What are the Top Deer Hunting Crossbows?
Any good hunter knows what best to use to get their game; what’s yours? A crossbow is one of the oldest and most widely used hunting equipment. If you are looking to purchase one, then there is plenty of information to dig your fingers and mind into. Let us begin with the most important.
Deer hunting. If you have not already, then you may come to develop a liking to deer hunting. An early hunting season starts off early in September, and a late one around late November. It is just before or during this period that you are going to find the inevitability of great hunting equipment.
The best hunting equipment cannot be rivalled or compared with. You could go out with simple home-made tools or untrustworthy equipment, and come back most if not all times, disappointed. You could, alternatively, use the best equipment for the intended purpose, and have a not only easier but also fun time.
Crossbows can be simple or complex equipment; people prefer them for many different reasons. Their performance, nonetheless, is stellar, and will often guarantee success if used right. You may, however, want to be watchful when using them because of safety concerns from resulting accidents.
There are many crossbows in the market that you can use for deer hunting. It is critical, however, that you choose the best, to boost your chances of successful hunts, satisfaction, and also reduce demerits that arise from getting substandard gear. How then, do you determine the best?
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most reputable brands of deer hunting crossbows. We will have a look at what each product has to offer, and proceed to shine light on some of the factors that you should consider when shopping for them. Why don’t we proceed to our list?
① Barnett Wildcat 7
What are you looking for in a Crossbow? You may get it in the Wildcat C7, for a good price. Besides its 150 pounds draw weight, it features a 320 feet/second arrow speed, 37” string length and an 8.5 overall weight. It also has a 91 feet-pounds of kinetic energy. Why don’t we have a more in depth look?
Speed is what you need in a crossbow, besides its accuracy and, of course, comfort. This model offers a blend of critical and high-value features; the Veloci-Speed wheels with high energy, quad limps that are vented and a composite GAM stock that you may find to be lightweight.
These add on to the string and cable system, delivering the best crossbow. Its suitability, moreover, is with the whitetail deer. Why so? Well, your choice may be influenced by the crossbow’s arrow speed and draw weight.
What is more with this Wildcat is its low-profile and lightweight design, which are a preference of and delight to many. You may also find ease when installing a cocking device on the crank attachment. The crossbow’s Anti-Dry Firing may come quite handy.
Notable setbacks with this model are its string quality, and string-adjustment challenges. Included extras are a premium red dot sight, a quick-detach quiver, and three arrows of 20 inches.
- High quality and value
- Fast, accurate, and comfortable
- Watch out for string frays
- No vibration control
Value for money presents the Bruzer FFL crossbow by Bear X. For an affordable price, this product delivers great features that you may find with superior models. Besides its 125 draw weight, Bruzer FFL features a 335 feet/second speed, 9 pounds of weight, and a 99.3 feet-pounds of kinetic energy.
It has an 18-inch distance from one axle to another, and for its price, offers exceptional performance. If you are of short stature or would like to pass it on to a child, then you may find this crossbow easy to draw, with the pull cocker.
This is a reverse limb model. Its 125 pounds in draw weight, therefore, is sufficient for the delivery in 335 feet per second of speed. While some crossbows may require a higher draw weight, the Bruzer FFL takes it all under control.
This product does not offer everything that you may be looking for in a deer hunting crossbow. You may, however, find it to be an affordable good-performer. Notable setbacks include no mechanism for vibration and noise control, and a low-quality scope.
- Value for money
- High speed from low draw weight
- Skeletonized for more rigidity
- No vibration and noise control
- You may find the scope to be of low-quality
③ Killer Instinct KI350
You may come to find this to be an excellent compound crossbow.
Are you looking for a compact high-performer? If so, then this crossbow by Killer Instinct could be what you’re looking for. Besides its 175 pounds of draw weight, it features a 350 feet/second speed, and 6.5 pounds of weight. It also has a 3.5 pounds trigger pull.
This crossbow had been considered to be an entry-level, thanks to its cost. You may, nonetheless, love what it has to offer, which you will find to be at par with other high-end models. It is lightweight, has great arrow-velocity, and as aforementioned, both a compact size and great draw weight.
The crossbow measures to 18.5” from one axle to the other, and goes out to 34.5” in length. For ease in cocking, you may find Killer Instinct’s cocker device to be quite handy. You will need to fit the cocker to the tenpoint, then you’re good to go!
What I liked about this model is that unlike the our numbers one and two, it features a noise-reduction rubber coating, which also absorbs vibrations. A notable setback is its strings, which are not the best in quality. You may also not easily come across this model’s new separate components, should you need them.
- Rubber coating for vibrations and noise reduction
- Scarce replacement parts
- Low-quality fitted strings
④ Tenpoint Turbo GT
The award-winning Turbo GT crossbow by Tenpoint has great features and specs to offer; why don’t we have a look at them? Besides the 175 pounds draw weight, this system features a 360 feet/second speed and 6.45 pounds of weight.
