The truth of the matter is that similar to any other hunting equipment, it takes quite a lot for you to get the best crossbow for deer hunting. This being the case, it might take a lot of time and resources for you to end up with the best crossbow for hunting.

Now, what if I told you that by the time we’re done here, you’ll have the very best of deer hunting crossbows at your disposal?

Yes, that’s right, today’s reviews and buying guide are all about assisting you in making an informative decision when it comes to purchasing a deer hunting crossbow.

Before we dig deeper into this topic, however, you should probably bear in mind that regardless of the lots of deer hunting crossbows we’ll list in our top 10 reviews, they all come in different varieties. It’s therefore all about you realizing your priorities and going for what works best for you.

Deer hunting crossbow top 5 tips

As important as it may be to have your priorities set straight when choosing a deer hunting crossbow, you’ll be at a disadvantage unless you pay attention to the following:

  • Target shooting is important before going for the hunt
  • Always choose a crossbow that’s of a manageable weight
  • Inspect your crossbow before and after any hunt for nay compromised parts
  • Only spend your cash on a hunting crossbow you need and can afford
  • Make it a habit to read the instructions manual for any crossbow you get.

Comparison chart

If you’re not in a hurry, you could head on to the in-depth reviews right away. If otherwise, here’s a comparison chart containing 5 of the very best you could get for your money.

Picture Name Speed Product link
Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package 360 fps Pricing
CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package 370 fps Pricing
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package 330 fps Pricing

Best deer hunting crossbow: the 13 best picks of 2019

On to the main agenda, let’s delve into taking a look at what these bad boys from the best-rated crossbow brands in 2019 have in store for us. Here goes…

1. Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package

Tenpoint Turbo GT Crossbow PackageAs you’ll find out later on, Tenpoint stands out to be one of the best crossbow brands and it’s not in vain that this is so. Though the Turbo GT is not the cheapest in the market, it does give a bang for your buck from the build quality all the way to the performance and feel in your hands. Here’s a deeper look into it.

Includes an ACU draw engineering

Cocking can be quite a pain when it comes to most crossbows, right? Well, in order to ensure that it’s no trouble when it comes to this one, the ACUdraw cocking mechanism is made possible by an integrated rope cocking device. The end result of this is that the draw weight is reduced by an amazing 50%. At the end of the day, the draw weight is only 175 lbs.

Bound to offer high-speed shots

As much as the draw weight is greatly reduced on this bad boy, the speed of the arrows is not compromised. With as little a power stroke as 12.6 inches, the arrows can be launched with up to an amazing 360 fps such that you’ll end up with hard-hitting kinetic energy of as much as 107 ft.lbs.

Features a durable and functional design

As far as the build quality and design are concerned, this bad boy won’t let you down whatsoever. First off, it has got a fully-machined aluminum riser that is fitted with 11-inch isotaper limbs.

The crossbow is powered by the MRX cams and D97 cables and strings.

For accuracy, the crossbow includes a 3x Pro-View 2 scope. This should be enough for both still hunting and hunting while in your blind.

Also included in the crossbow is the Dry Fire Inhibitor(DFI) which ensures the limbs remain at optimal performance by shooting only when there is an arrow in place. There is also a 3.5-pound auto-engaging safety trigger which you’ll highly appreciate.

Compact design

Looking for something which will allow you to get through tight spots and sit in either your blind or tree stand comfortably? This sure will do the trick since it measures 13.5 inches from axle to axle when cocked such that you get to observe high speed and powerful shots at all times.

Pros
  • It comes in an ultra-compact assembly
  • Features the ACUdraw cocking mechanism hence reducing the overall draw weight
  • Enjoy enhanced safety with the glass reinforced safety wings and foregrip cutouts
Cons
  • It’s a little loud

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2. Barnett TS390 Crossbow

Barnett TS390 Crossbow

Yet another amazing crossbow brand, the Barnett TS390 not only looks good but it also is designed to give you some of the best shots as it comes in a narrow design, it’s got a silent configuration and most importantly safe to use. Take a look at why it’s a good enough deer hunting crossbow.

Features a frictionless release technology

When it comes to any form of hunting, accuracy is always a priority. In the case of the Barnett TS390, this is achieved by the frictionless release which utilizes a unique, free-floating roller.

