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12 Crossbow Do's and 3 Don'ts (Page 2)

Crossbow hunting has continued to rise in popularity across the country. Ready to get involved? Here are 12 things you should do—as well as three you shouldn't.

Don’t Do This!
There are some real mistakes that can cost you accuracy and/or lead to injury if you are not careful when shooting a crossbow. Here are the three most common:

1) Watch Fingers & Thumb
Many shooters used to shooting rifles have a tendency to stick the fingers of the hand that holds the rifle’s forearm straight up in the air when they cradle the rifle. If you do this with a crossbow, you risk placing your digits in the path of a bowstring that is rocketing down the rail and will slice the fingers and/or thumb to the bone. Never, ever do this!

2) Don’t Shoot Off-Hand
The construction of a crossbow puts a lot of weight in its front end, making it very difficult to balance when trying to shoot from the off-hand position. Even the very best rifle shooters only shoot off-hand as a last resort. You’ll be much better off learning to shoot quickly from the kneeling and sitting positions, and when using shooting sticks or a rail for a rock-solid rest.

3) Shoot Outside Your Own MESR
Many years ago, I coined a phrase for bowhunters, Maximum Effective Shooting Range, or MESR. Your MESR is the maximum distance you can consistently place a hunting arrow into the bullseye. For some crossbow hunters that’s 20 yards; for others it is 60 yards. For most of us, it is somewhere in between.

You will learn your own MESR as you practice. At some point, you just won’t be plunking that arrow into the bullseye on a regular basis. When that happens, it’s time to back off a few yards until you are once again placing at least 90 percent of your shots into the center of the target. At the same time, you should try and push the envelope and stretch your MESR in small (say, 5 yard) increments. But once I get into the field and I know my own MESR is, say, 40 yards, I will not take a shot at a game animal any further than that.

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13 Responses to 12 Crossbow Do's and 3 Don'ts (Page 2)

GrizzWolf wrote:
September 09, 2014

If your projectile has fletching it is an 'arrow.' If there is absolutely zero fletching you have a 'bolt.' When pricing crossbows keep in mind that if you find a $900.00 crossbow on sale or clearance for $450.00 it is worth buying. Price is a very relative thing. A few years ago I was at a large store who deals in alot of liquidations. They had an entire pallet of $800.00 Horton crossbow packages for $150.00 each! And yet if you are not careful you will get ripped off buying crossbows online from some dealers who hack the price up 50-100[%] above msrp.

Tom Saroch wrote:
August 27, 2014

I have shot quite a few xbows. The parker Thunderhawk seems like a great bow for the price, lifetime warranty & great service

Hollywood 84 wrote:
August 09, 2014

Hey fellas another spectacular crossbow easy to shoot nice and compact 337fps 97 lbs K.E. barnett raptor fx great for tree stands n ground blinds it's not bad for the price close to 400 bucks n under for a 6.5lbs crossbow 150 lbs pull 337fps is fine by me good luck to all

Jeff wrote:
August 02, 2014

Great article .my first crossbow was the Barrett qaud 400 .i tagged out opening day ,1st shoot 22 yards / 2nd shoot 42 yards it was a blessed night. My budget was $450.00 for a crossbow.they are a little heavy but will do the job . Good luck this year guys

Tom Saroch wrote:
April 05, 2014

Just started about 6 month ago love it found shooting 22inch bolts more accurate than 20 @ longer distances

Nick wrote:
January 16, 2014

Prices have come down significantly since this article was written, thank goodness!

CTCrow wrote:
January 09, 2014

My crossbow shoots bolts.

Eli wrote:
December 07, 2013

I really appreciate all the info !

Drooo wrote:
June 30, 2013

I'd also add the method for drawing the string. You've got to make sure the string hooks of your cocker are as close to the stock or rail as you draw the string up and into the trigger assembly. FWIW.

Nick wrote:
June 11, 2013

Good article. Anyone looking for a crossbow to buy, i recommend the Stryker 380. It's fast, isn't too expensive and is lightweight (about 6.5lbs). If $750 is too much, I'd try the Stryker 350, the little brother to the 380. The scope that came with it has 4 dots and it shoots to 40 yards on the top dot. This bad boy shoots far and accurately.

Chuck wrote:
April 23, 2013

Great article. I can afford and have budgeted for whatever bow does the job. Thanks for the good advise.

South-Paw Slinger wrote:
March 02, 2013

You had better recheck Ohio's regulations again. They only have a minimum draw weight of 75lbs. now, and no maximum. They change this law 2-years ago if I'm not mistaken.

JH wrote:
February 26, 2013

Not every one can afford a 800 to 1500 dollar crossbow. I agree you should stay away from the really cheap crossbows in the under 200 dollar range. But the crossbows in the 300 to 500 dollar range are affordable, accurate, well made and have good trigger systems. The crossbows I have fired in this range include Excalibur, Horton and Parker. Other brands in this price range I would think would be good as well. I was so impressed with my friends lower priced Parker I just bought a Parker Bushwacker. I already own an Excalibur and nothing wrong with it but I wanted a more compact crossbow for hunting. The Parker and Horton and Excalibur crossbows I have shot were just as accurate and well built as the higher priced Ten Point I have shot.