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Best Crossbows for Hunters: Conquer the Great Outdoors

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As a hunter, you know there are plenty of ways to track an animal. Guns have been around for a long time, and they aren’t going anywhere soon.

Still, it doesn’t mean a crossbow isn’t the right piece of equipment for the job. The great news is that you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we don’t do anything overly salesy; we simply bring you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Best Crossbows on The Market Reviewed

It’s important to start by saying that crossbows are by no means cheap, and any reviews that say otherwise are disingenuous.

The majority of them undergo modifications to enhance the user experience and increase your chances of success. That being said, you can still pick the best crossbow for the money as long as it’s in your price range.

Please note that spending more money doesn’t always correlate with a better bow, but some of the best ones are pricey. The final decision is yours and yours alone, so be careful and give it plenty of thought before pulling the trigger.

1. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow

Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow
64 Reviews
Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow
  • BARNETT WHITETAIL PRO STR: High-performance compound...
  • EFFICIENT: Compound crossbow has an overall weight of just...
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer,...

The Barnett Whitetail Pro STR is a midrange model that is affordable.

Typically, a middling crossbow can provide substandard features, but this isn’t the case with the Whitetail. With kinetic energy of 140 ft lbs and a power stroke of 16 inches, it’s on the high end of the scale.

But don’t worry about it letting you down from an accuracy perspective, as the Pro STR has a trick up its sleeve. The step-through riser platform allows the user to shift the weight from the riser to the stock for a more stable platform.

When you squeeze the trigger, you don’t feel any negative effects from the power. Recoil is important because of the power stroke level, which is why the Whitetail comes with dampeners.

Plus, they are perfect for anyone who wants to hunt in stealth mode, as is the standard camouflage color. With the CNC flight track, it’s easy to keep tabs on your arrows once they leave the quiver.

Pros

  • It shoots bolts at up to 400 fps.
  • Step-through riser technology
  • String dampeners for sound reduction
  • Accessories: three Picatinny rails
  • TriggerTech trigger

Cons

  • No noticeable cons

Extra Features

  • Finger Safety Reminders
  • Crank-Cocking Device Compatible
  • One Picatinny Rail
  • a CNC-machined aluminum flight track

Product Information

  • Weight: 6.9 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 3 x 5.3 in.
  • Speed: 350 fps
  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs.

2. BARNETT Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow

BARNETT Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
1,204 Reviews
BARNETT Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
  • BARNETT WHITETAIL HUNTER II CROSSBOW: High-performance...
  • EFFICIENT: Crossbow is equipped with an axle-to-axle length...
  • SAFETY FEATURES : Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer,...

Please don’t let the futuristic style take you away from this crossbow. It may look a little alien, yet it comes with some fantastic features that people who buy the weapon love.

As far as a hunting crossbow goes, this is one of the best in the Barnett range because of its 185-pound draw weight. The extra power means you can fire an arrow at a rapid 420 feet per second, which the manufacturer admits is one of the fastest on the market.

The carbon step-through riser and the aluminum flight tracker contribute to the bow’s lightweight design. At least, it doesn’t feel heavy due to the numerous add-ons it comes with. The good news is that this won’t impact the effectiveness of the shot.

You are already familiar with the draw weight, but it also boasts a high kinetic energy of 149 feet per second. Compared with the Ghost 375, that’s an additional 24 pounds of energy.

Thanks to its illuminated scope and sight, shooters won’t have any problem tracking in low light or changing weather conditions. With the TriggerTech trigger system, the Ghost 420 has smoothness and increased accuracy when shooting.

It is worth noting that it only has a single bolt assembly and can be resistant, making it hard to load. For over $900, hunters might want more from the manufacturer than a basic single bolt assembly.

Pros

  • Frictionless release
  • Single-bolt assembly
  • Carbonlite rinser
  • Metal injection trigger
  • For its value, the price is reasonable.

Cons

  • Included accessories could be improved.

Extra Features

  • Pass-Through Foregrip
  • Finger Safety Reminders
  • Carbonlite Riser
  • A single bolt assembly

Product Information

  • Weight: 7.25 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 33 x 13 x 7 inches.
  • Speed: 420 fps
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.

3. Centerpoint AXCS185BK Sniper 370 Crossbow

Centerpoint AXCS185BK Sniper 370 Crossbow
1,841 Reviews
Centerpoint AXCS185BK Sniper 370 Crossbow
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE 370 FPS - 18-inch axle-to-axle at full draw...
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE STOCK AND FOREGRIP - For a customized fit...
  • QUAD LIMBS WITH PRECISION-MACHINED CAMS SYSTEM - Delivers...

At 370 fps, this crossbow delivers 50 fewer feet per second than the Ghost 420.

It’s arguably the best crossbow for deer and big game hunting on the list. First of all, it arrives fitted with a sniper, which lets the user scope in and out to magnify the shot.

Whether in low or bright light, it blocks out the elements and lights up the target. Plus, this feature is fully adjustable and perfect for left- and right-handed people.

Game animals are sensitive to sounds, which is why they have string-suppressing technology. Furthermore, the bow incorporates this technology to ensure a quiet and vibration-free shot.