The roller is located between the trigger and the sear hence boosting accuracy and instilling confidence while at the same time allowing for a smooth and lightweight 3-pound trigger pull that’s got no creep at all.

Comes with an anti-dry fire mechanism

Compromising safety would be a bad idea and to prevent the crossbow from firing when there is no arrow, it’s got the anti-dry fire mechanism. This basically ensures that the spring loaded safety bar remains in place until the arrow is properly seated in position hence protecting the user from accidental fire.

Easy assembly and quality construction

It’s quite amazing how easy it will be to put everything together right after you take it out of its packaging. It only demands the use of a single bolt to put everything together and even so, the integrity of the crossbow is not compromised.

Besides the easy assembly, the adjustable ventilated stock reduces the overall weight of the bow hence making it easy to shoulder. The flight-track is made of CNC machined aluminum and a fiberglass composite step-through riser and as such, you get to have a fast-handling package.

As for the measurements, it’s less than 19 inches wide which makes it one of the narrowest bows. At the same time, you get a 2-pound draw weight and there is a 14.25-inch power stroke which accelerates the arrows to a flat shooting of 390 fps.

Pros
  • Has a self-adjusting soft-lok floating bristle to secure the arrow
  • Features an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental shots
  • It’s easy to put together and has got a lightweight but strong design
Cons
  • The cable maybe frayed after some shots

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3. Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR CrossbowBAR78004

Barnett WHITETAIL PRO STR Crossbow BAR78004

Yet another one from Barnet is the BAR78004. Designed to deliver some of the fastest shots while at the same time observing utmost silence, this might just be the perfect crossbow to take with you for any kind of hunt.

It features a high-quality construction

Boasting to be one of the few crossbows that are built with a Step through riser platform, the innovative design creates a better balance which tackles the ill effects of power. This is achieved by shifting weight from the riser to the stock for enhanced stability and higher accuracy.

It also features 3 Picatinny rails for attachment of other accessories. It’s also worth mentioning that it features a single bolt installation mechanism and at the same time, the integrity of the BAR78004 is not compromised.

Alongside the high-quality construction, you’ll also appreciate the rope cocking device and lubrication wax that will keep the bow from being frayed.

As for the overall weight of the crossbow, it’s only 6.9 pounds which really isn’t that heavy and as such, you can have it in your blind or tree stand or move around with it as you hunt.

Designed to eliminate dry fires

So as to ensure that the spring-loaded safety bar is in place till the arrow is seated properly there is an anti-dry fire and nock sensor included to ensure this. This protects the owner from being injured and the crossbow from being damaged.

Has got a frictionless release technology

In between the trigger and the sear is a free-floating roller which ensures the shots are accurate and smooth once you pull the 3-pound trigger which has got zero creep.

Something else that’ll blow your mind when using this deer hunting scope is the manageable draw weight of 165 lbs. upon pulling the trigger, the resulting kinetic energy of the crossbow is 140 ft. lbs. and the power stroke is 16.375”

Pros
  • Features a machined aluminum flight track for accurate and smooth shots
  • Includes string dampeners for utmost stealth
  • Boasts an easy assembly which demands only a single bolt
Cons
  • The side quiver attachment is a little difficult to work with if you got big hands

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4. Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package

Known to be the safest, the narrowest, the fastest and the lightest Wicked Ridge Invader model to date, you couldn’t ask for more form a crossbow for hunting. the build quality is amazing, it’s got accurate shots and easy to use as well. here’s what you should be looking forward to:

Features safe fore-grip and wings

The last thing you want is your fingers being injured while taking a shot and considering this could happen easily when using a crossbow, this one is made with a foregrip. This basically ensures that your hands are below the bowstring release path hence preventing injury and at the same time ensuring you achieve uncompromised accuracy.

Includes an ACU-52 cocking device

Coming with the crossbow is an integrated self-retracting rope cocking system that cuts down the draw weight by an amazing 50%. In addition to this, the bow is drawn accurately each time and the cocking mechanism is also quiet hence you won’t have to worry about compromising your position.

Features a dry-fire inhibitor

Like most decent crossbows, this one too comes with a dry-fire inhibitor which is one of the safest in the industry when it comes to preventing the firing of the crossbow without an arrow.

Boasts a compact design

For the weight without any of the accessories included, it’s only 6.6 lbs. which is quite manageable and for the length, it measures 37.75 inches.

