10 Best Crossbows For Deer Hunting [Ultimate Guide]

Best Crossbows For Deer Hunting

If you would like to know which crossbow I intend to buy, then I would highly recommend the CenterPoint 370 Crossbow which is very inexpensive compared to what it can do.

Choosing just the right crossbow for hunting deer is not as easy as it seems as there are many pitfalls that most people fall into.

Do you want to know how to choose the best crossbow for deer hunting? If your answer is yes, then you need to read further because there is a lot that we need to cover. Did you know that it is actually extremely easy to choose the right crossbow from the start if you know what to look for?

If you follow some very important rules, then it would be hard not to choose the right one.

Here is what you will get:

All of the crossbows listed in this article will be the best suited for hunting small to medium sized game such as deer. I have selected a whopping 10 crossbows that will do the job. The most important feature that I was looking for was the projectile speed of the arrow once it is released.

The minimum speed that will serve as a benchmark will be 180 feet per second as this seems to do the trick. I will also cover aspects such as the draw weight, pricing, the scope, arrows, quivers and also the safety mechanisms in place to avoid injury.

If you are new to crossbow hunting, then I would advise you to go over the buying guide next. There will also be a comparison table at the end of the article.

Buying Guide For Hunting Deer with Crossbows

If you are new to crossbows then I would highly recommend that you go through this buying guide with me as this guide might save you a lot of trouble.

Look:

There is nothing worse than receiving a product that you have waited almost a week for but only to discover that you might have made a mistake by choosing the wrong one.

There are so many different aspects to look for when choosing the right crossbow for deer hunting and I will list them all below.

Are you ready?

Let us get started with the first and most important aspect.

1. Does draw weight really matter when hunting deer?

In short, my answer is going to be both yes and no so let us start with what I agree with.

Does draw weight really matter when hunting deer?

A Deer is actually an easy animal to shoot as they do not have that much muscle to cover up their organs. It also does not take a very powerful bow in order to penetrate them deep enough.

So what actually determines whether a bow is good enough to penetrate a deer?

My answer is going to be the type/weight of the arrow used and also the projecting speed.

This is because there needs to be enough momentum (that results from the mass and acceleration behind the arrow) in order to penetrate the deer.

An arrow that has a high projecting speed will also result in high kinetic energy because it needed a lot of potential energy to get it to that speed in the first place.

This is where the draw weight comes into play.

The higher the draw weight, the more potential energy will be stored which will result in the faster projecting of the speed of the arrow.

So as a rule of thumb, the higher the draw weight, the faster the arrow. I would also recommend that you have a projecting speed of at least 180 feet per second (Preferable above 300 FPS) at close range in order to kill deer.

Here is the thing.

Some people might say that you do not need that strong of a crossbow to hunt deer. Personally, I prefer a bow that is more than strong enough to take down a deer.

How accurate are crossbows

I think that we can both agree on the following:

Wounding an animal is much worse than completely missing a shot. You can also spend more than half a day following a wounded animal because I do not like leaving animals to die in misery.

So for me, it is better to have an overpowered weapon that will get the job done.

It is also not like a rifle that will destroy the meat when it is overpowered.

The slowest and fastest bows:

The slowest bow in this category is going to be the Wizard Archery Crossbow which is around 185 feet per second and is also the least expensive product in this listing.

The fastest bow in this selection is going to be the CenterPoint 370 Crossbow with a speed of 370 FPS and is also my top recommended crossbow.

Next, we will get to the part that I do not agree upon…

2. Here is the part where draw weight does not matter

If you want to go through the trouble of pulling the string of a crossbow that has a high draw weight, but you do not want to sacrifice the projecting speed then you need to read further.

I actually came across a crossbow called the Bear X Bruzer Crossbow that is also a Forward Facing Limb (FFL) that has a Reverse Draw Design.

This special design allows it to have a draw weight of 125 lbs that is 5 pounds more than that of the lowest powered bow but also has a travel speed of up to 335 feet per second.

With a normal crossbow, you will never be able to get the arrow even close to 300 FPS with a 125-pound draw weight.

