Crossbows have led women into hunting


Crossbows have opened the door

One factor that many people believe has had a big impact on women joining the ranks of hunters is new, more-liberal regulations regarding crossbows.

In 2010, North Carolina removed a regulation that restricted the use of crossbows to hunters with physical disabilities. And doors swung open for lots of hunters with neither the physical capabilities or time to adequately master a compound bow.

“I’ve shot a crossbow since it became legal in 2010. And I’ve been hooked since I got a 10-pointer in a corn field,” said Rhonda Snyder of Efland, who has killed several trophy bucks with her weapon. “I feel confident out to 40 yards, and I’ve tested it at 50 yards and hit the target.”

B.B. Gillen of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Becoming and Outdoor Woman program said lots of women who would otherwise not have started hunting are now taking crossbows into the field.

“I think being able to shoot crossbows has had a big impact,” she said. “I think it gave women an opportunity to do something that had been hard to do when they were limited to compound bows. We started offering crossbows as a class at our BOW events three years ago. And it fills up every year.”

The learning curve is not as steep

Katrina Arpin of the Dish Network hunting show Widow Makers ( said crossbows are a physical alternative to having to pull back a 60-pound compound bow.

“The biggest thing about a crossbow is, I know women who are afraid to pull back a compound bow, and shooting a crossbow is so easy,” she said. “Crossbows have been a big deal, especially for getting younger people out there hunting.”

Shannon Lyndon of Taylorsville’s Riverview Sports said many women who want to hunt don’t have the free time because of work and family responsibilities to spend a half-hour a day practicing with a compound bow. With a crossbow, it’s a matter of shooting a few times, getting the bow zeroed in.

“My wife never cared about hunting for years. Then one day, she walked up and said, ‘I want to hunt,’” he said. “She’s killed, I think, three deer with a rifle and three with a crossbow. Shooting a compound bow takes a lot of practice time that she didn’t have. And now, she’s more comfortable with a crossbow.”

About Dan Kibler 887 Articles
Dan Kibler is the former managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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