Its enhanced design is meant to help boost the crossbow’s accuracy and eventual performance. It is also fitted with a cocking device that self-retracts. This cocker has the ability to ease your effort by well up to half (50%). Its compactness is great for manoeuvrability.
Turbo GT measures to 17.5” angle-angle width when not cocked, and when cocked, measures to 13″. It has 35” of length. Its packaging includes pro-view scopes, an instant detach quiver with 3 arrows, and a side quiver mount.
Generally, the Turbo GT offers high quality, with unmatched performance, and great comfort. It is a great value for its high price. Notable setbacks, therefore, may include the relatively high price. You may also find that its coating scratches easily.
- Stable design for higher accuracy and comfort
- High-quality scope
- Compact & lightweight
- Relatively costy
- Its coating may scratch easily
⑤ Barnett Buck Commander Extreme
Are you that determined hunter looking for a powerful punch? Then this crossbow by Barnett jackal may serve you just right. It has a great combination of features, which deliver outstanding performance, and it all comes at an affordable price.
Besides its 185 pounds draw weight, it features a 365 feet/second speed, 19.875” distance from axle to axle, and 7.1 pounds of weight. Do you fear that it may weigh too much? Well, this is a compound crossbow, and is among the lightest that you will come across.
It provides high accuracy, with its illuminated scope, a standard 3×32. You may also find it to be comfortable, thanks to its balanced design, which is also durable. Moving and shooting with the Buck Commander Extreme should, thus, be smooth.
Notable setbacks include low-quality accessories. One includes a flimsy, thus fragile attachable quiver. You may not be able to use it in harsh conditions. Something else is its loudness, which, for hunting, may be too much in certain settings.
- Lightweight & compact
- Durable, balanced design
- High accuracy
- Insufficient vibration and noise cont4ol
- Low-quality accessories
Hunting deer is one of the activities that grows in you the more you indulge in. You will always find the right and best equipment to be quite handy. Crossbows are among the most preferred weapons, and they come in a wide variety. We have looked at some of the top brands in the market, and what each has to offer.
Each brand has something unique. If you are a beginning or seasoned hunter, you will have different specifications or requirements. Some crossbows are simple to use, while others may be somewhat complex. The crossbow type you will have or be looking for may affect how and where you use it.
There is ever an advantage in hunting from high ground; particularly treestands. Accidents, however, happen a lot, and it calls for more than skill to ensure that you hunt safely. You should always observe caution with high ground and ensure that you have things right before ascending.
One of the safety practices that you can observe while hunting from as high as 15 feet above the ground, is wearing safety harness (full body) and also making use of a draw line for pulling the bow up. That is not all, however; the difference in crossbows calls for additional rules and safety regulations.
Having mentioned treestands to be common with hunters today, it is important that you observe proper stand placement for not only your safety but also better chances of success. A crossbow’s design may blow your shot opportunity; it stretches wide, long, and could be heavy. These factors together can limit your manoeuvrability and chance of making a shot.
You can also choose your stand according to your judgment of deer trails, rub lines, or tracks. For better chances with getting the whitetail, which can be unpredictable, you may want to widen your target area by setting a stand in a position good and comfortable enough to make swings.
You may often find your left or right swings to be limited by the simple fact that we can only turn so far. In a treestand, you may not be able to enjoy flexible, but more stationary side-to-side movement. How do you go about this? An ideal crossbow design is the answer.
You will find that most crossbows can be used by both left and right-handed individuals with ease—ambidextrous crossbows. This helps prevent over-extending or over-swinging by increasing your shot opportunities and widening your cover area. Once you have learned to shoot with both hands using these crossbows, you’re set!
You can try a simple practice of swinging your unloaded crossbow from the left to the right hand. You may find this to be difficult if you’re either only left or only right handed, but with more practice, you will be able to up your chances of success and ease your hunts.
It would not be a good idea to cock your bow from a treestand position. The best way you can ensure that you avoid this is by making your shot count. How do you do it? Does it require skill? Well, patience is one of the important things to carry with you.
A good opportunity will present yourself, so range your potential target points, and wait. Be patient, with your arrows in vitals and your shots ranging within accepted yardage. You don’t have to be disappointed by a miss; you will just have to wait a few minutes, then re-cock from below.
This brings us to the next point to note, which is why you should cock from the ground and not a treestand. Let’s find out.
With a cocking rope, the safest place that you can cock your crossbow manually will always be on the ground. It is not advisable to cock on a treestand. Alternative places that you can cock are back at the truck or home and not when heading out to your stand.
