5 Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting Reviews (2018 Guide)
This ultimate guide will show you 5 best crossbow for deer hunting reviews. You might think to yourself: “what kind of crossbow should I buy for deer hunting?”. Don’t worry, you’re going to have a clear answer in the second section.
The best part? I listed some criterion of what to look for when buying a crossbow in the last module. But first...
Top Crossbows for Deer Hunting:
5 Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting Reviews:
1. TenPoint Stealth NXT Crossbow Package with Rangemaster Pro Scope, Quiver, and Arrows
If you like to hunt on tree stands or in tight environments, this compound crossbow from TenPoint will be great for you. It’s extremely narrow, only 6 inches when cocked, and it is great for stand and ground blind environments.
Super Powerful Crossbow
It’s also great for those that want a lot of speed and power while staying relatively quiet. Using its dual flex limbs with 4 cables this bow can launch arrows at speeds of 410 FPS while staying stable and silent. How does it do that?
There are sound dampeners built directly into the stock, while the vibration in the front gets separated and dampened by the grip. Overall, you’ll feel less recoil, and there will be less noise overall. The C3 carbon infuse stock, besides dampening shock, also stays work in the cold.
The nylon-filament arrow retention brush helps with sound dampening as well, by quietly and efficiently keeping the arrow in place. No more clanging sounds while you’re moving about the woods.
String Moved to Front
The increased power of this device also comes from the string being moved to the front of the scope, making it stronger without the need to increase its length. And you’ll need all that power, especially when hunting deer or elk.
It comes with an ACUdraw cocking mechanism which features an integrated self-retracting rope. It’s also the only part of the crossbow that is not dead-silent, and it takes around 24 revs to cock.
Some of the standard safety features are present here, including a dry fire inhibitor as well as a safety that auto-engages. With this it’s a perfectly safe weapon, even for beginners that are hunting deer with a crossbow for the first time.
5 Year Warranty
The warranty for this crossbow is the standard for TenPoint – it covers the limbs, scope, cocking devices for 5 years. It also includes a limited lifetime operational warranty. More info about it can be found on their website. Overall, it’s a decent warranty.
The only major drawback to this lovely crossbow is its weight – it weighs 7.3 pounds, making it one of the heaviest on this list. If you’re concerned that you’re carrying too much weight, it might be too much for you.
- Incredibly narrow
- Extremely silent operation with Acudraw
- Amazing speed of 410 FPS
- Nylon-filament arrow retention brush
- Adjustable butt plate
- Dual Flex limbs
- The ACUdraw cocking device is not silent
- It’s quite a heavy crossbow
2. TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow
This is another compound xbow from TenPoint, but is best bang for your buck crossbow. It features the same warranty as most of other products, and it’s mostly good stuff.
Like most of their products, it also features the ACUdraw cocking mechanism, which can reduce draw weight by up to 50%.
It is not quiet, but it works well and is exceptionally easy to use. It also ensures that the string is well-centered, allowing for better accuracy and reliability.
The crossbow itself is quite strong with a draw weight of 175 and a speed of 360 FPS – which is lower than that of the TenPoint Stealth, but still good.
It is also wider than that model by a significant margin – 13.5 inches from axle to axle. You might have some trouble when hunting deer from a tree stand.
Just like the Stealth, it also has an adjustable butt plate, though the stock of this unit is a Fusion S stock. This makes it a bit less efficient at retaining heat so you might have some trouble when deer hunting in cold weather.
It also features some standard safety features, including a dry fire inhibitor and a safety foregrip and wings. Nothing out of the ordinary but still appreciated. It’s the little things that count and that make crossbows like this safe.
The weight of this crossbow is lower than the TenPoint Stealth, though. So if you’re looking for something with comparable power but less weight, this might be your weapon of choice.
The cost is also significantly lower, which doesn’t hurt either. Despite that, it’s well-made and doesn’t compromise on the durability at all.
When all is said and done, this is not an exceptional but an incredibly reliable deer hunting crossbow.
It performs all the functions it needs to, doesn’t cost too much and has more than enough power to bring down even an elk. It’s a worthy purchase for both experienced deer hunters and newcomers.
- Comes with an ACUdraw cocking mechanism
- Good power and speed
- Lower weight than the TenPoint Stealth
- Adjustable butt plate
- Safe foregrip and wings
- No sound dampening system
- Slower than the TenPoint Stealth
- Two cables only
- Quite loud
- Easy to scratch painting
- No wax lub included
3. Scorpyd Aculeus 460FPS ACUdraw Crossbow - MossyOak Camo
The first thing you might notice about this compound crossbow is its exceptional speed of 460 FPS, almost unmatched on the market. It is certainly the fastest crossbow on the market.
