If you are looking for the best crossbow for deer hunting or for big game then you are in the right place. Read On!
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 a right crossbow. And given the many options available selecting the best crossbow for deer hunting 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.
After testing 30+ different crossbows we have come up with a list of 13 of the best crossbows to buy for hunting. Out of 13 let me introduce My Top 5 personal favorite pick.
Top 5 Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting & Big Game Pick
- BARNETT 78128 WHITETAIL HUNTER II
- CENTERPOINT TORMENTOR WHISPER AXCTW185CK
- BARNETT TS390 CROSSBOW
- BARNETT WHITETAIL PRO STR
- RAVIN R10
Though Choosing out of 13 will not be a wrong decision. In addition below we have crafted a comparison table of how these 13 crossbows compare. Also, below are some of the things to consider before splashing cash on a crossbow.
Now you know which are my favorite 5 crossbows. Below you will find other 9 quality crossbows for hunting which are also great to pick. Read On!
Comparison Of 13 Best Crossbows For Hunting
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Draw Wight (lbs)
(Feet Per Second)
Ravin R29 Predator 29-Inch Crossbow
NOTE : It's one of the best crossbow for hunting with all the advanced features but the price point is high.
CenterPoint Sniper 370
Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II
CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper AXCTW185CK
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package
Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow
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
How To Buy Best Crossbow For Deer 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 best crossbow for the money, then you need to follow those factors.
Pro Tips: If you are looking for a top rated deer feeder for your big game then check out these selections of the best deer feeder.
Best Budget Crossbow For Deer Hunting
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 is the best budget bow and Barnett 78128 Whitetail Hunter II 350 FPS Crossbow is one of the best crossbow for the money.
Best Crossbow For The Money
If you want to have the best crossbow for the money then no doubt barnett 78128 is the good to go...
Best Crossbow Under 1000
If accuracy is what you are looking for under 1000 price tag, then this don't miss this recommendation. One of the most accurate yet best crossbow under 1000 bucks is the Barnett TS390 crossbow package.
Best Crossbow Under 500 dollars
Truth be told, crossbows are more fun and less strenuous than compound bows. But, are also more expensive with some costing upwards of $1000. Nonetheless, there is no need for you to spend thousands of dollars on a crossbow.
For less than $500 there are some pretty decent crossbows out there. Finding the best crossbow under 500 isn’t easy though. There are literally hundreds of crossbow options to choose from and not all of them are worth your money.
In this section we will be looking at the best crossbow under $500. That is the crossbows that will give you the most bang for your buck. We have scoured the internet and engaged with hunters and archers to come up with a list of over twenty crossbows.
And while we could have easily reviewed all twenty plus crossbows we decided to narrow the list down to four. That being said, here are out top four picks of the best crossbow package under 500.
These five have been selected based on performance, accuracy and ease of use. In a nutshell, they can be used by both pros and beginners.
Barnett Whitetail Pro STR Crossbow
- 400FPS shooting speed
- 4x32 illuminated scope included
- 165lbs draw weight
Barnett’s STR platform was previously reserved for the company’s high-performance premium crossbows. So you can bet I was eager to try out the affordable Whitetail Pro STR crossbow. The STR platform is designed to shift weight from the riser to the stock for improved stability.
My first impression of the Whitetail Pro STR was of the bow’s construction. As with any other Barnett product, this bow looks very well made. It’s also easy on the eyes thanks to its dark Tru Bark camo.
The axle to axle width of the bow when cocked was slightly less than 18 inches. Not as impressive as that of the Centerpoint but it is still ideal for shooting in tight spots. As for the draw weight, it is a manageable 165 pounds.
Included with the crossbow is Barnett’s crank cocking device. This adds up to make this crossbow ideal for all types of shooters and hunters.
The shooting speed
Where this crossbow really excels is in the shooting department. This baby pumps out some serious kinetic energy capable of taking down most big game animals. As for the speed, it sends arrows flying at a sizzling 400 feet per second.
