How To Pick The Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting | The Trust Compass
Crossbow For Deer Hunting

How To Pick The Best Crossbow For Deer Hunting

Of late crossbows have become the weapon of choice for both amateur and professional hunters. Many of them prefer using crossbows over guns and rifles for outdoor hunting. Crossbows come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. But despite the downside, many hunters prefer this traditional weapon. 

If you’re looking to enjoy the thrill of hunting outdoors with a crossbow, you need to select the best crossbow for hunting. We’ve reviewed the best crossbows for deer hunting so you can choose one that’s right for you. 

Are you after the most silent and deadliest crossbow on the market? We’ve got a comprehensive list of crossbows that you’d want to see!

While crossbows come in various sizes and shapes, the ideal crossbow for deer hunting must have a few essential features. Consider the following factors when purchasing a crossbow for deer hunting. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Crossbow for Deer Hunting


There is a common misconception that faster is always better. But, this is not always the case. The speeds of deer hunting crossbows generally range from 260 FPS and 400 FPS. For hunting a crossbow with a lower speed is recommended as the faster ones tend to be noisy due to the vibrations. Additionally, faster speeds cause your crossbow to wear down faster, and proper tuning of the broadhead and arrow can be a challenge. Also, do not be tempted to opt for faster arrows as they will not give you a significant advantage. 


Lighter crossbows have better maneuverability, while heavier crossbows offer higher stability. Using a heavier crossbow requires a significant amount of strength. A heavier bow is ideal if you don’t move around much while hunting and if you’re strong enough to carry it. A lighter crossbow is better for you if you lack the strength or need to move around quickly. 

Draw Weight

While there are some crossbows that provide draw weights of up to 200 pounds, the average draw weight of a deer hunting crossbow is between 75 to 125 pounds. A Higher draw weight is better, but weights of above 175 pounds are not allowed in every state. 

Other Considerations

The best hunting crossbows come with a number of useful additional features. Cocking aids can make cocking more comfortable and are available in two types, rope devices, and crank devices. Rope cocking devices are recommended for hunting. They should also come with a good scope. There are also noise dampening devices that can reduce noise and improve performance. 

Best Crossbows for Deer Hunting

Barnett Wildcat C5

One of the sleeker, more well-designed options is the Barnett Wildcat C5. It is one of the more premium models, but it well worth the money. It is extremely easy to operate and has a draw weight of 150 pounds.  The speed is quite high at 320 fps, and the weight is comfortable. The Barnett Wildcat C5 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a sleek and straightforward crossbow option that really delivers. 


  • It is easy and quick to use
  • It is sleek and well-designed


  • There are similar models with comparable features available at a lower price
  • Accuracy could be improved

Barnett Jackal

Another suitable budget option for anyone seeking an efficient crossbow is the Barnett Jackal. While this is a budget option, its quality is comparable to much higher priced models. It works smoothly and is ideal for traditionalists who enjoy the rituals that come with using a traditional crossbow such as waxing the string and checking if the proper fletching is down. It is exceptionally well priced for the many features it offers. Its draw weight is 150 pounds which is the same as the Barnett Wildcat. There is an arrow included in the set which shoots with a decent amount of kinetic energy of 12 kg-m. It is on the heavier side, but this factor does not impact recoil. 


  • It is well priced for a heavy crossbow
  • Ideal for traditionalist hunters
  • Arrows and wax are included in the set


  • High-range shooting is a challenge due to the lower speed

Excalibur Matrix 355 

The Excalibur Matrix 355 is an extremely powerful piece of equipment that can take down big game of any kind. It is as good looking as it is efficient. It is capable of hitting targets at a spectacular velocity of 380 FPS. This is equal to 50 pounds of kinetic energy. You will need to cock this crossbow by hand due to its impressive draw speed of 260 pounds. A rope-cocking device is included in the set. The crossbow also comes with an anti-dry-fire system for safety reasons. This can stop the bow from firing unless an arrow is loaded and ready. It comes with a set of 18-inch Diablo arrows.


  • Compact design with a scope attached to it
  • Four high-quality Diablo arrows are included
  • Comes with a rope-cocking device


  • The scope provided is not as powerful as ones found on other models


When it comes to crossbows, there are many options you can consider using on your next deer hunt. However, it is essential to choose wisely to get the desired results. The idea is to get the best, high-quality crossbow that fits your budget. The 3 crossbows reviewed in this article are excellent options when it comes to deer hunting. Now that you know the basics of what to look for in a crossbow, you can establish your price range and assess your requirements. Through some trial and error, you can find one that’s perfect for your needs. 

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