If you are looking for the best crossbow for deer hunting, or target shooting and other sports, then you are in the right place. Here you will get the unbiased reviews and realistic opinion only of the top-rated and best-selling crossbows of today’s market.
Well, hunting with a rifle is nice, and all, but is it as fun as hunting with a crossbow or compound bow?
I am guessing NO.
After all, there is a reason why crossbows? Which first made appeared in the 15th century, have been around for this long.
Now I am not saying that crossbows are perfect, NO, what I am saying is that when done right, crossbow hunting can be the most exhilarating experience.
The first step towards a thrilling and successful crossbow hunt is choosing the right crossbow. And given the many options available, selecting the quality crossbow is easier said than done.
Fortunately, helping you find the right crossbow for you is why people like me exist. So, if you are considering buying a crossbow read on to find my list of the best crossbows for hunting.
Now, let me introduce my top 6 personal favorite crossbow pick.
My Top 6 Best Crossbows For Deer Hunting
Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II
CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package
BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow in Mossy Oak Bottomland
Barnett HyperGhost 405 Crossbow
Barnett Whitetail Pro STR
After testing 30+ different crossbows, I have come up with a list of total 13 of the best crossbows for the money to buy for hunting, target shooting or other archery sports.
If you are in a tight budget and want to get a crossbow that is best on its price point, then I recommend you check the below 13 high-end crossbows, these are categorized for every possible price point from under 200 to under 1000 dollars.
Also, below are some of the things to consider before splashing the cash on a crossbow. So it is advisable to read on what to consider before getting a crossbow for the money.
How To Buy The Best Crossbow For Hunting
Unlike their ancient medieval and Chinese counterparts, modern crossbows are designed primarily for hunting, not for war. Thus, they have more to offer in regards to hunting. But before settling on a crossbow for deer hunting, there are certain things to consider. If you want to buy the high performing quality crossbow for the money, then you need to follow those factors.
Pro Tips: If you are a serious crossbow hunter and want to keep your deer in your hunting area, then I would recommend you invest in the best deer feeder in the market. It will help you to score more and give you great excitement in crossbow hunting.
Recurve or Compound Crossbows
Crossbows are be categorized into recurve and compound crossbows. Recurve crossbows are the older of the two and feature more basic and simplistic design. These types of crossbows are characterized by limbs or tips that face away from the shooter.
Compound crossbows are more advanced and feature shorter limbs with strings attached to pulleys. Additionally, compound crossbows have cam systems for easy draw.
Recurve crossbows are easy to maintain, and they are also cheaper to buy. Therefore, they are ideal for first-time users.
Compound crossbows, on the other hand, possess more energy due to their cam systems. Thus do not require increased draw weight. Also, thanks to their short limbs, compound crossbows are easy to maneuver.
If you are going deer hunting with a crossbow, I recommend a quality crossbow. Also, It is necessary to learn the shot placement of the deer, if you want to score.
The general misconception is that higher speed is always better. However, this is not always true. A typical deer hunting crossbow offers speeds of between 260 FPS and 400 FPS.
If you want to get the best out of a crossbow, then I recommend going for one with a speed of 250-300 FPS. Bows with high speeds tend to be noisy due to the vibrations emitted by the shot.
Furthermore, faster speeds increase the chances of wear and tear. Proper arrow and broadhead, especially mechanical broadhead tuning, can be challenging with faster crossbows.
That being said; do not be tempted to go for faster arrows simply because manufacturers say that faster arrows are better.
Recommended Crossbow Fps For Deer Hunting
Choose your crossbow to shoot your hunting arrow with an intial velocity of minimum 250 to 300 FPS (Feet Per Second). By producing that speed arrow will get enough kinetic energy to kill any big game animal cleanly also, eliminates the long range arrow trajectory problem.
Choosing a crossbow based on weight is never easy. This is because; heavy crossbows offer more stability, while lighter crossbows offer improved maneuverability.
Thus, if you are strong enough to carry a heavy crossbow and do not move a lot when hunting, a heavier bow will do.
