Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting: All Types, Budgets & Brands

A crossbow can be used for many things. It can be used in a competitive sport and it can be used for hunting as well. One of the most used case scenarios for a crossbow is deer hunting. Each hunting season lots of hunter searches the market for a better crossbow for deer hunting. If you are looking for the best crossbow for deer hunting, welcome. I wish I could say a corny line like, “welcome to hunters-den”. But we are not doing that.

Anyway, moving on. You probably know by now that, this is going to be a long read.  I suggest a warm cup of tea or coffee. Be comfortable and read through the entire review. You may learn and pick up some useful stuff that will help you a lot while hunting.

Table Of Contents
  1. What Is The Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting?
  2. Anatomy Of A Crossbow- Parts Matters The Most For Deer Hunting
  3. How To Choose A Crossbow For Deer Hunting
  4. Must Have Accessories For Deer Hunting
  5. Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting
  6. 1. Ravin R20 Crossbow Package
  7. 2. Tenpoint Vengent S440 Crossbow Package
  8. 3. Ravin R10 Crossbow Package
  9. 4. Tenpoint Stealth NXT Crossbow Package
  10. 5. Barnett Whitetail Pro Str Crossbow
  11. 6. Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow
  12. 7. Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow
  13. 8. Wicked Ridge M-370 Crossbow
  14. 9. Barnett Jackal Crossbow
  15. Best Recurve Crossbow For Deer Hunting
  16. 1. Excalibur Assassin 400TD Crossbow
  17. 2. Barnett Avenger Recruit Recurve Crossbow
  18. 3. Barnett Wildcat Camo Recurve Crossbow
  19. 4. Centerpoint Tyro 4X Recurve Crossbow
  20. 5. Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow
  21. 6. SA Sports 647 Empire Pro Crossbow
  22. Best Reverse Draw Crossbow For Deer Hunting
  23. 1. Tenpoint Vapor RS470 Crossbow Package
  24. 3. Tenpoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Package
  25. 4. Wicked Ridge RDX 400 Crossbow Package
  26. 5. Centerpoint Archery CP400 Crossbow Package
  27. Best Pistol Crossbow For Deer Hunting
  28. Manticore SAS Pistol Crossbow
  29. The 11 Tips You Should Know About Deer Hunting With A Crossbow
  30. Where Should You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow?
  31. Frequently ASK Questions
  32. Can You Kill A Deer At 100 Yards With A Crossbow?
  33. How Far Can You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow?
  34. Are Crossbows Good For Deer Hunting?
  35. How Many FPS Do You Need To Kill A Deer?
  36. Why Do Many Hunters Choose A Recurve Crossbow Instead Of A Compound Crossbow?
  37. Can You Hunt Deer With A Pistol Crossbow?
  38. Conclusion: Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting

What Is The Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting?

While there is no single best crossbow of all time, but I can offer my perspective on it. Here are the crossbows that I think are the best crossbow for deer hunting at the moment.

Ravin R20- Editor’s Choice

Ravin-R20-Crossbow-Package

It’s one of the most compact crossbows on the market. I know it’s not cheap, but for the price, the crossbow offers way too insane of a value to pass on. Ravin R20 is definitely one of the best crossbows on the market.

Tenpoint Vapor Rs470- The Fastest

TenPoint-Vapor-RS470-Hunting-Crossbow-Package

If speed is what you are looking for, this is the speed demon. This crossbow is capable of generating 191ft-lbs of kinetic energy and can fire at up to 470 FPS! Almost 500 FPS mark! I am sure given in a year or two Tenpoint will go beyond 500 FPS.

Excalibur Assassin 400TD- Recurve

Excalibur-Assassin-400-TD-Crossbow

If you are looking for the best recurve crossbow for deer hunting, you don’t need to look any further. Take the Assassin 400TD and call it day. A purchase that you won’t regret.


Anatomy Of A Crossbow- Parts Matters The Most For Deer Hunting

I am not going to go into details like a biology teacher. But let me give you a small idea about crossbow parts and which parts matters the most for deer hunting.

Anatomy-Of-A-Crossbow

Cams: Depending on the type of crossbow you are buying, there will be more than two cams. Often, there are two cams for each limb in a compound bow. But there can be only two as well.

Barrel: Unlike a rifle or a pistol, the barrel on a crossbow isn’t hidden. It’s open and you can see the barrel even after loading an arrow on the crossbow. The barrel is where the arrow is loaded.

Stock: If you have used a rifle before, then you are aware of what a butt-stock is. The stock is the end part of a crossbow. That part of the crossbow rests on your shoulder. It also absorbs the recoil hit as well. Most of the time a crossbow stock is made out of synthetic material. A lot of crossbows have adjustable buttstock as well.

Limbs & String: You can compare crossbow limbs with human hands. Just like human hands, a crossbow will have two limbs. Most modern crossbows have more than one string. Even recurve crossbows have two stings. Strings is one of the most crucial parts of a crossbow. If the string is broken, the bow won’t work.

Scope is essentially a part of the crossbow. You can’t use the crossbow at its full potential without using a crossbow scope. Crossbow scope will unleash the crossbow and your inner beast. It will help you hunt from range as well.  The rest of the mentioned parts on the picture is relevant. But not necessarily important to learn about them from the get-go. You can ease into that vast world after getting a crossbow.


How To Choose A Crossbow For Deer Hunting

How do you know which crossbow is the best for you? A modern crossbow has so many features, it’s easy to get confused among them. A deer hunter doesn’t need all the feature available in a crossbow. There are some parts of the crossbow that you couldn’t care any less about. What are the parts that you should care about then? Let’s find out.

Speed is absolutely necessary. You don’t need 470 FPS for deer hunting. Granted, that would help nonetheless. But that’s not absolutely necessary. Anything over 330 FPS is more than enough for deer hunting.

