There are many different kinds of crossbow in the market. Some are quite big; some are very small that can be used with one hand. However, for deer hunting, you need some excellent and exclusive features. When you have the idea, you can pick the best crossbow for deer hunting.
In this review, we will talk about deer hunting, different types of crossbows, and of course, we will share our recommendation for you to pick the best one in hunting. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Our Recommended Top 5 Deer Hunting Crossbow at a Glance:
- Best Overal: TENPOINT TURBO GT
- Runner up: BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow
- Best Budget Crossbow: Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow
- The Silent Killer: TenPoint Stealth NXT Crossbow
- Top Premium: Excalibur Assassin 400td
What Is Crossbow For Deer Hunting?
There are various crossbows that you will find in the store. Some will give you a hard punch, and some come with fierce speed. Then what is different in a deer hunting crossbow than a regular one? Well, not much.
However, some unique traits are suitable for hunting. The size of the crossbow, how fast it shoots, how much power it generates, etc. You don’t want a heavy one to carry while you run around the forest. Or a small one that can’t penetrate a deer properly and leave it wounded. That would be ugly and kill the poor animal slowly and painfully. Hence, you need an excellent crossbow that will make sure you kill the deer without missing the spot.
However, you can also check out these accessories you may need:
- Cocking device
- Crossbow Broadheads
Types Of Crossbow for Hunting Deer:
While we are talking about the crossbow for deer hunting, let’s check what kind of crossbow we have in the market. There are many different types of crossbows, and let’s get introduced to them.
Recurve Crossbow: This crossbow has the appearance of the ancient crossbows, and the build is quite similar. The tips of this type of crossbow curve away from the user. You will get a more significant draw length and need more force to cock. However, they are quieter than compound or other types.
Compound Crossbow: It is one of the modern made crossbows with cams for an easy draw and less effort. There are strings that bind to the cams and helps in cocking and store power. However, if the cams get jammed, your hunting for that day is pretty much over unless you know how to fix it.
Repeating Crossbow: The repeating crossbow may not give you accuracy, speed, and energy like the others, but it can be handy with close-range shooting or in some other cases, and it can shoot faster and frequently. However, some excellent quality products are also there in the market.
Reverse Draw Crossbow: As you can see, it is the reverse of the regular crossbow on how you draw it. The limbs are the opposite of the normal crossbows. The cams are more towards the shooter’s direction. This technology helps the weight fall on the back of the crossbow, which allows in shotting.
Riffle Crossbow: This type of crossbow is quite expensive but comes with high power and accuracy. This is a combination of rifle and crossbow with some triggering methods from the riffle.
Which Are The Leading Crossbow Brands?
You may now want to ask what are some leading brands in the crossbow world as brands do matter. Well, many brands make impressive products. Some of the top brands are – Excalibur, TenPoint, Barnett, Wicked Ridge, Horton, Parker, etc.
However, Excalibur has been the most popular brand since the 90s. They have been producing some top-notch products from the beginning, and still today, they have kept their position in world-class crossbow making.
The Barnett set their first shop in Florida in 1983, and since that time, they are producing some excellent crossbows. They had their production house in both England and the USA.
The TenPoint has made the competition high on the crossbow market with its exclusive products and spectacular designs. Recently they have made some high end featured crossbows that people loved a lot.
Many other brands are holding the competition tight and providing us with more user-friendly and high-powered crossbows.
Best Deer Hunting Crossbow: Our Honest Review
1. Best Overall: TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow Package
Our best pick as the best crossbow for deer hunting is the Ten Point Turbo GT crossbow. It has the excellent build quality and massive destructive power. It packs with high speed and accuracy along with increased energy impact. It also won the 2016 Game & Fish Reader’s Choice Award for its excellent build and performance.
It is an aluminum-made crossbow with 11-inch Isotaper limbs. It has MRX cams and D97 string and cables, which gives excellent sustain quality and strength.
The crossbow is packed with TenPoint 3x Pro-View 2 scope, which allows shooting from a distance without compromising the accuracy.