While uncocked, the axle to axle length is 22.6 inches which are then reduced to 19 inches once it is cocked. The power stroke, on the other hand, is 13.5 inches.

For the draw weight, it’s got an amazing 165 lbs. and it is able to achieve speeds of up to 330 fps which results in 97 FP kinetic energy.

Something else you’ll appreciate on the design is the TenPoint 3x Multi-Line Scope which boosts the accuracy of this Invader G3

Pros
  • Features a self-retracting rope-cocking system
  • Has got a safety-engineered foregrip and wings plus the dry fire inhibitor mechanism
  • It’s got a 3x scope included for added accuracy
Cons
  • The foregrip is not ergonomic and will take some time getting used to

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5. Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II

Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II

We’ve already established that Barnett is one of the best brands in the manufacture of hunting crossbows. But is there more to the Barnett 78128 besides the brand name? let’s find out. Here’s what you’ll be paying for if you choose to get this crossbow.

Designed to give a super quiet performance

When it comes to hunting, stealth happens to be one of the most important things that shouldn’t be overlooked whatsoever. Taking this into consideration, the Barnett 78128 has been designed with custom composite laminated limbs and string dampeners which make this bow one of the quietest you’ll come across in its class.

Comes with a rope cocking device

The draw weight of this bad boy is 150 lbs. and despite being manageable there is a cocking device for the rope included as well. this, at the end of the day, results in a quick and hassle-free draw. it’s however recommended that you wax your bow string after every 10 shots and store the bow in a climate controlled environment- don’t compromise its durability whatsoever.

But that’s not all…

For the resulting kinetic energy at a full draw, you’ll be getting an amazing 122 FT lbs. whereas the power stroke is 12.5 inches. Despite having an above average amount of power, it measures only 34.25” long and 18.25” wide. To ensure safety, it’s got a nock sensor as well as an anti-dry fire mechanism to ensure the bow is only released when the arrow is in position.

Features the trigger tech technology.

Included in the design of this deer hunting crossbow is the high-end TriggerTech which consists of all stainless-steel components for durability and consistent accuracy. At the same time, it features a 3lb zero creep release which should be quite comfortable.

Has got a scope included for added accuracy

An added advantage which sets this crossbow a step ahead of other deer hunting crossbows is the 4×32 scope included. This adds on to the accuracy with every shot you take.

Pros
  • Has got string dampeners for super quiet shots
  • Despite the amount of power it packs, it weighs only 6.4 lbs.
  • There is a Nock sensor and ADF tech to eliminate dry fires
Cons
  • It’s a little difficult to zero in the scope

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6. CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper AXCTW185CK Compound Crossbow

CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper AXCTW185CK Compound Crossbow

If you are all about getting a narrow crossbow for hunting that holds up well in the performance as well, the AXCTW185CK is definitely what you should check out. the overall build is amazing, it is silent and comes with a scope added to it right out of the box. Here’s what it packs under the hood.

Features an all-weather stock

One of the major features that make this hunting crossbow stand out from the rest is the stock it’s got on it. Being an all-weather design, it will stand up quite well even in extreme weather conditions. More importantly, the stock features rubber padded grips that guarantee comfort and utmost convenience especially for people with sweaty hands and if you are caught out in the rain.

Comes with a whisper silencing system

Giving up your position as you hunt is definitely the last thing you’d want. To ensure that you always have an advantage over deer, this bad boy features the whisper silencing system that features two string stoppers containing silencers as well as two limb dampeners. To add icing to the cake, there are also two spider silencers which are quite amazing when it comes to noise reduction and vibration control.

Features a narrow configuration

Being a feature that makes this one of the best beginner crossbows in the market, the narrow design has it at only 14 inches axle to axle width when cocked. This makes it an amazing companion when you have to move in narrow spaces.

The riser is made of aluminum for high accuracy and the limbs are made of compression fiberglass which is both functional and cut down on the overall weight of the crossbow.

Here’s more…

Besides the fact that it is narrow, it does have an amazing 120 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy for the delivery of some really powerful shots at speeds of up to 370 fps.

Pros
  • Has got a narrow configuration
  • Comes with the whisper silencing system for utmost stealth
  • Offers kinetic energy of up to 120 ft.-lbs.
Cons
  • The scope fogs up in the cold
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7. Barnett 78134 Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow

Barnett 78134 Recruit Tactical Compound Crossbow

Yet again, we’ve got another hunting crossbow from Barnett- the Barnett 78134. It’s actually quite amazing how much you’re going to get from this mid-range hunting crossbow. From the safety mechanism to ease of use, it’s guaranteed to have your back.

