Hunting with a crossbow is an invigorating experience. This weapon is accurate, fast, powerful and offers a clean kill. It is important to find out which laws apply in your local area before you go and purchase your own hunting crossbow. Most North American states will allow big-game hunting like bear, deer and moose with a crossbow while others like New Mexico will let you use a crossbow for Elk, cougars and various sheep. We have compiled a list of the best hunting crossbows out there for various budgets in mind;
Crossbow Hunting and The Law
It is not uncommon for states and provinces to require that you take an educational course when you are considering crossbow hunting. Even if this is not required by law, taking a certified bow hunting course is a beneficial opportunity for you to educate yourself about all of the advisable safety precautions you should take when opting for this type of sport. Courses will allow you to become familiar with the basic use of your crossbow, various arrow types, safety, different parts of your weapon and they will teach you about ethical hunting practices. It is also advisable to register younger hunters in a safety course in order to give them a solid foundation into the level of discipline and respect necessary for hunting. In general, these courses are free or quite affordable. They are worth it.
Crossbow hunting laws vary between states and provinces in North America. It is important to check out your local laws before you even consider purchasing a crossbow. Here are a few examples to get you started, but also ensure that you are checking their up to date laws as they can change;
- States like Alabama, Arizona, Illinois and Alaska make an allowance for hunters with disabilities to use a crossbow during hunting season
- States like Indiana and Delaware define specific crossbow hunting seasons
- States like Kentucky and Kansas allow crossbow hunting for everyone
- States like Alaska will only allow certified hunters to use a crossbow for hunting
- States like Maryland, Florida, Delaware and Arkansas are specific about the types of arrows that can be used on specific prey
- States like Delaware will define a minimum pull weight
In North America, provinces and states that do allow crossbow hunting will often times have a strict set of rules, especially when they are indicating what season is appropriate as well as specific prey. There are multiple states that only allow deer hunting, yet New Mexico will allow a wide variety of game including; bear, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, cougar, pronghorn, turkey and more.
Best Hunting Crossbow
This crossbow package is a compact, safe, lightweight and reliable hunting tool that is built to last. It is designed for large game and comes with a scope and extra arrows. With a 150lbs draw weight you can easily take down a deer. This crossbow is economically priced but is coming in with mixed reviews from market customers, earning it an average rating. Happy customers feel that the equipment is a good value but that the crossbow is definitely an introductory unit for beginners. The accuracy and strength rating are bang on. Unsatisfied customers received broken units or units with pieces missing.
Leader Accessories is a company that prides itself on providing hunting enthusiasts with the highest quality products. This crossbow comes in at a reasonable price and has earned itself a whopping rating from very happy customers on market. Customers have stated that this package comes with everything a beginner would need in order to get started right out of the box. Customers are happy with the durability and longevity of this equipment, indicating that even after 1000 bolts the original parts still work like new. The bow is balanced and ideal for beginners and intermediate users alike.
This Penetrator Package is the most expensive option we have reviewed here for Barnett Crossbows. The package is averaging rating on market. Happy hunting customers are boasting about the quality, durability and reliability of this unit. They have tackled large game every hunting season with quick, clean and ethical kills.
The Jackal Crossbow Package is holding strong with a solid rating on market. The package comes with a quick-detach quiver, bolts and a red dot sight. It has a 150lbs draw weight on its synthetic string and cable system. Whether customers were new to crossbow hunting or seasoned professionals, they are very pleased with this package. It is incredibly accurate but customers do recommend purchasing a roller cocker to assist in drawing the 150 lbs draw weight.
This gem has fantastic reviews overall with many people saying it’s one of their all time favorite hunting crossbows. The unit has an anti-dry fire trigger and a removable scope. It is a lightweight and versatile tool with a draw weight of 155 pounds. Customers are thrilled with the cost and value ratio, claiming that it is by far the best deal around. It is incredibly accurate, hitting bullseyes in clusters of 4 to 5 arrows. Many hunters are pleased with the clean and ethical kills they have made on deer and other large game animals.
Crossbow Hunting Tips
Let’s examine some helpful tips that will aid you in becoming the best crossbow hunter you can be;
- Hunting Crossbow ReviewsCocking Device: More often than not, crossbow hunters use a cocking device. It is a challenge to pull back 150 plus pounds of draw weight. Cocking devices make this easier. This device is also beneficial for increasing and maintaining accuracy by ensuring that the string returns to exactly the same position each and every time.
- String Protection: It is important to check your string often for wear and dirt. It is suggested that your rail should be lubricated every 20 shots in order to prolong string life. Make sure you are not over-lubricating the rail because it will end up shortening its life.
- String and Cable Replacement: These pieces will eventually require replacing. Crossbows need to have these parts replaced more than a compound bow. The frequency will obviously depend on how often you use your crossbow. Every other year is about right for recommended replacements or every four years if it is only used on occasion.
- Checking Regulations: Make sure that you are up to date on your area’s laws relating to the use of a crossbow. These regulations are changed often and you do not want to be doing anything unlawful.
- Shooting Platform: Just like shooting with a gun, you require stability for your crossbow. If you are able to rest it on some form of stable platform, you will improve your accuracy.
- Optics: Ensure that you are using the proper sighting system for your bow. There are many options out there.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: This is true whether you are bow hunting with a compound or crossbow or whether you are using a gun. Never put your weapon down on the off season. The more you practice, the better you will be. Take this opportunity to extend the life of your hunting season. When big-game is done, try using your crossbow to hunt game birds or pests.
Crossbow hunting is an exhilarating sport. Due to the power behind the bow it is better equipped to take down large prey animals quickly and ethically. Before you go ahead and pick up your new crossbow, ensure that you have double checked on your state laws regarding crossbow hunting and it is a great idea to register yourself into a safety course. After taking those few steps, have a fantastic time practicing on targets in the off-season so that once hunting season is upon you, you can hit your target every time!