How to Shoot a Deer with a Crossbow – The Ultimate Guide

how to shoot a deer with a crossbow

Crossbows are one of the fascinating inventions in human history. The automation of the procedure makes this weapon both fascinating and lethal! But, when it comes to thrills, have humans ever shied away from taking risks? Then, taking into account all possible dangers, let’s find out how to shoot a deer with a crossbow.

Using a crossbow to hunt a deer is thrilling and challenging at the same time. In order to know where to aim your bow and how to shoot, you must first understand the fundamental physiology of a deer. Putting a bolt through a deer’s lungs causes them to stop breathing, resulting in tremendous blood loss. However, the odds of the deer being killed by a bolt are reduced since they still possess working organs.

As a result, in order to complete the entire hunt, you will need to learn a great deal of important terminology. Here’s where we come in. Let’s have a clear understanding of the specifics of shooting a deer with a crossbow.


Things to Consider Before Shooting a Deer with a Crossbow

Never shoot in haste. No matter where you are standing, you should keep these things in mind before taking a shot-

  • The position whereby the deer is facing?
  • The direction where the breeze is blowing?
  • What is the distance between you and the deer?
  • How aware of your location of the deer is?
  • Whether the buck is on the go or standing still?

 When you see a buck, all of these thoughts should be rushing through your brain. These thoughts will become instinctive once you’ve mastered them. Until then, make an effort to recall them and repeat them over in your mind.

When to Shoot a Deer with a Crossbow?

The only reason to shoot a moving deer should be if it’s a trophy deer and you’re certain you’ll never see him again. For any other reason, you should never shoot a moving deer.

Despite the fact, there are some upsides to shooting a moving or walking deer. For example, they are moving in such a way that their forward velocity is predictable, so they will not have the reflexive time needed to evade a properly positioned shot. But keep in mind that setting up a shot on a moving deer is much more difficult. As a result, it’s preferable to shoot a stag when it’s still and motionless.

How Aware of Your Location the Deer is?

If a deer is standing still, pay attention to how observant it is towards its surroundings. Whenever its face is up and it’s gazing at you, it’s aware that you’re there and is quite alert to your presence.

As soon as a deer becomes aware of the danger, it is ready to take off. Taking a shot with your crossbow at this time is not preferable, but it would have to be done at some point. Be mindful of the fact that a deer that is vigilant is often difficult to strike accurately. As soon as the deer hear any tiny bowstring noise, it prefers to get up and move.

By purchasing elevated vibration dampeners, you can make it more difficult for a deer to hear your bowstring noise whenever you pull the trigger.

There are vibration dampeners on most of the crossbows, but none of them are completely silent, so the longer a shot lasts, the more opportunity an observant deer gets to escape out of these risky situations.

What is the Distance Between You and the Deer?

There should be no more than 35 yards between you and the target when using a crossbow There is no doubt that you can take shots from further back, but it is more difficult to do so for a variety of reasons.

A deer gets more time to respond to a bowshot if it is from farther away. A deer’s reaction time is much slower at 35 yards than it does from 80 yards.

In addition to this, your arrow’s speed decreases as the distance between you and your target increases. As a general rule of thumb, IDK fps of acceleration is lost every 10 yards or more.

As a general rule of thumb, IDK fps of acceleration is lost every 10 yards or more.

And last but not the least, if your bolt is fired from a long distance, it is more vulnerable to being influenced by the weather conditions around it.

Where to Aim?

Crossbow Hunting will be much more successful for you if you are familiar with the anatomy of a stag. It’s considerably more significant where you strike a deer when you’re using a crossbow than when you’re using a rifle. Because, unlike the bullets used in rifles, broadheads do not break bones or inflict explosive injuries. A deer can be killed in two ways by a crossbow, either by enormous blood loss or by asphyxia (suffocation).

The perfect spot to connect the shot is behind the buck’s shoulder. That is where his lungs are, and if you can pierce the lungs with your broadhead, you will get a confirmed kill.

An arrow can injure an animal, but it does so by leaving a trail of blood or by rupturing internal organs, not by piercing them directly. In order to ensure that the animal is shot dead swiftly and humanely, you must ensure that the arrow you fired actually hits its important organs.

When it comes to deer, the lungs are their biggest organ, making them vulnerable to being punctured by a bow or arrow.  This organ is located in the mid-section of a deer’s shoulder and extends down its entire body. There are two organs in the chest chamber: The heart and liver.

However, apart from being easily breached, the rib cage is the only thing that protects the lungs from being struck by an arrow. So, aiming at a deer’s lungs is the most convenient choice you can make.


When it comes to deer hunting with a bow, there are numerous things you can do to improve your accuracy. The most important adaptation you can make is to be attentive and pair up your chance to shoot at the heart and lungs. Simply following these rules will significantly raise your opportunities of making a kill.

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