Hunting is quite popular around the world. Each hunter has their own specific reasons for hunting. For instance, some believe in not letting any of the animal go to waste, similar to how our ancestors survived for so long.
But there are others who simply enjoy the thrill of the hunt. They like sitting out and patiently awaiting their target to arrive. Being a hunter of any kind is about a deeper level of patience and taking every precaution necessary to ensure their safety as well as a successful hunt.
No matter what kind of animal you hunt, there are more than a few weapons to choose from. Hunters everywhere enjoy hunting elk using their crossbow. They are different from traditional bows in that they provide much better torque and finished speeds, so it is easy to see why crossbows are a favorite in the hunting area.
Table of Contents
Using a Crossbow for Hunting
There are so many different ways of hunting – with a rifle, a traditional bow, and with a crossbow – you may be wondering what sets the crossbow apart from the rest. There are more than a few reasons why the crossbow is actually the perfect weapon for hunting elk.
For starters, lining up a shot is a lot easier when you have the right crossbow. The quick zero allows you to reset for a new shot in no time. The dot sights make it easier to get a visual on your target as well while indicating drops at certain distances.
Not only that, it helps to keep the true point of impact and get the right speed. Testing distances can take time but is usually a lot quicker when using a zero centered crossbow.
There is also the matter of using a crossbow versus a traditional bow. What the latter has going for it is stealth. It doesn’t make much noise when drawing back and firing. If you miss your initial shot with a crossbow, you have to take the time to reload. Depending on how fast that is and how loud the weapon is, there is a chance that you could lose out on a shot while you are nocking another arrow.
Being able to quickly reload your crossbow means not losing that position and being able to take down your target with precision and power.
How to Hunt Elk with a Crossbow
If you have traditionally been a crossbow hunter but are just now entering into the world of elk hunting, there are certain ways to go about getting the job done. While each hunter will develop their own tactics, this is a great way to get beginners acclimated with hunting these huge creatures.
The key is to start off by heading into the timbers. Most people tend to look near popular zones such as tracks and roadsides. Typically, they make use of decoys, but if you hunt in a popular area, then the elk may already be aware of the tactic and a lot less likely to fall for it.
For starters, going out into the timber means that you will have a better likelihood of finding elk footsteps. Being able to track their footprints means a much easier time finding out where they are. Not only that, but elk also tend to leave a trail, making them all the easier to find.
Next, it’s time to select the calling area. Just be careful about choosing the wrong area. Generally, downhill is the preferred choice, but it is all about finding a zone that is comfortable and easy to move through. Basically, it is about going under the radar of the elk so that you can follow them and line your shot up properly.
If you can, going elk hunting with a partner is always preferred. Your partner can provide a distraction or even call the elk. When the elk is distracted, it makes them much more susceptible to your shot, usually from an elevated area.
Make sure that you line your shot up so that the elk does not get away. Most people hunt on their own, this is why decoys are a popular option. There is the added benefit of not having to worry about hitting someone with a shot.
Just be selective when you aim your shot. If you either miss your shot or misplace it, the elk could get away and leave you to start all over again. When you have quality equipment (which we will cover below), even hunting a monster can be attainable.
While you are moving around, be aware of your noise levels. When there are more people involved, there is generally less patience to go around. When animals run away, it is largely because they are able to sense hunters in the area.
A partner is fine but anything above that is running the risk of not having an eventful hunt. Decoys are preferable for this reason: you can count on them to not make any noise while you are setting up your shot.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that elk hunting requires patience. They will run away at the first sign of noise, so finding a quality spot and using either a partner or decoys to draw them out into the open works best.
Make sure that you line your shot up before pulling the trigger. One miss can mean that they get away, leaving you to start the process of setting up the hunt again.
The Best Crossbows for Hunting Elk
As is the case with any other kind of hunting, you have to have comfort in your weapon. When you have a crossbow, it has to be lightweight, comfortable to hold, and help you get the accurate shot that you need to bag an elk.
There are a plethora of quality options out there. Let’s go over some of the best offerings on the market today.
BearX Intense Ready to Shoot
What makes the BearX Intense Ready to Shoot such an optimal crossbow is that it is great for beginners. Anyone, even those just starting out in their hunting endeavor, can find this to be a good fit for their needs. Not only is it easy to use, but it offers a comprehensive guide for assembly and even a step-by-step guide on how to use the crossbow.
It is easy on the hands, especially over the course of a longer hunt. It also delivers a substantial 405 feet per second, ensuring that it is perfect for not only small game but large game such as elk and bear. It comes fitted with a fore-end grip that is adjustable as well as a flexible rear stock to ensure a successful kill.
It also prevents dry firing thanks to the built-in anti-dry firing system. The dual-mount string recoil suppressor system means less vibration and noise while hunting. That means staying quieter and not alerting elk to your presence.
Bear Archery Cruzer G2
It is perfect for hunting elk and creating memorable hunting experiences.
This is a compound bow as it can be used for big game hunting while offering any hunter vigor, insight, and higher action speeds. It is a great bow for hunters of all experience levels thanks to the easy-to-use functionality.
The Bear Archery Cruzer G2 compound bow has a closing speed of 315 feet per second, making it more than capable of taking down larger targets such as elk. It also has more adjustable features than most of the others on the market, such as being able to set the draw length anywhere from 12 inches up to 30 inches. The draw weight is also adjustable, going from 50 to 70 pounds comfortably with an Allen wrench.
There is a versatility cam system, making it easier for draw cycle and letdown while the EnduraFiber limbs make for far easier control. The string suppressor means less vibration and noise while you hunt for a quieter experience. The advanced grip means more comfort and better gripping while offering superior maneuverability.