Has got an anti-dry fire trigger mechanism

Being a must-have feature on the safest deer hunting crossbows, the ADF trigger mechanism on this bad boy only allows the arrow to be fired when it’s properly cocked. This way, there’ll be no accidental shots which could otherwise result in the occurrence of injury.

Alongside the ADF technology is the triggertech trigger which allows for a frictionless release for consistent shots. Speaking of the shots, it’s worth mentioning that it can fire the bolts at 330 fps which is quite fast for a mid-range crossbow

Includes a lightweight composite stock

The main reason as to why most people forego their compound bows is due to the weight they come with. In the case of this one, however, the stock is lightweight and as such, makes it much easier to handle the crossbow. This makes it possible to move around with your crossbow without getting fatigued and most importantly, holding it comfortably in your hands ensures that each shot you make is accurate.

Something else you’ll appreciate on the design is the fact that it comes with most of the parts already assembled hence making it the best beginner crossbow and a perfect upgrade all the same.

Can be integrated with a crank cocking device

With cocking being one of the biggest troubles when it comes to handling crossbows, it’s not going to be the case with the Barnett 78134 since it allows for the integration with a crank cocking device.

Besides the included rope cocking device, there is also a 4×32 scope mounted on this bad boy right out of the box for better accuracy when aiming at your target.

Pros
  • Has got both a triggertech technology that features an anti-dry fire system
  • Compatible with a rope cocking device for ease of use.
  • It’s mostly preassembled right out of the box
Cons
  • You might want to get a better scope

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8. Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow

Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow, 330 FPS

Here’s yet another amazing crossbow for deer hunting from Barnett. By observing a lightweight configuration, delivering a fair amount of power and speed adding on to the safety mechanisms included, you’ve got every reason to have this with you on every hunt. Take a detailed look at what you should be looking forward to.

Has got a triggertech technology

Being a feature that is common in most crossbows from Barnett, the Recruit Terrain as well does observe a frictionless trigger which sets it apart from most of the other hunting crossbows in the market. The trigger also features a 3lb zero-creep release which ensures that you end up with much better precision and accuracy on each shot you take.

Includes the anti-dry fire safety mechanism

With this, the crossbow is kept from firing the arrow unless the arrow is properly seated in the crossbow and as such, you protect your fingers from any possible injuries.

In addition to having a reliable safety mechanism, another added advantage of the trigger on this crossbow is the metal injected molding which ensures that it lasts for a long time.

Features all stainless-steel components

When it comes to the rest of the crossbow, you’ll be working with stainless steel components. This guarantees the overall integrity of the Recruit Terrain which makes it oneof the best crossbows for hunting in all conditions.

To cut down on the weight of this bad boy and to ensure it’s comfortable to hold, there’s a lightweight composite stock. It’s also worth mentioning that the crossbow features a pass-through foregrip which keeps your fingers safe with each shot you take

It’s compatible with a rope cocking device.

The draw weight on this bad boy is 140 lbs. and in order to ensure that you are able to cock the arrow with ease in your crossbow, it is designed to work perfectly well with a rope cocking device.

Something else you’ll appreciate on this bad boy is the 4×32 scope and there’s also a lightweight quiver for holding your arrows.

Pros
  • Features an anti-vibration foot stirrup
  • It’s compatible with a rope cocking device
  • Features a triggertech technology with the anti-dry fire system
Cons
  • You’ll have to wax the bowstring after every few shots to prevent wear

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9. CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package

CenterPoint Sniper 370- Crossbow Package

Available in 3 different variants, the CenterPoint Sniper 370 packs quite a lot for a crossbow in its class. From the high accuracy level to the safe trigger mechanism, it simply has it all. How about we have a closer look at what’s there to look forward to?

Comes with an auto-safety trigger mechanism

With safety being a must-have feature on the best crossbow for deer hunting, this bad boy features the auto-safety and anti-dry fire mechanism which prevents the occurrence of any stray shots. As such, the arrow will have to be in place properly before a shot can be made.

