5 Crossbow Hunting Tips for Deer

Deer hunting with a crossbow can be a great way to bag that trophy buck or put food on the table for weeks to come. There are many tips to help you have a successful crossbow hunt for deer, but here are a few of the basics on gear selection to get you started: 

1) Know the Regulations
Regulations differ from state to state, and even area to area, so hunters should be sure they know what is legal and what isn’t, including where and when they can use crossbows, before planning a hunt. Crossbow rules in many places are different than bow hunting rules. So first, check the regulations. You will also want to know what is considered “loaded” in the area you wish to hunt as well as when the crossbow must be uncocked. Also check to see if there is a minimum draw weight for crossbows based on the area and the game you are hunting.

2) Choosing the Right Crossbow
The right crossbow will depend on a few thing, with your budget not being the least of them. Crossbows can cost hundreds of dollars, so set you budget first, and then look at several within that price range. 

Crossbows also come in a variety of sizes and weights. Remember that you will be hauling your crossbow around in the woods, so don’t choose a model that is too cumbersome or big for your size. 

A crossbow’s shooting power is rated in feet per second. The most popular crossbows for deer hunting are rated at around 350 fps with many models ranging from 300 to 400 fps. 

Using a cocking device, that may or may not come with your crossbow, will help improve accuracy. You will be pulling and cocking the bow exactly the same each time.

Optics are also important. Use only optics specifically designed for a crossbow with 3 dots or crosshairs: one at 20 yards, one at 30 yards, and one at 40 yards. 

3) Choosing the Best Broad Heads
Crossbow arrows drop quite quickly compared to longer, heavier arrows from a vertical bow. Even the best crossbow arrows are best used at a shorter range. 40 yards is about maximum for good accuracy with 25-30 yards being optimal. 

Standard weight arrows with 400-435 grains are the best all-around choice for most types of hunting. They work well in most models of crossbows. They have a good mix of kinetic energy as well as speed. They have a fairly good downrange accuracy and penetration.
In situations where you are hunting game with tough hides or you’re in an area with a lot of debris the arrow may deflect off of, or in heavy rains, a heavy weight arrow may be better (up to 750 grains). These arrows lose trajectory much faster, however, so using a rangefinder to pinpoint distance is highly recommended.

4) Staying in Practice
For best results, a hunter simply cannot fire his or her crossbow only during deer season and expect to be accurate. Hunters should practice year round in a variety of conditions. Just as with any other skill, the more it is practiced, the more accurate you will be when it counts. 

Hunters should practice shots from 15 to 35 yards. If possible, practicing in terrains and conditions like those you will be hunting in is best. If there is a 3-D course available in your area, make several trips to that course throughout the year. 

5) Proper Maintenance
If you use your crossbow frequently, the strings and cables should be replaced every other year. If you are a light user, every 3 – 4 years might be fine. But check then strings, cables and draw cords before every hunt. If they look worn or damaged in any way. If they are, replace them. Keep in mind that strings and cables can stretch over time, which can affect your arrow speed and trajectory.
Crossbows require more maintenance than a standard vertical bow, and the last thing you want is a broken string to ruin a hunt for you. Keep a close eye on your crossbow and, if need be, take it to your local hunting supply shop for service every year before the season starts.
I know from see many friends that maintain their gear regularly but also do so for their sons. I personally recommend you do this with your son as it is a life skill worth passing on.

Following these tips is a great starting point to make sure you have a good hunt. If you’re unsure about what is best for your hunting area, talking to a reputable guide or sporting goods shop owner can go a long way toward ensuring you have the best equipment for your needs.

Don’t forget your maintenance routine, either. Make sure your equipment is in top condition and that you have been practicing throughout the year. With all of these things combined, your chances of a successful hunt are greatly improved.

About me
John Mondin from CrossbowCritic.com
I run a hunting gear review site where I share my top gears and general outdoors hunting tips with my readers on a regular basis.

Why Crossbows Are The Ultimate Weapon

Crossbows are often thought to be an old weapon that has been replaced by modern rifles. Most people pictures crossbows being used in the days where people met on a battlefield and formed two opposing lines. That is simply not the case with modern technology and materials.

These amazing weapons have made a swift comeback and are once again one of the best weapons on the planet. Crossbows made today have the advantage of better use of mechanical advantage. Wheels and pulleys take the old same shape and design and add more power than ever before.

With all of this new technology, crossbows can now give rifles a run for their money. Now that companies are confident in their products, you are also guaranteed to get the best crossbow for the money.

There are many reasons why crossbows can be considered the ultimate weapon on a battlefield. We will outline to top reasons below:
Modern crossbows have more power than you could imagine. A good crossbow has enough power to shoot an arrow straight through a metal sign and out the back. If you do the math, they have enough power to puncture through a human and still have enough power to kill another human when they exit the first body. That is more power than you would ever need realistically.

Crossbow power is measured by how many feet per second the arrow is traveling when it hits a target at 60 yards. Medieval crossbows would hit speeds of between 150 and 200 FPS. Modern crossbows with that rating are considered toys for kids to practice with. Some modern crossbows reach speeds of over 400 FPS.

One of the biggest advantages you have by using a crossbow instead of a Rifle is that your shot is almost silent. Some crossbows are louder than others, but none will compare to the sound level of a rifle shot.

Having a silent weapon is a great advantage for a few reasons. One reason is that you have a better chance of getting off a second shot if you miss the first. The target probably didn’t here you fire and if they did, they don’t know where it came from.

The other reason is that you can kill one target and move on to the next without them being scared away. This gives you a major upper hand if you are looking to take out more than one target.

If an apocalypse started right now, rifles would rule the world for the first month or two. Eventually, people would start running out of bullets and the crossbow will prevail as the king. You can create crossbow arrows if you are in a pinch but the same doesn’t go for bullets.

Light Weight
These days, crossbows are constructed with carbon fiber and other light-weight materials. This allows the crossbows to remain very light and mobile. A 4lb crossbow is not going to weigh you down while you are stalking a target waiting for the perfect shot.

Josh is a 27 year old combat veteran that has taken a liking to crossbow hunting since his return back to the civilian sector. He runs a well-known crossbow blog that provides reviews and great information to his visitors.