How To Select The Best Crossbow For Hunting Whitetail

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					The world of hunting, more specifically whitetail hunting, is experiencing a trend in
the decline of numbers of people heading out into the fields all across the United
States. This is one of the main reasons why it is important to introduce the younger
generation to this sport.
  There is a group within the whitetail hunting ranks however which are experiencing
a growth spurt in every corner of the country. The incorporation of crossbows into the
archery season is allowing for older hunters to remain in the fields longer. Despite this
fact, crossbow hunters are growing in all age groups and genders.
  If you are considering the purchase of a new crossbow for hunting whitetails and
joining these ever growing numbers, your first order of business is purchasing the best
crossbow for your style of hunting. The optimum way to do this is to head out to a
large sporting goods store. Examine and touch every single crossbow which you lay
eyes on. Take your time and narrow your choices down to your top three or four
picks.
  Find a salesperson who can answer all of your questions about the different
characteristics that you consider to be paramount in making your decision. If the store
you are at offers the option of a shooting range; take advantage of it. Put several bolts
through the crossbow; get a true feel for how each and everyone one of your final
choices handles.
  Your next order of business is to take some time and do research on the internet.
Visit various crossbow forums. You will find that there are avid crossbow hunters who
are more than willing to share their opinions and experiences with you about
crossbows in general as well as the specific one you may be considering. Ask the
questions which are most important to you; get the honest answers; make the best
decision. Two of these forums can be found at the following web addresses:
www.huntingnet.com/forum/crossbows-76 and www.bowhunting.com. However, no
matter how much information you obtain before your purchase; once you settle on the
right one for you, read the owner's manual completely.
  Another consideration when deciding to purchase and use a crossbow is the fact that
crossbows have a significantly higher draw weight than vertical bows. For a hunter
who has a disability, cocking a crossbow could be impossible. If this is the case there
are tools available to help. You could use a cocking rope which can reduce the draw
weight by up to 50 percent. You could also use a crank- cocking device. This attaches
to your crossbow and operates much like a winch. The need for a high draw weight is
essential because a crossbow has a shorter power stroke than a compound bow. The
power stroke is the distance that the bowstring travels to push the arrow toward the
target. Because of this shorter power stroke, the kinetic energy built up in the limbs is
much less versus the buildup in vertical bows. Due to this fact, even with the higher
draw weight, the arrow leaving the crossbow will always drop off faster than an arrow
leaving a vertical compound bow.
  Another difference is the fact that the arrow used with a crossbow needs to be much
heavier. Most crossbow arrows are 400+ grains. This is necessary for the arrow to
withstand the initial energy transfer. Be sure that you follow the manufacturers
instructions to the letter. If you don't, you risk injury to yourself and damage to your
crossbow. Also, most manufacturers do not recommend taking a shot at a target which
is over 40 yards away. This is due to the rapid loss of arrow speed and the fact that the
higher draw weight makes the crossbow considerably louder than its vertical
compound bow counterparts. Keeping your shots within 40 yards also helps to
prevent a buck from "jumping your string."
  Finally, it should be noted that most crossbows are heavier overall than vertical bows.
Though manufacturers are continually working to lighten the overall weight, currently
this is not the case. So, there are a number of items on the market which are
constructed specifically to help the hunter steady the crossbow when preparing for a
shot. There is the "KneePod." It is lightweight and easy to use and you can get more
information about it at www.crossbow.com/products/39. Another item is "Steddy
Eddy." This helps the crossbow hunter just like shooting sticks help the rifle hunter.
You              can            get            more            information             at
www.cabelas.com/fryprod-0/product--Steddy-Eddy--745225.uts.shtml.
  Maintenance and safety concerns are mostly the same as you have with vertical
compound bows. The only additional safety concern with crossbows is making sure
that your fingers remain below the barrel. Failing to do so will mean the loss of your
fingertips. For more safety information you can check out the National Bowhunter
Education Foundation website at www.horizontal-bowhunter.com.
  Crossbow hunting whitetail deer can be a challenging experience. Choosing the right
crossbow for you will also make this experience a fun one.

				
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posted:2/22/2011
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