Crossbow Safety Tips

Discussion in 'Crossbow Forum' started by JDMiller, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    With the news of the expanded season ...I thought it would be a good idea to post a few safety tips concerning crossbow use. Duster will make a sticky out of it and keep it at the top of the page. I would like others to add legitimate tips and safety concerns as well but lets not turn this into a debate. I would like others interested in crossbows to gain a little insight into their use and come here to review the tips.

    I also would like to do the same with a generalized thread concerning crossbows and crossbow hunting. This will include set-ups , scopes, manufacture brands , broad-heads, bolts and the like. If we do this right I think it could be beneficial to the users of this site. We will start this one a little later. For now lets hear the safety tips ... crossbow users please join in and add your comments.
     
  2. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    I'll start with a few off the top of my head.

    1. Read all manufacture literature that comes with your crossbow and follow the instructions.

    2. Use a rope cocking aid or mechanical cocking device. You will get better accuracy and its a whole lot easier on your fingers.

    3. Select a good target with adequate sized back stop. Crossbows are extremely fast and powerful. They can and will shoot through most targets. Stay focused of your surroundings and whats behind your target. Keep a watchfull eye on children , pets , vehicles, buildings and the like.

    4. Select and use the proper bolts/arrows that are reccommended by the manufacture. To low of a weight will create a dry fire condition.

    5. Do Not Dry Fire Your Crossbow.

    6. Do not attempt to cock your crossbow while in a elevated platform. Its way too easy to loose your ballance and fall and theres no deer or turkey worth injury trying to get a second shot. Always wear a fall restraint device ...no matter what weapon your using.

    7. Keep all thumbs and fingers below the rail while shooting. This is serious and probably one of the common injuries for crossbow users. A 150# or larger will feel no resistance as it tears through a finger or thumb.

    8. Regularly go over your crossbow and check for loose screws , bolts and the like. Replace frayed strings and cables as necessary or by the manufactures reccomendation . Keep your equipment in good working order.


    This is all I can think of at the moment ....others feel free to add or comment on what I've listed so far.
     
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  3. Willie

    Willie 12 pointer

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    May 10, 2003
    Check to make sure limbs are "clear" of any tree limbs, trunk of the tree or obstacles before pulling trigger.

    When stringing an Excalibur crossbow DO NOT be tempted to apply pressure on the stock for leverage.

    After cocking bow, always set the safety (if bow does not set automatically).

    Learn your shooting limits, and stay within them.

    At final assembly, use clear fingernail polish (or blue Loc-tite) on all screws to prevent loosening from vibration and shock.

    Always remove your arrow from your crossbow when climbing in and out of your tree stand.

    Take along a field tipped arrow to uncock your crossbow.

    It's always good to practice with field points but be very sure to practice with the bolt/broadhead combination you're going to hunt with. Even if the broadheads you choose are known to have the same POI as field points.

    Spin test your hunting bolt/broadhead set-up to make sure your bolts/broadheads are straight.

    Concentrate on your target and squeeze the trigger, don't pull/slap it as it will cause the bow to jerk. Follow through with your shots, try to watch your bolt's flight until you hear the bolt hit the target.

    " Aim small miss small " or Pick a spot . Even if you have crosshairs . Don’t aim at the entire animal , imagine a small target in the vital areas and smoothly squeeze the trigger.

    While hunting periodically check to make sure your arrow is all the way back in your bow.

    If hunting from a treestand, always cock the crossbow on the ground before climbing into stand.

    Never raise or lower a cocked crossbow from a treestand with an arrow in it.

    Watch how far you put your foot in the stirrup before cocking the crossbow, if it is not in deep enough (or a bit muddy ) and it slips off your foot WHAM sore mouth or missing teeth.

    A sling on a crossbow is a benefit not just for carrying, but also to steady your bow while shooting. Wrap the sling around the forearm you use to hold the forearm and push out, this will help tremendously!

    Lightly tap your scope after you make an adjustment that you will have a more true setting when you shoot, as you will pre-set the reticle, and zero is less likely to change due to the jarring of a shot or transportation!

    It is best to wax your string every 20-25 shots and to rub the wax in with a small piece of leather. It is also a benefit to keep your rail clear, scrape off excess wax with a credit card. A wax build up will create friction and have a minor effect on speed, a lot of guys swear by rail lube but the rail gets well lubricated by the string wax!
     
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  4. aceoky

    aceoky 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2003
    W KY
    Awesome!

    JD and Willie, awesome posts! I'm glad you guys are sharing what you've learned with the rest of us, you may have saved a life , or limb! Great idea, and awesome posting!:)
     
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  5. Willie

    Willie 12 pointer

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    May 10, 2003
    Most of mine were garnered from the Excalibur forum. I just compiled them..

    Credit where credit is due...
     
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  6. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    " Between the Rivers "

    Most of mine from the same place..Excalibur and Hunting Indiana....their both good sites to gain info from experienced crossbow users. If your just starting out ...I suggest to look into these sites...these guys will steer you in the right direction . From the new interest I'm seeing on this site ....I hope this one will be as informational as well.
     
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  7. PREACHEROFOZ

    PREACHEROFOZ Fawn

    17
    1
    Apr 7, 2006
    FRANKFORT
    New To The Game

    I appreciate the tips and advice on this site. I am not able to bow hunt due to back injury and am looking at getting into crossbow. Any pointers or tips are greatly appreciated.
     
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  8. huntinthemfields

    huntinthemfields 6 pointer

    106
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    Jan 5, 2007
    near them woods
    thanks a bunch

    I recently had a surgery called scapular muscle reattachment and find it hard to pull and keep a bow at full so Ive recently been researching crossbows and the tips you gave are very informative. Thanks alot:D:D
     
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  9. KyHunter1965

    KyHunter1965 6 pointer

    332
    1
    Aug 11, 2008
    Carroll Co.
    Hello, this is my first year hunting with a crossbow,i just bought a HORTON LEGEND 2 175 draw weight........ :)
    was wondering if anyone here could guide me to some good bolts:confused: and broad heads? thanks
     

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  10. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    " Between the Rivers "

    Bolts / arrows just boils down to what you like..aluminum or carbon. I prefer carbon but thats just me. I'm shooting Parkers line of bolts but other than having Parker's name on it ...their Beaman.

    Easton / Beaman , Gold-Tip... would be good choices. I'm pretty sure Horton use the moon knock where Excalibur & Ten Point uses a flat knock. Horton has their own line of bolts which are probably made by one of the manufactures listed above. Just make sure on the knock end is what you need for your particular crossbow.

    As far as broadheads... that another wide open subject. The only good advice I can give.... I like fix blades and Wasp Hammer SST , Wasp Bullet or Wasp Boss seem to be a popular choice for crossbow shooters. Muzzys....Slick Tricks & Sonic heads are a few more choices.

    I shoot the Wasp Hammer SST and have been very pleased. They fly good with set-ups exceeding over 300fps. I have no complaints and have worked well on a variety of game animals.
     
  11. KyHunter1965

    KyHunter1965 6 pointer

    332
    1
    Aug 11, 2008
    Carroll Co.
    i hope ya don't laugh but i've never shot broad heads out of a crossbow what grain weight should i get with my bow being a 175 lb pull:confused:.......and shooting 305 feet per sec. thanks for the help!!!!
     
  12. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    " Between the Rivers "
    This will be a little trial & error to find the perfect combo. I settled on 125's being more accurate than 100 grain heads but thats with my set-up. Your shooting more poundage than me but my speeds are a tad better around 320fps with a 150lb crossbow.

    It would be almost impossible to say 100% ...too many variables. I was fortunate to have a bunch of heads from years of fooling with compounds. I tried different weight and types of Muzzys...Savoras.. Rocky's... you name it... I tried it. If you know anyone to let you shoot some different weights & types... you could whittle it down pretty quick.

    With me... it seemed the added weight gave me a better FOC= front of center on the shaft. A lot of crossbow guys will even opt for heavier brass inserts to improve on this. If I were to just take a stab at saying what weight you needed.... try the 125's.
     
  13. Cossack

    Cossack Fawn

    9
    0
    May 14, 2009
    Nothern Minnesota
    Ky Hunter

    I make my own crossbow arrows (bolts are metal, have no vanes and were mant to go through armor in medieval times. They also conjure up bad images for the antis). Have found that arrows with high front of center ratio (Google FOC) fly most accurately out of a crossbow. I prefer arrow with 18-20% FOC; which is significantly higher that those used for vertical bows. I use Gold Tip Lazer II carbon shafts, with 110 gr brass inserts, fletched with 2" Blazer vanes. They are tipped with either a 100 or 125 gr Slick Trick magnum, depending on which bow I'm using. This produces an arrow that is 405 or 430 grns, depending on the weight of the head, which flies like a dart and gives great terminal performance. Slicks fly to the same point of impact as my field points; I don't even bother to practice with broadheads any more.Much easier on targets. Have experimented with some mechanicals. Had problems with them opening up prematurely due to the sudden surge of a crossbow release, or not opening up at all when double banded. Shooting one through screening w/o deployment problems is next to impossible. Personally, I think the secret of crossbow accuracy is to use a broadhead the is low profile (not very long) and 4 bladed to prevent them form planeing.
    I missed two nice bucks to find that out.:(
     
  14. Cossack

    Cossack Fawn

    9
    0
    May 14, 2009
    Nothern Minnesota
    "i hope ya don't laugh but i've never shot broad heads out of a crossbow what grain weight should i get with my bow being a 175 lb pull:confused:.......and shooting 305 feet per sec. thanks for the help!!!!"

    I had an interesting experience with my 175 pull weight bow recently that shows how complex this topic can be. Two arrows of different brands, both weighing 405 grains, but with different FOC shot to a different point of impact on the target.The arrow with the lower FOC (less weight toward the front) consistently shot 2" higher at 20 yards. The arrows shot the same after I added 25 grains to the one that was shooting higher. So, how the arrow will shoot depends not only on the broadheads weight but the weight distribution of the arrow. (That's why it's important to practice with the same weight and kind of arrows as one hunts with, IMO.)
    Obviously, the heavier arrow will give you greater kinetic energy, assuming it flies right.
    That said, I shoot 100 gr broadheads out of my 175 and 200 pull weight (recurve) bows ( 295 and 315 fps respectively); and 125 grn broadheads out of my compound that does 355 fps. They weigh 405 and 430 grns respectively. This gives me enough kinetic energy for deer while retaining a relatively flatter trajectory so that ranging isn't as crucial.
    BTW, there is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to this topic. I find that most shop clerks don't know what they should about the bows they sell; and most can't service. Ask away; those of us who have ran the race should be willing to help.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  15. Hunter2

    Hunter2 Fawn

    5
    0
    Dec 27, 2009
    Ohio
    safety tip

    Dont climb your ladder or to your stand with your bow. Use a rope to pull it up.:)
     

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