Kinetic Energy: As the name suggests, it’s the energy each arrow packs while flying towards the deer. Some crossbow can generate a humongous amount of kinetic energy. While lower end crossbows can’t even generate half of that. Does that mean a $3000 crossbow with 190 ft-lbs of kinetic energy necessary? No, it’s not necessary. Any crossbow that is capable of generating more than 100ft-lbs of kinetic energy can easily slay a deer. 90 will do as well. but it’s recommended to get one with more power.

The draw weight is an important part of a crossbow. Recurve crossbows tend to have a monstrous amount of draw weight. That’s not good for a beginner by any means. Depending on the draw weight, your reloading time will also vary. That’s why, choosing ta crossbow with lower draw weight for deer hunting is necessary. If your crossbow has a cranking device or supports a cranking device, that’s a huge plus.

Lightweight: Just like design, weight can be a preference as well. I have known people that can’t tolerate lightweight crossbows. But on-field, it’s better to have a lightweight crossbow than dragging a rock behind your back. Lightweight crossbow is easier to carry and easier to aim. Get a lightweight crossbow. Even if you prefer a heavy one, go for a lightweight one.

Durability always varies from crossbow to crossbow. If the crossbow has good reviews to back up the claim, then it’s a safe bet. But if reviewers are saying the build quality is questionable, then it’s better to stay clean from that crossbow.

Size: Compact crossbows are the best crossbows for deer hunting. You can squeeze them inside tiny places where a recurve crossbow can’t ever fit. The value a compact crossbow provides is straight up insane. Most of the time, compact crossbows are also lightweight. That’s an added benefit. Usually, size isn’t that big of a factor (that’s what she said). Anyway, the size of the crossbow will only matter if your height is short. Tall crossbows are harder to cock for shorter people. That’s why, choose a short crossbow if you have bad experience with tall crossbows before.

Safety: Anti-dry fire is a must for crossbows. Without this, you will misfire a lot. That’s not acceptable while deer hunting. Misfire can cause sound and make the deer aware of your current location. We don’t want that. That’s why, avoid getting crossbows that doesn’t have any safety to prevent misfires.

Warranty: Depending on the brand, the warranty period will vary. Most expensive crossbows come with a limited lifetime warranty. While cheaper crossbow usually offers a 5-year warranty max. Research a bit about the brand you are buying from. See if the brands after sales service is good or not.


Must Have Accessories For Deer Hunting

You can get by without using any extra accessories, but some of the accessories will help you tremendously and make the hunting session even more enjoyable.

Broadhead arrows are made for hunting. Their wide head and sharp edge pierces through any animal you are shoot at. After piercing, it stays inside and quite hard to take out. Just like a fishing bait. That’s why they are so famous and popular for hunting. For deer hunting, going the extra miles to get some broadhead is more than worth it. Trust me, they will pay back the price tenfold.

Sight / Scope: If you are thinking of going on a deer hunt using the iron sight or a red-dot sight included with the crossbow, you are delusional. You are not John Wick. You will miss every arrow like stormtroopers.

It’s always a good idea to have a more powerful scope than the crossbow itself. Why? It ensures a future upgrade path. It also makes sure to eliminate any bottleneck between the crossbow and the sight itself. Spend a bit of money on the scope. You will appreciate it a lot.

Cranking Device: Most modern compound crossbows either come with a cranking device installed or supports a cranking device. Cranking devices aren’t cheap. But they will reduce the draw weight of your crossbow to mere 10 pounds. That’s insane! Even a child can load the crossbow at that point. It will make your reloads a lot faster as well. In short, must buy item if you can afford it.

Quivers are often included with the crossbow. In case yours didn’t, you should purchase one from the market. it will reduce your reload time a lot. Taking out arrows from the backpack, loading it on the crossbow, and then shooting it. That will give the deer enough time to run away from you.

Sling: Relax, your arm isn’t broken, not yet. Jokes aside, slings are a great replacement for backpacks. Carrying a crossbow by the foot stirrup is not uncommon. If you use a sling, you can carry the crossbow like a backpack. Will save you a lot of effort and time. Fun fact, you can use the crossbow without removing the sling. They are not as useless as you are thinking.

Bolts: If you are buying broadheads for your crossbows, you don’t need to buy bolts/arrows separately. But if you are not buying broadheads and want to use crossbow bolts instead, then you might want to buy some sharp crossbow bolts. Sharp enough to pierce any skin.

Crossbow cases are often neglected and not given any deeper thoughts. We totally ignore the fact that, a case can save the crossbow from potential disasters. It can keep the crossbow safe from water. It can also keep your crossbow safe while it’s resting on the trunks of your car. A hard-shell crossbow case is affordable and everyone should have at least one of those in their disposal.

Crossbow Stand: In my opinion, they are not the most important or required for deer hunting. But they can certainly help. They will keep the crossbow straight and make sure your arms don’t shake while shooting the crossbow. Think of it as a rifle stand. It will do the same job. If you are someone that loves to stalk the prey and take your sweet time to land a perfect shot, you will love a crossbow stand.


Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting

Compound crossbows are the modern incarnation of crossbows. They are also the most powerful crossbows on the market. They require less drawing force than recurve crossbow and they are more powerful than recurve crossbow as well. The cranking device add on makes the compound crossbows even more appealing.

1. Ravin R20 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed430 FPS
Kinetic Energy164 FP-KE
Power Stroke13 Inches
Draw Weight220 LBS
Axle-To-Axle6 / 10.5 Inches
Length34.5 Inches
Weight7.1 LBS

Ravin R20 was the winner of best crossbow of the year 2019. Ravin R20 is quite powerful and expensive crossbow. You will find countless reviews about the crossbow that are saying this is worth every penny. That’s indeed correct.

