There was a little bit of trivia that flashed by last night during the Talking Dead after show. If I remember correctly, Normal Reedus got a black eye once or twice from the old crossbow somehow, so the writers concocted a way for him to get a new one. Apparently, Reedus had requested a dog for Daryl, but got the new crossbow instead.
Seriously? How does one get a black eye with a crossbow?
Merle would probably eat the dog so better to have a new crossbow.