One of the things you want to avoid is noise. Something else that you may want to watch, which is more critical, is your safety. Ladder, single, and climber stands do not provide enough space to cock a crossbow, and there are enough reasons to this.
Slips could happen when applying pressure on the foot stirrup. Losing your balance when feet high off the ground may not end well, so, it is best to always do the cocking before heading out or before ascending. It is totally okay to patiently climb back down and do a re-cock after missed shots.
Is there any way to cock your crossbow safer and with lesser effort? Well, there are enough options that do so. Wicked Ridge and TenPoint offer crossbows equipped with a cocking system known as ACUdraw. It can be integrated into the bow for safer cocking with lesser effort.
Some cranking cocking systems come attached to or built into a crossbow’s buttstock. With these systems, you do not need much room to operate. You will also find that they reduce effort by up to 90 percent. You can, therefore, enjoy easier, safer cocking.
How do you ascend your crossbow? On an elevated stand, a draw line is recommended to be one of the safest ways. The stock or stirrup are the best places to secure a draw rope when getting a bow up. Do not use the trigger housing. You may find this to be safe.
Do not forget to keep your safety ON. This is a safety measure too, along with loading arrows only when you’re fully secure or seated on the stand and not before ascending or when going up.
The crossbow type you use will deliver different results to your hunting experience. Your choice could be from preference, or simply eliminating what does not work for you. If you are still confused on what to go for, then there is nothing to worry about. Stick with me to the end, and I will have something for you.
One and two-handed
You may often get conflicted between a one-handed and a two-handed crossbow; what should you go for? A one-handed model is not as flexible as a two-handed one, hence the major preference on the latter. We have also discussed an advantage of a two-handed model over a one-handed.
As we earlier saw, a one-handed model may not give you a wide swing angle, as it restricts you to only as far as one hand can go. Two-handed models make it easy to swing from one hand to the other; this also increases your shot chances, since you will be more flexible.
But is that all with the two models? Well, a lot of people still have a preference for one-handed crossbows. This is because of their compact and lightweight design. You will also find that most pistol crossbows come at a lower cost as compared to two-handed models.
If you have an idea about historic crossbows, then you may come to love recurve models, which look similar in plenty of ways. Its strings go right to the limbs, and its simple design makes it more preferable to compound models. They are also lightweight and require little maintenance.
Because of the few parts that this crossbow type, you may find that it will last longer than a compound crossbow. It is also affordable, and a great starting point for a beginner in archery. You may, however, find that a recurve has some setbacks, where compound crossbows take the upper hand.
First is that it is not as fast, when comparing arrow speeds. It may also produce noise after shots due to vibrations, and you may find that the string is looser than that of a compound crossbow, which means lower shot accuracy.
If you have ever seen or come across a crossbow with pulley systems, then it is most likely a compound one. This system is good for its silent and high-speed release of shots. You should also expect high precision and low recoil. A compound crossbow’s shooting range is also high.
You may find this type’s limbs to be short because they are less relied on. A compound crossbow, therefore, is compact. If you are a target shooter or seasoned hunter in need of high accuracy, then this type could work well for you. Just be ready for the high price, among other notable setbacks.
The setbacks include the weight caused by the pulley systems. Because of their mechanical and regular use, they also require regular maintenance. You may end up breaking crucial parts should you drop this model, due to its sophistication.
A reverse limb’s pulley system is designed based on a hunting bow. Its string, however, as the name suggests, is made to face the shooter (reverse). This crossbow is good for many reasons. One is the comfort in holding and shouldering it for long.
This is also a compact model, with a short distance from one axle to the other. You should, thus, find it easy to move with. It has an increased power stroke, thanks to its reverse draw technology. With high draw weight, therefore, you can still get high speeds.
You may find this model to be handy for large game. If you are also hoping to move in high stealth, then you may find it to be handy. A reverse-limn is also good for its range. Like compound crossbows, however, one of its setbacks is that it is costly and another is that it requires pricey, regular maintenance.
If you are preparing to set out for deer hunting, then you need a good crossbow, besides other gear. A successful hunt will depend on your skills, of course, how comfortable you are with your equipment, and also how good they are.
A good crossbow offers features that will make your hunt not only smooth, but also worth the wait, and the game too! We have discussed some of the features that make a good crossbow, and what to look for. I would, therefore, like to conclude with a recommendation.
Get the Barnett Wildcat 7. Besides its 150 pounds draw weight, it features a 320 feet/second arrow speed, 37” string length and an 8.5 overall weight. It also has a 91 feet-pounds of kinetic energy. It has a low-profile and lightweight design.
You may also find ease when installing a cocking device on the crank attachment. The crossbow’s Anti-Dry Firing may come quite handy. Included extras are a premium red dot sight, a quick-detach quiver, and three arrows of 20 inches.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t get the Barnett Wildcat. Buy it today!