Ravin R20 is a compact, lightweight, and fast crossbow. Everything you want for deer hunting is present on this crossbow. The crossbow comes with a cranking device as well. You don’t need to waste too much energy loading the crossbow.

The anti-dry fire safety will stop you from misfiring. 3lbs trigger pull is not that high. It’s not that low either. In my opinion, 3lbs trigger pull is just perfect.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 430 FPS.
  • 164 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • 12 lbs drawing force.
  • Anti-dry fire safety.
  • Built-in sling mounts.

Cons

  • The included scope is not that good. At that price-range, you are expecting a better crossbow scope than that.

2. Tenpoint Vengent S440 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed440 FPS
Kinetic Energy166 FP-KE
Power Stroke14 Inches
Draw Weight250 LBS
Axle-To-Axle5.8 / 11 Inches
Length35 Inches
Weight7.7 LBS

Tenpoint is the leading competitor of Ravin crossbows. Each year, both of these crossbow companies goes head to head battle to deliver the best crossbow possible. Like Ravin, Tenpoint is also crowd favorite brand. They often provide excellent crossbows for a small amount of money.

The Vengent is capable of firing arrows at up to 440 FPS! That’s fast and impressive. It can generate up to 166 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That’s more than Ravin R20. It’s everything that you need in a deer hunting crossbow. In many regards it’s a better crossbow than Ravin R20.

The S1 trigger and the ACUdraw cranking device is a good combination. Together they make the crossbow easy to use and quite appealing to newbie hunters. The crossbow comes with anti-dry fire safety as well. It’s quite necessary to prevent misfires.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Superfast.
  • Powerful.
  • Good crossbow scope.
  • ACUdraw pro Cranking Device.
  • S1 trigger.

Cons

  • It’s quite expensive. Even though the crossbow is quite beginner friendly, it’s not recommended to someone who never held a crossbow before.

3. Ravin R10 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy142 FP-KE
Power Stroke11 Inches
Draw Weight220 LBS
Axle-To-Axle6 / 10.5 Inches
Length33 Inches
Weight6.8 LBS

Ravin R10 is the smaller brother of the Ravin R20. It’s smaller and less powerful than Ravin R20. The crossbow is still quite fast and powerful. In every regard, it’s the smaller version of Ravin R20.

Ravin R10 is capable of firing arrows at up to 400 FPS. Each arrow will pack a punch worth of 142 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. No matter how big of a deer you are hunting, it stands no chance.

The Ravin R10 is quite lightweight as well. Coming at just 6.8lbs, that’s not too bad. The crossbow is constructed like a tank as well.  Rest assured, you won’t damage the crossbow unwillingly. Unless, you are trying your best to break the crossbow with unnecessary force, I don’t see it breaking.

After cocking the crossbow, the width of this crossbow becomes only 6”. That’s quite narrow. Sometimes, I wonder how they managed to make such small crossbows so powerful.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 400 FPS.
  • 142 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Built-in cranking device.
  • Helicoil technology.
  • Built-in sling mounts.

Cons

  • The scope is not the best one on the market.

4. Tenpoint Stealth NXT Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed410 FPS
Kinetic Energy144 FP-KE
Power Stroke13.5 Inches
Draw Weight220 LBS
Axle-To-Axle6 / 11.3 Inches
Length33.6 Inches
Weight7.3 LBS

Tenpoint Stealth NXT is one of the most compact crossbows in this price-range. From looks to performance, the stealth is excellent. The crossbow comes with ACUdraw Pro cranking aid. Using that cranking aid, you can load the crossbow with only 8.5lbs of drawing force.

The Stealth NXT can fire at up to 400FPS. That’s quite a bit of speed it packs. The crossbow can generate up to 144 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Each arrow will hit like a truck! 

The Stealth NXT is deadly silent. From the cams to the string, there are dampeners dampening the noise and reducing the vibration of the crossbow. Tenpoint Stealth NXT can easily hunt any size deer at any given season. Even from range shooting, the crossbow can easily hunt deers.

One of the best parts of this crossbow is the size. It’s so compact! It’s amazing how small crossbows has become. Yet they are super powerful.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Ready to hunt package.
  • You only need one bolt to assemble the crossbow.
  • 400 FPS.
  • 144 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

Cons

  • ACUdraw Pro elite package costs a fortune. Not worth it, don’t buy that package.

5. Barnett Whitetail Pro Str Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy135 FP-KE
Power Stroke16.25 Inches
Draw Weight187 LBS
Axle-To-Axle17.625 Inches
Length36.5 Inches
Weight6.9 LBS

Barnett Whitetail series of crossbow is well known for their versatile performance and excellent price to value ratio. Whitetail Pro STR uses the Triggertech technology made by Barnett crossbows. The trigger creep on this crossbow is nothing threatening. It’s quite easy to control as well.

Whitetail Pro STR is not the most powerful crossbow ever. But it’s quite powerful and can easily slay any deer. The Pro STR is capable of reaching up to 400 FPS and can generate 135 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Both of those are nothing to joke about.

When you consider just how affordable this crossbow is, it makes the deal even better. It’s quite heartwarming to see manufacturers are working to provide better budget crossbows.

The weight of this crossbow is 6.9 (nice) lbs. Quite lightweight without any accessories. Even with added accessories such as scope, quiver, slings, arrows etc. The weight of the crossbow won’t be that high either. It’s not that compact. The one downside of this crossbow.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Good build quality.
  • 400 FPS.
  • 135 ft-lbs kinetic energy.
  • Cranking device compatible.

Cons

  • The included scope is not that good. At that price-range, you are expecting a better crossbow scope than that.

6. Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed415 FPS
Kinetic Energy149 FP-KE
Power Stroke15 Inches
Draw Weight200 LBS
Axle-To-Axle14.25 / 17.75 Inches
Length35 Inches
Weight6.2 LBS

If you have searched for best crossbow for hunting, then you are already aware of Killer Instinct crossbows. They are known for their budget-oriented crossbows. Most of their crossbows are quite affordable and packs a strong punch.

