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As I write this column, I am just a few short weeks away from the close of my 53rd whitetail hunting season. Over half of a century of pursuing this wily creature has taught me countless hard-learned lessons about the challenges involved in being a consistently successful whitetail hunter, as well as teaching me volumes about the complex behavioral patterns that make this unique animal so vexing to hunt.

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 The crew for Foremost Outdoor TV caught up with Dan Hendricks in the hallways at the 2011 ATA show.  Dan had a lot to say about crosswbow hunting in Wisconsin.  Check out the interview:

 

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What is it about the middle of August that turns the radar on for us hunters? It is still summer, the weather is still hot and the days are still long. The leaves are still green, the grass still needs mowed (unless it is crunchy and brown like mine) and the kids are not yet back in school.

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Heading into the field on the next hunting trip is a jubilation that each of us that pursues wild things is very familiar with. Visions of trophy critters and epic deeds of great cunning and courage dominate our thoughts as we head for our destinations, fired up with all of the anticipation that can only be meted out by the thrill of a hunt in wilderness, wherever that wilderness might be. In recent years, however, one more facet of added excitement for this aging writer has been included in my personal recipe for adventure. With the onset of each new hunt, I have another make and model of crossbow to put through its paces and evaluate in the field. The objective of that task is to become familiar enough with the bow so that I have a thorough understanding of it and will then be able to write a review, answer specific questions about it and share my personal thoughts about that particular bow with our readers when they call to ask my opinion.

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My Little Person – only in physical stature, in all actuality she’s larger in heart and personality than most I know, including myself – didn’t kill a turkey again this season. But that’s not from lack of drive on her part – she just picked the wrong two guides: Chevy and me.

Chevy isn’t that bad anymore and he had a great season (in one of these columns, I’ll identify Chevy but that will be a long one). Me, well let me just say that my turkey flaring device sent seven jakes and two long bears on a run – when they flew down from the roost after gobbling all over my hen tree call – in the direction of our next county. And we haven’t seen them since. I think she sticks with me because I taught her to shoot the crossbow, and she insists on hunting turkey with it and not a firearm. Maybe, too she has faith in me because I did help her become a successful crossbow deer hunter.

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With ever more states in the USA encouraging the use of the crossbow for hunting, an enormous market has opened up.Crossbow sales have increased on an unprecedented scale, so much so that crossbowyers can scarcely keep up with demand.Predictably, in a society driven by free market forces, and with material and sourcing cost increasing, the retail price of hunting crossbows has increased apace; for some of us, perhaps prohibitively so.

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Finally Saying What They Really Mean
The anti-hunter segment of our hunting fraternity still uses lies and false rhetoric to bash the crossbow.Two recent incidents, however, proved the anti’s are finally willing to acknowledge their main concern is not the crossbow itself, but the addition of more hunters in the woods.

The first incident was in print.Outdoor writer Curt Wells’ wrote a column in the March 5th, 2010 issue of Outdoor News Magazine asking hunters to reject Minnesota’s attempt to allow archers 55 and older to use crossbows.As is the case with all haters, he used plenty of rhetoric and misleading opinion to demonized the crossbow.For example, in one sentence he admits the ballistic similarities between crossbow and compound but follows that up with “some crossbows are already capable of shooting groups well beyond 100 yards”.

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My position as a manufacturer of crossbows has made me extremely sensitive to crossbow safety.This is, for several reasons, largely because with the considerable contact I have with crossbow shooters at the shows I hear lots of horror stories about what went wrong, who got hurt and how it happened.Also, it’s because in today’s litigious society it’s vital that we cross our T’s and dot all the I’s at Excalibur to be absolutely certain that our product is safe and that our customers are fully instructed in the safe use of our crossbows....

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Well, here we are again. Spring has arrived, at least for most of you. (It is still a topic of debate here in Ohio, as I write this article.) Geese are sitting on nests, leaves are on the trees and the fish are biting, all good signs of warmer weather to come.

After a huge crossbow expansion in 2009, it appears that 2010 is on a similar track.Maryland and Delaware appear to be adding crossbows for everyone during the entire archery season. For the past several years, those 65 and over could use the crossbow during the archery season in Maryland. While these states are not big in hunting numbers, they will apply huge pressure as the crossbow expansion works its way up the east coast. New York and the New England states see the wave headed their way and should jump on board over the next couple of years. There is more and more interest in the northeast every year.

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As the crossbow continues its steady march into the hunting seasons of states and provinces of North America, evidence indicates that those who still reject the crossbow as an archery tool are becoming more frenzied in their efforts to halt the expansion of the crossbow hunting season.In spite of their increased efforts, barriers and restrictions that have been in place for decades continue to crumble and fall away as common sense and documented statistics dash the lies and myths that have maligned the crossbow since the dawning of modern archery.

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