This is surely a design that would make Newton proud.

3. What can you expect from the pricing of these crossbows?

Pricing is very important because the average price range of these crossbows are somewhere between $200 and $500 per crossbow.

This is very important because crossbows, in general, are very expensive.

The least expensive crossbow can start from just around $100 and the most expensive one is around $800.

If you are short on cash and you want to know which bow is the least expensive that is also able to hunt deer, then I would highly recommend the Wizard Archery Crossbow which is the entry level for deer hunting.

However, if you would like to know which bow was the most expensive and you like to go with that, then I would recommend the TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow which makes the use of a rope cocker.

4. Some crossbows also come with a scope or sight

Most of the crossbows in this article will come with a scope that has a 4×32 times normal magnification which is ideal for hunting medium to longer distances.

Crossbows with scopes

Some of these scopes will also have dots that compensate for arrow drop at further distances.

Below are some crossbows that you should consider when a good quality scope is important for you:

1. CenterPoint 370 Crossbow

2. Wizard Archery Crossbow (Least Expensive)

3. SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow

4. Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow

5. Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow

These crossbows will very decent scopes that have a 4×32 times normal magnification for mid to longer ranges.

5. What types of arrows do these crossbows use?

We all know that hunting deer will be pretty useless if you have the best crossbow that the world can offer but you do not have the right arrows.

What is the best crossbow bolts

When I talk about an arrow, I actually refer to a “bolt” which is mainly used in crossbows.

Most of the crossbows in this article will come with 3-4 bolts along with the quiver. If you want to own more than 3 arrows, then I would recommend arrows that fit the following criteria:

  1. They are 20 inches long.
  2. Between 400-450 grains.
  3. Can insert arrowhead (optional)

If you want to head over to some of the ready to use bolts then I would recommend the Black Eagle Executioner or the Barnett Carbon Bolts.

6. Safety is also a priority

We know that it is common practice to include safety mechanism in firearms but we should not forget about crossbows as well.

It is important to have crossbows that fit the following criteria:

  1. Should have enough space between your hand and the string.
  2. A trigger safety mechanism should be in place.
  3. The crossbow should not easily break when under pressure.
  4. It should also have mechanisms against dry fire (firing without the arrow).

All of the bows in this review have at least the first 3 point that meets the criteria.

7. Some crossbows are easier to use when loading the bolt

Most of the times, you would manually have to pull the string with your bare hands in order to cock the crossbow.

There are some crossbows that give you the opportunity to skip this procedure.

The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 is a crossbow that comes with ACUdraw that uses a U-shaped device that attaches to the string.

You can then pull the string back with the use of a lever mechanism that is attached to the stock of the crossbow.

There are also other crossbows such as the TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow and the Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow that makes the use of a rope cocking aid that makes this process a lot easier.

#1 CenterPoint 370 Crossbow (Top Pick)

  • Draw Weight: 185 lb
  • Travel Speed: 370 FPS

If you would like to know what is my favorite crossbow of all time, then I would like to point out the CenterPoint Sniper Crossbow. This crossbow has a very decent draw weight and the speed is also very good. This is a very inexpensive crossbow (just over $200) compared to some of the crossbows with the same strength and speed that can reach up to $600 per crossbow.

More info on the features:

  1. Has a very decent draw weight. This crossbow has a draw weight of around 185 pounds which makes it perfect for any type of deer and I will even go as far as to say that an elk will also fall to its knees if you landed an accurate shot in the heart or lungs.
  2. The speed is super fast. This crossbow has a mind-blowing speed of 370 feet per second which makes it more than perfect for longer range and shorter ranges as well.
  3. You also get a pretty decent scope. With this crossbow, you will also get a 4×32 mm scope that will make it easier to land those shots that are further away.
  4. You also get 3 bolts to start with. Along with the crossbow, you will also get 3 carbon bolts that are 20 inches long in length.
  5. Comes with a quiver. The quiver will be attached at the bottom to the crossbow and can carry up to 3 bolts for quick access.
  6. Will shoot very silently. This crossbow also has string dampers that will cancel some of the noise created while releasing the bolt.
  7. Has a nice safety mechanism in place. Like most firearms, this crossbow will also have a safety switch in place to avoid accidental shooting.

