Published on May 31, 2018
Summer is here. Now is a great time to get outside and get your crossbow fine-tuned. Many crossbow enthusiasts are former gun hunters who have made the switch. Although a crossbow has a trigger, a stock, and a scope, a crossbow is not a gun. Getting a crossbow dialed in for deer season can be a more complicated than dialing in a gun. Below are a few tips to make sure you and your crossbow are ready for deer season.
GET A TRIPOD OR SHOOTING STICK
Even the smallest crossbow is more cumbersome than a gun. Shooting them free hand can be very difficult. If you want to shoot one accurately at great distances, shoot the crossbow while it is stationary. A basic tripod will do a great job; a mono pod also works. Many companies make tripods and accessories for shooting crossbows. A tripod can help you sight your crossbow in quickly and easily.
A CROSSBOW IS NOT A RIFLE
A crossbow is not a gun. Many hunters who make the switch shoot at greater distances than they should and take shots on animals that are quartering to them or facing away and expect the animal to go down. A well-known blood tracker recently told me he and his hounds were extremely busy last year trailing bucks for crossbow hunters. Often the hunters were taking shots at 50 yards and beyond. Although a crossbow is fast, it isn’t as fast as a bullet. If a deer at 50 yards takes one step before the arrow reaches the rib cage, chances are the animal will be gut shot. During the summer, sight in your crossbow at 40 or 50 yards and practice but realize a long distance shot in the woods might not always be a good thing to do.
TEST A FEW BROADHEADS
Another thing all crossbow hunters should do is test a couple different styles of broadheads. Not all broadheads are created equal. Not all broadheads can handle the extreme speeds that crossbows produce. A field tip and a broadhead don’t always fly the same when they are traveling 450 FPS.
PRACTICE A LOT
Practice makes perfect. When a gun is sighted in, it often sits in the gun cabinet until a couple days before opening day. A crossbow should be shot often. Spend the summer getting to know the weapon, shoot often, and shoot from a variety of distances so when a buck steps out at 20 yards or 37 yards, you will know where exactly to aim. Unlike a bullet, arrows can drop quickly after the shot. Being sighted in perfectly at a variety of different distances will increase your odds of success in the field.
PURCHASE A TARGET THAT CAN HANDLE SPEED
If you shoot a lot, make sure you purchase a target that can withstand a lot of shooting. For example, our High Roller target can handle extreme speeds. It is perfect for the crossbow hunter.
CROSSBOWS REQUIRE REGULAR MAINTENANCE
Remember that crossbows require regular maintenance. They often need to have the rail lubed, they need a new string from time to time, and sometimes screws or bolts on the scope come loose because the bows create a lot of vibration. Regularly looking over your crossbow is always a good idea.
by Tracy Breen