Bowhunting has been an exciting sport in archery. And needless to say, this game requires some powerful hunting crossbows.

If you are an archery enthusiast looking forward to making your first debut in the playfield, it’s time for you to get the best-fit crossbow from the store. But do you know how to choose a hunting crossbow, especially one that will meet your needs?

If not, there’s no need to worry. This blog post will elaborate on the credentials you may follow while searching for the perfect hunting crossbow.

Here’s what you need to know,

How to Choose a Good Crossbow

Choosing a good crossbow means allowing yourself to get more accurate practice in hunting. This will not only level up your practice skills; instead, you will get used to more advanced archery training without the risk of getting misled.

However, there are a few key considerations for a good hunting crossbow. You will need to get the correct sizes, weight, safety features, and speed parameters accordingly to suit your demands.

Before selecting a crossbow for hunting, let’s get to know how to choose the best crossbow.

1   Choose the Correct Size and Weight

First and foremost, make sure you do not have a wrong-sized crossbow. A wrong-sized crossbow means a wrong-weighed crossbow that may be too heavy to shoot or light to handle.

For example, if you consider buying a recurve crossbow, you will need to focus more on its length and limb width. The broader these measurements will be, the better speed and power they will be able to deliver.

Although that makes them a little less maneuverable and hardly manageable as well, causing difficulties to aim even within range.

On the other hand, if you intend to go with a compound crossbow, the size measurements will less likely affect its speed and power.

However, it’s always advised to choose an Axle-to-Axle width-sized for these crossbows, making them the lightest to handle and accessible for better shooting.

If you are a newbie in bowhunting, we suggest going with the compound crossbows first and then the recurve ones. Compound crossbows are a better match for all kinds of archers because of their easily manageable design.

2   Check on the Speed and Power

Faster crossbows allow hunters to increase their rate of fire, which is especially useful when hunting bigger animals that are faster than the bolts. But determining the speed of these crossbows get pretty challenging as most of us don’t know how their speed characteristics are measured.

In general, crossbows are measured in FPS, which means Feet Per Second. And the higher the fps rate, the faster an arrow is released, needing less power to propel it.

Most crossbows can fire anywhere from 200 FPS (feet per second) to 470 FPS (feet per second). However, it’s recommended that the newbies go with a slower speed bow first. They can advance to the speedy ones later.

Speed is the factor that separates a crossbow from the rest. Faster speeds mean more force, which can mean longer shots or killing power.

3   Triggers

Triggers are another crucial component that you need to consider while choosing a hunting crossbow. There are significantly different models of crossbows available, so the triggers come in different designs as well.

Here’s an overview of what to consider,

  • The most crucial thing is the pull weight. You want to choose a trigger with a pull weight that is comfortable for you to shoot.
  • The size of the trigger. A larger trigger may be easier to pull, but it can also make the crossbow difficult to handle.
  • The type of trigger. There are two main types of triggers for hunting crossbows: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical triggers are better manageable, but electronic triggers can offer more precision.
  • Lastly, your personal preferences. Experiment with various triggers to see which one fits better for you. Ultimately, the best trigger for you is the one that you feel most comfortable using.

4   Grip Style

Do you prefer using a crossbow for deer hunting? You must be concerned with the grip style, then!

There are three main grip styles for hunting crossbows: the pistol grip, the thumbhole grip, and the open grip. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so you got to identify the proper one for you.

  • A pistol grip is a popular option for hunting crossbows. It improves precision and speed, but it isn’t easy to hold for extended periods of time.
  • Thumbhole grips have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s more comfortable than a pistol grip, and it gives you more control over the bow. The downside is that it can be difficult to cock the bow with a thumbhole grip, and you may need to use two hands.
  • The open grip is the least popular option for hunting crossbows. It’s not as comfortable or easy to control as the other two options, but it gives you more power and accuracy.

5   Anti-Dry Fire Mechanism

An anti-dry fire mechanism is a safety feature that prevents the crossbow from firing when there’s no arrow loaded. This is a vital feature because it prevents accidental discharge of the crossbow. Unintentional discharge can damage the crossbow, it can also injure or kill the person holding it.

Anti-dry fire systems are available in different variants. Some are more elaborate than others, but they all serve the same purpose. Make sure the one you choose is compatible with your specific crossbow.

6   Auto-Engaging Safety Features

Hunting with a crossbow, while excited, may come with risks. And therefore, make sure your hunting crossbow comes equipped with an auto-engaging safety feature.

What is an auto-engaging safety feature? Basically, it is a safety mechanism that automatically engages when the crossbow is cocked. If the crossbow is accidentally fired, the safety will automatically engage, preventing the crossbow from firing.

An auto-engaging safety feature has a variety of advantages. For instance, it can help to prevent accidental shootings. It can keep the crossbow from firing if dropped or knocked over. Most importantly, it can keep your bow secure and ready to use at all times.

Recurve or Compound Crossbow: Which One Should You Choose?

Knowing how to choose a hunting crossbow is essential for every hunter, as is knowing what recurve or compound crossbow is.

These are the two most common types of crossbows used for hunting. But not both of them might be a good fit for you. So, which one should you choose?

If you are an avid hunter thinking of starting out hunting, it would be best to go with an easy-going crossbow. Recurve crossbows are just perfect in that case.

They are simple in design, easy to manage, and offer better maneuverability. The main advantage of a recurve crossbow is that it is very accurate.

On the other hand, compound crossbows are designated primarily for more professional hunters. These crossbows are heavy, have a more complex design, and are pretty hard to use.

As a beginner, if you start out with this hunting bow, you will have a much harder time aiming at your target, even within a short distance.

Key Takeaway

Crossbows are very effective, fast, and lethal weapons for hunting. However, if you are still at your beginning phase, it’s crucial to know how to choose a hunting crossbow as per your need.

In this article, we’ve tried covering the most crucial factors of how to choose a hunting crossbow. Thus, it becomes easier for you to identify the qualities and features of different crossbows.

So, what are you holding out for? It’s time to get the ideal crossbow for you and start practicing.


1   What type of crossbow is best for hunting?

Crossbows that are lightweight, durable, and easy to maneuver are the best for hunting. Essentially, these crossbows offer good scope for accuracy and are also able to shoot arrows at high velocity, which is excellent for overall performance.

2   What size crossbow is needed for deer hunting?

The size of crossbow you need for deer hunting depends on personal preference. Some people prefer a smaller, more compact crossbow, while others like a larger one. Ultimately, it comes down to what you feel most comfortable with and what will work best for your hunting style.

3   How expensive is a good crossbow?

A good crossbow can be quite expensive depending on the brand and model. You may find some good-quality crossbows at a fair price if you look about. It is important to remember that a crossbow is a serious investment, so you should do your research before purchasing one.

4   What is a good draw weight for a crossbow?

It is up to you to decide the draw weight according to your preferences. But as a general rule of thumb, most people prefer a draw weight between 150 and 200 pounds. This provides enough power to take down a medium-sized game while still being manageable to cock and shoot.


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