Overall, I think that this was the best bow for the price. The only minor problem was that you only get 3 arrows along with the crossbow. I liked this crossbow so much that I personally plan to buy one for myself.

What we liked

  • Can shoot any type of deer with this crossbow.
  • The bolt traveling speed is very fast.
  • Will not make a lot of noise after pulling the trigger.
  • Has a safety mechanism in place.

What we didn’t like

  • Not much to say here other than it only comes with only 3 bolts.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#2 Wizard Archery Crossbow (Least Expensive)

  • Draw Weight: 120 lb
  • Travel Speed: 185 FPS

If you are short on your budget and you would like to get your hands on a crossbow for deer hunting then I would recommend this crossbow from Wizzard Archery. This product also costs less than $100 and is also the least expensive option is this review. This crossbow also come in 3 colors which are Black, Desert Camo, and Autumn Camo.

More info on the features:

  1. Can at least shoot a deer. This bow has a draw weight of 120 pounds which is the minimum cut off point for trying to hunt small to medium frame game such as deer.
  2. Has moderate speed. The arrows can fly with a speed of up to 185 feet per second. This may not be as fast as some of the other crossbows in this article, but can be deadly at shorter distances.
  3. Also makes the use of a scope. This crossbow will also make the use of a 4×20 scope that can be used to zoom in on your target.
  4. Made out of good quality material. The limb of this crossbow is made out of fiberglass while the barrel construction is made out of Aluminum.
  5. Also comes with bolts. Inside this package, you will also get 7 bolts that are 14 inches long and made of Aluminum.

When it comes to this bow, I also have mixed feelings regarding the low travel speed of the bolts. I would not try to shoot a deer that is further than 40 yards because of the slower travel speed.

What we liked

  • Is very inexpensive.
  • Can at least shoot a smaller deer.
  • Also comes with 7 bolts.

What we didn’t like

  • The traveling speed of the arrows are somewhat low.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#3 Barnett BCR Recurve Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 245 FPS

If you did not like the Wizzard Archery crossbow and you would like to have another inexpensive option then I would highly recommend the Barnett BCR Recurve crossbow. This crossbow looks very similar to the previous one when it comes to the fact that both of them are a recurve type crossbow. This crossbow is also the entry level for all the Barnett crossbows and is also very inexpensive.

More info on the features:

  1. Strong enough for the small to medium-sized game. This crossbow has a draw weight of 150 pounds which is enough to kill most types of deer.
  2. Has good speed. This crossbow has a speed of around 245 feet per second. This is much faster than that of the Wizzard Archery crossbow.
  3. Comes with a nice scope. This crossbow makes the use of a dot sight that also uses 3 dots that represents the arrow drop for further distances. The colors of the dots can also be changed from red to green.
  4. It has a 3-bolt quiver attached. This quiver is attached to the bottom of the crossbow in a horizontal direction. This gives you easy access to the bolts.

The only minor problem that I had was that the scope does not really zoom that much into your target but at least it is accurate.

What we liked

  • Strong enough to shoot deer.
  • The speed is not that bad.
  • Has a small quiver attached to the crossbow.

What we didn’t like

  • The scope is not that great for longer distances.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#4 SAS Panther Compound Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 280 FPS

Now we are really starting to get to some of the very good crossbows. I also think that it is time to introduce to you the SAS Panther Compound Crossbow. This crossbow is very similar to the previous 2 mentioned but is also the fastest one of the three. With this crossbow, you can easily take down a deer at 60 yards. This crossbow is also around $40 more expensive than the Barnett and comes in colors which are Camo and Black.