Exceptional Draw Weight
The draw weight is also exceptional, coming in at 180. Be aware that this is over the legal limit in some states, so check your local laws before purchasing this weapon. It might be illegal for deer hunting or even hunting in general.
What gives it all that power is the patented reverse draw technology along with its great length. The New Kempf Tech Integrated Trigger Housing & Scope Rail System allows the string to pull back incredibly far and shoot the arrow with power and precision.
Cocking it is simple, with the ACUdraw crank cocking mechanism that comes included. It does make noise, but it’s incredibly effective and easy to use, while also improving the performance of the crossbow, cocking it better than you could by hand.
1911 pistol grips
This crossbow is also available with Hogue custom 1911 style pistol grips, allowing you to choose your preferred style of hunting. This would reduce its hefty weight of 7.5 pounds as well if you’re worried about that. You’ll easily be able to sling it around your shoulder with that attachment.
It’s quite a wide crossbow, at 12 7/8 inches. You might have trouble with it when trying to hunt deer on tree stands or in thick woods. Just carrying it can be a bit of a chore, but if you want all that speed and power it might be worth it – you decide.
The safety is top-notch, with an anti-dry fire device on board and the New Kempf Tech Sear Lock Trigger System. Even beginners should be able to handle without any risk of injury which is always what you want.
The price point is high to be sure, but this is a quality product that comes with a lot of extras and performs better than most others.
It’s made in the USA, so you know it’s not made out of cheap parts or shoddily assembled – it features titanium fasteners that ensure it will stay in one piece for a long time.
- Fastest fps crossbow
- Great draw power
- Made in USA
- New Trigger Housing & Scope Rail System
- Comes with a lot of extras
- More expensive than most others
- Exceptionally wide
4. Excalibur Crossbow Null Matri
Unlike the others, this is a recurve crossbow for deer hunting, but it still measures up quite well in terms of power and speed.
Easy to string/ restring
Since this is a relatively inexpensive crossbow, it’s a good entry-level crossbow that can be used by almost anyone. It’s easy to string as well, requiring no external device – you can do it by yourself.
You don’t need to have a bow press like with a compound crossbow and even if the string breaks it’s no big deal.
Its speed of 305 is lower than most of the other crossbows I’ve featured thus far, but it’s still nothing to scoff at. The more impressive thing is the draw weight of 200 – beware, it’s at the extreme limits of the law, and you won’t be able to use this crossbow in most states.
One of the major benefits it has as a recurve crossbow, though, is the ease of maintenance. Since it has far less moving parts than a compound crossbow, it doesn’t need to be taken to a service every time something goes wrong.
Overall, they have a good warranty on their products. It’s a lifetime warranty but only for manufacturing defects.
It’s a real do-it-yourself kind of crossbow, for sure. It even comes in parts, and you need to assemble it before use, which can be a hassle. However, it’s not too difficult to assemble it and what you get a is a powerful crossbow that weighs only around 5.5 pounds.
Be careful in tight spaces, though, since it’s extremely wide from one axle to the other. This is common in recurve crossbows, but I thought I’d give you a heads up since it’s even more pronounced in this model.
No Anti-Dry Fire
One of the major drawbacks of this crossbow is its lack of some common safety features, namely the anti-dryfire mechanism.
Don’t hand it over to beginners and be careful when using it, if you opt to get it anyway. If it wasn’t for this, it would be a great beginner crossbow for sure.
Overall, it’s a good weapon but not suited for everyone as it has some conflicting design choices. If you know what you’re doing, however, and don’t mind using a recurve crossbow, it’s a best recurve crossbow for the money with a lot of power.
- Extremely powerful
- Incredibly light
- Inexpensive, a good crossbow hunting for beginner
- Easy to string by yourself
- Lack of anti-dryfire mechanism
- Needs assembly
- Quite wide from axle to axle
5. CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper 380 Camo- Crossbow Package
Quietest Crossbow with Whisper Silencing System
This is an exceptionally quiet compound crossbow, easily earning the “whisper” part of its name. That’s one of its most prominent features, and the incredible quietness with which it fires is achieved by quite an ingenious mechanism.
It features two string stoppers that have silencers on them as well as two limb dampeners. That’s all complemented with two spider silencers, which brings the noise and vibration to almost nothing. The deer simply won’t know what hit it and even if you miss the first shot you won’t alert it and try again.
