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World-Class Crossbow Bucks

by Ottie Snyder   |  September 8th, 2011 6

Crossbows can get the job done. In the last 10 years, these four hunters proved it, and you can bet there will be more to come as more states adopt crossbow hunting. Here’s a look at four monster crossbow bucks in the record books!

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COOMBS BUCK - 182 B&C Non-Typical, Georgia’s No. 1 Crossbow

Hunting the very urban Fulton County, Ga., Bob Coombs lost an opportunity at a monster whitetail a few days before Thanksgiving 2006 because of a broken sight on his compound bow. He had raised the bow to draw on a 30-yard shot, and when he looked at the sight, his heart sank. “I must have damaged it carrying the bow by the string on the way in. I thought I had totally blown a chance on the big 12-point buck I had been hunting for two years,” Coombs said.

Later when he took the bow to his pro shop, he got worse news. It was bow season, and it would be several days before his bow could be worked on. And it would probably take that long to get a new compound set up to his needs. All the while that buck was roaming the 50-acre tract of hardwoods, close to the urban sprawl of Atlanta.

“I did what I had to do. I bought a new crossbow package, sighted it in quickly and was ready to try again,” Coombs said. Bob invited the owner of the archery shop to join him hunting the property Thanksgiving day. He dropped his buddy at the ladder stand well before daylight with the understanding that the bowhunter could take anything but the big buck Coombs had been after.

Settled into his ladder stand about 400 yards away from his buddy, Coombs awaited daylight. Coombs started calling with varying calls and finally saw a buck more than 100 yards out moving his way, but the buck stalled. Coombs fished out his can bleat call, turned it over and it brought the bruiser in on a string.

“I shot it at about 10 yards, almost straight down — a spine shot,” Coombs said. “It dropped immediately and then tried to rise. About that time the 6-pointer came in to push at the buck. It died quickly on the spot.”

The buck’s left G-4 was broken off and conservative estimates are that it would have scored 196 inches non-typical B&C with it.

Coombs has killed three Pope & Young bucks with his compound: a 149 2/8-inch, 10-point in 2007; a 142 2/8-inch-gross, 126 net, 10-point with split G-3s in 2004; and a 139 5/8-inch net, 8-point, also in 2007.

Does he still hunt with a crossbow?

“No. I sold it as soon as I got the sight fixed on my compound. I shoot some competitive archery and I still hear, ‘Turn it sideways, you’ll probably do better.’ I had someone call me about the buck, and when I told them I killed it with a crossbow they hung up on me,” Bob said. “I think my bowhunting friends would have appreciated the buck kill more if I had shot it with a firearm.”


  • Kris R.

    Sorry, but this scenario is ridiculous. He couldn't repair/replace the sight on his compound bow in time to finish the season so he dropped a load for a crossbow package that still had to be sighted in, but it saved his season.

    Too much hype!! He could have spent $50 for a 4 pin Cobra sight at Walmart, changed it out and had it sighted in in 30 minutes, and been back in the woods that afternoon! I'm sorry, this story is just a lame excuse to promote hunting with a crossbow during archery season!

  • TJ

    Why is ANY excuse to promote ANY kind of hunting ever a bad thing?

    Unless you shoot with a simple longbow you made and arrows you made and string that you made etc. IMHO you have no room to ever put another hunter or hunting method down.

  • Darrel

    Why all the fuss from his friends about taking it with a crossbow? This purist mentality is so stupid and childish. I have fly-fished for trout since I was a kid and people act the same way. I completely ignore them and do what I came to do–enjoy myself. Anybody who feels they have to cater to other peoples' opinions to enjoy themselves should stop hunting and fishing and just run for politics.

  • Randy

    I don't understand why someone who prefers to hunt with a bow is so bothered by someone else who prefers to hunt with a crossbow. Do people who bow hunt think they own their property, everyone else's property and all of the deer during part of the year?

    Anyone who has hunted with both weapons knows they both are essentially single-shot weapons with very limited range that require a lot of time in the field in order to take any deer — especially a trophy buck. And the ovarall percent of deer taken in every state, regardless of rules regarding crossbow use, is extremely low compared to deer taken by firearms. So why would bow hunters want to fight against the use of crossbows. Please — fight the people who want to ban hunting not the people who prefer to hunt with a crossbow rather than a bow.

  • Kris R.

    My point in my original post was that first story in the article sounded like BS. The guy's sight on his bow broke, so instead of buying a replacement sight removing two screws and replacing it, he bought a crossbow, looks like an Excalibur, they start around $375 and go up to around a grand, that still had to be sighted in and went to the woods and killed a buck of a life time. Congrats, he did take a huge buck, but following his logic he might as well have gone to the pawn shop, bought a used .300 win mag. and blasted away. I guess he could still say that "I did what I had to do".

    If your state has an Archery season, then keep it limited to archery. If not, then drop all of the restrictions, call it a primitive weapon season, and open it to bow, crossbow, atlatl, spear and muzzleloader, they all have limited range and are single shot weapons. Or, hell, why have seasons that limit they type of weapon that you can use to take game at all? Why not have a big game free for all season where you can use any type of weapon? Oh wait, in most places that is what general gun season is!

  • Eddie White

    Congratulations for the expert hunting near a big city like Atlanta.

    I am still waiting on my first Pope and Young Deer.

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