Crossbow Help Needed!!


October 5, 2010, 10:14 AM
With Texas opening Bow season to non-infirmed crossbow hunters, I am considering the following Barnett Preditor:

I was able to shoot one this weekend, and I was amazed at the accuracy. In the $500 - $700 price range, are there other bows I should consider? Second, with cocking being a challenge, it seems to me the weapon must be cocked when first arriving in the stand. No way to do that without running off game. Is it harmful to the bow to remain cocked for such extended timeframes? Do they make "throw away" bolts to "de-cock" it by firing in a safe direction? This bow has a 175 lb pull. Not a problem for me with a foot stirrup & gloves, but I do not see anyway to de-cock it other than firing it.

Advice, bow hunters?? (and please don't turn this into a crossbow / standard bow debate)

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October 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
Your first question about leaving it cocked:
Read the manual for the bow, most manufacturers will tell you one way or another. My Excalibur can be cocked all day long, in fact I cock it before I start walking out but leave the bolt out and safety on until I sit down in my blind when hunting.

Second question:
Most people pick one bolt and make it the de-cocker bolt, leave a field point on it and maybe paint it orange so you know what one it is. Decocking for the Excalibur is to discharge into soft ground AT AN DOWNWARD ANGLE. Ideally a hillside is used. I stressed downward because if you shoot forward (parallel to ground) your bolt can tunnel under grass and good luck finding it ever again, also crossbows can skip bolts on rocks.

Third question $500-$700:
Excalibur Vixen II
Advantages: Light bow, Recurve Limbs, more than ample power.
I shoot an Excalibur Vixen I got back in 2003 or so. The Vixen II is a little lighter I think, just a little updated version of what I have. The pull is 150 lb, and I use a crank to cock it.

Also I will include a note on scopes: I started with the standard peep sights, then I wanted a scope so I got a 4x Horton Scope at a garage sale. Do yourself a favor and do not do that, anymore than 2x is excessive for a crossbow because you should not be shooting beyond 40 yards. Excalibur has 2 or 3 scopes, the newest is a $150 illuminated reticle called the lumi-zone, it seemed nice when I saw it at a show and I plan on getting one asap.

October 5, 2010, 08:36 PM
Can't remember where I saw it, but there's a small foam block made for firing into to download a crossbow. It's small enough to put into your pack, and made out of the same stuff other bow targets are made out of.

Arkansas Paul
October 5, 2010, 10:35 PM
That's a good idea about having a decocker bolt. I'm gonna do that.
I'm new to this as well. I just bought my crossbow yesterday. It has a 3 dot red dot on it and I really like it. It's very accurate as well.
Keep the advice coming. I'm listening too. :)

October 6, 2010, 07:59 AM
The Barnett I shot had the red dot; seems to be a perfect application for it and would be my choice. Other than the vixen, any other suggestions for brands and models?

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