Crossbow is the latest weapon adopted by the hunters specifically for deer hunting

It is basically a projectile weapon which fires arrows. One can say that it is an advanced version of a bow and arrow. 

Crossbow hunting has replaced rifle hunting. Since this weapon came into the picture, hunters focused on it and left using rifles. 

There are plenty of advantages that this weapon offers compared to rifles and other hunting weapons. The foremost among them is its affordability. Even the budgeted hunters can afford this weapon. 

Also, it is powerful and effective to take down big game like deer. So, it has actually become a preferred hunting weapon around the world. 

So, crossbow hunting is now a popular thing. However, there are a few significant things you need to know about this type of hunting. In this article, we disclose all those important things! 

1. How Rifle Hunting Transformed into Crossbow Hunting?

Let me remind you that crossbow is not a rifle or any sort of firearm. However, they feature a few things that rifles do. 

For example, they feature trigger, scope, and mechanisms. In addition, they look like firearms because there is a bow hooked up to them. 

However, when considering ballistics, this advanced version is still similar to traditional version of bow and arrow. 

A rifle uses both shock and hemorrhage for killing game. On the other hand, killing with archery weapons like a crossbow is like developing a wound channel. 

Most of the shotguns and rifles fire at a speed ranging between 2000 and 4000 feet. On the other hand, an average crossbow fires arrows at speeds ranging between 300 and 350 FPS. 

Being a crossbow hunter, what you must worry about is wind, deflection, trajectory of the arrow and similar issues. Deflection of arrows tends to cause concerns for the rifle hunters too. 

The challenges surrounding vertical bows are also common in the case of crossbows, but they are usually held at a full draw. 
The greatest challenge that the firearms hunters faced while transitioning to a crossbow hunter is identifying the distances. Generally, there is not a massive distinction between a 50 yard shot and a 100 yard shot while shooting with a gun. 

However, crossbows zeroed at 20 yard are likely to shoot 20 inches lower at 40 yards. 

A finder of  laser range can be very assisting in making this important transition. 

Also, the advantage of using a scope enables shooting arrows at 80 yards and greater distance effectively. Such thing is excellent for target practice though. 

However, at such distances, shooting with a crossbow is never a great idea. An arrow would take an extra second to be fired at a speed of 300 FPS for reaching a target more than 80 yards. 

If you are a hunter, you know pretty well that the extra second can cost you a lot. 

Several vertical archers tend to feel comfortable on hunting at 40 to 44 yards. So, it is often said that a similar maximum range must be applied to the crossbow hunting too...

2. Parts of a Crossbow

The second most significant thing hunters must know is the parts of a crossbow. You know that this is very important for a hunter to be aware of his equipment. 

So, we start with the bow part of this hunting weapons. It is a standard bow actually but is a little smaller and is mounted in a horizontal manner. 

Just like the traditional bow and arrow, it comes in compound and recurve varieties. 

With a basic compound or recurve bow, the hunters pulls a bowstring and then holds it in place using his fingers or through some release aid. 

With respect to bowstring, crossbow is slightly different. The archer locks the bostring and holds in place using a mechanical latch rather than applying physical force. Such a feature is known s cocked position and is a great feature for disabled hunters. 

It also assists in improving accuracy as the hunter does not need to struggle against the weight of the bow when aiming. 

The standard bow is held using a single hand on the bowstring and the other hand on the grip. The advanced version i-e crossbow is fired from a different position which is often regarded as a shouldered position. 

In this position, both the shoulder and the hands provide support to the crossbow. This leads to a steady arm whether in a ground blind or treestand. 

In addition, you must check the shooting sticks, tripods and bipods for getting a steadier aim. 

A scope is another thing that enhances the shooting accuracy. It assists in taking precision aim at the targets that are too far away. Increased aim also makes sure that a shot is placed properly. This provides benefits and opportunities of coveted shots while bowhunting. 

There are different parts of crossbow that are used for different purposes. For example, a stirrup is a metal frame located at the front of the weapon. You can put your foot inside it and secure the crossbow while cocking. 

Then there is a stock which is simply considered the body of this advanced hunting weapon. All other parts of the weapon are actually attached to it. 

The front part of the stock is the foregrip while the rear is the buttstock which actually rests against the shoulder of the archer. 

Crossbow also feature limbs that offer power to the bow. Limbs tend to store and flex energy for propelling the bolt. In the case of recurve bows, the limbs are curved while in the case of compound bows, there is a pulley system at the end of limbs, known as cams. 

Another significant part is the bowstring which attached the limbs to each other and transfer energy to a bolt. Then, there is a rail which is the top of the foregrip. This is the spot where bowstring s slid across and the arrow sits. 

Finally, the part of crossbow is the trigger. This may surprise you, but yes, it does include a trigger. 

The trigger mechanism releases a latch which helps in holding the bowstring. It does feature a safety mechanism as well which avoids any accidental misfire. So, these are the parts possessed by a modern crossbow. 

3. How to Use a Crossbow?

We would like to explain how to correctly use a crossbow because we know many of you are at the beginning stages of this type of hunting. Furthermore, there are some mistakes that many archers make. 

