Hunting with a Crossbow: A Beginner’s Guide

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Since time immemorial, hunters have been using convention bows to hunt. It wasn’t until the 12 century when crossbows were introduced to enhance hunting. With time the crossbows have been modernized for better precision, ease in use, and better overall design. It’s remarkable how hunting has evolved over the years.

Today, hunters are using better and precise hunting mediums to enhance their hunting experience. Nevertheless, if you are a hunting enthusiast, you shouldn’t skip learning how to hunt with a crossbow. Since you are going to be a pro-hunter, it’s essential to learn crossbow hunting holistically. The question that lingers in most people’s minds is where to start, especially if you’re a beginner.

Here, you will learn all the hoops you need to jump for you to learn about hunting with a crossbow. This is because contrary to belief, crossbow hunting is a regulated activity. Hence, it’s imperative to understand the do and don’ts before engaging in crossbow hunting.

Learning to Hunt with a Crossbow

If you are going to learn the art of hunting, then learning hunting with a crossbow is not an option. In some cases, this is the only way your capabilities as a hunter can be tested.

Secondly, this is the easiest form of hunting that you can ever learn. You won’t need much energy when using a crossbow since its working mechanism does all the work. This is compared to using the traditional hunting bow.

Not to mention, you can cultivate it to be a hobby or a leisure activity. In some cases, hunting is considered to be therapeutically helpful. Also, this might be the only allowed mode of hunting in some wildlife reservations.

Is it Legal to Own a Crossbow?

It’s completely legal to own a crossbow regardless of the state as long as you are over 18 years. But this will primarily depend on the permit, status, and the hunting season.


This is concerning the license one acquires. Hence, permits will be descriptive, depending on the type of stamp you purchase. Stamps specified as free crossbows, allow you to hunt at any time of the season. This applies to both small and big games.

It’s important to note that you can’t use this type of stamp in certain hunting seasons where firearms are not allowed.


Can felons own a crossbow after serving jail term? For all felons, whether violent or not, the 1934 law and the 1968 amendments act to rescript crossbow ownership. Since they do not qualify as firearms, ex-convicts can own crossbows provided they are 18 years and above.

Hunting Season

Being a regulative factor, hunting season becomes a delicate topic that requires complete understanding. There are seasons where disabled individuals are given a chance to hunt using crossbows. During this time, as long as you don’t own a special license, you can’t use a crossbow for hunting.

Using Crossbows for Shooting Practice

There are detailed requirements for the procurement of crossbows for shooting practice. Yes, you can legally acquire this hunting tool without any legal implications. However, it’s imperative to have a complete legal understanding of the entitlements required of owning one.

Is it Legal to Hunt with a Crossbow?

The debate regarding hunting games using a crossbow has been going on for a while now. Activists have been at the forefront of fighting for animal rights, leading to the enactment of laws that protect wildlife or game. It’s the only way some of the endangered species can be protected.

In turn, it causes a domino effect on the laws set and on the legality of hunting with a crossbow. That’s why it is advisable by some functions of the law to seek legal guidance. This is in regards to the requirements you should possess to own a crossbow. Most lawyers will counsel you to ensure that before owning a crossbow, know the law. Protect yourself from any implications because each state has its unique laws.

What Game Can You Hunt with a Crossbow?

When hunting with a crossbow, you need to familiarize yourself with the type of game you can hunt. Most hunters use the crossbow for hunting small or big games, which are deer and rabbits. In most cases, deer have been regarded as the best hunting game for the crossbow. For long, crossbows have been regarded as not strong enough to kill big game.

It’s not to say that a crossbow can’t be lethal; by all means, it can cause damage when used right. But considering that you can now acquire a crossbow with higher firing power, hunting big game is possible. Some hunters are taking it a notch higher and using crossbows for hunting exotic game as long as it’s authorized. Since there has been a major improvement in crossbows capabilities, hunters can push them to their limits.

Therefore, the type of game that you can hunt with a crossbow is determined with the type and model you acquire.

