Keep reading to learn all about hunting with a crossbow.
There are currently many places in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas where it is legal to go hunting with a crossbow for a wide variety of small and big game. Recent developments in technology mean that modern crossbows can propel their bolts much faster than they did several years ago. That being said, hunting even with one of the best crossbows is no walk in the park and it is still much more challenging than hunting with a rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader. For this reason, hunting with a crossbow still presents many of the same challenges experienced by hunters using re-curve or compound bows. Continue reading to see what I mean.
Advantages of Hunting With A Crossbow
Crossbows have several advantages over a re-curve or compound bow. For one thing, crossbows use very heavy draw weights, which in turn means they fling their bolts at incredible velocities (for a bow). This means their bolts fly further, have a flatter trajectory, and hit harder than bolts fired from older crossbows or modern compound bows. Additionally, unlike a compound or re-curve bow, once a crossbow is cocked, it does not require any effort to hold it at full draw. This allows the hunter to shoot from a completely relaxed position. Crossbows are also easier to shoot from a sitting or prone position than a compound or re-curve bow as well. Crossbows are aimed just like a rifle and may even be equipped with a red dot or telescopic scope. Obviously, these are all big advantages for hunters.
Another often overlooked advantage of a crossbow is that it’s much quieter than a rifle. Not only does this mean you can hunt in closer proximity to where people live without disturbing the neighbors, but it also eliminates the need for you to wear hunting ear protection.
Disadvantages of Hunting With A Crossbow
Unfortunately, crossbows also have several limitations as well. Even though they shoot at higher velocities than re-curve or compound bows, they cannot compare to a rifle or a muzzleloader when it comes to effective range. 50-60 yard shots are certainly possible with a crossbow under the right circumstances, but any further is really pushing it. For this reason, hunters using crossbows must still evade their prey’s senses of sight, smell, and hearing in order to approach to within a close enough range to make an ethical shot, just like a hunter using a re-curve or a compound bow. Additionally, a crossbow bolt may be deflected by something as small as a leaf or a branch, so use extreme caution when shooting in a wooded area and always make sure you have a clear line of sight to your target. Finally, crossbows are tough to rapidly reload and get a follow-up shot with, so you’ve really got to make sure your first shot is on the money because you might not get another one.
As you can see, when compared to hunting with a rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader, hunting with a crossbow is significantly more challenging. However, that just means that a successful crossbow hunt is just that much more rewarding.