While you can shoot a crossbow underwater, there will be too much resistance for it to be useful. Water is eight times denser than air, meaning the arrow will slow down underwater. The deeper you go, the weaker your crossbow will be due to the immense water pressure.
Crossbows are becoming more and more popular thanks to their sturdy design and ease of use. It’s an ideal weapon for target shooting, hunting, and bowfishing. Load it up, aim at your target, pull the trigger, and land an accurate shot.
One of the main questions people ask when using a crossbow is, “can you shoot it underwater?” The simple answer is yes. You can shoot a crossbow underwater, but don’t expect it to perform as well as it will when used on land.
Is underwater archery a sport?
While underwater archery exists, it’s far from being a sport. Many people consider underwater archery as a form of recreational activity. It’s a great way to keep archery fun, and you get to practice your skills in a unique environment.
As modern bows became more powerful, people became curious about their capabilities. Underwater archery is one example where you can test your skills and the capacity of your bow. It requires intense focus to shoot your best shot as well as maintain your body position.
If you’re up for the challenge, then you should try underwater archery. It’s a fun and rewarding activity that will take your archery skills to the next level. Underwater archery also has its advantages, some of which are:
- Total body exercise
- Improves your concentration
- Sharpens your survival instincts
Your whole body faces increased resistance when shooting a bow underwater. Not only do you work out your arms and shoulders, but your core and lower legs are also engaged! Having stronger muscles will improve your performance when you resurface in the land.
Being submerged underwater can throw off even the most seasoned archers. You have to control your breathing, position your body the right way, have a steady aim, and more. It’s safe to say that when you try underwater archery, your concentration will improve.
In a way, underwater archery is like a form of survival training. Imagine the need to focus on your target while keeping your safety in mind. These survival skills will come in handy when you face nature’s harsh environments.
Why is it difficult to shoot a crossbow underwater?
A crossbow is not designed for underwater use because it cannot handle high density. The arrow is unable to glide through the water due to its immense mass per volume. It resists the arrow’s forward motion and slows it down before it reaches its intended target.
Ask anyone who’s done underwater archery, and they’ll tell you how difficult it is. Even if the crossbow produces more energy than a compound bow, it’s still not enough to overcome water.
You will still feel the power of the crossbow when you use it in water that’s 3-5 feet deep. Such water depths are not dense enough to slow down the arrow’s travel and affect its accuracy.
What happens when a crossbow gets wet?
Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause rust on the crossbow’s mechanical components. While a modern crossbow can tolerate a bit of water, you want to dry it off as soon as possible. Preventive maintenance is key to protecting your crossbow from corrosion.
Crossbows today are more impervious to water than older models. The reason is that modern crossbows consist of plated hardware and composites. It’s okay to get your crossbow wet for short periods as long as you wipe it dry after use.
Keep in mind that a crossbow is mechanical, so exposure to water can affect its oiled components. Here’s what you can do to protect your crossbow from moisture and corrosion.
- Use a can of compressed air to displace water
- Wax the strings and cables
- Apply Loctite to the screws and bolts
- Clean the scope on your crossbow
- Dry out the crossbow completely
A can of compressed air is effective at removing water from the nooks and crannies in your crossbow. Spray compressed air around the trigger box, bolts, scope, and pulleys. After that, use a dry towel to wipe off any remaining moisture from your crossbow.
Some people use WD-40 to drive off moisture from their weapons. WD-40 is great for displacing water as well as adding rust protection. Refer to your manufacturer’s user manual to know if they recommend WD-40 for your bow.
Before you head out, it’s worth taking the time to prep your crossbow. Start by waxing your strings and cables using a bowstring wax (made of beeswax and rosin). The wax helps to protect the bow’s strings and repel water and moisture upon contact.
While you’re at it, make sure to oil up your bow’s trigger assembly as well. The broadhead is often an afterthought when it comes to preventive maintenance. Apply a thin coat of oil to the broadhead, and it should be ready to go.
Excess moisture can cause the screws and bolts in your crossbow to seize. To prevent this, apply a light coat of blue Loctite to any threaded part of your bow. Loctite helps secure the screws and eliminates any oxidizing problems that may occur.
You can also replace your screws with either titanium or stainless steel screws. These are very resistant to rusting and will keep your bow looking good as new.