This crossbow is 35″ long that is easy to use, and weighs only 6.5 lb. which is easy to carry and comfortable to shoot. The power stroke it provides is 12.6 inches with a draw weight of 175, which produces excellent speed and power.
It has an integrated rope cocking system, and using an ACU-draw 50; you can reduce the draw weight, which will ease the cocking process.
It has DFI (DryFire Inhibitor), which helps in the firing. It also has a 3.5-pound auto-engaging safety trigger that keeps the cocking and shooting safe.
It may not be silent while cocking; however, it doesn’t make too much sound to scare the deer away.
There may be a lot of other crossbows that will give more fancy features costing you more bucks. However, this crossbow is perfect for deer hunting. I believe you won’t need to buy expensive crossbows for hunting deer.
- Good looking
- Integrated rope cocking system
- Easy cocking
- Great customer service
- No stealth mode
2. Runner-Up: BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow
In terms of Whitetail deer hunting, this crossbow will be a good buy. It comes with 185 draw weight, which gives it a significant impact on power and has a speed of 375 fps. The compound crossbow has a solid build, and the trigger is stainless steel made.
There is a Step-Through Riser (STR) technology that decreases the length of the crossbow by combining the foot stirrup directly into the riser. That being said, the weight and the body of this crossbow is made for everyone’s usage. Everyone can carry and use it without any hassle.
There are safety features like a TriggerTech trigger, anti-dry fire technology that saves you from dry firing, finger safety reminders, and a patented arrow retainer.
BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow is built in a basic model of a compound crossbow. No new addition or any exclusive parts are added. Just one bolt is needed to put the crossbow together. However, this is one of the best crossbows in the market that is made exclusively for deer hunting. It uses 22″ Headhunter™ Arrows.
For the bucks that you spend buying this crossbow, you will surely get positive feedback.
A Note: Excalibur Null Matrix SMF Grizzly Crossbow is one of the top competitors for the runner up position in our list. It is a recurve crossbow with excellent performance. If you like the Excalibur brand, you can go for this one instead of BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow.
- Good power and speed
- Simple build
- STR technology
- Good safety features
- Loose strings sometimes
- No build-in draw weight reducer
3. Best Budget: Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow
Are you looking for a budget crossbow for starting deer hunting or use it occasionally? Then look no further, we have brought you the CenterPoint Sniper 370 within your budget, which will give you outstanding performance.
It has 370 fps speed, which is fast enough for hunting. And a massive 180 lbs. draw weight for power. It also comes with 13.5 power stroke for a tremendous impact with 112 ft.lb.
The CenterPoint Sniper 370 Crossbow was the winner of Outdoor Life Magazine’s 2016 “Great Buy” award! It is the best pick at this price. It will save a lot of bucks and still give you a good experience in hunting deer.
It has quad limbs and nicely builds structure and body. It is equipped with aluminum cams. The whole body of the crossbow is made of aluminum, and it’s quite strong. It uses 20-inch carbon arrows. For safety purposes, it has an anti-dry fire mechanism. It comes with a suppressor for silent shooting.
Though it may not be the top-notch crossbow, it can be surprisingly good for new users or who don’t want to spend a lot on a crossbow. This is the best cheap crossbow for deer hunting.
- Good for budget
- Good build quality
- Quite fast for shooting
- Uses 20-inch carbon arrows
- Not suitable for professional use
4. The Silent Killer: Tenpoint Stealth Nxt Crossbow
If you like the crossbows that don’t make a sound while shooting and be super-fast and have great accuracy, then the TenPoint Stealth NXT Crossbow is the right choice for you.
It provides a silent shooting system with 410 fps speed, which ensures fast shooting and still keeping the stealth mode. It has 220 draw weights that will give massive power while shooting. It will provide you with 144 ft.lb kinetic energy for executing a perfect kill. It uses Evo-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows.
