Learning How To Hunt with a Crossbow

For many people, learning how to shoot and hunt with a crossbow is sometimes hampered by their lack of knowledge for this tool. However, as a hunting weapon, it is a versatile and often-used choice among hunters worldwide and is a good choice for many scenarios. Once you have a more firm understanding of how to hunt with it, the crossbow can be a fun and safe selection for your next hunting trip. Today, we’re going to break down the fundamentals of the crossbow, so that you can learn how to hunt with one.

Understanding the Basics

While using a crossbow is similar to using a rifle, there are key differences to be aware of. The first is how to cock back the string so that you can load your bolt. The most important aspect to be aware of is that the applied pressure must be even on both sides or else it will change the path of the bold significantly. This step is probably the more challenging for new crossbow hunters as well. While tools exist to aid in cocking the bow, these are often more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s recommend that you practice un-aided until you are comfortable with this process.

Another basic to understand about crossbow hunting is firing the weapon. Using the slit integrated into the crossbow to load the bolt into place, you’ll want to ensure that it is placed properly before continuing. Similar to firing a handgun and avoiding the movement of the slide, be sure to keep your thumbs tucked out of the way from the arms of the crossbow. This will ensure your safety. Once you’ve confirmed that you have your target in sight and that nothing else is in the path of the bolt, you’re ready to fire your crossbow. If, after your hunt is over, you still have a bolt loaded, the easiest way to resolve this issue is to fire the crossbow at an intended target.

Choosing You First Hunting Crossbow

When you venture out to select and purchase your first crossbow, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, consider your sights as you would any firing weapon. There are many choices here, but go with what you’re most comfortable with. You’ll also want to choose a weapon with a good stock that allows your to keep your arm away from the bridge of the crossbow. Choose one that feels right for you and let’s you aim easily and quickly. In addition, weight pertaining to draw should be considered around 175-188 lbs to ensure ease of drawing. Once you’ve picked out your crossbow, also purchase some bolts that are appropriate for that model.

How to Fire the Crossbow

The first time you use a crossbow, you may feel a little clumsy or self-conscious. But similar to any weapon, remembering your best-practices for safety as well as the steps to loading and firing is the best way to proceed. With time, loading and shooting will get easier and more comfortable as your learn. Here are some easy steps to get you started:

  • Take the crossbow’s stirrup and set it on the ground.
  • Step through the stirrup, making sure your foot is accurately placed.
  • Lean down and pull the string back on the stock by standing up.
  • Maintain pressure on each side until the bow is locked.

Refining Your Accuracy

Like with any firing weapon, distance is going to play a big factor in your accuracy, especially as you first start hunting with a crossbow. While many sights are set with a 40 yard indicator, it’s recommend that you begin at far lower than this where possible. For many people, it may be appropriate to begin with basic target practice at a 10 or 20 yard distance to establish a clear understanding of bolt trajectory and speed. Even at these distances, sighting perfectly will still be off by several inches, which will require some trial-and-error on your part. Once you feel you’ve mastered target practice at these distances, you’re ready to take your bow hunting with greater distances in mind.

As crossbow hunting grows in popularity, so do the legal requirements needed for doing it. Be sure to check up on and keep up-to-date on the laws particular to your area. This will ensure that, now that you’ve started to lean how to hunt with a crossbow, you’re also following the laws pertaining to this fun and timeless sport.h3

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