However, if you move a lot or are not strong enough, then a lighter bow will be ideal.
The average draw weight of a good deer hunting crossbow ranges from 75 pounds to 125 pounds. However, some crossbows offer draw weights of up to 200 pounds.
While more draw is better, it is important to note that some states do not allow bows with draw weights of above 175 pounds. Others, such as Ohio, allow bows with a draw weight of up to 200 pounds.
The best deer hunting crossbow will have some additional features, which form part of your crossbow hunting gear.
- Cocking aids are used to make cocking of crossbows easier. There are two types, a rope cocking device, and a crank cocking device. For hunting, I recommend rope cocking devices
- Apart from cocking aids, a top class crossbow for deer hunting comes with a good scope.
- Noise dampening devices that reduce a crossbow’s noise levels can also improve a crossbow’s performance.
Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting Reviews 2020
Compound crossbows are not cheap. However, when you are on a budget, you can still get your hands on a quality crossbow without compromising on quality. Having experimented with several budget crossbows, I believe that the CenterPoint Sniper 370-Crossbow package and Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow are the best budget crossbow for deer hunting
CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow Package
This might come as a surprise to some, but Crossman is the brand behind the CenterPoint Sniper 370-Crossbow. Which begs the question, is Crossman as good in making crossbows as it is in making BB guns?
This is the question I sought to answer when I bought this crossbow.
Weighing 7.9 pounds, this crossbow is not the lightest out there. Furthermore, when uncocked, it measures 21.6 inches wide and 18 inches when cocked. Thus, it is also not the smallest crossbow.
Nevertheless, I was pleased with the fact that it comes with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry. I was impressed with the performance of this crossbow with its firing speed of 370 FPS.
To put this into perspective, the firing velocity of this bow equates to 128 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, which is more than enough to take down a grizzly.
Being such a powerful bow, I was not surprised at its draw weight of 185 pounds. Moreover, I was not surprised at how difficult it can be to cock this bow.
Fortunately, Crossman throws in a rope cocking device into the package. Apart from the last device, the package also came with three 20 inch bolts, a multi-reticle, and illuminated scope.
- This is one of the most powerful bows I have ever used
- Comes with a fully adjustable stock and forearm
- There is an illuminated scope attached to it
- Comes with a rope cocking device
- It is relatively heavier compared to other crossbows.
- 185 draw weight
- 4X32 illuminated scope
- 370 FPS velocity
- Four arrow quiver
- Three 20 inch carbon bolts
- Aluminum rail
- CNC machined cam system
- Quad limbs
From this CenterPoint sniper 370 review, it is apparent that the bow is powerful enough to take down some of the largest game that inhabits the North American forests. Therefore, this bow is perfect for crossbow deer hunting.
Best Deer Hunting Crossbow For The Money
If you want to have the top quality deer hunting crossbow for the money, then no doubt Barnett 78128 is good to go.
Best Crossbow Under 400 : Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II
If you are looking for the best deer hunting crossbow for the money, then grab it without a second thought. Affordability and efficiency are the two things that Barnett considers most when making crossbows. And it is for this reason that most of the company’s crossbows offer the perfect balance between quality and price. Speaking of the perfect balance between quality and price, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II is one bow that exemplifies this.
Priced at less than $400, this lightweight bow can shoot arrows at speeds of up to 350 FPS. And while its 103 ft-lb of kinetic energy is not as impressive as that of the Ravin, it is still something. What I loved about this bow is its compact design. Weighing 6.4 pounds and measuring 34.25 inches long, it is one of the most compact bows out there.