At this price range, you will be hard pressed to find another crossbow that can match the power and speed of the Whitetail STR. When it comes to power and speed, this is the great crossbow under 500 dollars.
Overall package performance
For hunting this crossbow is amazing. Thanks to the cocking mechanism, even a ten-year-old can cock it. Also, it weighs less than 7 pounds meaning you will have no problems hauling it about on a hunt.
- Has a fantastic shooting speed of up to 400 FPS
- It is a very accurate crossbow thanks to the STR platform
- There is a string dampener that greatly reduces the sound
- It weighs 6.9 pounds making it one of the more lighter crossbows out there
- It comes with an illuminated 4x32 scope
- The accuracy of the crossbow reduces beyond 40 yards
- The package does not come with a carrying sling.
crossbow for hunting needs to be lightweight, easy to cock on the go and have a scope. The Pro STR has all this features, making it one of the best crossbows for hunting. Also given its weights and included cocking mechanism it is ideal for all types of hunters.
Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Invader G3 Crossbow Package
- Tenpoint 3X multi-line scope included
- 19-inch axle to axle width when cocked
- 165lbs draw weight
Tenpoint is known for producing high-end crossbows. So I was curious to know how its more budget-friendly line of crossbows compare to the company’s other offerings. The Wicked Ridge Invade G3 is one of the budget crossbows from Tenpoint.
The draw weight and overall weight
This Tenpoint crossbow is your average beginner friendly crossbow. Its 165lbs draw weight is well within the accepted standard for such a crossbow. Also, it is a compact bow that does not weight a lot.
Overall the crossbow weighs 6.6 pounds. It is thus one of the lightest crossbows within this price point. In terms, of length, it measures 37.75 inches which is also within the accepted range for such a crossbow.
As with its draw weight and overall weight, the performance of this crossbow is not extraordinary. Nonetheless, given its price tag, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The 330 FPS speed is acceptable.
On the other hand, the 19-inch axle to axle width is ideal for shooting in tight positions. The powerful limbs, raiser, and energy wheel combine to offer a smooth performance.
Safety features and trigger
I was impressed with a 3.5-pound trigger on this crossbow. It is easy to pull and does not feel too soft. A dry fire inhibitor is also included that prevents too much damage to the crossbow. This inhibitor helps ensure consistent accuracy.
- Comes with a scope included
- There is also a three-arrow instant-detach quiver included in the package
- Weighing 6.6 pounds, it is lightweight
- It is also compact for shooting in tight positions
- Comes with a locking mechanism
- The speed is not as impressive as that of other similarly priced models
- The axle to axle width is wider than that of other similarly priced models
The Tenpoint Invader G3 is a basic beginner crossbow made by one of the best crossbow manufacturers out there. This means its quality and performance are at par with other similarly priced and even pricier models.
Excalibur Crossbow, Matrix GRZ 2 Package Realtree Xtra
- 18 inches long
- 200 lbs draw weight
- 5.5 lbs overall weight
The last entrant on our list is the Excalibur Matrix GRZ 2 package. This crossbow is the lightest on the list. So why is it last? Well, while it has a lot to offer it also falls behind in some aspects. Nonetheless, it is a great crossbow for its price.
Power and speed
While it is the lightest on the list, it is also the slowest. However, this is not a bad thing. Capable of sending arrows flying at speeds of 305 FPS it is no slouch. This speed is enough for hunting most animals.
Construction and design
What it lacks in speed it more than makes up for in the design. Weighing 5.5 pounds, it is one of the lightest crossbows. The Realtree Xtra camo that is applied all over the crossbow is another plus in regards to its design.
Excalibur invested a lot in this crossbow’s safety features. The feather lite skeletonized stock has finger guards. There is also a rope cocking aid included that helps in cocking. And with 200-pound draw weight, this cocking aid is necessary.
