Going bow hunting can be an amazing experience, but it takes a lot of practice to learn how to shoot a bow accurately. A crossbow can be a great way to get into the world of bow hunting without having to take a ton of time to learn how to shoot a bow.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few tips and tricks to help you find the perfect crossbow for your next hunting trip or target shooting expedition.
If you’re new to the world of crossbow shooting, safety should be your first priority. Swing by your local hunting or sporting goods store and start asking some questions. They’ll be happy to answer — the last thing anyone wants to do is to is sell you a crossbow that you’re going to hurt yourself with. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers.
One thing you’ll absolutely want to avoid is dry-firing your crossbow — pulling the trigger when there isn’t a bolt loaded. When there is a bolt loaded into the bow, it allows the pressure to be released steadily. Without the bolt, all the resistance is released at once, which can damage the arms of the crossbow. Many newer models come with a switch that won’t allow you to fire the bow unless a bolt is in place to prevent this sort of damage.
It’s tempting to buy a cheap crossbow if you’re just starting out, but cheap doesn’t always mean safety, and you want to make sure you’re as safe as possible when you’re just starting out. Choose the best crossbow you can afford, and don’t be afraid to splurge on the best model you can find.
Bows you invest more in will end up being safer and lasting you longer, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. A decent crossbow will run you between $300 and $1,000 — and getting all the equipment to go with it will add another few hundred dollars to your total.
Pick a Good Draw Weight
Your draw weight will depend on what you want to do with your bow. Target shooting doesn’t need a lot of power, but if you’re planning on going hunting, you’ll need more power. Most crossbows will have a draw weight of between 75 and 125 pounds, which is usually sufficient to kill a white-tailed deer. Some crossbows have draw weights up to 200 pounds, but that’s usually the maximum you’ll be able to find. Sometimes it’s the maximum that you can own — legally.
Get a Sight
An optical scope can help make shooting easier, especially if you’re planning on taking your crossbow hunting. A good optical sight can help you keep your eyes on your target, which is great if you’re just starting out. Pick a good sight that can be adjusted as needed, and make sure you test it at the range to make sure it’s sighted properly before you head out into the woods.
A crossbow is an amazing tool if you learn to use it properly. Make sure you do your research before you buy your first crossbow, and don’t be afraid to splurge a little bit.