I am an avid hunter and I am quite proud of it. Hunting and making a living out of it has become my lifestyle and I truly enjoy it. I also believe that hunting is good, both for physical fitness and mental fitness as well. Also, the kind of thrill I get chasing my hunt accelerates my heartbeat and the “thud” of it falling to the ground is like music to my ears. I like hunting through various weapons and this is why the phrase of Jack of all trades, fit quite well on me. But among all hunting weapons, my favorite ones are the crossbows. Have you ever hunted with a crossbow? If not, then I would suggest you to at least give it a try and then share your reviews with me. I love hunting with crossbows but there are many people out there who won’t share this interest and will debate on the usefulness and effectiveness of crossbows in hunting. But we will discuss that in detail later on.
Right now, I will share my recollection of an amazing hunting trip I had last summer. Even thinking about it makes me feel euphoric and jubilant. It was the biggest hunt of my last year in the woods when I hunted down a bull elk. I still remember how I had it down with the perfect shot from my recurve crossbow. The bull elk only ran for about twenty yards before it fell to the ground, completely dead. I felt proud of myself for shooting an animal with such a close distance. But it was well earned as I had to climb mountains, follow some fresh tracks and literally tail after it so that I can have the right shot. My crossbow, being light in weight and very effective had played a major role in my success. In the end, all of my hard work paid off and I finally had it down.
It was a good catch and once again my crossbow had not disappointed me. I instantly set up a camp and started to prepare the meal. Soon, I was done with the skinning and caping. For those of you who are not familiar with those terms, skinning is to take off the skin of the animal whereas caping means to cut off the neck of the animal in a way that does not break its neck. Then, I had it cut into small pieces with a butchering knife and barbequed some of it for dinner over the fire I had started. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bit of it. So, that was the story of my hunt and now I will move forward to the pros and cons of using crossbows in hunting.
The Pros of Hunting with Crossbows
1- People used simple bows for hunting in ancient times, and then crossbows were invented which were constructed to overcome the drawbacks of the conventional bows. This is why they are known as the advanced versions of the bows. With a bow, you have to pull the string back with immense force and then keep it at that drawn position with a huge effort. However, with a crossbow, that is certainly not the case. All you have to do is draw the crossbow up to the specified limit and then it will stay on that drawn position by itself, and you won’t have to put in more effort and energy. This facilitates the hunter in setting the target and aiming properly on it. All the hunter does then is to aim and shoot by pulling the trigger. This helps beginners or people with thin stature to hunt with ease. Hunting with crossbows is not easier but it is comparatively much easier than hunting with regular bows.
2- Crossbows operate like rifles and this is why it gets quite convenient to shoot with them even when you are sitting or are in a kneeling position. These positions are definitely not appropriate when hunting with a bow. These positions also keep the hunter at ease, allowing the shots to be made with accuracy and precision.
3- Crossbows most of the times come with telescopic sights as well. This feature also helps the hunter to use the crossbow with efficiency.
4- The velocity of a crossbow is much better than that of a simple bow. Therefore, the dart shot from a crossbow reaches the target much more quickly, thereby increasing their efficiency as a hunting weapon. The velocity of a crossbow depends on many factors, among which draw length, draw weight and the nature of darts used are the most important ones. The bows mostly shoot projectiles at a velocity of two hundred and fifty to three hundred and thirty feet per second. Whereas, crossbows mostly shoot at three hundred and fifty to four hundred and fifty feet per second which is much greater velocity than that of a bow. This high velocity allows the projectiles to have a long-range, and because of this the arrows gain momentum and reach target hard.
5- The maximum range of a crossbow is up to forty yards which when combined with its velocity, can easily take down a deer. Also, when we compare it with the range of a bow, we find that the range of a crossbow is much better.
The Cons of Hunting with Crossbows
1- The biggest disadvantage of hunting with crossbows is that they are heavier and they are large in size as well. You would have to have a decent stature and energy level if you wish to carry a crossbow around. They are heavier and larger than bows. Where a bow weighs around three to four pounds, a crossbow weighs around approximately six to seven pounds. That’s pretty much. Isn’t it? But if you think that you can carry it around, then that’s your choice and you should go with a crossbow as your hunting knives weapon. Crossbows also have somewhat bulky shapes which makes it difficult to carry them around. This heavyweight sometimes also proves to be a hindrance in maintaining a stable posture while aiming and messes up with the accuracy of the shot. Therefore, you have to be very sure and properly trained if you wish to hunt with a crossbow. All it takes is a little practice and you will become equipped with them.
2- Another drawback of crossbows is their large draw weights. The draw weight is the weight you must put on the crossbow in order to draw it. The draw weight of a bow is typically around fifty to eighty pounds whereas the draw weight of a crossbow is quite higher and ranges from hundred pounds to two hundred pounds. The more the draw weight, the more velocity the equipment will have.
Now, you must have a clear idea of the pros and cons of hunting with crossbow. Crossbows are easily available in stores all over the world and there is not just one type. A huge variety is available ranging from recurve crossbows, pistol crossbow, rifle crossbows to many other types of crossbows. Each one of them has its own benefits and its own drawbacks as well. So, if you wish to buy one for yourself, then you better have a look at all types of crossbows and then choose wisely based on your hunting requirements, choice, and preference. This will help you make the right choice for yourself as it is not necessary that what equipment suits one person is suitable for others as well.