- It is a lightweight crossbow
- It is offered at an affordable price tag
- Comes with a wax lube included for waxing the bow after every 10 shots to prevent damage
- Comes with a 4x32 scope mounted
- It is compatible with crank cocking devices
- Does not come with a cocking device included
- It is a bit noisy due to the lack of a dampening system
- Soft-lok bristle arrow retainer
- 150-pound draw weight
- 6.4-pound weight
- Metal injected molded trigger
- TriggerTech frictionless release technology
- 4x32 scope included
Its affordable price tag and impressive performance make it the ideal choice for hunters looking for an inexpensive crossbow for everyday hunting. Besides, its compact and lightweight design will appeal to hunters who are always on the move. In essence, it is a quality piece of hardware that will be a great addition to your hunting arsenal. Surely this crossbow is one of the top-rated crossbows for the money category and it can be titled as the best crossbow under 400 dollars pick!
If accuracy is what you are looking for under 1000 price tag, then don’t miss this recommendation. One of the most accurate yet powerful and fastest crossbow under 1000 bucks is the Barnett TS390 crossbow package.
Best Crossbow under 1000 Dollars: Barnett HyperGhost 405 Crossbow
The Barnett HyperGhost 405 Crossbow is one of Barnett’s accurate and powerful crossbows and for good reasons. Similar to all the other bows on this list, this Barnett is pretty solid on its performance.
It can dish out up to 138 ft pounds of kinetic energy thanks to its 405 FPS of firing velocity. With a draw weight of 185 pounds, this is a bow that requires a rope cocking device to cock.
Also added in this package is a Premium 1.5 x 5 x 32 mm Illuminated Scope that greatly improves the accuracy of this bow.
For Safety reason, when you cock the crossbow, it goes straight into the safe mode, and then you have to put it to fire. Another thing is it’s ambidextrous, and anyone can use it with both hands left or right.
- Comes with an insert where you can install a hand-crack cocking device
- The bow comes with Premium 1.5 x 5 x 32 mm Illuminated Scope
- It comes with a side-mount quiver.
- Quick detach quiver
- 405 FPS firing velocity
- 7.7-pound weight
- 185 draw weight
This crossbow has all that a hunter needs. In this regard, this crossbow is best for deer hunting. Also, it makes a good bow for target practice. If you are looking for accuracy and not to spend arms and leg, then get this recommended crossbow under 1000 dollars.
If you are a beginner and want to get a crossbow under a limited budget lets, say at 300 dollars or less than 300, then I will recommend you choose Barnett jackal This one is a great crossbows under 300 dollar price point, and you will not regret having this in this price range. Check these selections If you need crossbow under 500 and 550 dollars.
Best Cheap Crossbow For Deer Hunting
If you are new to crossbows, an inexpensive and easy to use crossbow will be what you are looking for. Many cheap crossbows will serve your needs as a beginner; however, none will offer a better price and power combo than the Barnett Jackal Crossbow. For that good reason, this Barnett jackal gets the trophy of best beginner crossbow for deer hunting or can title it as the best cheap crossbow for deer hunting with quality in the market.
Best Crossbow Under 300 Dollars: Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
One of my hunting buddies is what you would call a crossbow fanatic. He owns quite a big selection of crossbows, and I recently got to try out his Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package, and this is my Barnett Jackal crossbow review.
I found the Barnett to be easier to cock than my CenterPoint. I did not require a rope device to cock this crossbow as my hands were sufficient.
Nevertheless, much to my surprise, the Barnett Jackal is a powerful crossbow. It is capable of firing 20-inch bolts at a velocity of 315 FPS. With its firing velocity, Barnett has a draw weight of 150 pounds. I fired at tin can targets from about 60 yards, and I was more than impressed with the trigger pull.
Of worth noting is that this is not the quietest bow; in fact, it is rather loud. However, this is to be expected from a bow of its caliber.
Three 20 inch arrowsDetachable Quiver3.5-pound trigger pull150-pound draw weight315 FPS firing velocityRed Dot Sight It is affordable considering how powerful it isOffers enough power to take down almost every legal game in the countryFeatures automated safety that prevents misfiringThe military-like stock looks cool and is very comfortable The package is without a rope cocking device
Based on my analysis and some of the Barnett crossbow reviews I read online before using this bow, I feel that it is the perfect bow for a beginner. It is powerful enough to be used for target practice as well as hunting. Although you can cock it with your hands, I recommend getting a rope cocking mechanism. For these above good reasons, this crossbow is the best cheap crossbow with quality for deer hunting.
