Have you ever imagined how killing an animal from a close distance feels like? If you want that chilling experience. try going in woods with a small pistol crossbow. This hunt will be challenging and requires lots of patience, but once you try it, you’ll love this practice.
The mini pistol crossbow proves to be a good alternative for the conventional or compound bow. If you want to keep your hunting gear tidy and lightweight, a pistol crossbow will do-the-job. However, there arises a question, are these mini bows good enough for hunting?
Well, the answer to this varies according to your shooting practice, distance from the target, and game size. If you think that a small pistol bow can kill a deer from 100 yards distance, you’re wrong. But when we alter the odds, this is undoubtedly doable.
Some amateur shooters have a misconception that pistol bows aren’t powerful enough to assist a hunter and are mere showpieces. However, the incredible pistol crossbows available on the market today easily bust this myth and prove their worth in all settings. Your pistol crossbow will always immaculately perform whether you go fishing or try hands at a small-game hunt.
Pistol bows are convenient weapons that don’t consume the hunter’s energy and still let him feel the thrill of an exciting mission. Camouflaging with the thickets and suddenly attacking a passing elk with your pistol crossbow, wow, that’s such an exciting venture, no?
Even if you are a new shooter, operating a pistol bow is effortless, unlike longbows and compound bows that require regular upkeep. Those who have thinner body frames and shorter heights cannot work with traditional bows. But, that doesn’t mean they cannot enjoy wild hunts. Replacing your old school bow with a smart pistol bow will totally change the hunting game for you; try and see for yourself.
Before trying pistol bow hunting, you should consider a few factors, and the chances of your success will double. So, without any delay, let’s discuss them one-by-one.
How far you’re standing from the target is the most significant factor of bow hunting. Most conventional bows have massive draw weights (of 100 lbs and more) that let the hunter maintain a considerable distance. But this is not easy with a pistol crossbow. Since most pistol crossbows offer a draw weight of 80 lbs or less, you’ve to go closer to the target.
Let’s say if you’re aiming at a deer with a pistol bow of 80 lbs draw weight. In such a situation, your maximum distance should be 25 yards. If you shoot the bolt for a more extended range, chances of missing the target arise. And even if your long-distance bolt succeeds to hit the prey, it won’t be a clean kill. To ensure that the game dies speedily and without losing much blood, go closer.
Watch this quick video to understand the force of a pistol crossbow.
However, you can increase the distance to 40 yards if your target is a bird or a small rodent; if you have a sharp focus, you can quickly kill these while being at a distance. The longer distance is beneficial, especially for the first time hunters, as they aren’t well versed with the outdoor settings.
Where do you hit the target animal determines your hunts’ success (always)? Even if you’re a gun shooter, you must hit the animal at the right spot to minimize its pain and reduce the blood trail.
The same is the obligation with pistol crossbows. If your bolt hits the game in between its vital organs, you can soon go and collect the killed animal. However, if you hit at a wrong position, i.e., its leg, it startles the blood flow and that continuously flowing blood can allure big predators, which can eventually put you in a dangerous position.
Hunting with pistol crossbows is a challenging sport; if you opt for it, make sure you ace it. The instances of wrongly hit bolts waste your time and cause immense pain to the game, and that’s something you must avoid.
Bolts of pistol crossbows are smaller in length than other bolts, which means it’s challenging to ensure that you don’t miss. To thoroughly enjoy your hunts, take scope along with the bow. A scope that lets you magnify up to 2 x or more on the object is excellent. This way, you can quickly focus and mark the right spot to attack. Although short-range hunts don’t always require a scope, it’s better to be sure. As mentioned above, missing a bolt shouldn’t be on your mind. Be prepared, alert, and determined; nothing will come your way.
Killing grizzly bears or boars isn’t possible with a pistol crossbow. These big games have thick layers of fats that don’t let the small bolts penetrate. Eventually, the animal ends up with a wound that isn’t fatal. Hunting with pistol crossbows limits your choice, and you cannot use it in every setting.
The main games that you can cleanly kill with a pistol crossbow are rodents, birds, squirrels, small dear, turkeys, elks, and rabbits. If your prey isn’t hefty, a pistol crossbow can kill it, no matter how speedily it runs.
Here’s Babe Winkelman hunting a large elk with pistol crossbow:
You only need to keep the vital position in mind and shoot at the right time; you’ll make a clean kill with this small weapon!
Manufacturers mostly send plastic or light aluminium bolts with these mini bows. Although they are perfect for target practice, you can’t hunt with these plastic bolts. It would help if you had sharp-edged metallic or thin aluminium bolts that penetrate deep inside the game’s body and don’t let it escape your shot.
If a weak bolt hits a game, it can quickly run off with the wound. However, when a cutting-edge bolt is fired with utmost precision, you’ll love the results.
Pistol crossbows have lower pull/draw weights than longbows, which makes them relatively weaker. 50-70 lbs draw weight is ideal for beginner hunters who opt for small birds and rodents only. However, to bang down an animal, your pistol crossbow must have at least 80 lbs draw weight.
In addition, if your bow’s weight is lower than your requirement, you can compensate it by getting closer to the target as a bolt’s kinetic energy depends upon the distance it travels. Therefore, tree-stand and challenge-loving arms men enjoy close-range hunts more. If you’ve got that passion for proximal hunting, don’t worry about the draw weight.
Must Read: Top 5 Best Pistol Crossbow 2019
Final Words about Pistol Crossbow
Taking challenges and acing them is hunters’ pride, they never step back from a nerve-wracking mission. What’s more challenging than hunting with an unconventional firearm? Pistol crossbows are considerably weaker than longbows and are nowhere near to the strength of a gun; if you complete a successful hunt with a mini bow, you’re genuinely a passionate learner.
You only have to plan your mini bow hunting adventure professionally, and you’ll nail the task for sure. Setting a good tree-stand, taking essential gear, i.e., a scope, and waiting patiently until your game shows up; all these factors surely double the fun of hunting.