Four Steps to Learning to Use Crossbows
Before you can be a great hunter, you have to learn how to do it. You can choose to hunt with rifles or you can choose crossbows. Mastering any weapon takes time and practice. You are better off beginning in your youth. These steps will help you with your crossbow training.
Step 1. Learn the Configurations. All crossbows are built essentially the same way. They each have a stock and a bow that fit together to form the “crossbow”. They differ in how the bow is fitted to the stock and its style. You can choose compound crossbows, recurve crossbows or reverse draw crossbows.
Step 2. Find the Perfect Weight. You need to understand the draw weights. Currently draw weights (the number of pounds it takes to draw the string back into the cocked position) range from 90 to 260 pounds. Most stay around 175 pounds. You need to decide how much you are capable of drawing back. Cocking devices are available that help the shooter to lighten their load during the cocking of a bow. Crank cocking devices can be added to the stock that would act as a pulley system to the rope that attaches to the string. It is usually anchored at the backend of the shooting rail and reduces the draw weight by 50 percent when drawn.
Draw weights are not the only things that determine how fast an arrow will go. Length of power stroke and limb configuration also matter. A 165-pound draw weight can send an arrow flying from 300 to more than 400 feet per second depending on the type you use. Generally speaking, the greater your draw weight, the more unforgiving your crossbow becomes. It would magnify your mistakes and add to the wear and tear of your weapon. Higher draw weights are bad for your body too. Therefore, you should choose a draw weight that will do what you want but not harm the shooter or the crossbow.
Step. 3. Know Your Arrow Speeds. Today, you can buy crossbows that can release arrows at rates of 265 fps to more than 400 fps. The average user can shoot an arrow faster toward big game targets. A crossbow is capable of accurately shooting at longer distances and hit a still target. at a still target, but live game keeps moving. The crossbow’s sounds can alert an animal.
A crossbow arrow loses its kinetic energy faster than one from a vertical bow because of the shorter power stroke. As a result, you would hurt an animal at longer distances instead of kill. You need to be closer. The goal of crossbow hunting is to be as close to the target as possible. Shots from farther away are more likely going to miss unless you are more of a master.
Step 4. Practice With Your Weapon. Before going on a hunting trip, you need to work with your crossbow. Practicing with still targets regularly will help you learn the tricks to using a crossbow. You will get a feel for it in your arms and for the issues that you will face when out in the woods. During your lessons and practice sessions, you can find out the advantages of using a crossbow. One advantage of crossbows is that, once the arrow is loaded, the shooter does not have to hold the bowstring in a drawn position. The string latch inside the trigger mechanism holds the string for the shooter until the trigger is pulled. A second advantage is the ease of use for new shooters. Rifles and crossbows are held and aimed in the same manner when fired. If you know how to shoot a rifle, you will pick up crossbows easily.
Disadvantages include the problem with cocking and loading a crossbow and the issue with accuracy. The process takes more time than drawing and nocking an arrow on a compound or traditional bow. The string must be drawn perfectly straight to ensure accuracy in shooting.