Best Professional Crossbow For Hunting: For Big Game
Hunting big game requires you to equip yourself with a powerful crossbow that can take them down. If you want a crossbow that is good enough for hunting big game, there is only one crossbow you need, the Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow package.
Ravin R10 Crossbow Package
Ok, the Ravin R10 Crossbow Package might not be the cheapest crossbow out there, but boy does it look good. An improved version of the R9, this stunningly beautiful crossbow is also one of the lightest and most compact I have ever used. It measures 33 inches long and weighs 6.8 pounds.
And it gets better, this crossbow packs quite the punch and will have you sending arrows at speeds of up to 400 FPS. Pair that with 142 ft-lb of kinetic energy at the point of impact, and you have a mighty bow in your hands. What I loved about this bow was how the cables coil away from the top and bottom of the R10’s cams, which kept the latter well balanced.
12 pounds draw forceBuilt-in Vers-draw cocking mechanismTrac-trigger firing system6.8-pound weight142 ft-lb kinetic energy400 FPS Has a compact design for close quarter firingOffers accuracy and consistency thanks to its frictionless flight systemComes with an illuminated scope attachedIt is a lightweight crossbowComes with an automatic safety with anti-dry fire It is a pricey crossbow but worth every penny.
Due to its compact and lightweight design, this Ravic crossbow is best suited for on the go hunting. Additionally, it will appeal to hunters who hunt in tight quarters, for example, in areas with thick brush and vegetation. And while it is quite expensive, it is more than worth its hefty price tag, thanks to all its features.
Most Powerful Crossbow
There exists a class of crossbows whose power puts them out of the reach of most hunters. Nevertheless, if you are serious about your hunting, then you will need a bow with the power to match your needs. Though it is one of the priciest on the market, the Ravin R29 Predator 29-Inch Crossbow is worth the purchase if you are looking for the most powerful crossbow on this date.
Ravin R29 Predator Crossbow
The Ravin R29 Predator 29-Inch Crossbow is one of the most powerful crossbows for hunting and shooting I have ever used. This bow has everything a hunter would need.
For starters, it has a firing speed of 430 FPS, which is pretty impressive, And it has the most FPS on this review list. It delivers the 164-foot pounds of kinetic energy, which will blow your hunting scenario.
Additionally, this crossbow is compact and measures 29 inches in length and 6.75 weights.
Speaking of cocked, with a Built-In Versa-Draw Cocking Mechanism working with the tracked trigger firing system. This cocking mechanism allows you to easily cock and uncock the R29 crossbow
This crossbow features a Predator Dusk Camo color that means it is not conspicuous in the forest.
Weighing 6.75 pounds, it is lightweight and compactIt has a 100 yds Illuminated Scope; Built-in Sling MountsIs a powerful bow capable of firing arrows at 430 FPSHas a camo color It is quite pricey for a bow with its features.
It might not be the cheapest crossbow on the market, but it is one of the best crossbows for hunting and shooting. Due to its power, I recommend this bow to anyone looking to make a switch from rifles. In essence, this bow is probably the closest a crossbow has come to be a rifle.
Best Deer Hunting Crossbow For Women
Compound crossbows are heavy and are difficult to cock, which can be problematic for small-framed persons and women. Fortunately, there exist some crossbows designed explicitly for women and small-framed persons. One such crossbow is the Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow.
Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Package
Another Barnett crossbow that is worth reviewing is the Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow. Specially Designed for small-framed shooters, this crossbow delivers 85 pounds of kinetic energy, which equals to a draw weight of 130 pounds. Needless to say, it is not as powerful as other Barnett crossbows.
However, it still packs a punch thanks to its 300 FPS firing velocity. Thanks to its draw weight, this Barnett bow can easily be cocked without the aid of a cocking device.
Attached to this bow is a red dot sight that has a premium feel to it.