Killer Instinct Ripper 415 is an affordable compound crossbow that can reach 415 FPS with ease. The rail of the crossbow is constructed from CNC machined aluminum.

The anodization on the aluminum is top-notch. The buttstock of the crossbow is almost similar to an AR rifle buttstock. They are quite easy on your shoulder and they are not too hard on your muscles either.

The Ripper can generate 149 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That much of energy is enough to rip through any deer. I couldn’t help with the pun.

But I can help you decide how to choose the best crossbow for you. If you are on a tight budget and want good performing crossbow for upcoming hunting season, just take this. You won’t regret for a moment.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • 415 FPS.
  • 149ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Good customer service.
  • CNC machined aluminum with excellent anodizing.
  • AR style buttstock.

Cons

  • The draw weight can be an issue for a lot of people.
  • Not compatible with ACUdraw cranking device.

7. Centerpoint Sniper 370 Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed370 FPS
Kinetic Energy112 FP-KE
Power Stroke13.5 Inches
Draw Weight185 LBS
Axle-To-Axle18 / 21.5 Inches
Length36 Inches
Weight7.9 LBS

Centerpoint crossbows are known for their budget crossbows. The Centerpoint Sniper 370 is an excellent budget and beginner crossbow.

As the name suggests, the Centerpoint Sniper is capable of firing at up to 370 FPS. That’s more than enough for any kind of deer hunting. You just have to make sure you don’t shoot from too far. The Sniper can generate up to 110 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Quite impressive for a crossbow at this price range.

Even though the crossbow looks like cheaply made, the weight and the construction of this crossbow is mind blowing. The weight of the Sniper 370 is 7.7lbs. That’s without any accessories. You add some accessories and a better scope the weight will be over 9lbs easily.

Don’t let the appearance fool you, it’s one of the best budget crossbows on the market. Don’t believe me? Check out the Amazon user reviews. You will find over 2000 people agreeing with me.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Good build quality.
  • AR style buttstock.
  • 370 FPS.
  • 110 fp-ke of kinetic energy

Cons

  • The included scope is not that good.
  • Draw weight is quite high as well.

8. Wicked Ridge M-370 Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed370 FPS
Kinetic Energy118 FP-KE
Power Stroke13.8 Inches
Draw Weight180 LBS
Axle-To-Axle9.5 / 14 Inches
Length35 Inches
Weight5.8 LBS

Wicked Ridge is a sub-brand of Tenpoint. Tenpoint releases budget crossbows under the Wicked Ridge banner. The M370 is one of them. The decked-out version of M370 is not quite budget crossbow. But the base version can be considered as one.

The Wicked Ridge M370 is a lightweight compound crossbow that can fire bolts at 370 FPS. That speed is quite excellent for deer hunting. To make sure the prey stay down, each arrow packs 118ft-lbs of kinetic energy! That’s a lot of power packed in this small killing machine.

The axle to axle width of this crossbow is only 9.5”. That’s compact as hell. Well, hell is not compact but you get my point. It’s one of the few budget crossbows that got a green signal from me for having a good stock crossbow scope.

You don’t need to upgrade the scope anytime soon. If you go for the base version, then you should upgrade to the ACUdraw pro cranking device ASAP.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Balanced weight distribution.
  • Good build quality.
  • Good stock scope.

Cons

  • Instead of making the cranking device a separate purchase, they should have made the crossbow with the cranking device included to begin with.

9. Barnett Jackal Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed315 FPS
Kinetic Energy95 FP-KE
Power Stroke12 Inches
Draw Weight150 LBS
Axle-To-Axle20 Inches
Length35.5 Inches
Weight7.7 LBS

Barnett Jackal is not a recent crossbow by any means. It’s a beginner crossbow that is dirt cheap. When the Jackal first came out, it was sold out for months. Right now, you may not find it readily stock anywhere, but often you will find a good deal on a used Jackal.

Jackal is not that powerful crossbow either. Then what’s the point of including a weak crossbow in a best crossbow for deer hunting review? The point is simple. You don’t need a 500FPS crossbow for deer hunting. Even with 315 FPS and 95 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, the Barnett Jackal can slay even the toughest of deer.

It’s that good of a crossbow.

The affordable price tag makes it even better. The crossbow comes with 5 years of service warranty. It doesn’t matter in 2021, as all of the manufactured Jackal has no warranty anyway.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Small.
  • Decently powerful.
  • Good safety features.

Cons

  • Quite loud.
  • No cocking aid included.

Best Recurve Crossbow For Deer Hunting

Recurve crossbows are easy to use and fairly easy to repair. You don’t need to go through several steps to remove and replace the string on a recurve crossbow. Many hunters prefer recurve crossbows for hunting. The reason is simplicity. They are easy to setup and easy to take apart.

1. Excalibur Assassin 400TD Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy100 FP-KE
Power Stroke15 Inches
Draw Weight385 LBS
Axle-To-Axle20.5 / 25 Inches
Length30 / 33 Inches
Weight7.9 LBS

Excalibur is one of the few crossbow manufacturers that only makes Recurve crossbows. All of their recurve crossbows are some of the best on the market. Excalibur Assassin 400TD is the best recurve crossbows on the market. It’s also one of the most expensive recurve crossbows on the market.

Usually, recurve crossbows are fairly affordable with straightforward specs sheet. But not this one. This one was made for hunters with thirst for speed. Speed you asked for, speed you shall receive.

As the name suggests, the Assassin 400TD is capable of firing at up to 400 FPS. Why am I hyping 400FPS? Because recurve crossbows usually don’t fire at this tremendous speed level. That’s some thing worthy hyping about.

