T Nation

Crossbows For Deer Hunting


Anyone use a crossbow for hunting?

I am looking for something that will take down deer. I will be hunting in a pretty urban area so I want to make sure it's strong enough to take down the deer rather than having to track them through my neighbor's back yard.

I'm not looking to spend a fortune so I'm looking at this one:


I'm also interested in the Excalibur models.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks !


I don't bow/crossbow hunt but it's pretty likely that you will end up tracking your deer. There's no guarantee that you won't be. That and the bolt will probably pass through the deer.


I haven't used a crossbow before, but just by looking at the specs of that one, I'd say it should do exactly what you're wanting it to do. 315fps is faster than most compound bows shoot (even thought they're rated up to 350+fps these days, that's only with the draw length/draw weight set to get the most speed), so having the "power" wouldn't be an issue.

As with shooting anything, shot placement is key. It doesn't matter if you shoot an arrow at 100000fps, if your placement is off. Hitting something with an arrow isn't going to drop it in its tracks, usually, unless you spine it. So be prepared to do a little tracking. Remember, the bigger the blood trail, the quicker the kill and the easier it will be to find.

I'm sure there are others that can agree/correct me if needed. I know there are some bow hunters here, not sure about crossbows though.

Happy Hunting!



Sen Say: Urban Avenger, Deer Exterminator, Lady Killer. Have fun!

All i can do is headshot pidgeons and squirrels in the back garden


I was wondering about using it for Canadian Geese in addition to deer. Guess this is a vote in favor.


Thanks for all the info. so far everyone !

My buddy has a crossbow and he's pulled 70 deer out of a neighbor's wooded back yard over the past 4 years. My sons and I go over and shoot with him, but we've decided to move to the next level and buy our own.


I have been compound bow hunting for about 20 years. No cross-bow experience but the principles are the same. What Ink said is spot on - where you hit them is more important than what you shoot. Any modern compound or cross bow is more than adequate and will enable an average shooter more than enough accuracy.

When people ask what to buy, I always suggest deciding the $$ amount first and then go shopping because technology has made it that easy. (Not that killing deer with bow is easy but the technology is readily available)

As far as the kill, if you take out hte lung/heart they usually die quickly and don't make it 100 yds. I have watched dozens run 35-40 yards, stop and flop. I hunt in the city limits here too and typically deer don't run towards houses so unless you were hunting in a yard the likelihood of a bloody deer running into someone's yard is very slim.

SO, I say, got get 'em and send pics.



x2 to Ed and Ink and Dijon

Any modern bow/crossbow that doesn't come from Walmart is more than powerful enough to send a bolt/arrow straight through a deer. Probably 2 deer if they were lined up just right. But if you don't hit any vital organs you are going to be trailing it a long ways.


Excaliber are top notch



Take your time and get a clean shot at their heart / lungs. People who shoot deer in the ass just trying to get their guns off shouldn't be allowed to hunt.


I had an opportunity to "Texas Heart Shot" a big old impala, took the shot (.300 WSM, not an arrow) and dropped him in his tracks. Took a .45 to the heart AND being choked out by the local tracker to finally bring him down. Should I be allowed to hunt? Maybe not. But that monster is going to look nice on my wall :wink:

Clean heart/lung shot if at all possible. Although, I would never shoot anything up the ass with an arrow. That would be fucked up.


So Sen are you hunting at the Katy Wildlife Sanctuary?


A "tactical" crossbow?

If you bring that to a gunfight you need plenty of "tactical" because strategically speaking, that was a bad move.


I have a PSE. Not the tactical model. Like the crossbow a lot. I was never much of an archer with the compound bow so the crossbow was perfect for me. I've taken 3 deer over the last two years with mine. All chest shots, all less then 30Y. Still need to track them but they don't go far with good placement.


Is it still a split parallel limb though? That tactical one looks insane. I've got a Hoyt Rampage XT compound, and love the limbs on it. Fast and quiet, and there's hardly any vibration in the grip when the arrow flies. Never shot a crossbow though, yet.


I have the Sidewinder XB. It's a split limb. Crossbow is noisy compared to a compound bow but it's fast too. I've shot targets to 50Y with no issue, and little practice. I won't take that long a shot in the field however.


Yes. It's my favorite spot in Texas.

Actually, I'm hunting off my buddy's back deck...he's got a vegetable garden that's been plagued by deer for years.


What's the farthest away you'd be comfortable shooting in the field from?


Yeah for garden defense. Well, last fall I went on a hunting trip and brought home a respectable mature buck. As I was skinning the wife walks over to the fal garden and says, "Look, deer tracks in the garden." And then I realize as I gaze over that they ate all the broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, beans, etc. that we had growing. Yep, while I was deer hunting 1.5 hours from home those bastards were raiding my garden!!!