you are in a hurry to make a follow up shot.
I carry another TenPoint product because I like to be fast and efficient when I am hunting with the crossbow. It is called an AccuRope. It is the industry’s first retractable, portable rope-cocker and works on most crossbows. It comes with a handy pouch that can be hooked on your belt and has a silent magnetic closure. I was elated when TenPoint introduced it, because a short gal like me can now re-cock, and reload, quickly and silently.
This year during SHOT Show, I tried one of TenPoint’s newest bows. It is the ultra compact Stealth SS. I am mentioning this one because it is now on my “must have” list. This shorter, lighter, more powerful version of my current crossbow is just over 34 inches long and weighs only 6.8 pounds so it is going to be even easier to carry around all day. This bow verifies a saying I love, “Good things come in small packages.”