Features an adjustable foregrip

Moving on to the ease of use, the foregrip is adjustable in such a way that you’ll have it in a position that’s your preferred level of comfort. At the same time, holding it by the foregrip prevents your fingers from being injured and the accuracy of your shots being compromised as the arrow is released.

It boasts a lightweight and functional design

On to the build quality, the crossbow features lightweight aluminum construction that also observes a high level of integrity. It’s also worth pointing out that the stock is adjustable and as such, you’ll have the crossbow rest on your shoulder comfortably.

For the measurements, it’s got an 18-inch width axle to axle when cocked which deems it eligible for use in tight spots.

Allows for a silent bow release

Moving our focus to the performance, the power stroke is 13.5 inches and the draw weight is 185 lbs. As for the arrow speed, each shot will be at 370 fps which is quite fast and accurate considering it’s got a CNC aluminum rail.

Despite the high speed and power levels, another added advantage of this bad boy is that the shots are both quiet and vibration-free

Pros
  • Comes with string suppressors for quiet shots
  • Includes an ADF and automatic safety trigger mechanism
  • Features both an adjustable stock and foregrip for comfortable shots
Cons
  • The user instructions are a little difficult to follow

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10. CenterPoint Specialist XL 370 Camo

CenterPoint Specialist XL 370 Camo

We started off strong with our reviews, it’s definitely been a good one and its now time to look at the last one- the Specialist XL 370 from CenterPoint. From the safety mechanisms to the build quality, everything has been designed with utmost precision to ensure you get the most out of your hunt. Here’s why it’s the best crossbow for you.

It features an AR-style but stock

Starting off with the construction of this hunting crossbow, the stock is an AR-style and also features an adjustable cheek piece, a butt pad that can be extended as well as a foregrip.

Whereas the cheek piece and the butt pad are meant to keep you comfortable, the foregrip, on the other hand not only allows you to comfortably hold the crossbow while taking your shots but it also keeps your fingers from being injured by the string after you pull the trigger.

Still, on the design, it’s worth mentioning that the crossbow comes with oversized stirrups that can accommodate the largest hunting boots.

Has got reliable safety mechanisms

So as to add on to the safety of the crossbow, it has been designed with the anti-dry fire and auto safety trigger mechanism. The ADF prevents the occurrence of any stray shots whereas the automatic trigger mechanism ensures that the arrow is fired only when you really mean to pull the trigger.

For a beginner, the auto-safety trigger will be quite resourceful since one may forget to engage a manual trigger.

Comes with noise suppressing string stoppers

It’s every hunter’s priority to observe utmost stealth when sneaking up on deer, right? So as to achieve this on the Specialist XL 370, there is noise suppressing string stoppers included that make the delivery of silent shots possible.

Also…

Other than just the crossbow, you’ll be getting a 4×32 scope, 3 20″ 370-grain arrows, a quiver, a rope cocker as well as a sling.

Pros
  • Has got a high arrow velocity of as much as 370 fps
  • Comes with an adjustable butt stock and a foregrip
  • Includes string dampeners for silent shots
Cons
  • The trigger pull is a little long

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11. Leader Accessories Crossbow Package

Leader Accessories Crossbow Package

If you prefer to keep things simple or are looking for a budget crossbow, a recurve variant is what you should go for and this bad boy just so happens to be possibly the best crossbow for the money. There is a safety mechanism included, delivers high-speed shots and plenty more. here’s a closer look:

It includes a red dot sight scope

Since accuracy is a priority regardless of your weapon of choice during a hunt, this one has been designed to be one step ahead with the inclusion of the red dot sight scope. Though it’s not the most powerful of hunting scopes, you’ll have much better shots as compared to working with no scope at all.

In addition to having the scope, it also comes with a cocking rope to set the arrows in position, wax, a quiver for your arrows as well as a padded sling all of which will come in handy while out on a hunt.

Comes with the anti-dry fire mechanism

Safety is a must-have feature on any deer hunting crossbow and this being the case, the included anti-dry fire mechanism on this bad boy prevents any accidental shots from occurring.

Features a compact and lightweight design

For the overall construction and build quality, the crossbow features a 34.5-inch long and 26.5-inch-wide configuration which is really not that pleasant if you’ll be hunting in compact areas. To compensate for the wide design, it weighs only 5.85 lbs. that should be quite easy to handle if you’ll be carrying the crossbow with you most of the time.