So, we have come up with a brief explanation of how to correctly use it. 

There are a few steps that you must follow for firing and loading a crossbow. Following are those steps explained:

Loading the Bow:

Place one of your feet into the stirrup in a secure manner. Set the device according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. If not understood, try reaching down with your hands and grasping the string. 

Place a hand on every rail and hook the string using your index finger, ring dinger and middle finger. Make sure your thump are placed on the side of rail for centering the string. 

Also, make sure that the safety is completely on the safe or on position. This is an indicator that the crossbow is cocked perfectly. There are a few versions or designs that also give a sound of click when string is being cocked. 

At times, you must fear double click to figure out that bow is perfectly cocked. 

Taking the Stance:

The second step in the process of firing a crossbow is taking a stance. Now, you need to stand in a way that your shoulders are square to your target and there is shoulder feet width apart.

Loading the Bolt:

At this stage, just remove the arrow from the quiver while ensuring that one of your hands is supporting the crossbow. Now, place the arrow on the rail. Make sure that a vane has a different color. 

Place that differently colored vane down and allow it to slide through a groove which is found inside the rail. At this time, you need to slide the bolt to the extent that it seats against the string. 

To know whether it is seated perfectly or not, make sure that the bolt does not slide any further and it is possible to disengage the safety. 

Warming Up for the Shot:

Make sure that your crossbow is pointed downwards and away from other people on the field. Now, you can place your less dominant hand at middle of the foregrip while keeping your fingers and thumb below the rail. 

Now, position your trigger hand on grip but keep the finger away from it. Then, place teh buttstock against the shoulder. 

Now, seat the cheek on the stock in a firm position. This would make sure that your dominant eye is in line with the view of the target. As your sight is aligned with the target, it is time to push the safety in an off or fire position. 


This is the time you start shooting with your crossbow. Set your sight on target and squeeze the trigger gently with the index finger and don’t stop until it fires. 

Follow Through:

Make sure to keep your focus or attention on target while shooting. After each shot, lower your crossbows again and get back in the shooting position for the next shot.  

4. How Far a Crossbow Can Shoot?

A crossbow can shoot an arrow at a very high speed, but yes, not like a rifle. Generally, the firing speed ranges from 300 to 400 FPS. 

On the other hand, rifles used for hunting a deer can easily shoot at a speed of 2000 and more feet per second.

The slower speed of the bows also lead to an arrow drop. Also, with this modernized hunting weapon, the range is often measured in feet, but at times inches serve as the measuring units. 

In the case you are just comfortable while shooting at close range with a compound bow, your crossbow is not likely to open up the shooting range to 60 or 70 yards. 

However, shooting rail and shooting sticks on the treestand are helpful and may enhance the shooting range to some extent. Still, it requires consistent practice and work on your shooting techniques to shoot at greater ranges. 

If you are transitioning from a rifle hunter to a bow hunter, you may also need to initiate closer and work your way out. 

Always keep in mind that when an arrow travels, it starts losing energy as well. 

Also, remember that an arrow, heavier in weight, comes out of the crossbow at a slow speed but it often retains the energy better. 

A few archers or hunters are able to hit reach targets at a greater distance. However, the arrow does not have sufficient power left for delivering a brutal or lethal hit. 

This is a point to be noted. You don’t just have to consider the accuracy and speed at which the arrow is propelled, you also need to figure out at what pace the arrow hits the animal when it arrives.

So, it does not matter how long an arrow can travel, but the speed at which it hits the animal is more important. 

Several experienced archers or hunters tend to regard 50 yards or lesser as a long shot on the animals like a deer. On the other hand, a few shooters must plan to shoto within a range of 30 yards. 

Remember if you hunt in the woods, there are shooting lanes at every 30 to 40 yards. So, these are the things that every crossbow hunter must keep in mind when hunting. 

5. Safety Tips for Crossbow Hunting

One thing that crossbow hunters should always consider the most important is their safety. This is our final disclosure for today. 

If you want to enjoy the thrill of hunting and have a memorable day of hunting, you should maintain safety measures. 

Ensure that you carry the crossbow in an uncocked position to avoid accidental shooting and injuries. 

Also, hold it with both hands and make sure it is pointed away from the people in your surroundings. You don’t just ensure your own safety, you should also take the responsibility of other’s safety as well, specifically those around you while hunting. 

Before you get ready for the shot, make sure your crossbow is unloaded and uncocked. Don’t fire when the bolt is not loaded perfectly. This may lead to damage to your hunting weapon and also cause injuries to fellow hunters. 

Try to unload your crossbow in a very safe manner. In the case range is quite clear, aim your target and then disengage the safety before firing the bolt. 

Keep a crossbow case for storing and carrying it. This is key in avoiding mishandling and will ensure the protection of your weapon. 

And that’s it. These were the five significant things we wanted to acknowledge to the hunters and archers about crossbow hunting, We hope you follow them, do your hunting perfectly, and most importantly, stay safe and secure!