The pistol grip of this crossbow feels ergonomic, while the adjustable buttstock makes it easy to use regardless of your height. Included in this package are three 20 inch carbon arrows.
Three 20 inch arrowsAdjustable buttstockRed dot sight attached130-pound draw weightQuiverRope cocking device It is well-sized for women and persons of a small statureComes with a rope cocking mechanismCan be cocked without the aid of a rope cocking deviceDelivers enough velocity to take down most big game Some users have complained about the quality of the bow’s strings.
The Barnet Recruit Compound bow weighs 6 pounds. That being said, this is a crossbow I would recommend to women. The Barnett Recruit crossbow review reveals that this Compound bow is designed for people with a small stature.
Best Go To Crossbow For Deer Hunting
Sometimes, power is all you need to take down a whitetail deer. In this regard, a powerful yet maneuverable crossbow will come in handy. One of the most powerful crossbows is the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow
This bow features limbs made from a composite laminate that protect it from the harsh weather during winter.
Also, similar to all other Barnett crossbows, this bow comes with a 7/8 inch Picatinny rail.
Being one of the top crossbows for deer hunting, the bow weighs only 6.2 pounds, meaning it is easy to carry. Additionally, with a width of 18.2 inches, it is compact enough for use in the wild outdoors.
The firing velocity stands at 340 FPS while the draw weight is 160 pounds. Needless to say, this is not the kind of bow you will want to cock with your hands.
The 340 FPS firing velocity produces a ferocious 103 pounds of kinetic energy.
A 4X32 scope is attached to the bow, while three 20 inches arrow come inside the bow’s quiver.
- This bow is designed for deer hunting
- It is extremely light for easy hauling through the woods
- It is highly maneuverable thanks to its short width and length
- Comes with a premium 4X32 scope attached
- Some people have complained of the anti-dry safety feature malfunctioning
- 7/8 inch Picatinny rail
- Composite laminated limbs
- 340 FPS firing velocity
- 160-pound draw weight
- Pass through fore grip
- Finger reminders
- Composite stock
If you are looking for a bow to go crossbow deer hunting, then the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow is the bow for you. This crossbow has everything deer hunting would need to take down whitetail deer.
Top Crossbow For Small Game & Target Practice
When all you want is to hunt small game or to practice, you will want a crossbow that is light and is not overly powerful. There are several crossbows that you can choose, one of which is the Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood crossbow package.
Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow Package
I got to try out the Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood crossbow, and I have to say I was genuinely impressed as my Barnett Brotherhood crossbow review will reveal.
At the heart of this bow, brilliance is its firing velocity.
This Barnett fires arrows at 350 FPS, which is enough to penetrate through an engine block if not pierce a deer’s skin.
I cannot say that I was pleased with its 21-inch width, but given it uses a CROSSWIRE string and cable system, it is quite easy to cock by hand.
Also, it is compatible with crank cocking devices.
The trigger has a pull weight of 3.5 pounds, meaning it is smooth. Attached to the crossbow is a 4X32 multi-reticle scope.
160-pound draw weight350 FPS velocityHigh-energy cam systemADF triggerThree 20 inch Headhunter arrows4X32 multi-reticle scope Can be cocked by hand thanks to its string and cable systemIt is lightweightThis bow is powerful enough to take down most legal gameComes with a good quality 3X42 scope This bow is loud, and you will have to invest in sound suppressors.
Given that it is a loud shooter be careful when taking it out to hunt. If you lack suppressors, I recommend using it for target practice. On the other hand, if you do get sound suppressors, this bow can be the best for hunting deer.
Here barnet whitetail hunter crossbow is Ideal for target practice, and you can use the best archery target for perfecting your archery skill and hunting from a fixed position.
There are many crossbows that you can use on your next crossbow deer hunt. However, not all will give you the desired results. In essence, you will have to get the best crossbow for deer hunting to satisfy your needs. Fortunately, for you all the crossbows reviewed above make great deer hunting crossbows. It is my hope that these reviews and the crossbow hunting tips above have been of great help to you.