A Virginia-based archery-tackle maker, owned by a native West Virginian, has come up with a product that might make bowhunting easier for the Mountain State's physically challenged.
Called the "Concorde with Quick Draw," the invention is a crossbow that cocks itself automatically using compressed carbon dioxide. Representatives from Parker Compound Bows, the manufacturer, showed the bow off at the recent West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show.
Though outlawed for most Mountain State hunters, the innovative design can legally be used by anyone sufficiently physically handicapped to qualify for a Class Y or Class YY license.
Todd Wade, Parker's product supervisor, described how the bow works:
"To cock the bow, all the shooter has to do is push a button in the stock," he said. "In about 2 seconds, the bow cocks itself and goes into safe mode. The shooter then loads a bolt, pushes the safety off and shoots. If the shooter doesn't end up firing the bow, it can be un-cocked by removing the bolt, pushing the button again, clicking to fire, and squeezing the trigger. The bow then un-cocks itself."
The bow's mechanism runs off the same 9-ounce carbon dioxide cylinders used to power paintball guns. Each cylinder can power the bow through 50 shots at room temperature, or through 20 shots at 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The innovative design was introduced earlier this month at the Archery Trade Association show in Columbus, Ohio. Wade said it created quite a sensation.
"It was the buzz of the show," he said. "It's a new technology, and people are really attracted to that."