So you are going to buy a crossbow for hunting, but you do not have much idea about them. No worries! You have come to the right place. We have done the hard job for you. Our reviews and buying guide will help you choose the best one that will meet your needs. Hunting crossbows come in a variety of shapes, sizes, pulling mechanisms, and they have different calibers and shooting speeds. We believe you will be able to find the best crossbow for your hunting needs after reading this article.
5 Best Hunting Crossbow Reviews
Southern Crossbow Risen XT 350 Crossbow
Barnett Ghost 375 Crossbow
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package
Excalibur Matrix 355 Crossbow Package
The Risen XT 350 comes with a solid, sturdy body and rich features. It is one of the best crossbows for beginners for the money. It is suitable for both archer and huntsmen. You can even mount flashlights with it easily. It comes in a black matte finish and weighs only 2.4 kgs.
The Risen XT 350 is a moduler crossbow with a vertical foregrip which feels quite handy. In addition, it comprises of a detachable quiver. At 350 FPS, the XT350 can take down a target easily. It comes with a readily adjustable scope which allows you to hit the bulls-eye with a 15-yard shot.
Its instruction manual makes it easy for you to assemble this crossbow easily. You can deliver arrows at a kinetic energy of 15 kg-m. Finally, Risen XT 350 is speedy and accurate for the most part. Though it lacks in the scope section, it is a very promising crossbow.
- Good velocity of 350 FPS
- Light trigger pull
- Excellent for beginners
- Safety glasses and rail lube
- The scope cannot work properly in low-light
- Heavy draw weight of 81.4 kg
This is another popular model by the Barnett Ghost 375. Its lightweight, Sturdyness and the accuracy make it a great crossbow to start with. Its compact size is beneficial for cramped hunting areas. This is a great bow for the money.
The 7.1 pound bow is well balanced and quite easy to use. It can shoot 20-inch arrows at the speed of 360 FPS ensuring a perfect hunt. It works well for small-medium level games as well. The cocking mechanism is missing, which results in the draw weight of 160 pounds. So it is a great choice for teens.
- Good Accuracy
- Lightweight and Compact
- Easy to carry
- Barnett’s 5 in 1 Safety Firing System
- Adjustable scope for great accuracy
- Cocking mechanism is not included
The Barnett Jackal is an easy-to-use, fast, powerful and accurate crossbow. Its quad limbs are stable and supportive. It comes with energy wheels and efficient cable system that secures fast and powerful shots. This crossbow is great for both adults and children and can help you become a better archer.
Its high-performance capabilities have made it an excellent choice for target shooters and hunters. The bow can produce arrow speeds up to 315 feet per second with the help of quad limbs, high energy wheels, and a cable system. Each shot made with this bow requires 150 pounds of draw weight and 95 FP of kinetic energy.
Besides being fast and accurate, this crossbow has powerful performance as well. The Picatinny rail guides help ensure an accurate aim. Its well-balanced design ensures straight shots. The smooth 3.5 trigger prevents jerky movements.
The Jackal crossbow comes with everything necessary for starting hunting. Its instructions will walk you through the simple setup steps, and the crossbow can usually be assembled in minutes. The best part of this crossbow is that it includes all the necessary bolts and screws along with a convenient set of hex keys.
Its quiver ensures that your arrows are always close by. It also includes three 20-inch bolts to get started immediately. Finally, it comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Affordable Price
- Excellent choice for beginners and intermediate users
- Great design and solid construction
- 5-year warranty (limited)
- It is very affordable
- Its great design
- Its solid construction
- No rope cocking mechanism included
- It’s not the most silent crossbow
This crossbow weighs only 7.9 pounds, and when not cocked, 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
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
Buying Guide: Best Crossbow for 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. That being said; 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 you are now familiar with the best crossbows for hunting on the market and what to look for in a good crossbow. Now decide your needs and price range. The crossbows listed above are appropriate for big game hunting. If you are a serious hunter, get a high-quality product. Besides considering the price, consider the bow type, arrow speed, draw weight, the physical weight, the overall length, and whether or not it incorporates an integral cocking device.