More info on the features:

  1. Can shoot down most types of deer. This cross pack around 150 pounds of force which is enough to penetrate deep into most types of deer.
  2. This crossbow is very fast. This hunting machine can reach a speed of up to 280 feet per second which is fast enough and this also makes it possible to hunt at longer distances.
  3. It is made to last. The barrel construction is made out of Aluminum while the limb is made out of fiberglass which makes this crossbow strong and also lightweight.
  4. It makes the use of a normal iron sight optic. I would not really call this a scope as it was more an iron sight type optic. 
  5. Comes with only 2 arrows. Inside this package, you will also get only 2 aluminum arrows which are not a lot at all.

The crossbow itself was state of the art while the “scope” was really a disappointment if you can call it that. This crossbow comes with a weaver rail so try to get a corresponding scope with it.

What we liked

  • It is a powerful crossbow for most types of dear.
  • Is very durable.
  • It is also very fast.

What we didn’t like

  • Comes with an excuse of a scope.
  • Only comes with 2 arrows.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#5 SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 175 LBS
  • Travel Speed: 360 FPS

If you did not like my top recommended crossbow which is the CenterPoint 370 then I would highly recommend the second best recommendation which is the SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow. This crossbow is about 10 pounds weaker and 10 feet slower per second and I must also mention that this crossbow is $100 more expensive than the CenterPoint. But if you are a huge fan of SA Sports, then this is the bow that I would recommend.

More info on the features:

  1. Can shoot all types of deer. This weapon is strong enough to bring down any type of deer that you can think of with its 175 pounds drawing weight.
  2. Is also super fast. The arrow will travel a speed of up to 360 feet per second which is fast enough to penetrate any type of deer.
  3. The scope is also decent. This crossbow also comes with a 4×32 scope that will help you to take down game at longer distances.
  4. Comes with a quiver for more arrows. This crossbow will also come with a quiver that is designed to hold up to 4 bolts which are 1 more than most of the other crossbows.
  5. It also has a safety feature. Just like the Centerpoint, this crossbow will also have a safety mechanism that will avoid the risk of accidentally shooting a bolt which can lead to serious injuries.
  6. It also comes with 4 bolts. You will get 4 bolts that are made out of carbon fiber and is also 20 inches long in length.

Personally, I think this was a very good crossbow with very little downsides except for the price.

What we liked

  • Can shoot all types of deer.
  • The speed of the bolts are very fast.
  • Has a safety mechanism.
  • Has a good quality scope.

What we didn’t like

  • Can be somewhat expensive for some people.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#6 Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 140 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 330 FPS

If you are a huge fan of Barnett and you would also like to have one of their best crossbows, then I would highly recommend the Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow. This crossbow is not as strong as the previous 2 mentioned but it can still pack a punch with only 140 pounds. It is also fast enough to penetrate most types of medium sized game. Regarding the price, this one is $40 more expensive than the CenterPoint crossbow.

More info on the features:

  1. Can take down most small to medium sized deer. This crossbow has a draw weight of around 140 pounds which is high enough for most types of deer but not all.
  2. Has a very high speed. When it comes to the speed, this crossbow is really not that bad with a speed of 330 feet per second.
  3. Comes with a very nice scope. This crossbow will come with a 4×32 scope that is ideal for short to mid-range and is also the same as the previous 2 crossbows.
  4. It also has a safety mechanism. This product will also have a “Fire” and “Safe” switch just underneath the scope that will avoid some of the fatal accidents that you get each year.

Overall, I think this is a very durable and high-quality crossbow which is not that strong but still good enough for most deer.

What we liked

  • Very high quality.
  • Has a safety mechanism.
  • Good quality scope.

What we didn’t like

  • Cannot take down larger types of game.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#7 Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 330 FPS

If you want a decent crossbow that has a decent draw weight, can shoot at higher speeds and also has an ACUdraw system used for cocking a crossbow then I would highly recommend the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow with ACUdraw. It is important to note that this crossbow can be expensive maybe because of the cocking device that comes with it. It is also important to note that this crossbow is also not the strongest in this selection.

