A crossbow rabbit hunt is challenging. If you want to hunt rabbits using a crossbow, here’s everything you need to know.
Almost all kinds of crossbows would work for small-game hunting. First, have your license on hand when hunting. Second, it’s best to use a crossbow with a lighter draw weight. It makes rabbit hunting as humane as possible.
This article teaches you some practical tips for a successful hunt. Rabbits are small targets, which means accuracy is crucial. So, consider this article as your guide to get the best rabbit hunting experience.
Best Crossbow For Killing Rabbits
Pistol, Bullet, and Repeating Crossbows are the best crossbows for killing rabbits. It gives you the thrill that you want to have for your first rabbit hunting.
But what are their differences?
Think of Pistol Crossbows like an actual pistol gun. It has a compact size that often comes with either 80lb and 150lb variants. As a result, you can get effective results with small game hunting, like rabbits and squirrels. But it’s crucial to maintain a 20-yard shooting range. Otherwise, you may lose accuracy, which is typical for mini crossbows.
Bullet crossbows are perfect for hunting rabbits as well. It uses bullet-looking projectiles made of stone, lead, or clay. Like the Pistol Crossbow, it can kill rabbits when you maintain a close distance. But, hitting the target in its crucial areas makes it more effective.
Finally, the Repeating Crossbows. It is the perfect crossbow for beginners who want a shortcut for the entire process of shooting. This crossbow is easy to use with a single movement. Also, you can shoot faster because it can do three continuous shots instead of a single shot.
Other Types Of Crossbows For Hunting Rabbits
As mentioned, any crossbow can kill a rabbit. But, the heavier it becomes, means more damage to the target. So, here are the other crossbows for hunting (killing) rabbits.
- Recurve Crossbow – This type is perfect for advanced hunters. It provides reduced hand shock and better acceleration because of the longer draw length. But, you can see a tremendous strain on the bow structure and hear more noise.
- Compound Crossbow – It requires significant pressure from the users. It’s because of the stiffer design. If you’re a beginner, avoid starting with this one unless you’re up for the challenge.
- Rifle Crossbows – Like rifle guns, this crossbow offers better aim. It comes with adjustable sights, foot pull, and heavy-duty fiber construction. Plus, you can hit your target rabbit from 250 feet away.
Best Crossbow Arrow For Hunting Rabbits
Blunt-tipped arrows are your best crossbow arrows for hunting rabbits. It features flat and wide tips used for small targets. Meanwhile, the springs, wires, and wings prevent damage through the target’s bowel. So, it prevents meat contamination if you’re planning to cook it after. Plus, this design makes the arrow easier to retrieve.
The tip is the most crucial part. It is as essential as your crossbow. You need to match it according to the size of your prey for the best results. Here are the other crossbow arrows to use for hunting rabbits.
- Target Tips and Field Tips – This arrow is perfect for training. It has tips that can take down small prey, including rabbits. You can hit softer targets with ease. But the problem is that it has no barbs. So, it can sink into soft ground for more complex retrieval.
- Broadhead (Bladed) Tips – This razor-type arrow digs deep into your target’s flesh. The tip creates a massive impact that does not let go.
What Animals Can I Hunt With A Crossbow?
You can hunt almost any animal with a crossbow – from small to large breeds. Small-game species are abundant and most popular. It includes hunt rabbits, squirrels, and rats.
You can track any animal for as long as they don’t belong to the “endangered” group. Once you gain more hunting experience, you can switch to the medium game. It means you’ll be hunting wild sheep, deers, and feral hogs, among others.
Big game hunting is for expert hunters. Some species include antelopes, elks, mountain goats, and bison.
Regardless of the animals that you want to hit, there are things to consider:
- You must have the right gear to take down the prey.
- You need the knowledge to do it right.
- It’s better to ask for help from experienced hunters if you’re a beginner.
- Having the guts to shoot is crucial.
Will An 80lb Crossbow Kill A Rabbit?
An 80-pound crossbow is more than what you need to kill a rabbit. It can kill other medium-sized animals and even a person. If you want to target rabbits, you need nothing close to 80 pounds.
Lighter crossbows and rubber blunt arrows are more humane to use. It would work and won’t damage the meat if you hit it.
Understanding Crossbow Draw Weight
We have been mentioning the words “draw weight,” so what is it? Draw weight refers to the ‘actual’ weight of the crossbow.
Crossbows come in different sizes and shapes, so they have various weights. The draw weight starts with 50 pounds up to 290 pounds. The standard crossbow for hunting is about 70 to 150 pounds. This range is suitable for medium animals. Although, 50-pound crossbows are good enough for hunting small animals, like rabbits.
