Crossbow Hunting 101
By Pete Rogers
Thirty nine years ago, I sat on a tree limb in the piedmont of South Carolina holding a Ben Pearson bow and Easton XX75 arrow. Balancing on a big cedar limb as the young buck meandered into range. Drawing 50 pounds, this bow was the best bow money could buy at the time. The young buck got to twelve yards, I released the arrow and killed my first deer with that bow and arrow. From that point on, I have been addicted to bow hunting.
As the crossbow scene started its momentum several years ago, I heard all sorts of whining and complaining from bow hunters who see crossbows as an infringement rather than a way to promote the great sport we all love. When crossbows began to take hold, I began to take notice. For as long as I can remember, I have taken the position that if it is legal and it gets more people in the woods hunting, I am all for it and will support it fully. Crossbows are doing that in mass.
While attending the ATA show a few years ago, I shot my first crossbow. As time went on, I began to see more and more people using the crossbow while hunting. Now it is my turn to join the ranks so I can begin to enjoy this sport along with many others.
Making the decision to get a crossbow can be a daunting one. With literally dozens of companies making crossbows how does one decide which one is right for them? Recurve limbs, compound limbs, reversed limbs. Wide, narrow, fast, heavy. The list of options is seemingly endless.
As a newcomer to the crossbow scene I chose to look at several different elements of the crossbow to narrow down my search and ultimate purchase. Quality, weight, accuracy and price point. In selecting a crossbow, I also learned with my vertical bows that the arrow is as important as the bow. Finding good bolts will be another step into the unknown. To that extent, I will also need some broadheads to wrap up my system.
First for me is quality. I learned a long time ago that I am too poor to be cheap. When I buy something, I want it to last. Having said that, I do not want to over pay for anything. So quality is essential. Buying a good quality system from the beginning will save a lot of money and heartache in the future. This led me to Ten Point Crossbows. Long viewed as the best of the best.
Ten Point Crossbows are where I began my search. Second is the weight and balance. Without much argument you find that those with the reverse limbs such as the Ten Point Carbon Nitro RDX is an excellent choice for a well-balanced crossbow. The reverse limbs brings the weight of the bow more towards the back of the unit making it easier to use and a bit more balanced as compared to the traditional set up but it comes in at 7.8 pounds. For a younger hunter and a treestand hunter this may not be an issue since most rifles will weigh similarly.
If you don’t like the reverse limbs, but accuracy and price point are a consideration, look no further than the Wicked Ridge Invader G3. This crossbow comes in at 6.6 pounds. It has a three line scope mounted to a dovetail rail and the price point makes it a great entry level crossbow. Knowing that Wicked Ridge is part of the Ten Point family helps this decision. The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 has everything I am looking for in a first crossbow.
The next step is picking a good arrow/bolt for the Wicked Ridge Crossbow. It comes with three bolts for starters. But looking through the Beman website I find several that are designed specifically for crossbows. The Beman ICS Hunter is an obvious choice.
The last step in my process of building a crossbow system is the need for a great broadhead. Hunters have been debating broadheads for decades. For my crossbow, I want try both mechanical and fixed. Thankfully New Archery Products makes a version of the Spitfire for the crossbow market. So I will try that one along with their fixed blade 125 grain HellRazor. In either case I will be using the heavier 125 grain broadhead to get the penetration I am after.
I am certain that when it comes to this set up I will be more than pleased with the performance. Moving into the crossbow arena can be a little intimidating with all of the choices. Selecting the finest quality crossbows and components means you are making a purchase that will last a long time and provide years of great hunting.