Crossbow hunters and marksman have been looked down upon for years by other archers and sportsmen. Most people do not believe that it takes any amount of skill to fire a crossbow and that anyone can do it. My argument to that is that rifle marksmanship is considered a sport, so what is the difference?
The Ancient Chinese developed the crossbow in the 5th century BC as a more powerful ranged weapon that a traditional bow. It was quickly adopted worldwide as a way to defeat your enemies from afar. The invention of gunpowder eventually replaced the crossbow as the ranged weapon of choice, and crossbows were left to disintegrate with the aqueducts and log canoes.
These days, crossbows are used primarily for hunting in The United States. Each state has different crossbow regulations, and different stipulations on what crossbows can be used, but most states do allow them to be used during at least part of the year. This has led to resurgence in popularity that is supported by TV and video games glorifying them as the perfect zombie hunting weapon.
If you don’t think that it takes any skill to accurately fire a crossbow, then you haven’t fired a crossbow before. Crossbows take skill to master, and it takes some time to get a full grasp on what is going to happen when you pull that trigger. Most people don’t even realize they are there are different types of crossbows that you can choose from.
Check out my list of reasons why I believe that Crossbow Marksmanship should be considered a sport:
Its More Complicated Than Rifle Marksmanship
If rifle marksmanship is considered a sport, then crossbow marksmanship should be too. It is much more complicated to fire a crossbow and bolts with bolts than a rifle with bullets. This is especially true if you are firing at great distances, where the bolt has to cover more wide open space with unforgiving breezes.
A Rifle only fits a very specific bullet size that is mass produced to all be the exact same, where good arrows need to be balanced and trimmed to get even close to the same. Getting your arrows just right can be a sport of its own if you ask me!
Once you have that perfect arrow, you will need to work on your marksmanship skill! Position, breathing, trigger squeeze, and sighting are all essential to learning how to fire a crossbow correctly. Losing track of just one of these can be the difference between a good shot and a bad one.
The Tradition Is Important
Many will argue that archery is only considered a sport because of the tradition. My argument is that crossbows are old too, and they are something that we want to keep around to show our children. If we don’t carry along the tradition, it will fade into the sunset like Skijoring.
Crossbows have been around for thousands of years for the very good reason. It is important that we pass that along to the next generation so that they know how we got to this point.