If that weren’t enough, it comes with a ready-to-use package that comes with a half dozen Trophy Ridge accessories. That includes things such as a four-pin sight, a stabilizer and sling, a five-arrow quiver, and a nock loop.
CenterPoint Archery CP400
Though names such as BearX and Bear Archery tend to be the most well-known in the crossbow industry, the Crosman Corporation shouldn’t be overlooked. They deliver quality, innovation, high performance, and aesthetic beauty into their crossbows.
Their offerings, including the CenterPoint Archery CP400
are highly efficient and super functional making for a better overall hunting performance. This is a crossbow that makes crossbow hunting not only fun, but challenging as well.
Let’s start by talking about the functionality of this crossbow. With its patented HeliCoil technology, there is a custom-designed riser that gives hunters an edge and the best possible hunting experience while out in the field.
The 400 feet per second delivers top-end power, ensuring that you can tackle game of all sizes from the smallest up to elk and bear. It is able to deliver such power thanks to the narrow axle-to-axle width (just six inches when fully drawn), which makes for a deadly overall impact.
What makes this crossbow stand out so thoroughly from the rest of the market is its light weight. It weighs almost nothing, which makes it perfect and easy to carry around, especially on longer hunting expeditions.
It also comes with an anti-dry firing feature to prevent dry firing. There is also an auto-safety feature that ensures your safety whenever you are not actively using the crossbow. There are far too many accidents that happen in the field and having built-in functionality to prevent those issues is crucial.
This crossbow also comes with a rope chopper, illuminated scope, dual-purpose folding stirrup/bipod, a quick-detach quiver, and 20-inch carbon arrows. Not only that, but it also features a CNC-machined cam system as well as an adjustable stock. That’s not even mentioning the cam design coated on the body, making it perfect for blending.
BearX Constrictor CDX
BearX appears again because it is one of the best manufacturers of hunting equipment on the market today. Any experienced hunter out there knows that BearX is right at the top of the list for their crossbows and accessories. They deliver flexibility of usage and a quality overall design.
The BearX Contrictor is no different. In terms of the best crossbows on the market, this one is a strong contender for number one. It is perfect for both experienced and beginner crossbow hunters. This is because it is very easy to use while also offering comprehensive manuals for assembly as well as on how to use the crossbow.
It is also one of the most versatile crossbows out there. It comes ready with speed and shooting capability like no other. The 410 feet per second is one of the highest on the market, delivering substantial power behind every shot. It is absolutely perfect whether hunting small game or something much larger such as elk or bear.
It is able to deliver a more successful kill thanks to the dual-mount string recoil suppressor system. Reduced vibration and noise means less of a chance of alerting your target before you are able to get the shot off.
The BearX Constrictor CDX also has built-in safety features. The anti-dry firing mechanism is perfect to curb dry firing, making it safe to use even among the most inexperienced bow hunters out there.
What’s really cool about this BearX model is that it can fit in just about any pack or setup. It is 10 inches wide when cocked and just 14 inches when uncocked. It also comes with a plethora of accessories such as BearX TrueX bolts, four-arrow quivers, string wax and rail lube to provide more comfortable shooting, a cocking rope, and an illuminated rope.
There is nothing that doesn’t come with the BearX Constrictor CDX. You can have the perfect, ready-to-go crossbow for your next hunting endeavor.
Excalibur Crossbows Micro MAG 340
Much in the same way that BearX has a sterling reputation among hunters, Excalibur is one of those long-standing names that has offered reasonable pricing and a superior quality in its products for a long time.
Let’s take a closer look at the Excalibur Crossbow Micro MAG 340. Simply put, it is one of the best overall crossbows on the market for a variety of reasons, perfect for elk hunters of all experience levels and ages.
It has a ton of features that makes hunting not only more fruitful and productive, but more memorable as well. It is one of the most efficient crossbows on the market thanks to a plethora of built-in features that make the hunt simpler.
It starts with superior efficiency. This compound hunting crossbow offers a combination of light weight and speed in addition to more than ample power. It weighs just 5.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the market.
Not only that, the Excalibur Crossbow Micro MAG 340 offers a huge 340 feet per second that delivers a draw weight of around 270 pounds. Despite it being so lightweight, it is still more than capable of taking on game of all sizes from turkey to elk and everything in between.
The draw length adjusts from 13 inches and the bow itself can adjust from 22 inches when cocked all the way to 25 inches wide when it is uncocked. Though it is a fairly compact crossbow, it delivers more than enough power to get the job done.
What makes it so great is its versatility. It can work for anyone, young to old, and every skill level from beginner to expert and everything in between. Even better, it comes with an anti-dry firing mechanism to ensure proper safety.
If that weren’t enough, it comes with a TACT 100 scope, suppressors for limiting vibration and sound, a three field points rope, four-arrow quiver, three-quill arrows, and a one-inch scope ring for the complete package.
The Last Word on Elk Hunting Crossbows
When it comes to hunting elk, there are two crucial factors: silence and a weapon that can get the job done. As shown above, there are more than a few crossbows available on the market today that fit the bill.
The good ones offer noise suppression to help assist in staying hidden from the elk. Remember that if they know a hunter is there, they will more often than not flee. Keeping noise to a minimum is imperative.
The best crossbows also deliver superior power, offering in the range of 400 feet per second or more. The majority come with accuracy assistance so that you can provide a cleaner, better shot when you finally get lined up.
Then there are the accessories. Most crossbows on the market come with a plethora of included accessories. This includes scopes, quivers, arrows, scope rings, ropes, and so much more. It is perfect for even amateur hunters because you don’t need to get much more than what is included in the kits.
Being a quality elk hunter takes patience, quiet, and a great crossbow. By buying one of the crossbows on the list above, you can cross at least one of those items off the list. It may take time to work on being stealthy and properly tracking the elk, but you won’t miss many shots with one of these crossbows.