The Assassin 400TD also comes with a cranking device. That eliminates most of our complaints regarding any recurve crossbow. The awfully heavy draw weight.

Charger crank is one of the most silent cranking devices on the market. Excalibur claims as this is the most silent cranking device ever created. That’s up for a debate that we are not having today. The R.E.D.S suppressor system is deadly silent. You won’t even hear the crossbow while firing. It’s that good.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Fairly compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to cock and de-cock.
  • 400FPS.
  • Micro String.

Cons

  • The draw weight is a nightmare. Thankfully, you don’t need to think about that.
  • The crossbow can be a little bit of heavy if you add in all the available accessories. As a naked crossbow, the weight is fairly low.

2. Barnett Avenger Recruit Recurve Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed330 FPS
Kinetic Energy91 FP-KE
Power Stroke12.5 Inches
Draw Weight130 LBS
Axle-To-Axle16.125 Inches
Length34.25 Inches
Weight6.4 LBS

The Avenger Recruit is the upgraded version of the original Recruit crossbow. The Recruit packed a small punch and was ready for deer hunting and small games. While the Avenger takes that further to qualify for big game hunting.

Barnett Avenger is capable of firing arrows at up to 330 FPS. That’s more than the previously shared Barnett recurve crossbows on the list. The Barnett Avenger is capable of generating 91ft-lbs of kinetic energy. Considering the price and the size of this crossbow, I am pleasantly surprised.

The crossbow also comes with a 4×32 crossbow scope. For the price, the crossbow scope performs quite well. It can easily help you hunt deer and win any big game hunting competitions. The stock of the Avenger is also adjustable.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 330 FPS.
  • 91ft-lbs.
  • The included 4×32 scope is quite decent.
  • The buttstock of the crossbow is adjustable.

Cons

  • Noise dampening on the crossbow is not the best.
  • No cranking aid included.

3. Barnett Wildcat Camo Recurve Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed260 FPS
Kinetic Energy57 FP-KE
Power Stroke12 Inches
Draw Weight195 LBS
Trigger TypeAnti-Dry Fire
Length32 Inches
Weight4.8 LBS

Barnett wildcat camo is another budget friendly recurve crossbow. By now, you know that budget recurve crossbows aren’t that powerful. They are just powerful enough for casual and competitive hunting. But nothing more than that. The Barnett Wildcat is on the same boat as well.

Wildcat can easily reach 260 FPS mark. That isn’t much. But it’s the most among other Recurve crossbows in this price range.

What I loved most about this crossbow is the camo finish on this crossbow. Even for just collection, this is a must have crossbow. From the stock to the foot stirrup, every bit of finish and anodization on this crossbow is quite good. I am glad they didn’t skim out on the build quality.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Good looking.
  • Ready to hunt package.
  • Easy to assemble and start hunting.
  • Good scope for the price.

Cons

  • Lacks power for bigger animals.

4. Centerpoint Tyro 4X Recurve Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed245 FPS
Kinetic Energy50 FP-KE
Power Stroke10.5 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Axle-To-Axle23 Inches
Length30.5 / 32.75 Inches
Weight5 LBS

Centerpoint is not known for their recurve crossbows. When I first found out about Centerpoint selling recurve crossbows, I was fairly surprised. I didn’t hope many great things from the crossbow as it’s fairly affordable and made for newbies.

To my surprise, the crossbow performed quite well. Tyro 4x by no means is a powerful crossbow. It’s one of the least powerful crossbows on the list today. But it packs just enough power for deer hunting. The crossbow can fire at 245 FPS. Seeing all the 400 FPS crossbows around, you are thinking this gotta be a joke. Sadly, it isn’t one. Like I said, it’s not the most powerful crossbow by any means.

245 FPS is not a lot, but it’s enough for any kind of deer hunting. As long as you can get close to the deer, you can slay the deer with the Tyro 4x. The draw weight on this crossbow is quite low. Lower than compound counterparts. Coming at 175 lbs, you can easily cut down that by half using a rope coking device.

Pros

  • Affordable recurve crossbow.
  • Good build quality.
  • Good warranty.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Not powerful.

5. Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed245 FPS
Kinetic Energy65 FP-KE
Power Stroke12.5 Inches
Draw Weight150 LBS
Width27.5 Inches
Length37.5 Inches
Weight4.5 LBS

Barnett Recruit is one of the lightest recurve crossbows on the market. The weight of the Recruit is only 4.5lbs. Without any accessories, that dry weight is excellent. Even with added accessories and the scope, the crossbow won’t cross the 7lbs barrier.

At this price-range, you don’t expect any fancy features or tremendous performance. Surprisingly, the Recruit comes with anti-dry fire safety. That increases the value of the crossbow by a lot.

This crossbow is perfect for deer hunting, small game, and bow fishing. With 245 FPS and 65ft-lbs of kinetic energy, you won’t conquer the world. But you will have a plate full of fish or deer. Whichever you choose to hunt.

Thankfully, the crossbow uses the conventional 20” aluminum arrows. You don’t need to find a super-secret shady website to purchase your arrows from.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Cranking device compatible.
  • Auto safety and anti-dry fire.
  • Good trigger pulls with finger reminders.

Cons

  • The assembly guide included is not clear at all. It’s easy to mess up the assembly.

6. SA Sports 647 Empire Pro Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed235 FPS
Kinetic Energy51 FP-KE
Power Stroke10.25 Inches
Draw Weight175 LBS
Scope4×32 Multi Reticle
Width26.5 Inches
Weight5.1 LBS

Don’t get fooled by the name. the SA Sports Empire Pro is not capable of firing arrows at 647 FPS. Much like the Centerpoint Tyro 4X, the Empire Pro is an entry level recurve crossbow. It’s not that powerful, neither can it generate more speed.

Both of those are quite necessary for deer hunting. The crossbow is capable of firing at 235 FPS. Barely hitting the required speed for deer hunting. Don’t be discouraged, after all, it’s one of the easiest to use crossbow. The draw weight on this crossbow is only 175lbs. That’s quite low considering recurve crossbows usually have over 200lbs of draw weight.

The included accessories are quite good and appreciated. Although, I would prefer to have a better scope, but that’s asking for too much at this price.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Decent build quality.
  • Decent warranty support.
  • The included scope is quite good for the money.

Cons

  • It lacks speed and power.

Best Reverse Draw Crossbow For Deer Hunting

Reverse limb crossbows are one of the ifs not the most compact crossbows on the market. due to their compact size and the material used on these crossbows, they are quite lightweight as well.

Two of the advantages that you require in a deer hunting crossbow. But their string replacement is quite complicated. Besides that, the reverse draw is capable of generating a ton of power. Making it an ideal choice for deer hunting.

1. Tenpoint Vapor RS470 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed470 FPS
Kinetic Energy191 FP-KE
Power Stroke17 Inches
Draw StyleReverse Draw
Axle-To-Axle6.5 / 12 Inches
Length31 Inches
Weight8 LBS

Tenpoint Vapor RS470 is one of the most powerful crossbows on the market. It’s incredibly light and small. The compact form factor makes this crossbow quite nice to look at. Thanks to the Reverse draw mechanism, the crossbow is quite compact.

The ACU slide cranking device is one of the best ACU cranking device on the market. It’s tested to be the safest decocking cranking device on the market. That’s an incredible achievement.

The crossbow is capable of firing at up to 470 FPS! (Any mighty deer!) That’s right, 470 FPS. The axle-to-axle width of this crossbow is only 6.5”. It blows my mind that how powerful this tiny crossbow is.

The draw weight of this crossbow is only 5lbs! 5! Even a child can load this crossbow. All though a child can’t fire this crossbow. As it features anti-dry fire and a decent amount of trigger creep. The trigger creep is enough to prevent any kind of misfires.

The Micro-Trac barrel reduces the string to barrel contact by 50%. Thanks to that, the lifespan of the string increases by a lot. Making it one of the longest running strings on the market. The crossbow comes with 27 years of warranty. So, yeah, you are set for life.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • 470 FPS.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 5lbs of draw weight.
  • 191 ft-lbs of kinetic energy!

Cons

  • Quite expensive.

2. Scorpyd Deathstalker Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed420 FPS
Kinetic Energy144 FP-KE
Power Stroke17.25 Inches
Draw StyleReverse Draw
Axle-To-Axle9.5 / 16.5 Inches
Length32.5 Inches
Weight6.2 LBS

 Scorpyd Deathstalker is the next reverse draw crossbow on the list. What’s the benefit of reverse draw crossbows? They are lighter than regular crossbows also more compact than compound crossbows. The limb of these crossbows is reversed.

Scorpyd Deathstalker is capable of firing arrows at up to 420 FPS. That’s quite high for a deer. Not a lot of crossbows can reach the 400 FPS mark, let alone exceeding it.

The design of the Deathstalker will look weird. As the limbs are facing the opposite direction than we used to seeing it. It will take some time to get used to.

Once cocked, the axle-to-axle width of the crossbow is only 9.5”. The sizes of these crossbows man. The Deathstalker comes with quite a bit of accessories. All of them are useful and will save you a lot of money.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Compact.
  • 130 lbs of draw weight only.
  • One-piece carbon technology.
  • Good after-sales service.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.
  • Could have been more silent.

3. Tenpoint Nitro XRT Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed470 FPS
Kinetic Energy182 FP-KE
Power Stroke16.5 Inches
Draw StyleReverse Draw
Axle-To-Axle7 / 12.5 Inches
Length30.7 Inches
Weight7.4 LBS

I don’t want to sound biased, but Tenpoint makes some of the best-looking reverse draw crossbows on the market. The Nitro XRT is no exception. Like the Vapor RS470, the Nitro XRT is also a lightweight and compact reverse draw crossbow. The cocked width of this crossbow is only 7”. Just one inches wider than Vapor.

Besides the look, the Nitro XRT is quite similar to the Vapor RS470. It can fire the included arrows at an incredible speed of 470 FPS. Each of those arrows packs a punch of 182 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That’s the most generated kinetic energy among any Tenpoint crossbows.

The accuracy of this crossbow is off the chart. You can easily land three shots on the exact same dot. Of course, that will depend highly on your skill and the environment you are shooting at. The point is, if you are skilled enough, you can do wonders with this little crossbow.

The Nitro XRT uses the ACUdraw Pro silent cranking device. It can safely decock the crossbow as well. The included accessories of the crossbow costs quite a lot. It’s a good thing that Tenpoint is giving us those for free.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Super safe to use.
  • T5 Trigger.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 25% increased accuracy.
  • Hard crossbow carrying case for free.
  • Excellent after-sales service and limited lifetime warranty.
  • Can fire at up to 470 FPS.
  • 191 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • For the price, the crossbow scope lacks some features.

4. Wicked Ridge RDX 400 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy140 FP-KE
Power Stroke15.5 Inches
Draw StyleReverse Draw
Axle-To-Axle9 / 15 Inches
Length33.25 Inches
Weight7.1 LBS

Wicked Ridge usually makes budget compound crossbows. There budget offerings are some of the best on the market and can easily outperform most competitors. What happens when a company that is good at making budget stuff decides to build something different? You get the RDX 400. A reverse draw crossbow that costs 1/3rd of the money that Vapor RS470 costs.

The Wicked Ridge RDX 400 can fire arrows at up to 400 FPS. Not quite the same as 470 FPS of Vapor RS470, but it’s not bad at all. 400 FPS is quite respectable and more than enough for deer hunting.

The RDX 400 comes with either ACUdraw Pro silent cranking device or the ACUdraw rope sled. I highly recommend taking the crossbow with the ACUdraw PRO. It makes life so much easier. You can load the crossbow with only 8.5lbs of draw weight. That’s crazy!

The reverse draw technology helps the crossbow to be more compact than any of its competitors. In terms of compactness, the RDX 400 has every other crossbow in this price-range beat. Wicked Ridge RDX 400 is capable of generating 140 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That’s a decent chunk of power.

Pros

  • Great build quality.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 400 FPS.
  • 140 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • T4 trigger with anti-dry fire safety and 3.5lbs trigger pull.

Cons

  • The ACUdraw pro cranking is an addon, not built-in.

5. Centerpoint Archery CP400 Crossbow Package

SpecsValue
Speed400 FPS
Kinetic Energy142 FP-KE
Power Stroke13 Inches
Draw StyleReverse Draw
Axle-To-Axle6 / 10.5 Inches
Length31.75 Inches
Weight7 LBS

Centerpoint CP400 is another budget Reverse Draw crossbow. Budget and reverse draw often doesn’t go together. As the reverse draw technology is quite expensive. Seeing how Wicked Ridge managed to pull that off, why should Centerpoint stay behind?

The CP400 is a flagship offering from Centerpoint that directly competes against the Wicked Ridge RDX 400. This reverse draw crossbow is quite narrow when you load it in.

The axle-to-axle width of this crossbow is only 6” once cocked. That’s incredible. Modern day phones are longer than that. Centerpoint also uses the Helicoil technology on their crossbow. That reduces the string friction between the track and increases the longevity of the string.

CP400 is capable of generating 142ft-lbs of kinetic energy. That’s quite a bit of power. The crossbow packs a mean punch for sure.

Pros

  • Good build quality.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • ACUdraw silent cranking device.
  • Helicoil technology.

Cons

  • The included scope is less powerful than the crossbow. To unlock the full potential of this crossbow, purchasing a new scope is a must.Quite expensive.

Best Pistol Crossbow For Deer Hunting

What am I supposed to say? They are the most compact and lightweight crossbows ever? Both of those statements are true. But this crossbow is not nearly enough to land a deer flat. You can do that with broadheads and a decent pistol crossbow, but they are not ideal choice for deer hunting by any means.

Manticore SAS Pistol Crossbow

SpecsValue
Speed210 FPS
Kinetic Energy
Power Stroke
Draw Weight150 LBS
Axle-To-Axle
Length32 Inches
Weight

Manticore SAS kinda looking SUS. I couldn’t let the opportunity slip. Lame puns aside, the Manticore SAS is a pistol crossbow. A pistol crossbow is a crossbow just a bit bigger than a revolver. What’s the point of a pistol crossbow? I’m glad you asked. The main purpose of a pistol crossbow is to perform as a backup crossbow. When in emergency, you may not have the time to load your main crossbow. In that time of need, the pistol crossbow can prove to be of useful.

The pistol crossbow can also be used for close range deer hunting and bow fishing.

For being a pistol crossbow, the Manticore SAS can reach a decent speed. The Manticore SAS can fire an arrow at up to 210FPS. For a pistol crossbow, that’s nothing less than an achievement.

The crossbow is small and lightweight. It’s also the cheapest crossbow on the least. The draw weight of this crossbow is 150lbs. That’s not too high considering this crossbow can generate a decent amount of power and speed. The noise dampening on this crossbow is quite decent as well. Overall, it’s a nice cheap pistol crossbow.

Pros

  • The accuracy is quite good up to 60yards.
  • It’s lightweight and super compact.
  • Affordable.
  • The stock is constructed from wood.
  • The barrel is constructed from aluminum.
  • The limbs are constructed from CNC fiberglass.

Cons

  • The included manual is quite vague and lacking on many details.
  • Pistol crossbow is not ideal for your daily driver.

The 11 Tips You Should Know About Deer Hunting With A Crossbow

Deer Hunting with a crossbow! What a fascinating topic to talk about! Well, I will show you 11 tips in a short brief. We will talk about that (as detailed as possible) later. Now on the topic-

1. Proper Stand Placement

Proper stand placement is critical. If the tree stand you are using isn’t placed properly, say good bye to hunting anything. If you know the animals are coming from the north and you decided to place your tree stand on the opposite direction, you are doing it wrong.

2. Cock It On The Ground

The safest place to use a rope cocker is while the crossbow is on the ground. It will stop the crossbow from misfire. Even if it misfires, the bolt won’t hit you at all. Safety always comes first.

If you are using ACUdraw cranking device, then elevated cocking is faster and also safer. As any crossbow that supports ACUdraw cranking device, that also comes with anti-dry fire safety as well.

3. First Shot Matters

Even though crossbows are quite silent and subtle, missing the first shot can still warn the rest of the pack. Making your hunting session awful.

You don’t want that. That’s why, it’s important to make your first shot count.

4. Using A Draw Line

Hunters should always keep the safety on. No matter what stand you are taking. Unless, you are firing the crossbow, the safety should stay on.

It’s okay to load the crossbow elevated. But if you make a habit of loading the crossbow on the ground, it will be safer. Even with safety on, misfire can still happen. Loading the crossbow on the ground will eliminate any risk of harming yourself.

5. Resting Is Necessary

Make sure to have a good night sleep before the day you hunt. You should stay on the top of your game for the best result on the field. Dozing off on the field is never welcomed. If you had a good rest before the session, it will also help you keep going for a long time.  

6. Take Care Of The Bow Like You Take Care Of Yourself

Consider the bow a part of your body now. Not literally, but metaphorically. If you take care of the bow, the bow will serve you for a long time. Show the bow love and clean it regularly. That will keep rust away from the bow. Make sure to wax the rail of the bow as well. it will keep the string operation smooth.

If you love the bow, it will love you back.