More info on the features:

  1. This crossbow has enough power for most deer. With a draw weight of 165 pounds, this crossbow will be able to take down almost any type of deer.
  2. The speed is quite high. With a speed of 330 feet per second, this crossbow is also high enough to take down most types of deer.
  3. Has a device for easily cocking your crossbow. The device that I am talking about is the ACUdraw. This bow makes the use of a horseshoe-shaped device that attaches to the string and is then pulled back with the use of lever mechanism with a force as low as 5 pounds. This device is also optional.
  4. The scope is best for shorter ranges. The scope that comes with this crossbow can only magnify x3 normal view. This scope also has duplex crosshairs for 20, 30 and 40 yards.
  5. Comes with a safety mechanism. You will not be able to pull the trigger when the crossbow is set to “safe”. This switch is located just below the scope.
  6. Comes with a quiver and some arrow. This bow also comes with a 3 arrow quiver along with 3 carbon arrows.

Play video below to learn more about ACUdraw cocking device.

What we liked

  • Has a high draw weight.
  • Can shoot the bolts very fast.
  • Has an easy-to-use cocking system.

What we didn’t like

  • Can be very expensive.
  • The scope is limited to only x3 normal view.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#8 Bear X Bruzer FFL Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 125 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 335 FPS

If you would like to have a super fast bow that has a low draw weight that will not sacrifice speed, then I would highly recommend the Bear X Bruzer FFL Crossbow. This crossbow also has a unique design that let’s stands out from all of the other crossbows and also makes it lighter than most. This crossbow is also in the same price class as the Wicked ridge.

More info on the features:

  1. The draw weight is not that high. This crossbow has a draw weight of 125 pounds which is enough to kill most types of deer but not anything larger.
  2. The speed is very good. This crossbow can shoot arrows at 335 feet per second which is quite fast compared to other crossbows that have a lower draw weight.
  3. Has a unique design that breaks the rules. The Bear crossbow makes use of a Forward Facing Limb (FFL) design or can also be called a Reverse Draw Crossbow. This design enables this crossbow to break one of the most important rules in crossbows. This design enables high speed with lower draw weight which is unseen in normal crossbows.
  4. Somewhat good scope. It comes with a high quality fixed power scope that has only one magnification setting with 5 distance lines.
  5. Is 3 times safer than other normal bows. This crossbow has a “3xS mechanism” which stands for 3 times safe. The trigger will go into safe mode each time after you cock the bow. This will prevent any type of dry fire.

The really nice thing about this crossbow is that you do not need to have such a high draw weight in order to get to high speeds. The only minor problem that I had with this crossbow is that they really could have installed a better scope.

What we liked

  • Has a better draw weight to speed ratio.
  • Very high speed.
  • They weight is more centered which gives better stability and accuracy.
  • Has a lot of safety mechanisms.

What we didn’t like

  • The scope was not that good.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#9 TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 175 lbs
  • Travel Speed: 360 FPS

If you would like to have a powerhouse of a crossbow that can kill any type of deer and also some larger game as well, then I would highly recommend the TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow. This crossbow also makes the use of a Rope Cocker that makes it so much easier to make it ready for your next shot. It is also the most expensive option in this listing. This bow also comes with options that include the ACUdraw which is the same as that of the Wicked Ridge Invader crossbow.

More info on the features:

  1. Has a heavy draw weight. The draw weight of this crossbow will also reach up to 175 pound which is enough to kill most small to medium sized game.
  2. The arrow travels super fast. Once the arrow is released into the air, it can expect to reach up to 360 feet per second which can penetrate every type of deer.
  3. It makes the use of a rope cocker. When cocking your crossbow with a rope, you will put less stress on your back while your upper legs will do most of the work.
  4. You will find a decent scope. The scope that you will find with this crossbow will be a x3 normal view scope that makes it easy enough to hunt at short to mid range.
  5. It also comes with arrows and a quiver. You will get 3 carbon arrow that are 20 inches long with a 3 arrow quiver that you can attach underneath your crossbow.

There is no denying that this crossbow is of very good quality and I could not really find any type of physical flaw that comes with this badboy. The only minor con that I had was that this crossbow is very expensive compared to some of the other crossbows in this review that have the same stats.