That’s not all…

The power stroke is 10.5”, the trigger pull is 6 lbs. and the draw weight 160 lbs. At the end of the day, it is able to attain amazing arrow speeds of up to 210 fps.

Pros
  • It observes utmost safety with the anti-dry fire mechanism
  • Features a red dot scope for added accuracy
  • Comes in a light 5.85 lb. design that makes it easy to carry
Cons
  • The string is a little difficult to put together

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12. Wizard 150 Lbs Camouflage Hunting Recurve Crossbow

Wizard 150 Lbs Camouflage Hunting Recurve Crossbow

When you prefer or are forced to hunt as you move around, a recurve crossbow is the best companion and despite the simple design of this one, the performance and integrity is one of the best. Let’s find out what it’s got, shall we?

Has got an aluminum barrel construction

By now, it’s clear that the build quality plays a huge role when it comes to the performance of a crossbow. This, being a recurve bow will come in a lighter configuration but what’s interesting is that by utilizing aluminum for the barrel, it sure will observe utmost durability.

As for the limbs, they are made of lightweight and functional high-tech fiberglass. In a nutshell, it will be no trouble to carry this bad boy while at the same time, it’s durability and integrity will hold

Includes an auto-safety and cocking mechanism

Other than the build quality, safety is yet another important aspect when choosing the best crossbow for deer hunting. With the inclusion of the automatic safety and cocking mechanism, this bad boy stands out as one of the most reliable budget crossbows

Engineered to give utmost accuracy of up to 60 yards

When put to actual use, the arrows will be shot up to speeds of 210 fps which is high enough to deliver enough power to take down big game at as far a distance as 60 yards. As for the draw weight, it’s a powerful 150 lbs.

Pros
  • Comes in a lightweight and high-quality design
  • Includes an auto safety cocking mechanism design
  • Designed to deliver arrow shots at speeds of up to 210 fps
Cons
  • You might want to get a sight replacement for the crossbow

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13. 150 lb Black/Wood/Camouflage Hunting Crossbow Archery Bow

150 lb Black Wood Camouflage Hunting Crossbow Archery Bow

What if I told you that you don’t need the heaviest crossbow to get the most out of you hunting expeditions? Available in 4 different camo options, this deer hunting crossbow is definitely bound to stand out from the rest. Here’s every reason you should check it out.

Comes with a light and durable stock design

Starting off with the build quality, this scope has got lightweight and durable fiberglass limb that is nicely polished and designed to offer excellent performance with each shot you take. As for the crossbow’s stock, it’s made of a black polished aluminum that light and durable at the same time.

Includes an auto-safety cocking mechanism

With safety being a priority when using a crossbow, this one utilizes an automatic safety mechanism when you are cocking the arrow such that there’ll be no stray shots. As such, unless you intend to take your shot, the arrow will remain in place and since it’s automatic, this is basically the best beginner crossbow

Has gota rope cocking device out of the box

In order for you to have the arrow in place with ease, there’s a rope cocking device which makes it easy to have the arrow in position. Besides the rope cocking device, you’ll also be getting a 4×20 scope and 7 arrows to get you started.

Also…

The draw weight Is 150 lbs. and the arrow speeds 220+ FPS to ensure a high level of precision and accuracy.

Pros
  • Features an automatic safety cocking mechanism
  • Has got a high-qualitybuild- aluminum stock and fiberglass limbs
  • Shots at a speed of 220+ FPS for high accuracy and precision
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with instruction and might be difficult to put together

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Buying guide: picking out the best deer hunting crossbow

Since the product reviews on their own are not really enough, let’s back them up with a buying guide that’ll let you in on everything you should know as far as shopping for what works best for you is concerned.

The leading crossbow brands you should consider looking into

As already mentioned, shopping for hunting equipment can get a little confusing and as such, you need all the help you can get. If you are really uncertain of what you should go for, you could start off by taking a look at either of the 5 crossbow brands listed down below:

  1. Barnett

It’s a brand that has been around for decades now which is one of the main reasons behind their success. Over the years, they have perfected their crossbow designs to come up with different variations all of which favor different types of hunts

  1. Diamond Archery

Besides being one of the best manufacturers in hunting bows, Diamond Archery does have some really awesome crossbows as well and considering they partner with other companies, their level of innovation stands out which in turn gives you an all-round crossbow.

