Hunting with a crossbow is fun compared to hunting with a rifle. This is why crossbows which were produced in the 15th century have been around for this long. Crossbow hunting can be the most exciting experience when done right using the right crossbow. However, it’s quite difficult to choose the best crossbow for you from the many options available on the market. After testing dozens of different crossbows we have come up with a list of 5 best crossbows for deer hunting. In addition, we have included a buying guide at the bottom of this page.
5 Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package
Barnett Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow
Excalibur Matrix 355 Crossbow Package
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow
The Barnett Jackal is a powerful crossbow and is easier to cock than CenterPoint. You would not require a rope device to cock this crossbow. It has the capability of firing 20-inch bolts at a velocity of 315 FPS and a draw weight of 150 pounds. The downside of this bow is that it is quite loud. However, for a bow of this caliber, it is not unexpected. If you are a beginner, It is the perfect bow for you. You can use this powerful crossbow for both target practice and hunting. You can cock it with your hands, but it’s better to get a rope cocking mechanism.
- It is affordable considering its power
- Offers enough power to take down almost every game
- Features automated safety that prevents misfiring
- The military-like stock looks cool and is very comfortable
- The package is without a rope cocking device
This crossbow weighs only 7.9 pounds, and when uncocked, it measures 21.6 inches wide and 18 inches when cocked. The shoulder strap makes it easy to carry the bow. This crossbow has a great performance with a firing speed of 370 FPS.
The 128 ft-lbs of kinetic energy is more than enough to take down a deer. This powerful bow has a draw weight of 185 pounds and is quite difficult to be cocked. However, it comes with a rope cocking device into the package. It also comes with three 20 inch bolts, a multi-reticle and illuminated scope. The bow is powerful enough to take down deer and some of the largest games that inhabit the North American forests.
- This is one of the most powerful bows I have ever used
- Comes with a fully adjustable stock and forearm
- There is an illuminated scope attached to it
- Comes with a rope cocking device
- It is relatively heavier compared to other crossbows
Barnett Hunter Crossbow is one of the best crossbows for the money that offers the perfect balance between quality and price. It is a lightweight bow which can shoot arrows at a speed of 350 FPS. It comes with 103 ft-lb of kinetic energy, and only 6.4 pounds of weight. The length of this crossbow is 34.25 inches. It is the ideal choice for you if you are looking for an inexpensive crossbow for deer hunting with affordable price and impressive performance.
- It is a lightweight crossbow
- It is offered at an affordable price tag
- Comes with a wax lube included for waxing the bow after every 10 shots to prevent damage
- Comes with a 4×32 scope mounted
- It is compatible with crank cocking devices
- Does not come with a cocking device included
- It is a bit noisy due to lack of a dampening system
The Excalibur Matrix 355 is an extremely powerful crossbow with the ability to take down deer and other big games easily. This good-looking and efficient crossbow is capable of hitting deer at a velocity of 380 FPS which is equal to 50 pounds of kinetic energy. Due to its impressive draw speed of 260 pounds, you will need to cock this crossbow by hand. However, a rope-cocking device is included in the set. The anti-dry-fire system can stop the bow from firing unless an arrow is loaded and ready. Finally, this crossbow comes with a set of 18-inch diablo arrows.
- Compact design
- A scope is attached to it
- Four high-quality diablo arrows are included
- Comes with a rope-cocking device
- The scope provided is not the most powerful one
The Barnett Whitetail hunter crossbow is another incredible crossbow for deer hunting. This crossbow comes with limbs made from a composite laminate that protect it from the harsh winter weather. This crossbow comes with a 7/8 inch Picatinny rail. It is one of the best crossbows for deer hunting weighing only 6.2 pounds. So it is easy to carry. It has a width of 18.2 inches which has made it compact enough for the wild outdoors.
It comes with a draw weight of 160 pounds and a firing velocity of 340 FPS. The 340 FPS firing velocity produces 103 pounds of kinetic energy. The bow has a 4X32 scope attached with it, and the bow’s quiver comes with three 20 inches arrow inside it. So if you are going for crossbow deer hunting, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow is what you want. It is equipped with everything deer hunting might require.
- This bow is designed for deer hunting
- It is extremely light for easy hauling through the woods
- It is highly maneuverable thanks to its short width and length
- Comes with a premium 4X32 scope attached
- Some people have complained of the anti-dry safety feature malfunctioning
Buying Guide: Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting
Now that you have learned about the best crossbows for deer hunting on the market today, consider the following things to know what makes a great crossbow for deer hunting.
Recurve or Compound bows
There are two types of crossbows available on the market– recurve and compound crossbows. Recurve crossbows are older than compound bows and feature a more basic and simplistic design. Its limbs or tips face away from the shooter.
Compound bows are more advanced having shorter limbs with strings attached to pulleys. In addition, they have cam systems for easy draw. They are easy to maintain and cheaper to buy as well. Therefore, they are ideal for first-time users.
On the other hand, compound bows come with more energy due to their cam systems and do not require increased draw weight. Their short limbs have made it possible to maneuver. So if you are going deer hunting with a crossbow, I recommend a compound bow.
A common misconception about crossbows is that greater speed is always better. However, this is not always true. A typical deer hunting crossbow offers speeds of between 260 FPS and 400 FPS. However, to get the best out of a crossbow, go for one having a speed of around 200 FPS. Bows with high speeds tend to make noises for the vibrations emitted by the shot.
In addition, faster speeds increase the chances of wear and tear. Proper arrow and broadhead tuning can be challenging if your crossbow is faster. So do not be tempted to go for faster arrows simply because manufacturers say that faster arrows are better.
Heavy crossbows are stable while light crossbows are maneuverable. So if you are strong and do not move a lot while hunting, a heavy crossbow is what you want. However, if you are not strong enough, then a lighter bow is all you need.
A good deer hunting crossbow has an average draw weight of 75 pounds to 125 pounds while there are some crossbows that offer draw weights of up to 200 pounds. However, it is important to note that some states do not allow bows if the draw weight is above 175 pounds.
The best crossbow for deer hunting has some additional features. It comes with cocking aids which make cocking of crossbows easier. A cocking device can be of two types– a rope cocking device, and crank cocking device. A rope cocking device is best for hunting. Good scopes and noise dampening devices can also improve a crossbow’s performance.
We believe, after reading the reviews and the buying guide above, you are now equipped with all the knowledge you need to know to buy the best crossbow for deer hunting. You can buy any one of the crossbows we have listed above without wasting a lot of time looking for the best crossbow for deer hunting.