Dos and Don’ts of Shooting a Crossbow Like a Pro
For beginners, using crossbows can be quite a challenge. Despite seeing people successfully use the on TV, loading, pulling the string and accuracy are concerns that everyone who is using a crossbow for the first time will always have.
Modern crossbows are nothing like what many people imagine them to be. They are fast, reliable, and extremely powerful. However, you can only use them effectively if you understand and know what to do. Luckily, the following crossbow dos and don’ts can help you achieve that.
Look for the Best Based on Your Budget
Top of the line crossbows are very different from bargain ones. A bargain model can never get you to the same level as someone with an expensive crossbow. This means that if you want the best, then you have to be willing to spend a little more, otherwise, do not expect too much from cheap models. Note that you can get a decent crossbow from $800 to $1,500.
Focus on Draw Weight
Draw weight is what sets a hunting crossbow apart. Luckily, a number of states have ensured that you do not have to work with guesswork anymore when looking at draw weight. They have regulations in place that advocate for a weight of between 75 to 125 pounds. The best hunting bows are usually those with a draw weight of between 150 and 175 pounds and some even go as high as 200 pounds.
Give Your Arrows Speed
Speed is important when you go hunting. It is actually what determines whether you will have a kill or not. Fortunately, the draw weight significantly affects speed, and that is why going for a crossbow with a higher draw weight guarantees you higher speeds. Shooting at 300 feet per second should be your target. This is because such as speed gives the arrows enough kinetic energy to kill large animals while also helping remaining accurate.
Use the Scope
Crossbows without an integrated scope may still be common but always strive to get one that comes with this important piece. Scopes make shooting easier by increasing your accuracy. Anything that has a magnification of up to 5X is great. You can also decide whether you need a bow with one reticle or multiple ones.
Your Choice of Arrows is Important
You may have a crossbow that guarantees you speed and a scope for sighting but without the right arrows, you may never be able to hit your targets. Cheap arrows move like knuckleballs, and that is why you need arrows that are specifically meant for your crossbow. Carbon and aluminum arrows are fine although carbon is the best.
Get Quality Broadheads
The broadhead of an arrow also determines how successful you will be on your hunting trip. Those with the tightest tolerances and sharp blades are ideal for hunting. To top it up, focus on a weight of 100 grains for accuracy although 125 grains will still do.
Use a Rest
Crossbows are heavy and can also be a little difficult to shoot accurately without using a rest. Rests make it easy to hold the crossbow and take a better aim and can be anything such as a monopod or shooting stick. To ensure that you get the most out of the rest, try padding the crossbow’s forearm with your hand or anything that can absorb the recoil.
Understand How Arrows Travel
When you shoot an arrow from a crossbow, it moves in what can be described as a parabolic arc. Although crosshairs can guide your hit at particular intervals, they cannot tell you where to aim for distances that fall in between the calibrated ones. This is why learning how the arrow travels is important in ensuring that you hit targets that come before the crosshair-dependent distances.
Employ the Rangefinder
To increase your accuracy, you will need to know the exact distance between you and the target and that is what a rangefinder is meant for. Although some of the best range finders will cost you up to $400, you can be assured of hitting the target every time you shoot. In fact, their reliability is so high that they are compared with the sunrise.
Know Your Bow’s Trigger
All triggers are different, and you will only get the most out of yours after using it for a while. You need to shoot with and without gloves so that you can tell when exactly the arrow is released after squeezing the trigger. This timing is important especially when hitting moving objects.
Just like many other tools, you need to keep practicing with your crossbow before you get perfect. Sight a rest bench and try to hit it multiple times. Once you can hit it severally, move to objects that simulate the real hunting life. You also need to practice different shooting positions such as kneeling, lying down and when on top on trees. Other than positions, learn how to use all the accessories such as rest that come with the crossbow.
Check on Your Crossbow
Ensuring that your crossbow works optimally is important. This is why you have to keep checking on strings and cables for any signs of wear. Simple maintenance tasks like lubricating the center serving, and rails prolongs its lifespan while also minimizing the need to replace parts.
This is what will get you shooting like a pro, but you also need to avoid the following don’ts.
Don’t Forget Your Thumb
You need to be safe as you shoot your crossbow. Watch your fingers and thumbs to avoid injuries.
Don’t Shoot Beyond Range
The maximum effective range determines how far you can successfully hit a target. Shooting beyond this range is a waste of your arrows.
Don’t Shoot Off-hand
Given the weight of a crossbow, shooting off-hand can be a little difficult, and it also affects your accuracy. Instead, learn to shoot from sitting or kneeling positions so that you can put your rest to use.