How to Decock A Crossbow – 2 Methods & 5 Options!

How to Decock a Crossbow

One of the most concerning safety measures for crossbow hunters is safely decocking the bow after a hunt. Decocking refers to safely remove the bolt and unload the string after loading or cocking. Many novice hunters struggle with this badly and wonders about how to decock a crossbow. But don’t worry; we have discussed the best ways you can use to decock your crossbow easily on your own.

Crossbows hunting is super exciting and enjoyable. Hunters love this particular weapon because the crossbow gives a raw and aesthetic feeling as bows yet work more like a gun! On a positive note, they do not even sound loud like guns!

While hunting with crossbows, hunters can stay relaxed as they don’t need to pull up all the draw weight and hold it for a more extended period. Crossbows can be cocked or loaded by hands, and shooting range and preciseness are praiseworthy. The only tricky thing about crossbows is decocking them. Nevertheless, not so much challenging that you cannot handle it.


Techniques You Can Use to Decock A Crossbow

Here are some super easy techniques you can use while decocking your crossbow at home.

Method – 1 of Decoking A Crossbow

The first method comprises 4 options to choose from. Read them carefully to pick the suitable one for you.

Cost: Zero

Time Needed: 5 to 10 minutes (Approximately)

Option(1): Fire it Off!

This is the simplest way to decock a crossbow. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. You will have to consider a lot of variables before applying this method. In addition, crossbows are terribly powerful weapons, and if contacted, they can potentially kill a human being on the spot! So, be very, very careful about handling it!

Option(2): Choose a Soft Ground

A crossbow bolt can fiercely cut through the air, hit, and tear off anything on its way. So, find a soft muddy ground that is free of rocks or any hard objects. Select a patch of soil and keep your feet at a safe distance. Then, fire the bow and collect the arrow of your crossbow.

Option(3): Fire in the Air

You can fire facing it up in the sky. Only use this if you can’t find any soft ground and there are no other options left for you. Keep in mind that this is a not recommended option. Try to site the bolt carefully, as it can be lost if you do it that way. Try to aim somewhere open, and you can get a clear view.

Option(4): Use a Discharging Target

Tools: Discharge targets


  • Your crossbow
  • Both of your hands

There are also some crossbow firing boards and bags available in the market, generally called discharge targets. You can buy one of those to fire your crossbow on them. The drawback about this technique is that the boards tend to be a bit heavy and can be hard to carry through your hunt.

Method – 2 of Decocking A Crossbow

The second method is about decocking the crossbow using a cocking aid rope. To make the process easygoing for you, we divided the whole process into 6 sequential easy steps. Follow them one by one to decock your crossbow safely and professionally.

Use Cocking Aid Rope

Cost: Zero

Time Needed: 5 to 10 minutes

Tools: A cocking aid rope 


  • Your crossbow
  • Both of your hands

Shooting the bolt in the air or ground has its own drawbacks and safety issues. Dry firing a crossbow can even end up damaging the crossbow limbs. So you can invest a little money to buy a suitable cocking aid rope and get the job done safely.

This method will require some muscle power. However, if you can cock your crossbow, you will be able to decock it too. Just follow the following steps:

Step-1: Remove the Loaded Bolt

Firstly, you will have to handle the crossbow carefully and remove the bolt that has been loaded previously. You will be able to do this step without putting any physical pressure.

Step-2: Secure the Crossbow with Your Foot

You might have noticed there is a foot claw placed back of your crossbow. Now you will have to put your foot on the foot claw and securely hold it down with your foot. Try to keep your foot steady because if you somehow fail to uncock appropriately, you might hurt your foot.

Step-3: Clutch the Grip

Use your left hand and firmly grab the grip of the crossbow. The position should mimic the firing position but do not pull the crossbow’s trigger yet.

Step-4: Lose the String

It’s the most crucial part. Use your right hand, grasp the cocking rope, and slowly move it upwards. If you have enough strength to cock your crossbow, you should be able to do it. To make the process easy, try to stand in a slight squat position instead of bending your body.

Step-5: Fire the Crossbow

Remember you are holding your left hand in the firing position? Then, with the other hand still raising the decocking string, fire off the crossbow with your left hand.

Step-6: Carefully let go of the String

Now, you will have to lose the cocking aid rope you had been using for a while and let it go completely. This is a tricky part because this rope has been storing all the tension of both limbs of the crossbow till now. Remember, the crossbow is a powerful weapon. Any sudden or careless move can hurt you badly.

Keep your hand steady and slowly remove the force that the rope is carrying. Your hand muscle must have been tired of holding on to that much weight, but a sudden release will do more harm than a little it had been doing for the whole process.

This is a simple yet working way and surprisingly very effective. Just keep your head clear and follow the steps carefully; you will do it in no time!


Decocking your crossbow while traveling or storing is super important. When a crossbow is cocked, tension and residual energy are stored in the limbs. Thus, keeping it cocked for a long time severely damages them. It reduces a crossbow’s performance in the long term, and after a long period of ignorance, it gets beyond repair.

So no matter where you are, try to decock your crossbow soon after you finish using it. We love our gadgets so much, and a little carefulness can save them and keep them as new for a long time. So, never neglect these. Remember, we are always here to provide you with the best tips for all your bowhunting difficulties. Happy Hunting!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *