Home Blog  
Archery Best Practices for Crossbow Practice

Best Practices for Crossbow Practice

Although many crossbows are technically “ready to hunt” right out of the box, getting in some solid practice sessions before heading into the field is critical to effective shooting and ethical hunting. Here’s how to get the most out of target practice.

Determine Your Maximum Effective Range

Just because your crossbow can hit foam at 100 yards does not mean you should shoot at deer anywhere close to that distance. Use your practice sessions to determine the maximum effective range at which you can comfortably and confidently take a shot at a living target — while remembering they can quickly move just enough to make a long-range shot to the vitals end up in the gut. Practice at distances beyond that so closer shots will seem even easier, but still limit yourself to that range when hunting. 

Use the Right Gear

Make sure any target you use is rated for crossbows. More powerful than vertical bows, crossbows can do some serious damage to — or even go through — targets that aren’t built to withstand bolts and their blazing speeds. This is especially important when you fire a few test shots with your broadheads — which is also key to ensure you’re dialed in not just with your practice points but with the heads you’ll be using in the field.

Practice Like You Hunt

Whether you’ll be elevated in a treestand or sitting in a ground blind and whether you’ll be using a tripod or shooting freehand, practice exactly how you’ll hunt. This will help you get comfortable with different shooting angles and positions so you’re not thrown off when preparing to pull the trigger on a big buck.

Get in Your Reps

Although crossbows don’t demand the same level of consistent long-term practice to become proficient as vertical bows, you should still practice until going through the motions becomes almost second nature before hunting. The stakes and pressure are much higher in a hunting scenario, so being comfortable with the process will help you avoid silly mistakes when buck fever hits.

Maintain Your Crossbow

Before every shooting session, inspect your crossbow for signs of wear and loose components. You will likely need to lube the rail, replace the string, and tighten parts at some point if you’re shooting enough.

author avatar
The Bow Bully
The Bow Bully discusses a variety of archery topics and offers tips, advice and the occasional nudge to make you a better bowhunter. With years of experience, and an attitude to match, you'll find the Bully has something to offer both beginners and seasoned hunters.

2 thoughts on “Best Practices for Crossbow Practice”

  1. >>> Practice Like You Hunt <<<


    Yes! Absolutely!

    Was wearing a new hunting coat when I took a shot at a nice buck – the bowstring caught on the chest pocket flap …needless to say, buck and arrow were never seen again 🙂

    The pocket was not a problem until I put my compass into it, didn't notice the bulge or the raised flap.

    Lesson learned, once the cooler weather came and we would go "stump hunting" to shake down our equipment and practice shooting in a real hunting environment. With the exception of substituting judo-points for broadheads it was a dress rehearsal for the hunt – trophy stumps are wary so full camo is necessary 😉

    Great way to spend some time out doing some pre-season scouting!

    It's a good idea to bring a saw and a chisel to extract the judo-point in case the stump turns out to be young and tough.

    Oh, The best way to prepare stumps is to marinate in gasoline for a couple of hours and barbecue them 🙂


    • “The pocket was not a problem until I put my compass into it, didn’t notice the bulge or the raised flap.”
      You made a great point here: every little change is a change…test it.
      How many times have we all said, “Oh, my gear’s all set…same as always…well, I did change out my coat/vest/hat, but that’s no big deal…” Yes, not until something like happened to you happens. 🙂

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.