Every hunter out there who hunts regularly must have heard of or is familiar with Crossbows. Crossbows date back to medieval times, about two thousand years and still thrive well in today’s market, among hunters, artifact, relic and weapon collectors alike.
A crossbow is a type of bow that consists of horizontal bow-like assembly mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles called bows or quarrels. If you can handle a rifle or a bow, then you probably can handle a crossbow with some practice, but before you shoot a crossbow keep in mind that, as with most weapons, safety measures are necessary.
How to Cock a Crossbow
To use a crossbow, you will cock the bow before you load your arrow, then pull the string back by exerting even pressure on both sides of the barrel. Be careful not to misalign the string even by as little as half an inch as this will shift the arrows point of impact, and you will most likely miss your target.
You can decide to cock with tools or do it by hand although cocking by hand is quite a chore. It is a much better idea to invest in a cocking rope which is a featherweight device that reduces the amount of effort exerted in pulling the string. There are also other cocking aids such as the crank operated cocking aid which may come with the crossbow.
How to Shoot a Crossbow
1. To shoot your crossbow, load the arrow into the barrel. The arrows use either flat nocks or moon nocks. Make sure that the arrow is safely in place.
2. Aim for a target. Crossbows come with either a mounted scope or a sight pin arrangement created for getting a clear aim before shooting. Make sure there are no obstructions that could get in your way before you shoot. Also, don’t wrap your thumb around the crossbow forearm.
3. Let it fly. Once you have your target in sight, squeeze the trigger as you would when firing a gun, keeping the target in view as you shoot.
Crossbows are better than Guns
Any seasoned hunter will have a crossbow in his arsenal, for not only is it easy to use, it also has great hunting benefits. Compared to guns, it requires little or no practice to handle a crossbow.
Most hunters who hunt with rifles find it easy to switch to a crossbow because the same concept and technique that we use for crossbows applies to firing a gun. The only real difference is the ammunition in each weapon; an arrow from a crossbow and a bullet from a rifle. Also, there’s a kick back when you fire a gun, called recoil. That does not happen when you shoot a crossbow.
Crossbows and Stealth
Gun shots are also quite loud compared to crossbows. When you fire a rifle and miss your shot, chances are the target will escape. A hunter using a crossbow, on the other hand, has the advantage of stealth.
An arrow from a crossbow will not alert the target of your presence, and in the unlikely event that it does, the other game in that area would not notice. Crossbows are also more accurate than rifles, create less damage and they create little to no mess when it hits a target.
State Legislation for Hunting
Most states view crossbows as a part of archery, so hunters that wield crossbows enjoy an extended season of hunting compared to gun hunters, also, bowhunting is much more challenging and exciting and sporting than rifle hunting. This gives the crossbow hunting more leeway when it comes to hunting in most states compared to hunters who use rifles.
Crossbows and Longbows
A hand-drawn bow or longbow on the hand is entirely different from using a gun to hunt. In fact, the crossbow is more similar to the rifle than the longbow.
Using a longbow requires skill, practice, and precision. The archer has to be physically involved in shooting a hand drawn bow.
Your whole body becomes part of the weapon, and if it not aligned at the right angle, you are most likely to miss your target by a long shot.
Crossbows, on the other hand, require less upper body strength to fire a bow. One can use both arms to span a bow into the heart of a game.
Accuracy in shooting a longbow means that each time, the weapon must be the same shape and at the right angle and position. If the parts of the hunter’s body controlling the bow or the bow itself is at a slightly different angle, the entire weapon changes shape, and the shooter will most probably miss the target.
Crossbows are not difficult to use
The only real similarity between both weapons is that they both produce a fast moving projectile launched from a string.
Compared to the Crossbow, the longbow is quite cumbersome and has draw weights although it is also powerful and has an excellent range.
Modern technology has recreated a lot of weapons, including crossbows. Crossbows have evolved over time into sleeker, stronger and much better versions of their medieval counterparts and utilized the compound mechanisms from traditional bows.
Non-bowhunters can quickly master the use of crossbows within a short period. Obviously, a crossbows remains an asset to hunters, as it is a very useful weapon to have in your arsenal for your next hunting expedition.
This guest post comes from:
Rob White – Owner of bestcrossbowguide.org
If you want to know more about crossbows, here is a link to the 10 best hunting crossbows.