The foregrip and wings are made with safety engineering, which will help the shooter’s foregrip hand safe under the string. For more safety, it has auto-engaging protection, crisp trigger-pull, and the Dry-Fire-Inhibitor. The auto-engaging safety will give you a smooth shooting experience without making you worry about security.
The crossbow is entirely silent with the ACUdraw pro, and there is a draw weight reducer that will help you in cocking. It will reduce the draw weight by 50%, and that will make it suitable for everyone to use this crossbow.
The TenPoint Stealth NXT Crossbow is only 33.6 inches long, which is very easy to carry, and weighs 7.3 lbs. It is made of aluminium, and it looks absolutely beautiful. Although it is a bit heavy than many other crossbows, you will not feel uneasy while taking it with you for deer hunting.
- Stealth mode
- Not big
- Exceptional speed
- Narrowest crossbow
- The price is a bit high
- Not the best item for non-professional users
5. Best Premium: Excalibur Hunting Crossbow Assassin 400 Td
Do you need a crossbow with most of the features that a crossbow can offer? If you do and don’t have much of a headache about the price tag, the Excalibur Hunting Crossbow Assassin 400 Td is the one for you.
It will blow you with 420 fps speed; one of the fastest shooting crossbows that you can find. It has 290 lbs. draw weight, which can create immense power for your shooting.
It has a silent mode for sneaking around the prey and shoot without it noticing you. It is packed with 18.8 inches power stroke for a lightning-fast shooting experience with 137 kinetic energy for massive impact. You will not miss a single kill with it.
It has a Quick-Loc Technology takedown system along with a rifle-grade 2 stage trigger that is something any modern crossbow user can ask for. You can assemble and disassemble the crossbow with the quick-loc technology in a second!
The Excalibur comes with Excalibur’s Charger crank, which is the best in the market for cocking and de-cocking safely. Because of easy cocking you will not find it tiresome while shooting for many hours.
There is a tact-100 crossbow scope for better accuracy on the furthest target. With the build quality and exclusive technology, accuracy and speed remain unchanged even for long-distance targets.
Overall, this fantastic crossbow will be a great partner for you if the price tag is not an issue for you.
- Great performance
- Good looking
- Quick-loc technology takedown system
- Recurve crossbow
- High speed and astonishing accuracy
- The price is high
What to Look for When Buying The Deer Hunting Crossbow :
|Speed (fps)||300 or more|
|Draw Weight (lbs.)||150 or more|
|Shot Distance (yards)||40-60|
|Power Stroke (inch)||11 or more|
|Kinetic Energy (ft.lb)||70 or more|
One of the primary things that you need to check is the configuration of anything that you will buy.Firstly, check out the most important things you need in a crossbow like speed, energy, draw weight, etc. Then check what else it is offering. We will now talk about some significant features that you have to check before buying a crossbow.
Pick the one that you can afford
Fix a budget first before buying anything. You need to know how much time you will spend and on what level you are going to use the crossbow. Are you new and want to start deer hunting, or are you professional? Are you going out every day on hunting season or maybe occasionally? You should ask these questions before fixing your budget.
A flexible and robust build is the key to hunting deer. What you must check is how strong the cams and the ropes are. What the body of the crossbow is made of. Is it easy to carry and move around, or is it heavy to bring with you? It is not suitable for anyone to buy a crossbow that is heavy for him/her.
The design: You might want to check the system because everyone has their preferences on how the crossbow will look like. The colors and the structure is crucial as it satisfies your eyes when looking at it.
Check the Speed
If you want to buy a new crossbow, always check the speed. You should know the crossbow fps for deer hunting. The least rate that you need to kill a deer properly is over 300 fps. Most of the crossbows provide a good pace; however, you must check the crossbow speed for deer hunting. Without the required rate, you will fail to execute your hunting.
Draw weight is one of the essential factors that you need to check. Without enough draw weight, you will fail to shoot further and with speed. The least draw weight that you need to properly execute your shooting is 150. Draw weight provides the initial energy to the arrow. However, you should be comfortable with the draw weight. Many of us may not be able to handle a higher draw weight with ease. You should feel pleased with your crossbow; otherwise, it won’t work as intended.