What is the Recommended Crossbow to Start Hunting with? 

The main types of crossbows are the recurve and compound crossbows. With these two, you can comfortably undertake and enjoy your hunting voyage. They have been defined to have unique characteristics and a perfect choice for many hunters. Each has its distinctive features, which predominantly create a sense of resilience and comfort for its users.

But, the recurve crossbow carries the day. With just one pull of the retaining arrow string, the whole system sets itself automatically. The accuracy is unbeatable, and you can launch multiple projectiles without wasting time on reload. This type is not your everyday crossbow, but if you’re willing to take that extra mile, it makes a faultless choice. Learning all the intertwining for this crossbow allows you to handle more complicated ones in the future.

What Type Of Clothing Should You Wear When Crossbow Hunting?

This applies hunters across the board, and it can be a reflective jacket, a cap, or a vest. All these have to have a camouflaging factor, which is the color. The best and recommended colors should be orange or pink, and these should have reflective strips, usually silver color. These allow visibility of hunters to ensure there are no friendly fire consequences. It’s advisable to avoid dark colors and make sure you wear warm clothes, but this is dependent on the weather.

Which are the Different Crossbow Categories?

Crossbows come in diverse categories and with distinct features. Each can be perfect for certain game hunting and you are spoilt for choice. All you need is to realize the features and make your preference for the best.

crossbows available on the market.

Compound Crossbow

There are different models of the compound crossbow, but their operation is the same. It uses the principle of pulleys to function and is perfect for hunting because of its efficiency. When using it, minimal energy is required, and this is due to the ergonomics considered in its structure.

They are relatively quiet when taking a shot as compared to other models. The downside with this crossbow is the stiffness or rigidity of the limbs, and much pressure may be required when setting it. You may want to check out the full article on the compound bows.

Pistol Crossbows

These crossbows are given the name pistol because they encompass a handgun in terms of their compact size. They weigh less, but their functionality remains the same. The pistol crossbow is concealable, and it’s perfect for novice and experienced hunters. This mini crossbow has been the preference for many.

Rifle Crossbows

This type has been designed to encompass everything that makes a rifle on how they function and accessories. With a rifle crossbow, you can add accessories such as range finders and dot sights. It’s considered to be more advanced when compared to others, and it can shoot bows for a distance of 250 feet.

Bullet Crossbows

The projectiles shot by these crossbows are the reason behind the name bullet crossbow. These projectiles are made of lead, stone, and sometimes clay.

Repeating Crossbow

This happens to be the most unique, and it can be regarded as an automatic crossbow. The entire process of stringing and shooting a projectile is done by just one move. Hence, if you need a crossbow that will not require much work to operate it, it should be your choice.

It will enable you to make continuous shots without using much energy in changing broadheads.

Thus, the reloading arrow factor for this type of crossbow is well regarded.

Recurve Crossbow

The recurve crossbow is more of the traditional crossbow. It has a large frame and requires much energy to lock the projectile. The recurve crossbow is mostly used by advanced shooters who have the required experience. It gives you a better acceleration of the projectile and reduces the shock when you make that shot.

It’s due to how hard it is to operate this type of crossbow, that many beginners find it hard to handle it. If you haven’t read the article on recurve bows, here it is!

Factors to Consider in a Hunting Crossbow

The following are some factors that you should put in place if you are to buy the best crossbow.

 Velocity and Power

When looking for a crossbow, it’s imperative to consider the velocity at which it releases projectiles. This will help you understand its capability in terms of the shooting distance and its power during acceleration. With this, you can calculate the level of penetration when the projectile hits the target.

The Size

If your crossbow is for hunting, then size is a huge factor that you should carefully deliberate on. First, understand that crossbows come in different sizes. Also, your body frame will determine the size of the crossbow you should buy. The relation between the two can’t be disregarded. For hunting, the smaller the crossbow, the better it is for you.

