Crossbows! -- Easy Accuracy without a "Bang."
Crossbows are big worldwide. These days especially, but they probably have been for a long time. So many niches thrive outside the limelight. The limelight being reserved for big money sport.
Crossbows make sense to me for the kind of suburban hunting that I often do. Since they don't make gunlike noise but require only gunlike practice and give gunlike accuracy. I need reliability. (Knowing someone who has a tracking dog doesn't hurt either, if you're going deer hunting. Why following tricky bloodtrails is left up to coarse, relatively-blind humans is beyond me. Losses just aren't acceptable.)
I'm impressed that the Australian company at this link makes both hightech tourney bows ... and medieval versions. It's an interesting combo of worlds.
I'm personally attracted more to the simplicity, curves, quietness and lightweight of a recurve cossbow. They can easily be made as fast as compounds. All a compound does is let you store a more controlled and steady energy profile -- it can start out strong and stay that way, storing a lot of energy in a flat-line curve (if you plot it). If you don't go compound you just use thicker limbs and a stronger string-cocker -- a recurve limb starts out easier, storing less energy then gets harder -- giving a curved power-curve. If the recurve limb stores as much energy in the end then it'll shoot as hard. OK, the efficiency of a heavier recurve limb might be less, but compounds have more parts which in turn hurts their efficiency, so it can even out.
There are re-enactor "war bow" crossbow makers out there (one making a neat yew selfbow crossbow). I wonder if any are just plain making nice wood crossbows apart from the replica scene. I've only seen wood replicas and then plastic moderns.
I suppose that the traditional archery gang is against recurve crossbows. They're almost as old as regular bows, so what's the fuss. Oh well, I suppose they're not against them, they just don't consider them to be the same. Fair nuff. Many trad-bow shooters ALSO shoot other things, they just don't call it trad-archery. I like it all, too. Each has its place. I do love shooting wood arrows from an osage selfbow. I'd probably like primitive arrows, too. That stuff sure does feel good. But for my hunting these days, I don't mind a crossbow.
Here's a link to Tod's Stuff -- the Yew Selfbow Crossbow maker. He also makes amazing re-enactor bows. His bows pull 500 lbs! www.todsstuff.co.uk/crossbows/self-yew-crossbows.htm
Here's a link to some Crossbow tournament pics -- from Croatia! www.crossbow-croatia.hr/eng_picture_gallery_index.htm