Despite the amazing quietness it doesn’t compromise on either power or speed. The top speed this crossbow is 380 fps with a draw weight of 185, easily placing it in the top 3 crossbows on this list.
This combination of strength and soundlessness is what makes it truly stand out. It’s also what makes it ideal for deer and elk hunting, especially on open plains.
However, this is unquestionably the heaviest of all the crossbows I featured here, weighing in at 8 pounds. It’s definitely not fit to hang around your waist or even your back and is difficult to carry.
It’s also the widest crossbow here by far, measuring a full 14 inches from axle to axle. This limits its use even more, especially when deer hunting thick forest areas and on tree stands.
Another issue is how flimsy it is. The bolts and scope are certainly low-end as usual entry level crossbow. You shouldn’t expect it to last too long and some have reported that it gets easily damaged in transport.
Its warranty is also not that great, and the full details of it can be found here. One of the good points, though, is that the scope is adjustable.
However, the stock is not, unlike in most similar models. If you’re trying to hunt in tight spaces or you’re not of average height and arm length, this might post a problem.
- Whisper Silencing System
- High projectile velocity
- Huge draw weight
- Incredibly quiet
- Manual cock
- Best starter crossbow
- Heavier than most crossbows
- Incredibly wide
- The scope and the bolts are low end
- Manual cocking (no crank)
- Fixed stock
- No case, sling
Recurve Crossbow vs. Compound Crossbow for Deer Hunting:
You might be wondering : "is a recurve or compound crossbow better?". This comparison will show you clearly their advantages and disadvantages. So keep reading:
Fire to unload
Take bolt out and uncock
One of the main argument points when it comes to the recurve crossbow vs. compound crossbow debate is the speed.
Overall, there’s not much of a debate here – the compound crossbows win by a landslide. They can achieve greater tension in their limbs, leading to more power when firing the arrow and, thus, more velocity.
Some hunters will point out that speed is unimportant since most animals won’t be able to avoid an arrow flying at more than 200 feet-per-second. However, that’s missing the point.
When talking about speed, we’re also talking about power. Higher speed means that a crossbow can easily fire heavier arrows, resulting in more takedown power. It also means the arrows will fly straighter and farther, resulting in more range. So, speed is quite important.
A lot of hunters prefer simplicity in their equipment, and that’s where the recurve crossbows win out. Fixing or tuning a recurve crossbow is easy, even in the field. This is not the case with compound crossbows due to their complex mechanisms.
However, if you want to be lighter on your feet and hunt in small spaces, size is also a thing you need to consider. Due to their design, recurve crossbows are much wider and can be cumbersome to carry when compared to compound crossbows.
Despite their simplicity, recurve crossbows also tend to have a lower degree of user-friendliness, and compound variants are more often designed to be easier to use.
The inverse is true when it comes to fixing them, though, and compound crossbows lose out in terms of durability. Their complex firing system is prone to breaking, and the damage is often irreparable. Recurve crossbows are simple and thus less prone to breaking and easier to fix.
While noise is a non-issue for some hunters, it is still something you should consider if you happen to need to take a second shot. The longer limbs in recurve crossbows produce a lot of noise when firing, and compound crossbows are far quieter.
When it comes to uncocking, compound crossbows have a problem – you can only do that by firing. In some case, you need to bring a block to complete this action.
With recurve bows, you can switch the arrow out by just taking out the bolt and uncocking it.
So, which one is the winner? Well, it’s difficult to say as it all depends on what you need, but for me, compound crossbows are a better option, especially for deer hunting.
Sometimes, recurve crossbows don’t have enough stopping power and the ability to take a second shot is priceless. However, you might have a different hunting approach so the same might not be true for you.
How to Choose a Crossbow for Deer Hunting:
This section will tell you step-by-step of what to look for in buying a crossbow if you're still confused. So check it now!
Before you even start looking for crossbows to buy, you must first consider the possible legal ramifications of using one.
Plenty of states don’t allow for the use of crossbows in archery hunting seasons or only allow them under certain conditions. Make sure to check what’s legal and what’s not before you buy a crossbow for deer hunting.
You can check some of that right here at the North American Crossbow Federation website.
Consider Your Hunting Style
Not everyone hunts the same way, and if you’re particularly used to deer hunting with a rifle, you might have to adjust to a crossbow.
Before you buy a crossbow, consider the way you hunt deer and whether you can adapt to a crossbow. Try to find crossbows that will suit your hunting style, no matter what it is – there are options for everyone.
For example, if you tend to hunt on treestands or are ground blind hunting you’ll probably need to get a crossbow that’s narrow, so you can maneuver easily. It’ll also have to be light so you can carry it without getting tired.