Any crossbow that has more than a 150-pound draw weight is for big game hunting. You can even see some specialized models that weigh about 290 pounds. But if you’re a beginner, it is not ideal to use super-high draw weights.
The size of your target has a direct relationship with your crossbow. Smaller animals only need lightweight crossbows to take down. Meanwhile, you will need a heavier crossbow for more giant animals.
- 50 to 70-pound draw weight – Use it for hunting small animals.
- 150-pound draw weight – It is perfect for medium-sized hunting animals. Lighter crossbows need lightweight arrows.
- 150 to 225-pound draw weight – It is the ideal setup for big game hunting. Make use of heavy arrows.
Remember that crossbows are short-range weapons, regardless of the draw weight. Its arrows would lose energy faster than vertical bows. So, get closer to your target. It ensures adequate penetration and humane shot.
What Is The Best Way To Hunt A Rabbit With A Crossbow?
Start with knowing the rabbits’ behavior. Then, identify their habitat. Next, look for the closest shot possible without getting noticed. Finally, once you’re ready to shoot, make sure that you have the right set of gear to take it down.
Hunting a rabbit with a crossbow is like playing sports. Study its defensive strategies, and you can bring home the trophy. But in this case, you can bag a few cottontails for sure. So, if you’re up for the challenge, here are some quick reminders to hunt a rabbit with a crossbow.
Know the Rabbit Habits
The first thing to do is understand your target. You need to know that rabbits are quintessential prey. It means they are wary and herbivore animals. Rabbits can survive alone, so they have a unique set of defensive tactics.
Once they sense a threat, rabbits hide as their first instinct. It will blend with its surrounding, so try to flush it out. It means making noise on one side to flush the animal out on the other side.
Walking zig-zag can scare any rabbits that are hiding in the twists and whorls of grass. So rabbits conduct their running in a random pattern as a defensive measure.
Find the Rabbit Habitat
Once you know what your target does, find where it lives. Rabbits love to stay in brushy areas. Abandoned barns, hollow logs, and fence rows are some prospective hunting grounds. Rabbits like to rest near fences or at the edges of fields that merge with forests as well.
Rabbits prefer living close to where they feed. So, you can locate them based on their favorite foods. It includes clover, alfalfa, and blackberry bushes.
Check the Weather
Like other animals, rabbits come and go depending on the season. First, they move to another place with more suitable weather to survive. During the winter, rabbits would rather hide in holes for warmth.
Meanwhile, some rabbits are active during sunny and warmer weather. Check a slope facing south or southwest in the middle of a warmer day. Sometimes, you can see rabbits getting sun-kissed there. It helps to raise their internal temperature.
Get the Right Crossbow
Any modern crossbow should do the job of hunting rabbits. But bigger and heavier crossbows mean more inhumane hunting. Why would you need a 100-pound crossbow when you are taking down a small animal?
Crossbows with lower draw weight would be helpful. It can take down rabbits and is effective in moving through thick brushes.
Get the Right Arrows
Blunt-tipped arrows are your best friend if you want to hunt rabbits. Choose one that is in carbon material to make it a little more forgiving. For best results, sharpen the arrow blades. It helps in getting the best penetration and clean cutting.
Practice Your Accuracy
Regardless of the tool combination that you use, accuracy is king in hunting. Practice until you master the correct accuracy for hunting rabbits. You can try shooting crossbows at a rabbit-sized target. Create different scenarios where the prey would hide.
Better Response Time
Rabbit hunting requires a lot of instinct. You need to be ready and draw the shot at all times. It all boils down to practice. Then, improve your skills in attracting your crossbow on smaller targets.
What Time Of Day Is Best To Hunt Rabbit Using A Crossbow?
Early mornings after the first frost or late fall are the best times to hunt rabbits. Sometimes, they are more active during the day in warmer weather.
Can you hunt rabbits at night?
It depends on the situation. Most rabbits move around at dusk, dawn, and night. So, it’s challenging to locate them even if you check their habitats. It might be difficult for a dog to pick up the scent as well.
Consider your ability to hunt in low light conditions. Is night hunting one of your bucket lists as a hunter? Then, learn about instinctive shooting. Hunting at dawn, dusk, or night is more challenging than you think. It requires seamless accuracy and better body coordination.
Also, note that it is illegal to hunt for any animals after dark. In this case, then you can’t hunt rabbits at night. So, don’t forget to check local laws by state, county, and township. Innocence doesn’t make you exempted from the law.
Is It Hard To Hunt Rabbits With A Crossbow?
Hunting rabbits is challenging. But it is a great sport that requires sharpened technique and shot capability. Hunting rabbits is rewarding if you’re up for the challenge.
Combine your hunting gear with instinct and skills. You’ll bag a cottontail at the end of your trip for sure. All you need is perseverance in training and a lot of courage to take that shot.