When it comes to hunting, there are a lot of choices to be made along the way. Things like location, stand placement, which stand to hunt depending on wind direction, understanding migration routes, bedding areas, food sources, and the list goes on. But all of these factors and decisions are useless if you do not have the proper tool to harvest the deer that you’re chasing! When it comes to weapon choice, broadly speaking, you have archery or firearm. And, my thought is, “why not blend the best of both, and go with a crossbow!?”
The accessibility of a crossbow is comparable to that of a small centerfire, single shot rifle that many hunters got their start with. With its extremely low recoil, ease of operation, and a platform that carries over well from firing a rifle, it makes for an easy transition for many hunters of all ages and experience levels. There are some who may not have the experience with a compound bow or may have limitations in the strength required for a compound bow, and a crossbow is a very suitable and exciting option. It allows anyone to participate in the thrill of an archery hunt, even if they’re just easing into the sport.
Not to say that it is merely for beginners, but a crossbow serves as a very versatile option for hunters of all experience levels. It simply offers more versatility on what shots can be taken, especially during archery season. The last thing anyone wants is to miss out on a trophy buck or meat to feed the family just because a deer was slightly out of range, buck fever made the compound bow to hard to draw, or simply because the shot wasn’t there. Hunting with a cross bow offers a great middle ground between the close quarters hunting of a compound bow and the long range of a rifle.
Even extending past archery season and into open season, it might be wise to pick up the crossbow instead of the rifle. Especially if you’re hunting heavily pressured land, skittish deer, or plan to continue to hunt the property for weeks after the first kill. Once important factor we should consider is the impact we make on out land when it comes to sound and habitat disturbance. The less we are noticed by deer, the more chances we will have on those deer moving forward. With a crossbow as opposed to a rifle, your “noise footprint” will remain a lot smaller and you will remain a lot less noticeable for future hunts.
For hunters across the board, hunting with crossbows can be a fun, exciting, and rewarding experience. Always remember to check the laws in your area regarding crossbows before heading to the woods.