Crossbow Hunting: Here's Why You Miss Your Shot

Posted by Jerry 11/10/2016 0 Comment(s)


Crossbow Hunting: Here's Why You Miss Your Shot


Let's face it... we're not all Daryl from The Walking Dead. If you find yourself missing shots while crossbow hunting, you need to read this post.


Are you constantly missing your shots while crossbow hunting and can't figure out why?


Many people argue that crossbows are easy to shoot with, that someone who has never handled one wouldn't have trouble shooting their target. But crossbows are not always on target. For high accuracy year-round, crossbows need constant tweaking, and plenty of other reasons can cause you to miss your shot.


There are plenty of factors that contribute to why so many people actually do miss shots with a crossbow. Read on to see why you might be struggling.


Reasons Why You Miss Your Shot in Crossbow Hunting


Any of the following factors might be why you're continually missing your shot:


You need practice


You can't expect to be consistent with your shots if you only pick up the crossbow when you're out in the field. No matter what you are using to hunt, you need to practice with your weapon before you actually go hunting. This allows you to get familiar with crossbow hunting and feel more comfortable with it.

Practice in the same way that you actually hunt. If you hunt while sitting, practice while sitting. If you stand while hunting, practice while standing.

Try walking around your yard with the crossbow and shoot offhand from different angles and distances. This kind of practice will likely prevent you from experiencing more missed shots. Just like any sport, if you don't practice you are not likely to perform well in the game.

The best bowhunters don't have to think about their shots because they spend the off-season practicing and polishing their shooting until it becomes natural. Consistent practice will surely help you make more crossbow hunting shots.


Poor form


When you do start practicing regularly, be sure not to shoot from flat surfaces at motionless targets. These conditions, while appealing and allowing for perfect shot execution, are not anything like the hilly conditions you will face when you are actually out there crossbow hunting. When your form suffers as you adjust to realistic conditions, you're sure to miss your shot.

When shooting from a treestand, refrain from dropping your bow arm. While dropping the arm seems like the easy thing to do, it is poor form and will make you shoot too high. Instead of dropping the arm, bend at the waist and keep your body in a "T" shape.


You misjudge the distance


Miscalculating yardage is one of the most common reasons you're missing your shot. Invest in a laser rangefinder so you can know precisely how far away your target is before you shoot. This is an essential tool for crossbow hunting. 

When you know the yardage, don't shoot past a distance you're comfortable with. Figure out your maximum shot distance and make sure you stick to it. This will force you to take higher percentage shots and make you more successful at crossbow hunting.


You need to clear the shooting lane


Branches and brush can get in the way of your crossbow shot. Figure out where you are going to be crossbow hunting before the start of the season. Go early and clear some shooting lanes.

While you're out there ahead of time, note how close certain landmarks are. Knowing these distances will help you judge a shot when an animal appears and you don't have time to range the shot.


You used the wrong pin


One easy mistake is to forget which sight pin to use in the heat of the moment. Switching to a single pin bow sight may help if this is a common problem for you.


Most deer hunters hunt from treestands and the majority of shots happen under 30 and many even under 20 yards. If that is your case, a single pin bow sight may definitely be a good solution for you.


You get too excited


Excitement is bound to happen when an animal finally comes in your sight. It's likely what keeps you coming back in the woods. But excitement can be overwhelming when you only have one shot.

When you get too excited you might be rushing your shot. This is when you forget the little things, such as your form, using the right pin or estimating your yardage and you end up missing your shot.

Try your best to keep calm. Focus on the shot. Instead of aiming at the deer or animal, pick a small spot or tuft of hair to aim at.


You don't know the animals well enough


To better hit your shot, understand and study the animals you plan to hunt. Learn where their vitals are located so you can properly place your shot. 

Learn the animals' body language and what they look like when they are relaxed or nervous. When animals are nervous, they sense danger and are able to get out of its path. You want to shoot at animals when they are calm and relaxed.


You need a shooting aid


You might not be perfectly steady when holding your crossbow offhand, and a shooting aid can make a big difference in the success of your shot. Look around, and you likely already have a shooting aid of some sort. Monopods, bipods, and tripods will help you steady your crossbow. Many of the ones made for guns will work for your bow too.


It's not light enough outside


Many times in the woods it is too dark to shoot, even though it may still be legal time to shoot. Don't shoot your crossbow if you cannot clearly see the crosshairs in your scope or the animal you are shooting at.

Don't stay in the woods if it’s too dark to shoot, get out of the woods. You don't want to shoot at an animal and not know if you hit it or where you hit it because it wasn't light enough to see.


While crossbows are fairly easy to shoot, plenty of factors can make you miss your shot. Practice and get familiar with your bow, and understand the things that trip you up in the moment. When you understand the problem, you are better able to fix it. 


Happy crossbow hunting!

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