Crossbow hunting is now permitted for most hunters in most states, although the regulations vary. Once reserved for disabled hunters, crossbow hunting is a great addition and provides an opportunity for children to learn and seasoned hunters to have more choices. States such as New York and Wisconsin have recently changed their regulations to allow the general hunting population to use crossbows, which makes Wisconsin hunting more available to children in particular.
Advantages of Hunting with a Crossbow
One of the primary advantages of using a crossbow is that once it is cocked, keeping it at full draw requires no effort at all from the hunter. The hunter has to focus on one thing, which is aiming and squeezing the trigger. This makes it a great device for children to learn on because they can focus on their accuracy and aim.
Another advantage of using a crossbow is that they are aimed similar to a rifle and hunters can shoot from sitting or kneeling positions, as well as using a rest. This helps with accuracy and control. Crossbows make use of a sight and they have a heavy draw weight. They can shoot further distances than regular bows. That said, they are usually short-range weapons.
Disadvantages of Hunting with a Crossbow
When you look at hunting with a compound bow versus hunting with a crossbow, the biggest disadvantage is that the crossbows are bigger and heavier. The fact that you can use a rest is an advantage but you may actually need to use a rest depending on the size and weight of your crossbow.
Another disadvantage is that crossbows are slower to reload because they have heavy draw weights. This makes a follow-up shot more difficult. They can be noisier as well so you need accuracy. As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages so it is always good to know the limitations.
Cocking Your Crossbow
You always cock the crossbow before you load an arrow. The arrow is loaded after cocking and before you are ready to shoot. You will pull the string back to cock the crossbow with even pressure on both sides of the barrel. This is critical or your arrow’s path will shift when you shoot it.
You can cock by hand and this is the fastest way to cock your crossbow. However, it is also the most difficult. You will benefit from having a cocking rope because it is simple and lightweight, and it will help to ensure that you are drawing the cock back evenly. You can also try a crank-operated cocking aid but they can be noisy and expensive. In spite of that, they are the easiest mechanism for cocking your crossbow.
When Should You Cock the Crossbow?
The absolute safest place to cock your crossbow is on the ground before you climb up into a treestand. In fact, you can cock your crossbow in the truck or at home as long as you don’t load it. There is limited space in the treestand and you need to have a lot of pressure in the stirrup when you cock the bow. If you were to skip while applying that pressure, it could be disastrous.
So what happens if you take a shot? Do you need to climb down before recocking the crossbow? In a perfect world, you won’t have this situation occur. You should do everything you can to make sure that your first shot is the best shot. However, if your first shot doesn’t work out, you should relax, climb down from the stand, and cock your crossbow on the ground. It simply isn’t safe to cock it in the treestand.
What Is the Safest Way to Get a Crossbow Into the Treestand?
When you are in Wisconsin hunting, or anywhere else for that matter, the safest way to get your crossbow up into the treestand is by using a draw line. You need to make sure that the safety is on; in fact, it should always be on until you are planning to take a shot. You can use the draw line to lift the bow into the treestand. Make sure that you clear any tree branches that might be in the way. Your crossbow should have a simple ascent up into the treestand.
Loading and Shooting Your Crossbow
The first thing that you will do is place your arrow in the barrel. The channel is there so it is easy to do and you need to make sure that the arrow is secured securely. Now you are ready to wait for a target. Once you see the target, you will first make sure that there is nothing in the way of your shot. You need an unobstructed path to the target. You also need to make sure that you do not let your thumb or any finger go over the forearm of the bow. When your target is in range with an unobstructed path, you can pull the trigger.