12 Essential Tips for Crossbow Hunting for Beginners

Crossbow Hunting Tips

Instead of an unwieldy, slow and imprecise medieval weapon, the modern crossbow is a high-performance sports & hunting equipment. They’re fast, precise, and powerful enough to kill even large wild animals.

In America, many parts of the country hunt with crossbows instead of rifles for example.

However, this practice is often prohibited in the majority of European countries and some states in the United States. A crossbow hunter who wishes to hunt with his throwing weapon must exercise patience and perseverance to stalk his prey.

In this article, I’m going to discuss certain fundamental principles that enhance your overall crossbow hunting skills and make you feel proud after the upcoming hunting trip.

Let’s see 12 crucial tips for crossbow hunting step by step.

12 Tips for Crossbow Hunting for Beginners

To get the most out of your crossbow, you have to master the basics. I have therefore put together the most important things that you should internalize at the beginning so as not to be angry about your choice afterward.

Here these are:

1. Buy the best your wallet has

There is of course a big difference between an inexpensive entry-level crossbow and a high-end crossbow. The bargaining model costs less, but it’s not as well built, accurate and reliable as the more expensive model.

For example, you can buy a complete crossbow package that contains everything you need. For example, a crossbow, a few arrows and arrowheads, a telescopic sight, a jig, and a quiver for as little as $100 to $200. But you should remember that a good entry-level crossbow comes with 200-$300 only for starting.

2. Use a 120-pound crossbow to learn how to shoot

Learn to shoot a crossbow

It doesn’t matter whether you practice target shooting or hunting; it is crucial to choose the right crossbow. To choose a beginner’s crossbow, you should consider the shooter’s age.

There are crossbow models designed especially for children who want to improve their marksmanship while having fun.

Adults who want to learn crossbow shooting can make do with a 120-pound throwing weapon. This quality device offers good precision and is easy to use.

3. Choose a higher pull weight model

The main difference between many crossbows is the draw weight. Better and more powerful crossbows usually start in the 175 lbs range, although one shouldn’t generalize here either.

There are also excellent crossbows that are less than 150 lbs. In general, the bigger the better, or in this case faster.

Manufacturers of crossbows and compound bows are always trying to improve their flight characteristics. They make their crossbow faster to increase the weight of the draw.

However, the crossbow should be able to accelerate the arrow to an initial speed of at least 300 feet per second so that you can hit your target precisely over long distances of over 90m.

4. Treat yourself to a good visor

Many inexpensive crossbows have simple and basic sights or scopes that make aiming difficult for long range shooting. You are much better served with a multiple crosshair or multi-red dot sight because these make aiming a lot easier. They are also available in many different magnifications.

Within aiming the device, there are auxiliary lines or points for aiming when you want to shoot over greater distances. You start with a single red dot or crosshair for simple aiming devices. You can aim very well with them for a fixed distance, usually 20 meters.

For longer distances, you have to try to compensate for the ballistic curve by holding it higher.

However, Multi-range crossbow scopes are the most popular because they show you multiple illuminated points, each suitable for a specific distance.

5. Use arrows/bolts as good as possible

Very cheap price arrows are usually not really well made, which is why they can break faster and also fly badly. So you should purchase arrows that have already received good ratings and are specially designed for crossbow shooting, as the crossbow bolts or arrows are shorter than bow arrows.

Also make sure that the nocks are suitable for crossbow arrows and not designed for compound bows.

Arrows can be made of wood, aluminum, carbon or fiberglass, or a mixture of aluminum and carbon. Beginners are best to use aluminum arrows first, as these are cheap and robust.

If you want to invest a little more right away, you can get carbon arrows. Carbon arrow is the best seller among the crossbow arrows on the market. Because it is extremely light and flies surprisingly quickly.

6. Get the right accessories

Crossbow Essential Accessories

A good purchase allows you to get several additional accessories such as bolts, spare parts, carrying case, and more. A rope tensioning aid is essential for every crossbow hunter. Of course, you can also cock the crossbow by hand, but after 10-20 cocking times, you run out of the air and your hands hurt.

Most of the tensioning aids are available for around $20 and up.

Another important must-have is the quiver. The bolts can be transported in it, saving space, gently and safely.

The last thing you should do is find a suitable bag for your crossbow. There you have space for everything you need on the shooting range.

According to the Weapons Act, wielding a crossbow in public is allowed. But let’s be honest, you’d also look weird if a guy was sitting next to you on the tram with a crossbow. Do yourself and your fellow human beings a favor and get yourself a bag.

7. Only shoot where allowed

Remember, a crossbow is a weapon. Always be aware of this phenomenon and constantly keep in mind that such a bolt flies at over 300 km / h and can kill someone with ease.

It is therefore best ALWAYS go to the nearest shooting range or shooting club to train. Appropriate safety measures have already been taken there and you can concentrate fully on the shooting.

If you don’t have this option, you should shoot where there are no people. Large hills that are easily visible are always suitable. You can then place your target directly on the slope so that arrows that are not hit disappear into the ground and do not injure anyone.

