Crossbow hunting is a sport that has been passed down for generations. It was once the only way people found food. However, now, it is something we often do because we enjoy it. Hunting can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. With a crossbow, it opens up the window of opportunity even further. This allows smaller and less strong people to hunt with fierce pressure. When looking to get into crossbow hunting you should always start with your local authorities for a hunting safety course. And, of course, if you can find someone willing to help you and teach you, you have a great chance of shooting something!
Always Inspect Your Equipment Before Shooting
Whether you’re going out on a search for wild game or simply practicing at hitting targets, you should always inspect your crossbow. Ensure that it is still in great working condition from the previous year. Many of us will put our crossbows away at the end of the season and not get them out until just before the season begins to practice our skills at shooting targets. However, just like with anything else, if you practice you will become better.
Wiggle the riser to check for loose bolts and limbs. You don’t want to see anything wiggling independently from the stock. Take a minute to check for twisting limbs or cracks. If necessary, take your crossbow to a professional for them to perform an inspection, do a tune-up, or offer repairs needed.
Always carry appropriate tools with you, for tightening and quick repairs.
Check to ensure that your bolts are in good working condition. Search for any bending or splintering within the bolt shaft. Also, check to form sure the fletchings are in fine condition. The fletchings should be firmly attached to the bolt shaft. Finally, check the nocks. You don’t want to use a crossbow with a cracked or damaged nock.
Rope Cocking Device
Once you’ve thoroughly inspected your equipment and are certain everything is in good working order, you’ll enjoy shooting your crossbow with a peace of mind that it will perform.
A rope cocking device is pretty common on a modern crossbow. Always consult your owner’s manual for detailed cocking instructions. Do not ever put the rope cocking device around your neck. These can get entangled in the crossbow and could be devastating if you were to shoot and be tangled up.
Always, safely point the crossbow to the ground to ensure that no one is hurt while you are cocking your crossbow. Place your foot firmly within the stirrup. Remember, your bow much be in the “fire” position or it will not fire.
Using both handles pull the pully back smoothly. Ensure you have a nice firm grip. Finally, check to form sure the security is on before sliding the bolt into place.
Never dry fire
You don’t want to ever fire your crossbow when there is not a bolt loaded in it. This could cause damage to the crossbow but also damage to you. This causes an excessive amount of vibration that could take you to off guard as well. Be sure that you have a bolt loaded before you think about the firing.
Some crossbows have onboard equipment that will ensure that it will not fire unless it is loaded. However, this is not always the case. At any rate, you shouldn’t rely on such equipment anyway.
As with any hunting weapon, you must respect it. You need to ensure that you are always walking with it facing the ground and not at anyone. And, you don’t always know who is out there, so the ground is the safest method of travel. Someone could be up in a tree, so walking with it pointing up could accidentally harm someone. Hunting is a fun sport, but you certainly need to pay attention and use common sense.
Loading your crossbow
After your crossbow is cocked, the subsequent step is to load an arrow. Before loading, confirm your crossbow is pointed to the ground. And, keep your fingers well away from the trigger.
Always check with your owner’s manual to find the correct size bolt for your crossbow. There are various sizes out there, however, yours has a particular size. You need to ensure you only shoot those size bolts in order to keep your crossbow in good working condition.
When you are ready to shoot your crossbow, you will position yourself as if you were shooting a long stock gun. Remember to always keep your finger far away from the trigger until you’re able to shoot.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. A crossbow is just as dangerous as any weapon. You don’t want to accidentally shoot yourself or someone in the area.
Once you’re able to take your shot, switch your safety off. Pull back with the firm and steady pressure on the trigger. Be sure to not jerk or snatch the trigger, this will give you a lousy shot.
Once you have completed your practice on loading your crossbow, you are now ready for a shot. But, if you have nothing to shoot, then you should disengage the arrow by shooting it into the ground nearby. Be sure the ground is soft and able to take the arrow without harming it. Do not shoot it at any rocks or people’s feet or you will run the risk of harming your bolts. Or you can shoot a target, should you have one around.
Safe storage and transporting your crossbow
As with any hunting equipment, you should store your crossbow in a fashion that protects it from the elements as well as damage. Having your crossbow stored properly will ensure that it will be good to go for the next season. We completely recommend a crossbow hard case. Hard cases are equipped to hug the parts of your crossbow that doesn’t allow much movement when hit or dropped. Investing in a quality hard case to guard your crossbow and other archery equipment only makes sense. Furthermore, if you planning to travel via plane you have to have a hard case. This is a requirement of the airlines.
We hope that you have enjoyed our safety instructions on how to handle your crossbow. Should you have questions, be sure to refer to your particular crossbow’s manual.