  1. Tenpoint

Though it’s a company that has been around for as long as the others, it has managed to secure a spot among the best brands in crossbow manufacturing. From coming up with sound dampening systems to dry-fire prevention since it was manufactured to date, you’ve got every reason to rely on them

  1. Excalibur

Well, there are no better crossbow manufacturers than the hunters themselves, is there? This is exactly what Excalibur is all about the end result of which you get to have the most optimized crossbows for any kind of hunt you partake in.

  1. Arrow precision

By paying attention to consumer satisfaction, innovation and the making of the best quality crossbows, Arrow Precision has, for decades, given hunters around the globe a reason to look forward to every hunt. With performance being the main focus of every crossbow you get from them, you couldn’t go wrong with either of their crossbows.

Understand the various types of crossbows

Knowing the best crossbow brands alone is not really enough if you want to get the biggest kick for your buck. Think of a crossbow as an extension of your arm; now the last thing you want is something that will have you at a disadvantage against your prey, right? Take a look at the options below and find out what’ll work best for you.

One-handed & two-handed crossbows- which one’s better?

Though there are a lot of defining features of hunting crossbows, having to choose between either a one-handed or a two-handed crossbow is something you must do first.

Two-handed crossbows are some of the most common types since the shooting power is greater and they are quite versatile. Not only will you find one useful when it comes to hunting deer but it will also be eligible for use in other applications such as fishing and target shooting. The only set back that comes with these bad boysis that they are heavier as compared to their counterparts.

One-handed crossbows, on the other hand, are much smaller in size and are lighter as well which makes it possible to carry them in one hand. Though they cannot necessarily be used on large game, they could come in handy when you want to scare off the small game while using bait to attract deer.

Which one works best- compound vs recurve bows

Other than choosing between a one or two-handed crossbow, you’ll also want to know what works best for you between a compound or recurve bow.

Either of these designs serves quite well in both hunting or target shooting and as such, what you should go for is a matter of personal preference. Take a look below at what each of them is all about

The recurve crossbows

Recurve bows have been around for much longer as compared to the compound crossbows and as such, you are bound to get lots of these in the market. The main reason most people would go for these is due to their simple nature and ease of use.

Despite the compound bows being present, recurve bows are still the preferred choice of most hunters due to the following reasons:

  • They’ve got less weight as compared to compound bows and as such, they’re what you should go for if you intend to travel for long distances during a hunt.
  • If you are all about stealth and close-range shots, I’d recommend that you go for the recurvecrossbows since they are quieter
  • Recurve bows also demand the least amount of maintenance since they have fewer moving parts
  • You don’t necessarily need to have a bow press in order for you to change the string and as such, you can change the string when in the middle of a hunt and proceed with your hunt quite well.

The only disadvantage of using a recurve crossbow is that it’s harder to cock as compared to compound bows but you could compensate for this by using a string cocker

Compound crossbows

In order to overcome the disadvantages that come with the recurve crossbows, compound bows utilize pulleys and cams in order to draw off the string. As a result, the draw weight from using the cams is much less.

The key difference between the compound and the recurve crossbows is basically the attachment of the string to the prods.

Due to the reliability of pulleys and cams to draw the string, compound crossbows have shorter limbs as compared to the recurve crossbows. This could be quite an advantage on your side in the event where you may need to move through tight areas during a hunt.

Despite the numerous advantages, the main disadvantage of a compound bow is due to the lots of mechanisms, it ends up feeling front heavy. This, in turn, may result in it being slow when it comes to raising it up and aiming at your prey.

Also, just in case the string breaks while you are using it in a hunt, you’ll have to get it replaced. It would however, be much easier for you to replace the string if you have it in hand and to ensure that this does not happen to you while out hunting, I’d recommend that you closely inspect the cams and pulleys.

Compound crossbows are also louder on the release as compared to the recurve bows but there a few measures one could take in order to make them quieter

Factors to consider when choosing a crossbow

Regardless of the various types of crossbows present in the market, here are some things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a crossbow for deer hunting.

Safety

The last thing you’ll want to do when using a deer hunting crossbow is compromising your safety. In order for you to observe this, you should consider getting integrated safety devices some of which are listed below:

  • Anti-dry fire: dry fire normally happens when a crossbow is fired without an arrow in place and the result of this is that a large amount of stress is put on the limbs of the crossbow which is the last thing you want.