If it seems difficult to carry around, there’s no need to worry about its size. The aluminum STR keeps the weight off, but so does the style. Unlike the other crossbows in our review, this one has a design similar to an assault rifle.

The barrel and grip look and feel as if you have an AR 15 in your hands due to the 18” axle-to-axle width. It also comes with a shoulder sling in case the weight starts to become an issue.

If money is a major factor, this has to be one of the best budget crossbows on the market right now.

Pros

  • High velocity
  • Light and compact
  • Stock and grip are adjustable.
  • An extensive package with all accessories
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Lots of creep in the trigger

Extra Features

  • Included shoulder sling
  • 4×32 scope
  • Machined aluminum rails
  • Integrated string silencers

Product Information

  • Weight: 7.9 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 33.6 x 11.3 x 5.4 in.
  • Speed: 370 fps
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs.

4. TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow

Although Center Point isn’t as expensive, Wicked Ridge makes up for it by including all the essentials you need to go on a hunting expedition.

The above can cost anywhere from $100 to $200, depending on the quality and time of year, so the TenPoint Invader may save you money in the long run. Again, this is an AR-type crossbow, so it is already quite light at 6.6 lbs without the accessories.

The ACUdraw cocking mechanism sets it apart as one of the lightest in the industry. The integrated self-retracting rope in the ACU reduces the poundage by up to 50%.

During a long hunt, this can significantly impact your comfort levels and overall hunting experience. However, it comes with a few drawbacks. Speed-wise, the feet per second is down to 330.

Although it’s not terrible, it is 90 down on the Ghost 420 and 40 down on the CenterPoint Sniper. Considering the difference in price between this and the CP, it’s quite a lot of velocity to lose.

Wicked Ridge claims it’s the narrowest, but the axle-to-axle width is wider than the CP sniper.

Pros

  • Lightweight and highly accurate
  • Self-retracting rope-cocking aid
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to assemble
  • It comes with an adjustable 3-dot scope.

Cons

  • A little louder.

Extra Features

  • Durable magnesium riser
  • Redundant safety system
  • Made in the USA
  • Easy to sight

Product Information

  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 39.8 x 4 x 14 in.
  • Speed: 330 fps
  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs.

5. CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Camo Crossbow

CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Camo Crossbow
302 Reviews
CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Camo Crossbow
  • Whisper silencing System
  • Narrow 14 inch Cocked axle to axle width
  • Compact design. Compression fiberglass quad limbs

The Tormentor whispers both by name and by nature. With only a 14” axle-to-axle when cocked, the bows slide out seamlessly without making a noise.

Additionally, this feature facilitates easy transportation during extended hunting sessions. Most likely, the silencing system is the jewel in the crown of this ultimate camo weapon.

The Whisper 380 comes equipped with a mechanism that keeps the noise to a minimum. And, at 380 feet per second, the target in your sights won’t have a clue what’s coming next.

This bow, with its quad limbs and compact design, undoubtedly caters to hunters who prefer to remain unseen and unheard while hunting. However, if you’re not interested in the stealth element, this bow doesn’t offer anything special.

The draw load is 185 lbs, which is standard, and there is an anti-dry system, which is also typical. You will love the auto-safety device that puts the user’s security front and center, yet it isn’t a novel thing either.

In simple terms, this hunting crossbow is for anyone who takes silence seriously. With a 4×32 scope, you’ll be like the wind, gently passing through before striking.

Pros

  • An easy-to-handle, hard-hitting crossbow with accessories
  • The weapon is capable of firing bolts downrange at speeds up to 380 fps.
  • The Whisper Silencing System reduces noise and vibration.
  • Compact design—just 14″ wide when cocked
  • The stock is an all-weather composite with padded rubber grips and a cheekpiece.

Cons

  • Drawing weight can be hard for beginners to use.

Things to Consider

hunting with crossbow

We’re aware that choosing a product is straightforward when there is a crossbow review to hand.

But what about when you’re out of your depth and don’t recognize the makes and models?

Picking is challenging, so you should take the following factors into account:

  • Brand: Despite the potential for sloppiness, you can base your purchase on the manufacturer. At the very least, you won’t end up with a mediocre crossbow that won’t do the job. With the likes of TenPoint, Barnett, and Wicked Range, you can be sure that the product is legit. Others to look out for are Excalibur, Parker, Horton, and Pse.
  • Speed: some people want to fire a shot as quickly as possible. If you fall into this category, a compound bow is the best option, as it offers terminal velocity. The alternatives are recurve and reserve limb bows, but they are better for accuracy, comfort, and stealth.
  • Weight: Carrying a crossbow for extended periods can cause discomfort. So, you want something that is light and not burdensome. However, there is also the steadiness element to consider, as light bows are difficult to maintain. As a rule, anything between six and seven pounds is the perfect mix.
  • Durability: no one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on something that will break. With this in mind, keep an eye out for stainless steel and aluminum coated in nitrogen. Accessories such as lube wax should also help to prevent the ropes and bows from fraying.

Wrap-Up

Selecting the best crossbow for your hunting needs is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience.

The answer is a personal decision. They all have their specific qualities, and it’s up to you to pick a model that is an excellent overall fit.

Remember to consider your specific requirements, such as draw weight, speed, and additional features, when making your final choice.