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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One area the vertical bow guys seem to really have us beat on is that every state seems to have a Bowhunting (Vertical) Group that has been organized for a while & opposes crossbows.

I'm sure in many states crossbows are loved (by politicians at least) as a partial solution for hunter recruitment and keeping deer numbers in check.

But some states could sure use an organized crossbow hunters group - Wisconsin is just the next state north of me (although, thankfully about 6 hours away). You don't have to look very hard to see what is going on up there.

Anyway, are there any good crossbow organizations out there that one should join to further the cause?

The ones I've found don't really seem made to have individuals join.
 

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I believe they ceased operations in 2015, and was basically due to lack of support and people willing to get involved.
It was my understanding that they were quite instrumental in getting the crossbow legislation passed.
 

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As an avid crossbow inclusion supporter and one of the founding officers of the Pennsylvania Crossbow Federation that has worked to promote crossbow inclusion in my home state and others, I have a little insight into this issue. It may come off as a bit harsh but some harsh reality follows.

Basically the vertical crowd has enough passionate folks that are willing to get involved and dedicate their personal time and resources towards advancing their sport and causes. The same cannot be said for the horizontal crowd. I could never put my finger on it, but the crossbow community just doesn't have the drive to organize on any kind of scale. There are some folks that continue to work in the trenches taking the grass roots approach. They largely go unrecognized and unsupported. Most don't want recognition and do it cause they remain passionate about it.

Many of the crossbow and crossbow accessory manufacturers are also to blame. With the exception of a few, promoting crossbow use and supporting the crossbow community is not high on their list. The same goes for general archery hunting accessory manufacturers. Trail cameras. Broadheads. Treestands. ATVs. Scent products. Etc.... They have no problem supporting, promoting, or donating products and/or resources in some arenas, but not in the crossbow arena. Most organizations live and die by membership and corporate support. Without those two contributors, the organization has no future.

Sorry. It is what it is and the above is what it is.
 

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These state crossbow organizations are very hard to start and keep running unless the individuals that start them have deep pockets with money to spare or have a HUGE amount of people that are willing to help out with expenses... Going to all the state hunting shows and booking a booth is not cheap between the cost of the booth, travel and motel expense's...

You also have to have fundraising events to try and help out with he cost's and than very few people actually show up..
We had a great husband and wife team form The Michigan Crossbow Fed shortly after we started our fight for inclusion here and than once we won the fight, maybe 3 - 4 yrs later membership really took a nose dive and never did pickup again... I know for a fact that Laura & Dave spent a whole lot of their own $$ trying to keep The MCF going to no avail....

Mike
 

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I know for a fact that Laura & Dave spent a whole lot of their own $$ trying to keep The MCF going to no avail....

Mike
Great people and I am happy to have met them! And I big thank you to you as well Mike for your help with the MCF and the crossbow inclusion movement in general.

I am always amazed to see vibrant bowhunting organizations in most every state. I am also very disheartened to see that crossbow organizations never got any traction due to the lack of support from both the crossbow community and the archery industry, even the crossbow industry for the most part.

We have been very lucky to see crossbow inclusion moving forward with the little organized support that exists. The scary part is we don't have much to defend against attacks against crossbow inclusion.
 

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Great people and I am happy to have met them! And I big thank you to you as well Mike for your help with the MCF and the crossbow inclusion movement in general.

I am always amazed to see vibrant bowhunting organizations in most every state. I am also very disheartened to see that crossbow organizations never got any traction due to the lack of support from both the crossbow community and the archery industry, even the crossbow industry for the most part.

We have been very lucky to see crossbow inclusion moving forward with the little organized support that exists. The scary part is we don't have much to defend against attacks against crossbow inclusion.
Thanks Gene... I had a great time with The MCF, met plenty of good people including you and Todd..
You guys helped us along during our inclusion fight and I thank you for that.....

Mike
 

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It would seem like the crossbow industry would want to become more involved. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a National Crossbow Hunting & Target Federation. How many guys would join, what should the yearly dues cost, what should the charter be, how can it get involved in various state crossbow issues such as inclusion and what’s going on in Wisconsin right now? If it was powerful enough it could in turn push even manufacturers on certain things such as standardized specifics ie: 400 grain arrow for all posted crossbow speeds, etc. etc. To me a membership fee of $50/yr for individual or $150/yr for family might be money well spent!! To my knowledge there is only one company (TenPoint) that has played an active role in the past. Somehow the Mission’s, Ravin’s, Excalibur’s, Scorpyd’s & others should be much stronger advocates of something like this concept and provide seed money’s to support it’s initial work. What if every crossbow sold had just $10.00-$15.00 going back to the Federation to assist in funding this type of a Pro Crossbow Movement? Guess I just like to DREAM that all the parties that have a “VESTED INTEREST” in Crossbow’s and growing inclusion and the overall industry could be much more supportive in an effort to have a movement like this, ie: a crossbow equivalent(all be it on a much smaller scale) of the NRA!! Dream Big...........
 

