Shooting and hunting with crossbows can be a lot of fun. However, if certain safety procedures are not followed, they can be harmful. You can become preoccupied or overlook basic steps and can make mistakes that can result in significant damage to your crossbows, or even worse, harm yourself or others. However, these mistakes can frequently be avoided. When you have an accident, it is often due to your inability to focus and concentrate. If you’ve made some of these mistakes before, you know you don’t want this to happen again.
Crossbow hunting can be a lot of fun unless you’re trapped on the same skill level for reasons you don’t understand. When this happens, you’re most likely committing an error that you’re not aware of, which can leave you dissatisfied with your crossbow. However, once these concerns are resolved, you can enjoy using a crossbow. Here are the worst crossbow mistakes to avoid when using a crossbow for hunting.
1. Lack of Experience
Even if you have been previously skilled in using a crossbow, going too long without practicing can cause you to lose your edge as a crossbow hunter. While you’re doing it, make sure you get the correct kind of crossbow practice, especially from someone who is an expert. Furthermore, some hunters become egoistic. They view hunting as a war against nature, and after they’ve polished their talents, they believe they’re unstoppable. They forget that practice is still necessary and that they can still learn new skills and improve their hunting abilities.
As a result, you should never overestimate your crossbow hunting abilities and instead of allowing your ego to get in the way, you should concentrate on producing precise and successful shots.
2. Dry Fire
Dryfire occurs when a crossbow is shot without an arrow. Dry fire is dangerous to the crossbow. Thanks to technological advancements, practically every crossbow maker now has some form of the anti-dry fire system. As a result, dry fires aren’t as common as they formerly were. However, if your bow isn’t prepared, it could be a really serious incident that you don’t want to go through. The majority of the time, this results in broken strings or limbs.
Dry fires are most commonly caused by hurrying a shot or being distracted while going through your shot sequence. Therefore, before pulling the trigger, always double-check to ensure there is an arrow loaded. A partial dry fire can occur when an arrow is loaded into a crossbow but not fully pushed back against the string. When the crossbow is fired, the string has enough time to “jump” over the back of the arrow nock. Since some of the string comes into contact with the arrow, your arrow may continue to travel downrange. Your arrow will sometimes stay put while the string rides over the top of it.
3. Being hesitant
One of the worst crossbow mistakes is being hesitant as to when to let go of the bowstring. When you shoot too soon, you’re more likely to make a mistake and miss your target. The target may not have reached its ideal spot for a perfect shot. Similarly, if you delay and wait too long, the opportunity may have passed you by, or the animal may have become aware of your presence. Impatience and procrastination should be avoided while hunting.
If you want to increase your likelihood of succeeding when hunting with a crossbow, you should arrive early at the hunting site. Similarly, if staying late increases your chances of success, go ahead and do it. Otherwise, your hunting efforts may prove to be somewhat ineffective in the long term.
4. Striking finger on the bowstring
Another common blunder, particularly for inexperienced crossbow hunters, is striking their finger or thumb on the bowstring or getting finger clipped by crossbow string when it is shot. This mistake usually occurs when hunters load their crossbow or when they’re firing their crossbow. When a person holds a crossbow in the foregrip, and either their thumb or their finger is sticking up higher than the barrel in the route of the string, this can happen. This, at the very least, can cause severe agony and bruise, and in the worst-case scenario, you may lose a finger. It is most common for people who might not be professional with crossbow hunting.
This mishap may not occur for those experienced in using crossbows, but the danger exists for those who haven’t. The good news is that manufacturers of crossbows have taken this into consideration in recent years by including a protective wing or flared out a piece of the barrel or stock to help avoid you from creeping up too high on the barrel. However, there are tens of thousands of crossbows on the market today that lack these qualities. So, when you’re first learning to shoot a crossbow, be careful not to have your fingers caught in the string’s path. Find a good safe method of holding the crossbow when you’re shooting it where your fingers are not up in harm’s way, or they can’t get up in the way of shooting.
Some crossbows have an exaggerated forearm that comes down so that your fingers are safe. Find a good safe spot to hold your crossbow. However, if you’re using rest to shoot, there are chances that your fingers might get clipped while loading the crossbow. Furthermore, some hunters load the arrow by holding it from the back. If you’re holding it this way, you are putting your fingers in danger. It would be best if you held the arrow from the tip or near the end and not from the back.
5. Wrong Hunting Site
Some hunters get their kills within a few hours of their hunt, while others go the entire day without seeing an animal. It occurs due to differences in the chosen locations. While it makes sense to avoid crowded regions, you should also prevent empty hunting grounds, even if they are designated as hunting hotspots.
6. Incorrect Bow and Arrow Combination
An arrow has a specific weight and size, and there is a crossbow made just for it. As a result, if you don’t have the appropriate arrow and bow combination, your shooting results may be poor. That is an extremely common blunder. Even the best crossbows will not produce satisfactory results when used in conjunction with the wrong arrows.
7. Placing Shorts Incorrectly
To take down the animal, you’re after, you’ll need to attack it in the right spot. For example, a hog should be shot near the heart, and a deer should be shot 4 inches above the first shoulder joint. Miscalculating distances is another big crossbow mistake that must be avoided. In many circumstances, you release the arrow with the expectation that it will reach a specific place.
On the other hand, the arrow may wind up exceeding the distance or failing to reach it in the first place. The most effective technique to deal with this problem is to practice until you know how much strength you’ll need to get the arrow where you want it to go.
8. Inadequate Stealth
You should not make unnecessary noises when hunting because this will frighten your prey and put them on edge. When you go snapping twigs and walking on noisy dry leaves, you might ruin a hunting trip for everyone. It would help if you kept a low profile. Knowing your effective range before the animal shows up will save you time and reduce movement in your blind or stand.
Take the help of a range finder to confirm the distance to recognized objects in your shooting lanes and utilize them as reference points.
9. Believing that the arrows will land at the same location
This one of the worst crossbow mistakes does occur more frequently than it should while hunting. Some inexperienced crossbow hunters make the mistake of believing that the broadhead arrows that they shot will land exactly where their practice tip did. If you’re a vertical bowhunter who’s switched to crossbows, you’re well aware that this isn’t always the case. However, if you’ve never hunted before, you may be unaware of this.
You can only get your broadheads to hit in the same point of impact as your practice heads with the right mix of crossbow, arrow, and broadhead.
When you can avoid the aforementioned worst crossbow mistakes and make more effective crossbow shots, hunting with a crossbow becomes a lot more enjoyable. In general, ensure that you have the proper equipment and sufficient hunting and crossbow skills. The good news is that many crossbow makers are now attempting to find ways to avoid these mistakes from occurring.
They’re working on new and better features that will protect hunters while shooting crossbows and the crossbows themselves from being destroyed by our human blunders. Therefore, you must purchase a crossbow with all necessary safety features and ensure that you have enough practice of shooting crossbows.