Hunting Guide 101: Characteristics of Crossbows That Hunters Should Know

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Hunting has always played an important role in human survival. Today, however, only few remaining communities hunt for their food and it has become more of a hobby for many. Becoming a hunter is not easy; however with the right equipment and guide, one can become successful. The crossbow is just one of the many equipment that a hunter relies on and for those who are starting out, choosing the best crossbow would determine the success of the hunt.

By Draw Weight

Draw weight is important as it impacts the prey, whether it will be kicked on impact or just wounded. The higher the draw weight, the more deadly the impact of the arrow. One drawback to this is that it would be hard to pull the strings; however, a lighter crossbow would not have the desired impact and would typically injure the prey instead of killing it.

There are two crossbows that one might encounter when looking – compound and recurve. Compound crossbows are heavier, more expensive and have complicated designs and are more deadly. Recurves, however are cheaper, simpler and are preferable especially for beginners.

By Velocity/Speed

The speed with which the arrow travels is crucial during hunting. A heavy arrow would mean that it would travel slower whereas a lighter one travels faster and catches the prey. When looking for a crossbow, look for the feet-per-second measurement. A minimum of 200 FPS is ideal and can be calculated by determining the crossbow’s draw weight and the arrow together. The speed with which the arrow will travel will greatly impact the accuracy of the hunter.

As the size and length of the arrow affect the overall accuracy of the crossbow, it is important that users choose the manufacturer’s recommendations. For experienced hunters, one can opt to use different arrow types depending on how comfortable they are. Arrow heads come in different shapes including broad-heads, nocks and field points.


Brands often play an integral role when hunters choose their crossbows. Barnett, for one, is popular because of its sleek and progressive designs. One of their popular models, the Bonecrusher, has a 129ft/lbs power and 365 fps speed. The laminated limbs and AVI technology reduce noise and tension when used. For first timers, the Excalibur is one of the popular brands as it is lightweight, produces excellent speed and includes other accessories such as mounting rings and brackets as well as aluminum arrows and quiver.