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It would seem like the crossbow industry would want to become more involved. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a National Crossbow Hunting & Target Federation. Dream Big...........
We have a big dreamer and that man was Daniel Hendricks. He founded the North American Crossbow Federation, complete with a quarterly magazine. A national organization that worked to promote crossbow hunting and move crossbow inclusion forward. As various states began fighting for inclusion, state based organizations were formed including ours here in Pa, where I served as Vice President. Daniel was gracious enough to provide all of the support he could to every state organization, including providing state specific information of his membership and donating dollars off of his membership fees to the state organizations.

Even then, it was a constant struggle to secure corporate support, membership, and volunteers to attend sportsman's shows, attend game agency meetings, lobby legislators, lobby game agency officials, and organize. Most every state crossbow organization barely made it off the ground. I believe only one is still relatively active and that is the New York Coalition but they have the same struggles.

The NACF folded a few years ago. The crossbow community lost our greatest visionary and supporter when Dan Hendricks closed shop.

Yes, it would seem that the crossbow industry would want to become more involved. But the reality is most would rather spend their resources targeting potential new customers and don't care much about current crossbow enthusiasts or supporting the crossbow enthusiasts that work in the trenches every day to promote crossbows. A few manufacturers have been exceptional in support of the crossbow movement. Most could care less. Only interesting in gaining new customers where crossbows are legal. The same can be said about the hunting industry as a whole. Largely ignoring the need for resources to promote crossbows and the crossbow movement in general.

There are a few exceptions to the above. A couple of manufacturers have been tremendously supportive. But, a couple usually doesn't cut it to make great strides.

A successful organization has to be community based with strong support from the industry. It has to be run by regular folks. An organization run by crossbow enthusiasts will have way more clout when testifying in front of state legislators or game agencies about crossbow inclusion than an organization run by manufacturers that stand to profit from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting stuff.

Maybe organizations like I'm asking about are becoming a thing of the past.

It very well could be that politicians really don't care what organizations like this have to say. I mean, these organizations are just made up of people who probably aren't going to do either of the 2 most important things to a politician: 1) contribute money to them and/or 2) help them get reelected.

It could be that every politician in a position to push for or against crossbows, has a vertical bowhunting group yelling 'No' and then insurance companies and maybe representatives of the crossbow industry saying 'Yes' - think of all the tax revenues from crossbow sales. And who knows how much an insurance company can 'contribute' to a politician to get him to do what he can to reduce deer/car collisions?

How stuff really gets done can all be confusing, but I guess we should never discount political corruption. Although, sometimes it works out in our favor.
 

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We have a big dreamer and that man was Daniel Hendricks. He founded the North American Crossbow Federation, complete with a quarterly magazine. A national organization that worked to promote crossbow hunting and move crossbow inclusion forward. As various states began fighting for inclusion, state based organizations were formed including ours here in Pa, where I served as Vice President. Daniel was gracious enough to provide all of the support he could to every state organization, including providing state specific information of his membership and donating dollars off of his membership fees to the state organizations.

Even then, it was a constant struggle to secure corporate support, membership, and volunteers to attend sportsman's shows, attend game agency meetings, lobby legislators, lobby game agency officials, and organize. Most every state crossbow organization barely made it off the ground. I believe only one is still relatively active and that is the New York Coalition but they have the same struggles.

The NACF folded a few years ago. The crossbow community lost our greatest visionary and supporter when Dan Hendricks closed shop.

Yes, it would seem that the crossbow industry would want to become more involved. But the reality is most would rather spend their resources targeting potential new customers and don't care much about current crossbow enthusiasts or supporting the crossbow enthusiasts that work in the trenches every day to promote crossbows. A few manufacturers have been exceptional in support of the crossbow movement. Most could care less. Only interesting in gaining new customers where crossbows are legal. The same can be said about the hunting industry as a whole. Largely ignoring the need for resources to promote crossbows and the crossbow movement in general.

There are a few exceptions to the above. A couple of manufacturers have been tremendously supportive. But, a couple usually doesn't cut it to make great strides.

A successful organization has to be community based with strong support from the industry. It has to be run by regular folks. An organization run by crossbow enthusiasts will have way more clout when testifying in front of state legislators or game agencies about crossbow inclusion than an organization run by manufacturers that stand to profit from it.
Good post, Gene.... Daniel Hendricks helped us a lot here in MI to, even made a few trips here to testify for crossbow inclusion, the only 2 manufacturers that helped us here were TenPoint (Chuck Jordan) and Darton (Ted Harpham), they had their reps at every meeting.....

Mike
 
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