If the unthinkable ever happens, you are going to need to figure out how to hunt for your food. Those bullets you have will eventually disappear and you’ll need to rely on sheer stealth instead.
Crossbow hunting is your best option and a valuable skill that any survivalist should know.
Load Your Crossbow with Care
Crossbows don’t hold ammunition like a firearm does, but they should be treated with the same care. Always carry your crossbow as if it were loaded and ready to fire. You also don’t want to point it at anything you don’t intend to kill.
When you climb up into your stand or hoist your crossbow up into the stand, be sure you’ve removed the bolt in the barrel. Only load the crossbow when you are in a hunting position and are ready to shoot.
When the time comes to unload or discharge your crossbow, do not dry fire it. Point the crossbow in a safe direction and then discharge. You can also purchase a portable target that makes discharging even safer.
Nothing Good is Achieved Without Practice
You can’t become good at anything without practicing it on a regular basis. That’s especially true when it comes to hunting with a crossbow. Because you may not know what position you’ll be forced to fire from when the time comes, be sure to practice from multiple locations.
Start by learning how to shoot from angled shots in an elevated position. This is best practiced from a tree stand. Then, you can move onto sitting positions from a ground blind. In addition, you’ll want to learn techniques for shooting in low-light conditions.
Make sure that you use a stable rest any time you fire your crossbow.
Know Your Ranges
You will want to invest in a quality rangefinder. This will help you range objects so you can practice on many key distances before you go head to head with a big buck. The crossbow is very different from shooting a rifle and requires lots of practice.
As your arrow travels downrange, speed will be lost. As this occurs, you also begin to lose energy. If you shoot too far out in the field, your result might just be a wounded animal. As a general rule of thumb, 40 to 50 yards is about the maximum range you’ll be able to shoot at game.
Choose the Right Equipment
If you are choosing your first crossbow, keep in mind that budget prices don’t often equate to dependability. You may only have one bow that you can take with you and it needs to last the duration of your time in the outdoors. Choosing a bow that offers good customer service and a lifetime warranty are generally good indicators that the bow is made to last.
You’ll want to observe all state or local game laws regarding the required draw weights during hunting. Crossbows aren’t the only equipment you should take your time picking out.
Choosing the right bolts and broadheads is also an important part of being a successful crossbow hunter. Crossbow bolts are available in a variety of weights. The heavier bolts are the best option; normally weighing 300 to 350-grain.
The heavier bolts deliver a stronger downrange energy for a superior penetration. If you want to hunt medium-sized game, then a fixed-blade broadhead and expandable will work well. Read through the crossbow’s manual to find the proper length and recommended weight for your specific model.
No matter what style you ultimately decide on, it is important that you practice often. Spend time at the range fine-tuning the adjustments. The attached, pre-sighted scope is made for crossbows but rarely come ready to use.
To achieve the best practice experience, you’ll want a shooting aid for sighting. Place your initial shots around 20 yards. Then, adjust according to the wind and elevation before extending the range further. If you need help figuring out how to adjust the sight-in of your optic, refer to the owner’s manual.
Be Sure to Use a Rest
Crossbows can be heavy and clunky. This makes it nearly impossible to keep going without a break. Whether you choose to do this by kneeling or sitting you’ll find products like a monopod to be useful. A rest is an essential product if you want accurate shots.
When you are ready to take that break, try padding your crossbow forearm with a soft item. This could be a rolled-up jacket, a backpack or even your hand. By doing this, you absorb the recoil and allows for easier sighting when shooting from a hard surface.
It can be difficult to travel during a survival situation with a rest, so you’ll want to plan some makeshift ideas for emergencies.
Our Recommendation for a Crossbow
If you are still unsure what crossbow is ideal for the survival situation, you’ll want to take a look at the Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package.
It weighs less than 8 pounds, features a 185-pound draw weight and comes complete with a 3×32 scope. It also features the popular Barnett’s proprietary Carbonlite Riser Technology (CRT). This helps to shift the balance point away from the riser and places it back to the shoulder of the shooter.
In addition, this bow provides a 5-to-1 safety factor and offers the perfect balance between weight and speed.
You never know when you’ll need the help of a crossbow during survival situations. Whether it is to hunt prey or defend yourself, it will be important that you are trained and ready to use it at a moment’s notice. Keep in mind that in a pinch, a quality crossbow can also be made from materials found in the great outdoors.
While they won’t be as durable as something you’ve purchased, it will still keep you at a distance from the prey you are hunting. Another thing to consider is that bowstring can be utilized for multiple purposes as well, so it will be important to incorporate this efficient tool into your survival plan.
Hi there, I’m Philip Routh and I like to play around with bows and arrows since I was a boy. Everything I learned during the years lead me to become an editor of the Outdoor section at A Smarter Tip cause I like to share my knowledge in the field.