What we liked

  • The arrows have a very fast flying speed.
  • It makes the use of a rope cocker.
  • Very good quality and durability.
  • It has a safety switch.

What we didn’t like

  • Is very expensive.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

#10 Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow

  • Draw Weight: 175 lb
  • Travel Speed: 360 FPS

If you liked the power and speed that the TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow gives, but you would like an option that is less expensive with an even better scope, then I would recommend the Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow.This crossbow is about $100 less expensive than the TenPoint Turbo GT.

More info on the features:

  1. Very powerful with high speed. This crossbow has a draw weight of 175 pounds and also an arrow traveling speed of around 360 feet per second. This is more than enough to kill most types of deer.
  2. It is very customizable. This crossbow has 2 Picatinny rails (one on top and bottom) that let you adjust your scope on top and your handle at the bottom. The stock of the crossbow can also be either pulled out or in according to how you want it.
  3. Has a very decent scope. This scope has a 4 point illuminated reticle and can zoom from 3 up 32 times normal view adjusted to the distance of your target.
  4. You will also get a quiver along with arrows. This crossbow comes with 3 Maxima Blue Streak 20 inch arrows that will also come with a 3 arrow quiver.
  5. It is also easy to load your arrows. This crossbow will also come with a rope cocking aid that will put less stress on your back and is also easier to use.
  6. Is very safe with an anti-dry fire mechanism. This bow also comes with a safety switch that will avoid any chance of accidentally releasing the arrow or shooting when no arrow is present.

I loved almost everything about this crossbow with all of its features. It was also very hard to find any type of negative aspects related to it.

What we liked

  • This crossbow is very customizable.
  • Very powerful with a high projecting speed.
  • Has safety features against accidents and dry fire.
  • Has a very decent scope.

What we didn’t like

  • Not much to say here.

>> Check Price And Availability <<

10 Best Crossbows Comparison Table

Product NameDraw WeightTravel SpeedPrice
1. CenterPoint 370 Crossbow (Top Pick)185 lb370 FPS$$
2. Wizard Archery Crossbow (Least Expensive)120 lb185 FPS$
3. Barnett BCR Recurve Crossbow150 lbs245 FPS$
4. SAS Panther Compound Crossbow150 lbs280 FPS$$
5. SA Sports Empire Beowulf Crossbow175 lbs280 FPS$$
6. Barnett Recruit Terrain Crossbow140 lbs330 FPS$$
7. Wicked Ridge Invader G3 (Comes with ACUdraw)165 lbs330 FPS$$$
8. Bear X Bruzer Crossbow (Reverse Draw Design)125 lbs335 FPS$$$
9. TenPoint Turbo GT Crossbow (Uses Rope Cocker)175 lbs360 FPS$$$$$
10. Carbon Express Intercept Axon Crossbow175 lbs360 FPS$$$$

Final Word

And there you have it, folks.

I went through the 10 best crossbows that you will ever find online. I have covered the drawing weight and projectile speed of each one.

I have also covered important aspects such as the scope, the arrow along with the quiver and also some of the safety mechanism in place.

If you still could not decide which one to take, then I would highly recommend the CenterPoint 370 Crossbow which is $400 less expensive than most of the other crossbows with similar speed.

Please inform us below and tell us what was your favorite crossbow in this series.

3 thoughts on “10 Best Crossbows For Deer Hunting [Ultimate Guide]”

  1. I used to sell crossbows on ebay about 15 years ago. Your in-depth descriptions and knowledge of them and the other items I browsed is extensive. I’ve been thinking of purchasing a cross-bow for deer season and I’ll be back to reread your reviews when I am ready to buy. A couple of the articles about martial arts that I skimmed were intriguing and you have discussed a good range of products related to crossbows in detail. I’ll also recommend your site to my friends who hunt.

    Reply
  2. I think you know more about crossbows than I do about anything. Very in depth description on everything that you say about them. When I hunted deer a long time ago, I always used a rifle. I have never shot a crossbow and really want to now. Good talk. I will tell my hunting buddies about this, because I have a few that like crossbows.

    Reply

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