However, in some crossbows, the size will decide the power at which a projectile is released. In such crossbars, the distance in which the arrow retention spring is pulled should be longer. In others, the distance needed to pull the arrow string might be shorter, but that means spring rigidity. Also, if you acquire a big crossbow and have a small stature, handling it will be hard.

It’s easy to see how size affects the type of crossbar, which shouldn’t be overlooked.

Noise Dissipated

Just like any other weapon that shoots projectiles, the crossbow dissipates noise when a shot is taken. This is not because it has a certain form of combustion at the release of a projectile. But because when this projectile is released, all the energy created at that point is transformed into noise. There are crossbows available that come with an arrow release string that can suppress the noise.

Hence, make sure you search for a crossbow that produces less noise. A crossbow that dissipates lots of noise may not be ideal for your hunting voyage. You might end up scaring away the game with every shot.

Scope Sight

When sighting a game, you require a red dot sight, which will help you acquire your targets accurately and fast. You can check out this review of the best bow sights. Different crossbows come with different sights. Some may have a single dot sight, while others may have three dots.

For a single dot sight, the distance between the crossbow and the target should be precise. This is the only way you will be able to acquire your target perfectly. But if you intend to take your shots from a distance and fast, the three-dot sight is the perfect fit. With three dots, the sequence of finding targets consistently is made possible.

The Trigger

The type of trigger on a crossbow shouldn’t be disregarded. You will find different types of triggers on the many crossbows available. Some might prefer hard press, while the other is what many refer to as hair triggers. It’s all down to the amount of weight required to press the trigger and release the quarrel.

I prefer the hair triggers since it’s simple to press them, and not much weight is needed, unlike their counterpart.

The Type of Broadheads or Bolts

Crossbow bolts are the projectiles, and without the best quarrel arrows, you might encounter problems while hunting. It can be impossible to shoot a game if the quality of the bolts is poor. In some instances, the manufacturer will recommend you stick to the broadheads they provide. It’s for the simple reason that those quarrels have been machine developed to precision to fit that crossbow.

If you use different or low-quality quarrels, they might not integrate properly with the crossbow. As a result, giving you a hard time when hunting or they might refuse to be accurate all together.

Types of Broadheads

A crossbow can’t function without its projectiles. With each, you will realize the difference and which broadhead is perfect for which crossbow.

Fixed Blades

These broadheads have been used since the inception of crossbows. They are the traditional type of quarrel arrows that have a continuous design. The arrowhead and quiver for this crossbow are fixed.

 Removable Broadheads

With these quarrels, you can separate both the bolt and quiver. This makes it easy for storage, and when you want to change the size of the quiver, it can easily be done.

Mechanical Blades

If you want a broadhead that can regulate its size, then this expandable bolt should be your choice. Mechanical blades will expand upon impact with the target hence causing more damage. This makes these arrows perfect for hunting big game.

Chisel Point Broadheads

For the chisel type, the broadhead has a pointed design with blades coming after the sharp head. Meaning the arrowhead enters the target first, then the blades.

Cut On Contact Broadheads

Cut on contact broadheads, just like the names suggest they cut upon impact. They are a category of fixed quarrels but differ in design. Such that the blades and the sharp arrow end are located at the arrowhead. It’s among the broadheads preferred by many hunters, who want to hunt exotic game.

Most Popular Bow Hunting Accessories for Your Crossbow

Hunters, especially new or intermediate, find it hard to understand how the crossbow functions and accessories accompany it. This makes it essential for you to know which accessories are needed depending on the type of crossbow you’re using. Even though your skills may be a required factor, these accessories offer refinement to your hunting expenditure.

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Final Verdict

Being a novice or professional hunter doesn’t mean you should not have the best crossbow at your disposal. However, arming yourself with the necessary knowledge regarding crossbow hunting is vital. In this guide, you will find meticulously broken down information to help you understand everything that entails crossbow hunting. It’s our mission to ensure you can acquire a crossbow that will have the easiest mechanisms and flawless grit.

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