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14

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”.

Later in the article he finally expressed his real fear by saying; “Crossbow advocates claim bowhunters are selfish because they don’t want to share their season.Yeah, so?It doesn’t seem unreasonable to oppose the idea of doubling the number of hunters in the woods, especially considering the difficulty accessing private land these days”.As misleading and false as those quotes are, the underlying point is he wants to protect and enhance his time in the woods by keeping others out.

The second incident happened at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo.The fine folks at Horton offered Dan and me part of their booth space to promote our cause and fight for Wisconsin’s 55 and older crossbow law.Traditional Archers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Bowhunters, Inc. were also there to fight against any crossbow expansion.They were the minority, however, as supporters of the crossbow far outnumbered those against.

One visitor to our booth claimed to be on Wisconsin Bowhunters Inc. board of directors.We had a long and cordial chat about hunting and future crossbow inclusion and he was more than supportive of our cause.Before he turned to leave he pointed down at our crossbow information and said; here is the plain and simple truth, members of our organization know the crossbow is not a superior weapon but many oppose it because they are afraid of too many hunters in the field.He added; they are misguided, however, because 85% (his number) of Wisconsin’s land is privately owned and the number of people hunting there now will likely stay the same.The only thing that might change is their choice of weapon. Amen.I could not have said it better myself.

There you have it.The anti’s are slowly admitting in public what we have known for years.The real truth behind their opposition is greed and jealousy, two huge building blocks of an even worse emotion, fear.While demonizing us in the past they have been careful to sidestep the fact that it has always been about the number of hunters.With true crossbow facts becoming more prevalent the anti’s are left with fear only to bolster their base.

This will not make our fight any easier.In the arena of fact we win every time because we are dealing in absolutes.When fighting fear we are dealing in the abstract.That fight is harder because our enemies will use every false statement they can think of to serve their only purpose; instill more fear because fear is all they have left to fight with.

Our job remains the same, push for as many crossbow seasons in as many states as possible.The only way to beat the fear is to produce an overwhelming amount of statistical proof to counter the lies.States with new crossbow seasons last year and those expanding use this year will add to our statistics.You cannot talk someone out of being scared; you must show them there is noting to be afraid of.

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