8. Take care of your fingers

Never grasp the guide rail when shooting. The jumping tendon could injure or even break your finger. In addition, you should always hold your crossbow by the handle and make sure that your fingers cannot get in the way of the arrow or the string.

Just as your fingers are less able to withstand an impact with the string, your crossbow cannot withstand a shot without an arrow very well. With this so-called dry shot, all the energy from the tendon goes back into the limbs, which in the worst case can lead to the limbs breaking.

9. Get a feel for the trigger

Each crossbow has a unique trigger. You should have shot your crossbow enough times to know exactly when the arrow will be passed. You can also try shooting with and without gloves so that the difference can be clearly felt and you can find out what you like better.

10. Practice makes perfect

The saying “practice makes perfect” also applies to crossbow hunting. Shoot from a surface (table, trestle, sandbag, bipod, etc.) on which the crossbow rests. Use these exercises to practice shooting with precision and to get a feel for the trigger. When you know your crossbow well, you will get better results.

However, certain fundamentals remain unchanged.

11. Take care of your crossbow regularly

The crossbow is a mechanical device that requires regular maintenance to keep it working as it did on the first day. This means that you should check all moving parts like the CAM system and the tendons for wear. This is very important because enormous forces act on the individual parts with every shot.

At the first sign of tendon fraying or other unusual signs of wear and tear, the parts should be replaced. With good care, of course, the repair effort is reduced, for example with the car.

After every workout, clean everything well and lubricate the tendons with wax so that they stay supple. The guide rail lubricates regularly with oil or special care products after every 100 to 150 shots.

I also wrote a complete guide on how to maintain your crossbow. If you focus on these techniques, you’ll definitely increase your crossbow life and improve your crossbow performance.

12. Relax the crossbow

Always remember to relax the crossbow after a day of hunting. This can be accomplished by using equipment called a bandage or shooting a practice arrow at a target.

To prevent the string and the bow from breaking, it is imperative not to relax the bow manually by pulling the string dry without the arrow.


What is the maximum distance to shoot with a crossbow?

Just like most hunting crossbows, the reasonable maximum distance that an accurate and lethal shot can be taken is around 30 meters (100 feet). Although we can often group our arrows well at greater distances, the fact remains that passing this distance, the strike force decreases considerably.

However, the risk of error greatly increases as the meters are linked regardless of the power of the crossbow. Unexpected movement of the animal, shooting angle, trembling or nervous release, poor evaluation of the distance, and anticipation of the shot are some examples that can make a missed shot.

How important is the choice of arrows?

The choice of arrows is important insofar as one wishes to get group shots, constant and with a good impact force. The ideal is to shoot with the original arrows. Otherwise, it is better to refer to the manufacturer’s manual to know the minimum weight required in order to not perform the equivalent of an empty shot, which could prove dangerous for the shooter and cause serious breakage to the gun.

Certain models of similar arrows could therefore be used. And in this case, it is good to know the weight of the arrows and points which one usually uses in order to find among the choices offered in store a model that does. Get as close as possible.

It should be noted that a change in the arrows could lead to some readjustment of the telescope or the staff.

 Is it better to have a crossbow with or without a pulley?

The choice of a pulley crossbow will therefore be more relevant in order to move it in the forest more easily. The main advantages of crossbows without a pulley are their simplicity and the ability to change the string yourself. For a hunter who does fine hunting, the ideal is a narrow model that takes up less space.

However, the weight and power of the two types of crossbows are often equivalent in recent models. It is generally by supporting and handling different models that the final choice is made, according to individual tastes, budget and needs.

Is it better to have fixed or retractable broadheads?

Both types of broadheads have advantages and disadvantages. Fixed broadhead often requires readjustment of the telescope. These points are very reliable since they are not mechanical. It is noteworthy to align the hinges (feathers) with the broadhead.

For crossbow shooting, it is important that the broadhead is held in place by a rubber band rather than a mechanism.

Last Tips for Beginner Crossbow Hunters

The regular maintenance of the crossbow improves the initial speed of the weapon. These few gestures also make it possible to preserve the rope, and the beginner crossbowman will be able to see an improvement in his performance. With good and proper maintenance, a rope will make about 150 shots.

Although it is not uncommon for hunters to leave the crossbow armed for very long periods of time, this unpleasant habit must be corrected when you start crossbow hunting. In fact, keeping the string of a crossbow in firing position for too long is not only dangerous, but it risks damaging the branches of the bow. Because the crossbow mechanism is not designed to stay in the firing position for too long.

Beginner hunters who use small crossbows should regularly check the condition of the string, and should not forget to replace the wire edge. To avoid damaging the crossbow when the string suddenly breaks during shooting exercises, it is best to consider changing the old string.

To get a beginner hunting crossbow, you can read this article on our site: 10 Best Crossbow Under $400.

Hope this article provides all the information you are looking for.

If you have any questions, leave a comment in the section below and we’ll answer them.

Liam Dean is a Professional Blogger and Outdoor Enthusiast. He completed Masters in Sports Sciences and spend all of his free time doing sports and other outdoor activities. During vacations, he goes hunting, fishing and mountaineering.

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