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!
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.”