With an arrow present, there is a resistance on the limbs and as such, the energy released from the limbs when the arrow is fired is in a controlled fashion. The opposite, however, results in a quick energy release which is not what the limbs were designed for.

  • A forward grip design: you’ll want to have this right below the railing of your crossbow. The grip basically keeps your finger from being hurt by the bow as the arrow is being released from the crossbow. Other than risking injury, you’ll also risk ruining quite a perfect shot.
  • An autoengaging safety: whether you are looking for the best beginner crossbow or want an upgrade, this is a safety feature worth taking into consideration.

With safety on your crossbow, the string won’t be released by the trigger when the string is set. When it comes to the auto engage, it is set automatically as you draw the string since it’s something that, as a beginner, you may easily forget. So, a the end of the day, unless you want to intentionally pull the trigger, the crossbow will be safe to handle.

Go for as silent a crossbow as possible

The last thing you want to have during a hunt is anything that is going to give up your position. It should, therefore, come as a priority to go for the quietest you can get. Regarding this, I’d recommend that you settle with the recurve ones that have got parallel limbs.

Faster is always better

Other than the noise, you also need to pay attention to speed in which case a compound bow is ideal. In addition to being faster than the recurve bows, compound bows also boast having more accuracy and energy. I’d also recommend that you pay attention to the bolt sizes and strength to ensure the bow is at optimal potential.

The overall weight of the crossbow

Choosing a crossbow based on weight can be a little confusing. First off, when it comes to ease of use, a lighter crossbow is what you ought to go for since it will be faster for you to raise it up and move around. On the other hand, when it comes to getting steady shots, I’d recommend that you go for a heavier crossbow.

Due to the contradiction, here’s what you should do:

Focus on your own physical limitations and know how much you can carry depending on how long you intend to be out hunting.

The weight of the draw

This is basically how much you will have to pull the bow in order for the limbs to flex until the arrow is at the firing position. The general rule of thumb for the best deer hunting crossbow when considering draw weight is the higher it is, the faster the speed of the arrow.

The material construction

A point that we should probably have started our review with, what the crossbow is made from is of utmost importance. Though they’re the most expensive, you’d be better off with a crossbow that has got metallic parts and the lighter the metal you go for, the better a crossbow you’ll have.

Still, on the construction, it would also be a good idea to pay attention to the arrow track which is otherwise known as the barrel. This is what determines the accuracy with which every shot is made and the more precise it is, the higher the level of accuracy you will achieve with every shot.

Added features: are they really necessary?

Whereas most will come in really basic design, additional features are not at all bad when it comes to crossbows. As a matter of fact, most of these either make the crossbow safer to use or improve the accuracy and ease of handling.

If it’s your first time, consider getting one with a scope and alongside this, get a cocking aid to help you cock the bow right. Noise dampeners should also be a priority especially if you choose to get a compound crossbow.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How far can you shoot a crossbow at a deer?

The distance of your shots depends on the amount of power the crossbow packs and your level of experience. A powerful enough crossbow could hit a deer that’s up to 80 yards away if you are an experienced hunter. For better odds, you should, however, stick to 60 yards and much less than this if you are a beginner.

Are crossbows good for deer hunting?

This basically depends on the amount of power (speed and kinetic energy) that the crossbow packs. Provided the draw weight is within the acceptable range (70 and 120 pounds), the crossbow should be good enough to kill the deer.

Is a crossbow better than a hunting bow?

Compared side by side, crossbows allow for a better aim but more importantly, the draw weight of a crossbow is higher than that of a bow but the power stroke is much shorter which means the kinetic energy is less. It’s, therefore, a matter of personal preference on whether to go for power or aim.

How powerful does a crossbow have to be to kill a deer?

Well, this depends on the size of the deer you’re aiming at. Generally speaking, 40 pounds of kinetic energy should take down a whitetail and if it’s a larger deer, you should probably go for larger crossbows

Final verdict

It’s finally time to call it a day and I’ve got to say that from the crossbow reviews we’ve looked at; you’ve got no reason to walk home empty-handed on your next hunt. Whether you are looking for the best compound or recurve crossbows, high-end or budget crossbows, we’ve got it all.

It’s all about setting your priorities straight before you can go ahead and purchase what’ll work best for you- simply take your time and you sure will get the best crossbow for the money.