7. Practice Loading The Bow Before Reaching The Hunting Ground

You don’t want your crossbow to malfunction on the field. That’s why, it’s a good idea to practice loading the bow a couple of times and fire the bow to see if it’s working or not. Wax the bow rail and the cams. The string will operate smoothly. Check the string tension. Also, check if the string is in mint condition or not.

8. Patience Is A Virtue

Having patience in hunting will help you achieve many great things. You don’t want to go full Rambo on hunting ground. Stealth is a far better option than gun blazing.

9. Practice Your Aim On A Dummy

I am not saying you don’t know how to shoot. It’s more of a helpful way of learning where to shoot. A dummy deer target will have markings on the vital parts where you should aim. That’ why, it’s always recommended to hunters to practice on a dummy target. They are easily purchasable and quite helpful.

10. The Right Scope Or No Scope

The former is just there for the rhyme. Don’t go hunting without any scope. But going to hunting without the right scope may lead to some troubles as well.

Most of the time, the included crossbow scope is not that good. If that’s the case with your crossbow as well, then I highly recommend purchasing a better crossbow scope.

11. Know When It’s The Right Time To Hunt

Deer runs in a pack in early dusk and early dawn. During that time, you will find plenty of big deer to hunt. Never hunt for immature deer. That’s illegal and questionable. Also, research more about the hunting ground where you are planning to hunt. See the previous year records and the number of dears etc.


Where Should You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow?

It’s easy right? Just aim at the head and shoot? HA-HA! Only if it was that easy! I mean it’s that easy, if you are John Wick. Besides the Head, there are lots of other vital places where you can target. Let’s talk about those for a little bit.

Heart-lungs

Heat and lungs are three of the most vulnerable part of a deer. The skin covering this area is not that stiff either. Unless you are cursed and hit the ribs bone instead, the deer will die the moment the broadhead pierces the heart. Piercing the lungs will stop the deer from breathing and kill it shortly after.

High-Shoulder

Not a lot of people talk about this position. There are reasons for that. The main reason is the accuracy. It’s quite hard to hit at that exact position. Right underneath the neck of the deer and about one-third to a quarter away from the shoulder, this is an ideal place for you to shoot. This will paralyze the deer instantly. Due to the trauma, the deer will stop breathing and death will follow shortly after.

Brain

Just shoot in the head, big brain idea. Ha-ha. Jokes aside, it’s actually the best place to shoot a deer. The problem here is the accuracy. It will be super hard to accurately aim at a running deer. It’s not impossible.

If you can shoot the deer on the head, it will die instantly. It won’t have time to get paralyzed or run around, it will die on the spot. Thus making it the best spot to shoot on a deer.


Frequently ASK Questions

Can You Kill A Deer At 100 Yards With A Crossbow?

Short answer, yes, you can. You most definitely can. It will depend on how stealthy you are and how close you can get to the deer without getting noticed. Most of the crossbows aren’t known for their range. That’s why most hunters will tell you to keep the distance within 60-80 yards. In that range, the crossbow shines the most.

But at 100 yards, it’s doable. You have to keep the weather and your skill in mind. If you are confident on your skills, I am sure you can pull that off.

How Far Can You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow?

That will entirely depend on the crossbow and the environment. If the weather is too windy, then you might not even land a shot at 100 yards. If the weather is at your advantage, you might even land 150 yards shot. Compound crossbows can shoot up to 300 yards or so. The accuracy at that range? Non-existent.

That’s why I said, it will depend on the crossbow and the environment. 100-120 yards is a safe bet.

Are Crossbows Good For Deer Hunting?

Yes, they are super good for deer hunting. I will go as far as to say they are one of the best weapons for deer hunting. They are silent, deadly, and powerful enough to land a grown-up deer flat. They are not flashy or loud like a rifle. They are not as fast as a rifle either. But they are fast enough to hunt a deer.

Crossbows have low recoil and almost no noise. A rifle lacks both of those. A full crossbow setup will cost less than a complete AR or sniper rifle setup.

Riflescopes often costs more than a crossbow itself. You can wonder why people opt for crossbows over guns. Achieving a gun license is not that easy either.

How Many FPS Do You Need To Kill A Deer?

Earlier in the article, I said that, anything over 330 FPS is good. When the truth is, even a 270 FPS crossbow can kill a deer. If you are close enough to the deer, anything around 300 FPS will kill the deer guaranteed.

Why Do Many Hunters Choose A Recurve Crossbow Instead Of A Compound Crossbow?

Recurve crossbows are simple and easy to operate. That’s the reason why many hunters choose recurve over compound crossbows. Replacing the string on a compound crossbow is quite hard. You can do that easily with the recurve crossbow. Changing the string on the fly has an advantage on its own. That’s why, you see many hunters choosing and recommending recurve crossbows over the compound. Even though compound crossbows are obviously better. But recurve is simpler. If that makes sense.

Can You Hunt Deer With A Pistol Crossbow?

Yes, and No. Why? pistol crossbows aren’t the most accurate crossbows on the market. their range is also quite bad. Definitely not good enough for range hunting. But a pistol crossbow packs enough power to penetrate the skin of a deer. You have to use a broadhead for that. Also, you need to aim at the head or the heart. Otherwise, the pistol crossbow won’t do nearly enough damage to kill a deer.


Conclusion: Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting

In conclusion, my back hurts. Boy how many cups of coffee did you finish while reading it? I sure have gulped a gallon or two.

I know it isn’t the usual review we do. But I felt like providing a grand post for my grand viewers. It was more than just best crossbows for deer hunting reviews. I hope my insights on this post will improve your hunting and will help you decide on your next crossbow.

That’s all I am, a guide to direct you to the right path. I sound like a religion preacher. Anyway, welcome to deer hunting, enjoy your stay and spread the love among hunters.