Hunting with a Crossbow

Crossbow hunting requires a unique skill set that even advanced rifle hunters may need some time to pick up. The following article will outline some pointers to help put you on the path to a successful crossbow hunting experience. Although some of the tips mentioned in this article will overlap with those that were covered in our Crossbow Hunting Safety Tips article, there is some new information here specifically tailored to helping you increase your hunting game.

The best thing that both beginner and experienced crossbow hunters can do to increase their hunting success is use a cocking device.

This is especially important for the crossbow hunters who fall into a lighter weight range, as cocking back the heavy draw weight can be a huge challenge.

Even experienced crossbow hunters may have trouble with this process, so ensuring you always use a cocking device will help ease the weight of the drawback. Additionally, using a cocking device will help you develop your technique and improve your aim.

This is because cocking devices ensure that your string will always return to the same position, even if it happens to tilt to one side of the rail.

This is most helpful for beginners still learning the ropes as it will maintain your aim and reduce the likelihood of minor tension errors ruining your accuracy. Ultimately, only experienced crossbow hunters who are very comfortable with their accuracy and crossbow hunting technique should hunt without a cocking device.

Five Secrets for Hunting with a Crossbow

  • Always use a cocking device
  • Always use a sighting system
  • Always ensure that you have a stable shooting platform
  • Oil your rail regularly
  • Wax your string regularly

Another great way to increase your hunting success is to use a sighting system. Crossbows can accommodate almost any type of sighting system; however, those designed specifically for crossbows will yield you better results.

Crossbow sighting systems are typically multi-reticle, consisting of three dots or crosshairs.

Sighting systems help you increase your precision, especially at longer ranges. Some even come with the ability to determine the trajectory of your crossbow at certain velocities, which is a great feature as it allows you to learn the nature and speed of your crossbow bolts. Being aware of these characteristics will greatly increase your aim with time.

Creating a stable shooting platform is another key thing to keep in mind when crossbow hunting. A stable shooting platform will ensure that you have more control over your bow, and in turn a more accurate shot. Alternatively, unstable shooting platforms will lead to less steadiness and less accuracy. Using a stand with a shooting rail is the best way to create a stable shooting platform, but for those without this feature using sticks or pods with swivel heads and telescoping legs are the next best option.

A final tip is to ensure that you protect your crossbow at all times and regularly care for it. Make sure you are cleaning your cables and strings after each hunting session to ensure that you are removing the dirt and minimizing the wear and tear of your crossbow. Additionally, make sure to wax your string and lubricate your rail with oil regularly; after every 100 shots or so is a good number to go by.

However, do not use too much oil on your rail, as this can lead to saturation of the serving and ultimately decrease its lasting power. Wax on the serving can also lead to dirt buildup, so make sure when you wax your string that you keep it separate from the serving.

Ultimately, becoming a great crossbow hunter requires the development of many of your fine motor skills. Utilizing the methods mentioned above will help you develop these skills and increase you hunting success. Take a look at our Crossbow Hunting Safety Tips article for some other important things you need to know before you step out onto the hunting grounds.