- Is one of the most lightweight crossbows at this price point
- Comes with a four-arrow quiver included
- There is a rope cocking aid included
- A fixed power scope with 1-inch rings is also included in the package
- The black tactical Realtree Xtra camo is great for all year round hunting
- It has a pretty heavy draw weight of 200 pounds
- The shooting speed is not all that exciting
This crossbow is no doubt without its fair share of drawbacks. But it is still a decent crossbow for its price tag. Also, there aren’t many crossbows that are as light as this one. Of course, the draw weight is a bit of a turn-off, but there is a cocking aid included.
Best Crossbow Under 300 dollars
If you are a beginner and want to get a crossbow under a limited budget lets say at 300 dollar or less than 300 then I will recommend you to choose between barnett jackal and CenterPoint Tormentor. These two are the best crossbow under 300 dollar and you will not regret to have this in this price range.
CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper AXCTW185CK Compound Crossbow
- Whisper silence system
- 14-inch axle to axle cocked width
- Fiberglass quad limbs
CenterPoint managed to put together a premium crossbow and offer it at an affordable price. Priced slightly under $300, the Tormentor Whisper 380 has the quality of a bow priced $200 more than its price?
The construction and design
Assembling the Tormentor Whisper took me a few minutes. The finished product looked really well made. When cocked it measured 14 inches axle to axle, which was impressive for a bow within its price point.
One of the things that robbed this bow of the top spot is its weight. It weighs 7.9 pounds, which is considerably more than the Barnett. All the same, this Centerpoint masterpiece does keep up with its competitor in other areas.
How powerful is it?
For instance, compared to the Barnett and other similar priced bows, this is quite powerful. It is capable of shooting 400-grain arrows at 380 feet per second. This is backed by a 120 ft lbs of kinetic energy.
How is the draw weight?
Another thing that prevents this crossbow from occupying out top spot is the draw weight. At 185 pounds it is more than the average draw weight of most crossbows. However, it is not something that cannot be managed easily by most male shooters.
First-time crossbow shooters will struggle a bit with this crossbow due to its beyond average weight and draw weight.
- Has an impressive shooting speed of 380 FPS for 400-grain arrows
- Very narrow axle to axle width of 14 inches makes it maneuverable
- It is very quiet compared to some of the other bows on the list
- Has some excellent safety mechanisms
- Weighing 7.9 pounds and 9.2 pounds with accessories it is not the lightest crossbow out there
- The arrows included in the package aren’t of the best quality.
With offering lots of HQ feauter and pricing under 300 this crossbow won the trophy of our best crossbow under 300 dollar. This is not the kind of crossbow you get if you are a first-time crossbow hunter. It is more suited to experienced male hunters and shooters. All the same, it offers up some exciting features such as the shooting speed and compact design. It can be used to hunt in tight positions such as in a tree stand or ground blind.
Best Beginner Crossbow
If you are new to crossbows, an inexpensive and easy to use crossbow will be what you are looking for. There are many crossbows that 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 get the trophy of best beginner crossbow. And below is why you should get this crossbow package.
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.
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 in this date.
Best 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 a number of crossbows specifically designed for women and small framed persons. One such crossbow is the Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the average weight of the Quality crossbow
Answer: Most crossbows weigh between 5 pounds and 7 pounds. However, there are some that weigh more than 7 pounds. Essentially, the ideal crossbow, especially for beginners, is one that weighs less than 7 pounds.
Question: Do the best crossbow under 500 dollars have a scope attached?
Answer: Most crossbows under the 500 dollars come with a scope attached. However, these scopes are usually mediocre given the overall price tag of the bow. Therefore, while some do come with scopes, it is always a nice idea to buy a better one.
Question: What is the average draw weight of the quality crossbow
Answer: Draw weight is an important factor to consider when shopping for any type of crossbow irrespective of your budget. On average crossbows under the 500 price tag have a draw weight of between 150 lbs and 200 lbs?
A draw weight of 200lbs is on the higher side. Most shooters both beginners and pros are better served by a draw weight of fewer than 200 lbs.
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 the money 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.