It started whenever I realized that I had been borrowing my wife’s uncle’s compound bow for 3 years and I wanted to return it to him, also with my shoulder getting progressively worse a lighter poundage bow or perhaps a crossbow would do me some good, so the research started and i came upon this starter set for $120 on sale it came with bolts, the bow, a scope, and some field points. After some research I figured out it had plenty of energy to take white tail deer though I was still kind of concerned it was borderline, though I went ahead and pulled the trigger on Amazon.
When I received the bow I was excited to get it put together and fire it, after a few shots I already had bent all of the aluminum bolts that came with it, and ended up buying some cheap carbon express wolverine 20″ bolts from Walmart and some cheap Allen broad heads and extra field points. To improve the accuracy I modified the scope rail because the scope already had yardage markers, and the play in the mount due to the zeroing system built into it kind of hurt the accuracy a bit, so I pinned the mount in place so it couldn’t move, you can see the process and data HERE.
In the process of shooting the bow repeatedly I did have one time I forgot to load a bolt into the bow and dry fired it, this damaged the string and caused a bit of the bow to splinter, so i ordered a new string from SA sports website and wrapped a little duct tape around the splinter, it has shot perfectly fine ever since, including taking a nice sized white tail deer, more on that below.
The bow saw use through 2 deer seasons before I finally landed one this year it was my first ever successful hunt with a bow also my first ever buck! It was a blast and I was quite impressed at 40 yards it had enough energy it completely passed through the vanes got stuck on the exit and he ran with it hanging for about 20 yards and it fell the rest of the way out.
It was a chilly morning about 35 degrees and breezy especially up in my ladder stand with a wet seat, I had got there about 6:30AM just as light was breaking over the horizon. It was a slow morning I hadn’t seen anything by 7:45A.M. and was getting cold I was starting to think about getting down and taking a walk to warm up real quick but I told myself I needed to wait until at least 9 before I get down, so i hung my crossbow up on the hook behind me in the tree while I waited so that I could put my hands in my bibs to keep them warm, right at 8:00A.M. on the dot, here he came moving quite quickly so I grabbed my crossbow down, hit record on my scope cam he was moving too quick for me to power up my secondary camera and try to hit record on it, I usually leave it powered off to lessen battery swaps since it was already needed on my primary camera, the CT9500, that was left running all the time so I just had to press record. Ok enough camera rambling lets get back to the story he kept moving and I picked a spot in his route that seemed to give the best chance to land a shot on him, when he stepped into this clearing I let out a (overly loud and excited) MEEP which stopped him just long enough for me to get the shot off, double lugged him it was perfect, he ran off and I watched him stand over up on the hill for a few minutes then I lost him.
After confirming blood on the ground, I go back to my stand and wait about an hour so he doesn’t get spooked and run off, that’s terrible business as they can move at great speed even when injured and in a matter of minutes be hundreds of yards away. Finally after what felt like forever, it had been an hour. Excitedly I went down and resumed to track, and found my arrow about 20 yards away from the shot, upon further tracking and about 30 yards further there he lay under a cedar tree. It was quite an experience and I hope it becomes more frequent with this new tool now that I have confidence in this “budget” bow to have plenty of power to take any size white tail put in front of it.
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-Ross Bannister (Wagex)