On the other hand, if you tend to sit in one spot with a food lure and tend to wait for deer to come to you, you can afford to use a crossbow that’s heavier and wider since you won’t need to move it too much.
When you’re buying a crossbow, you should consider the size and try to get one that’s as narrow as possible. That will allow you to hunt deer more easily in almost any area and expand your hunting grounds significantly.
As any good deer hunter knows, you always need to be light on your feet. Due to this, your equipment should weigh as little as possible, and a light crossbow is a must. Try to get one that weighs no more than 6 pounds, if possible.
The draw weight of a crossbow translates directly into power and most range from 75 to 125 lbs. However, crossbow draw weight for deer hunting, you’re going to want a crossbow with more than 150 lbs.
Just make sure you don’t exceed the legal limit of your state – most don’t allow for crossbows with a draw weight over 175 lbs.
As I mentioned before, crossbow speed (fps) for deer hunting is very important, and it directly affects the range and stopping power of a crossbow. It’s usually measured in feet per second.
For deer hunting, a speed of over 300 fps is more than enough to hunt with, though you could go for more if you need to. Just make sure to stay within the legal limits.
When you’re buying a crossbow, you need to make sure it has a good warranty so you don’t get ripped off. But what makes a good warranty, you might ask? Well, the main things you should look at is - how long is the warranty and what does it cover?
Warranties can last anywhere from 1 to 2 years or 5 years and there are even lifetime warranties, that will cover you indefinitely.
What warranties cover also differ. Some cover the entire product, while others only cover specific parts of the crossbow, like the limbs, the body or the scope. The more a warranty covers, the better.
Another part where warranties differ is the type of damage they cover. Some will cover only manufacturing defects or damages during transport. However, better warranties will also cover damage incurred during hunting, which is what you want.
While crossbows are mostly seen as safer than firearms, that’s not exactly true. They can be just as dangerous, as the deer you just killed might testify if it could speak through its cold, dead mouth.
To avoid possibly fatal injuries, you have to find a crossbow that’s safe enough to use, even for the inexperienced.
Proper hand-guards are a must – the fingers should never be in the path of string, no matter what. The guards and the butt of the crossbow should also be adjustable, to make sure that almost anyone can use it comfortably.
The crossbow should preferably have a trigger-blocking safety as well, so the bow doesn’t dry fire when you’re cocking it. Other anti-dry-fire systems are also a good thing to have in a crossbow.
No matter how good it is in other areas, buying a crossbow that’s not safe enough is never worth it – you should remember that.
Is it Quiet Enough?
This is one part where power and speed might become a detriment. The more speed and draw weight a crossbow has, the more noise it will produce.
It might not be too important for your first shot, but if you ever want to make a second shot at that deer, you should find a crossbow that’s quiet enough. You might have to get one that’s not as powerful, but that would be a necessary compromise.
Try to get a crossbow that’s as quiet as possible and look at decibel ratings before you buy one if there are any listed on the product.
Some crossbows will also come with sound-dampening devices attached, which is a good option to look into.
Where is It Made?
These days, most of our products, even the American brands, aren’t made in the US. You’ll probably find a “made in China” label on most of the stuff you own these days.
The reason for that is because making things in China and other similar countries is cheap. Cheap labor, cheap materials, and shoddy construction is the name of the game.
Because of that, you should find an American made crossbow to ensure that you’re getting a quality product. Even Canadian made crossbows should be decent but look for an American one just to be sure.
Stay Within Your Budget
When you’re buying something as expensive as a deer hunting crossbow, you should make sure that you don’t overspend. A high price is not a guarantee of quality, which is why you should stick within your budget.
However, at the same time, you shouldn’t be afraid to pay a little bit extra to get a crossbow that will serve you well for years to come. Stay reasonable, but don’t look for the cheapest option either, is what I’m saying.
What's the Bottom Line?
All of these are good crossbows for deer hunting, at least in my opinion, and each one is a worthy contender to the top spot. However, the top rated I would have to choose above all others is the TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow.
Why? Well, the answer is simple:
- It offers the best overall balance of power and speed with weight and width.
- It’s also not overpriced and is exceptionally durable.
- It’s not too exceptional in any area but it also doesn’t have any major downsides, and that’s what I’m looking for in my deer hunting crossbows – reliability.
Thank you for your attention, and I hope this guide about the 5 best crossbow for deer hunting reviews helped you at least a little bit. And if you have anything to ask or add, please post a comment below.
Until next time, happy hunting!