How to Hunt Deer with a Crossbow

How to Hunt Deer with a Crossbow

It is the ultimate thrill to take down deer with a crossbow. Do you wish to feel the same zing down your spine too? This tutorial will help you learn How to Hunt Deer with a Crossbow and take you a step closer to your dream.

Choosing a Crossbow

Crossbows have been around us for many years now. We can trace them back to ancient Greece and Rome. They have since evolved to become easier to use. Crossbows are one of the most effective and user-friendly hunting weapons. They have distinct advantages that set them apart.

You can find your ideal crossbow by asking yourself a bunch of questions. Are you a newbie, amateur, or pro? How often will you be using your crossbow? Is there anyone else who will be using your crossbow? How much are you willing to spend?

Write down your answers, and buy a crossbow as per your needs. A bow can cost you between $300 to $1000.

You can buy an entire package including arrow tips, cocking device, a quiver, a couple of arrows, and a scope sight. Top of the line packages can go as high as $1,500. A lot of hunters go for cheaper crossbows from smaller brands. Such crossbows can harm or get damaged too soon. Look for good quality, sturdy crossbows that will be there with you for a long time.

Here are some important tips for beginners on choosing a crossbow.

It’s always advisable to check crossbow hunting laws. They vary from state to state. In some areas, crossbow hunting is banned. In some of the places, only specific crossbows are allowed.

How to Hunt Deer with a Crossbow

Cock and Load the Crossbow

When you begin cocking, the use of cocking device should be mandatory. Else, bare hands will hurt you and can give severe wounds. The safest and the best place to cock is on the ground before ascending it to a treestand.

One of the most prestigious cocking devices is AccuDraw. AccuDraw is designed for amateurs or new hunters. The device also goes light on shooters with fragile backs.

AccuDraw comes with a built-in lever. Once you switch to ‘disengage,’ pull back the device from the bow, and mount it to the track. Once you mount the string; you are good to go. Further, engage and crank the wheel to cock the bow.

Level the Reticle

Post successful cocking of the crossbow, you must level the crossbow scope reticle.

The first method is by using your iPhone’s compass. Place your phone with the compass app on top of your crossbow scope to make the adjustments. Make sure that your scope is set as per your bow’s speed.

Another method is to place a reticle level beneath your crossbow’s scope. Confirm horizontal lines of scope and reticle lines are in a single line. You can loosen up the mounts and make adjustments as necessary. This will impact your windage corrections.

The most important thing while leveling the crossbow scope reticle is stability.

Sight in the Scope

After setting up your crossbow, zero the scope by setting up a target approximately 12 yards away. Take a shot against the top reticle in the scope. You might need to make corrections for elevation, windage, or both.

Take off the scope caps and adjust according to the markers. For the next shot, keep your scope cap off, in case there are more corrections.

Cock, load, fire again, and make a note of your current settings and adjustments. Start to make your way and continue to keep adjusting your scope as per your wishes and requirements.



Practicing before taking real shots is very important. Try out a couple of angle shots from an elevated position and a sitting position. Learn how to judge ranges and shots.

Practicing will help you hunt better while you are in the woods. Now, you are good to hunt deer with your crossbow.

Take the Shot

Make safety your prime concern. Crossbows are generally safe to use but keep in mind the basic safety rules. Some bows have a double mechanism for safety, making them easier to use in the trees.

Keep your bow pointed in the opposite safe direction. Avoid climbing a tree with a loaded bow. Make sure you are wearing your harness. Falling from tree stands is a common accident while hunting.

In most cases, 40 to 50 yards is the maximum range you can shoot from. Set your distance according to your preference. Crossbows are a great addition to your collection for hunting. Try having fun with them while keeping them safe.

Maintain the Crossbow

Take good care of your bow and all the other hunting equipment you own. It may come across to you a strong, heavy hunting device, yet it can wear out easily. They need maintenance and cleaning, especially right before you go on a hunting spree. The string can break and can harm the hunter too.

Always try to invest in a good crossbow and take good care of your gear. Remember the safety tips and guidelines while hunting. These tips can aid and save you from a lot of damage. Make sure to abide by the legal laws of your country while hunting.

There is no greater fun than taking down a good big deer with your arrow. You can also read my guide on  How to Hunt Mule Deer with a Bow.

Keep practicing, and don’t feel down if you are not able to make it in your first shots. Just keep shooting your best shots, you will have your first reward sooner than you think.

References and Further Reading

Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Marty Prokop