But higher draw weight gives more speed. However, it is not the only factor in quickness. The build quality, the arrow quality, type of crossbow, etc. are also some significant factors.
Power Stroke and Kinetic Energy
Two necessary things to notice are the power stroke and kinetic energy of a crossbow. When you shoot an arrow, you don’t want to miss a kill and leave the deer wounded. For that purpose, you need the minimum power stroke of 11 inches and over 70 ft.lb kinetic energy.
A crossbow should not be uncomfortable for the user. That being said, for hunting in a compact area, you don’t want a giant crossbow as it will be hard to aim. On the contrary, you need enough power, which means a decent-sized crossbow is necessary to pick for deer hunting.
It is better to check what accessories the crossbow uses. Without quality accessories, the crossbow will not function properly. You will need the crossbow arrows for deer hunting, the best scope, best crossbow bolts for deer hunting. It means you need the right arrows, bolts, scopes, etc. for the crossbow, and the crossbow that can use quality accessories will get the upper hand in deer hunting. You need the best deer hunting gear.
Study the Manufacturer
Brand value is nothing to be left out. A good brand always gives a good vibe. They try to produce useful products because of the brand name and to keep the title clean. So, you should research the manufacturer and what kind of products they have come up with and what people say about them. Are they making the right products, and what exclusive features are they providing?
Ethical Deer Hunting [A Gentle Reminder]
Well, we do like to hunt deer, and it’s a great sport and fun time roaming around the forest and finding a target. However, we need to remember that we should be ethical in hunting. As a hunter, we need to respect the natural resources, respect other hunters, non-hunters, landowners, and government laws.
Natural resources are the most crucial aspect of any living being. Without having a beautiful and resourceful nature, we shall face a significant number of problems in the ecosystem. Overhunting has already made many species extinct, and many are on the verge of getting extinct.
As a hunter respecting other hunters, the locals are essential. Our actions on the public level will affect future hunters. Always being respectful will make a good community for the hunter.
The laws of the government are implemented to preserve the animals in the wild. We should not go and hunt in a not deer hunting season because that will cause harm to breed and surviving of the deer.
While shooting the deer, it is best to get close and shoot. Missing a shot and wounding it will make it suffer. And 40 ft is suitable for hunting deer. Furthermore, you should know where to shoot a deer with a crossbow and the crossbow deer hunting distance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are crossbows suitable for deer hunting?
The crossbow is used for deer hunting for a very long time, and it is an excellent crossbow deer hunting. Although there are many other guns or riffles available in the market, for tasting the old way of hunting, crossbows are best. But you need a perfect crossbow for deer hunting for the best experience.
Should I use expensive crossbows for deer hunting?
You don’t need an expensive crossbow for hunting deer. What you need is a balanced crossbow with good speed, accuracy, and power.
Am I required to wear hunter orange when deer hunting?
It is vital to wear hunter orange as it will mark you in the wild and save you from other hunters shooting and creating an accident. And deer can not see colors. So, you don’t have to worry about being seen by it.
I’m having a hard time cocking my crossbow, what can I do to make this easier?
If it is possible to use a rope for cocking or use any machines that are available in the market for reducing the cocking strength.
Does my crossbow have the same long-range ability as my hunting rifle?
Well, for deer hunting with crossbow, having a long-range crossbow or gun is not necessary. Crossbows are not automated machines, so it will not shoot as further as the guns will.
How far should you shoot a deer with a crossbow?
The best range is 25-40 feet.
Is 245 FPS enough to kill a deer?
It is enough for hunting deer. However, it is better to buy a crossbow that can shoot at the speed of 300+ fps
We have talked about the best crossbow for deer hunting, and we have recommended you some best crossbow in a different category. We believe you will find the best-suited crossbow that you want here. It is always better to check out the crossbows before buying the right one. For deer hunting, pick the best-balanced one rather than going for the fastest shooting crossbow. That will make your hunting memorable and enjoyable.