Deer Crossbow Hunting is a “Must” to do


Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made a great decision this year by now allowing crossbows to be used during the entire Regular Bow Season. I know what you are saying, “No way.” Well yes, it is true. Here is the verbiage from the DNR web site:


“Crossbows are legal for all hunters to use during the entire Deer Bow Season in Region B (which consists of Saint Mary’s County). The Deer Bow Season Bag Limit applies to all deer taken with either a vertical bow or crossbow during the Deer Bow Season.”

Phone : 301-472-1933
Email : 

Dates to hunt are: Sep 15 – Oct 20; Oct 25 – Nov 26; Dec 13 – Dec 17; Jan 3 – Jan 6; Jan 10- Jan 31

Total Bag Limit is 2 Antlered and 10 Antlerless, where 2 antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer can be taken. A Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp is required to take a second antlered deer. Blaze Orange is required. Always check the Maryland Hunting Handbook on rules and what is/not allowed.

Now if you have not hunted with a Crossbow, you are missing out on something special, particularly in the early season when the deer are not yet pushed and change their habits. It reminds me of the early years when the settlers first came here and saw game bountiful, and not used to someone hunting them. You can go out in the early season (Sept-Oct) and see deer walking around at 2 PM and not caring if you are there.

I recommend a Ghille suite so you can experience the stalk. You don’t necessarily need a full suite, but a top will work fine. I also recommend a Crossbow with a calibrated scope showing marks for various ranges. The crossbows I have seen on the market are calibrated with the velocity and drop of the Bolt you shoot. For the non-crossbow types, the arrow is called a “Bolt”. Typically, the max range I have seen for the crossbow is about 60 yards, but if you can shoot closer, all the better. Now to get the proper range, you “Really Need” a laser rangefinder. It is not only very cool, but will give you reliable ranging information so that you can properly aim in you scope (Just don’t tell the wife how much they cost).

If you are “Still” hunting (meaning you are not walking around, but staying “Still”), take a laser range sighting for various targets in your field of view so you get a feel for the range. Less movement is always a good thing. Of course if you see your game, and need a proper range, do it with minimal movement so not to spook the deer. This is why deer stands are the best to hunt from for deer do not normally look up, which allows you more flexibility to move and get a proper laser range.

Now during the early hunting season (Sept-Oct), the deer are not pushed yet, and they will not get spooked so easily. I recommend a slow stalk and any time of the day should be productive. Once you see your game, slow stalk and do a laser range finding to get to a range you are comfortable to shoot at. I have gone out at 2 in the afternoon and had a group of deer just looking at me with minimal interest.

Now for those of us that have hunted with crossbows in the past or are interested in trying, I had the pleasure of talking to 3J’s ARCHERY ProShop this week. 3J’s ARCHERY is located at 26694 Morganza Turner Rd. in Mechanicsville. They deal with Parker, Elite and PSE Crossbows and you can try it before you buy. They have an outside 40 yard range, and even have “Meet and Greet” with various vendors so you can try your hand of their product. I plan to bring them the bolts I shoot and see what practice heads I can use so that my accuracy is the best it can be. The other item I had wanted to try is the lighted notch that turns on once it is fired from the bow. It will help in recovering lost bolts that have missed their target since many of these shots can be in the evening once deer start moving late. Bolts can be expensive, so this will help. The folks at 3J’s ARCHERY have the following vendor showing up so you can try their product:

PSE: July 10

Parker: July 17

3J’s ARCHERY have the following hours of operation:

Monday By Appt Only

Tuesday 5 pm to 8 pm

Wednesday 5 pm to 8 pm

Thursday 5 pm to 8 pm

Friday 5 pm to 8 pm

Saturday 9 am to 3 pm

Sunday Closed

Chelley Scala shows what bow hunting is all about with this deer. Photo by Steve Scala

So get out there and get Crossbow Hunting. Good Luck and Hunt Safe.

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