If you use a scope, you’ll need to clean that using pre-moistened wipes. You can buy these at your local hunter’s shop. Wipe the sight clean, making sure that no fog is visible in the lens.
One hack to avoid scope fog is to apply shaving gel onto the lens. Shaving gel creates a hydrophilic barrier onto the lens, which helps prevent fogging.
Once you’re through with the first four steps, the last step is to dry out your crossbow completely. You can use a hairdryer that’s set to a medium setting to dry out the mechanical parts of your bow. You can also place it near a furnace to dry out any remaining moisture.
Give your bow one last wipe with a clean cloth before you put it back in the storage case.
Can you use a crossbow for fishing?
You can use a crossbow to harvest fish. Many people take part in bowfishing as it’s a popular sport for both archers and hunters. Bowfishing combines the thrill of archery and the excitement of fishing into one.
When done the right way, bowfishing will transform the way you catch fish! Of course, you’ll need to set up your crossbow so that you can shoot and retrieve fish.
Several manufacturers offer conversion kits that transform your crossbow into a fishing apparatus. These kits usually come with a fishing line, a reel, a crossbow mount, and some fishing bolts. A reputable shop should be able to convert your crossbow with no problems.
Bolts used for bowfishing are usually heavier than hunting bolts. What this does is make it easier for the bolts to pierce the water. When bowfishing, stick to shallow bodies of water (around 3-4 feet deep) so you can get a better view of your targets.
Some people use a scope for fishing, while others rely only on their instincts. You’ll need quick reflexes when shooting fish, so sight isn’t that much of a necessity. Once you’ve tried it a couple of times, you’ll develop the reflexes for bowfishing.
What are the advantages of using a crossbow for fishing?
So, why should you use a crossbow instead of a compound bow for fishing? Simple; power and accuracy. A crossbow will deliver on its performance regardless of the species you want to fish.
Many good things come with bowfishing with a crossbow. For one, it’s an active sport that will keep you on your toes. The experience alone is enough to convince you to fish using a different apparatus.
Here are the advantages of using a crossbow for fishing:
- You get to shoot different varieties of fish
- The learning curve is low
- Using a crossbow feels like shooting a gun
- Crossbows have exceptional accuracy
There’s no limit to what type of fish you can shoot with a crossbow. Whether you want to target invasive species or local fish varieties, the choice is yours. You don’t have to worry about what type of feed to use or what kind of bait to take with you.
Most fish feed during dawn and dusk. If you want to catch as much fish as possible, try to do your bowfishing during these times. In regards to a fishing location, any shallow body of water will do.
Freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds are home to largemouth bass, the most popular game fish. Meanwhile, you’ll find tuna and sailfish in saltwater bodies like beaches and bays. Make sure the water is clear to make bowfishing easier.
Even if you’re new to bowfishing, you’ll find that a crossbow is very straightforward to use. The arrow is already pre-drawn, so all you need to do is aim and shoot. With a compound bow, you’ll need adequate arm strength along with a steady focus to use it.
Most beginners need time to develop the skills required for bowfishing. You’ll get tired fast if you’re not used to the bow’s draw weight. If you want to use a fishing apparatus with a low learning curve, a crossbow is a good choice.
Those with a hunting background will find that a crossbow is quite like shooting a gun. A hunter is already familiar with bolts, rails, scopes, and triggers. When you hold a crossbow, it won’t feel that far off with a gun or a rifle.
Muscle memory is key to a sport like bowfishing. Since your reflexes are already sharp, you’ll be successful at catching game fish.
Crossbows share many of the same traits as guns, including versatility. You can shoot it standing up, crouching, kneeling, or even on top of your boat. The only difference is that a crossbow has almost no recoil compared to a gun.
One thing that separates a crossbow from other bows is its deadly accuracy. Having a scope allows you to focus on your target without needing to hold the bowstring. Once you cock the arrow, it’s only a matter of time before it hits its intended target.
Using a compound bow for fishing can be challenging since you need to keep tension on the strings. With a crossbow, you can concentrate on your shot without having to worry about anything else. Fish are fast-moving targets, and a crossbow is a perfect tool for precise shooting.
Is bowfishing legal?
Bowfishing for non-game fish is legal across all 50 U.S. states. But, bowfishing for game fish is only allowed in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. It’s best to contact the authorities in your area to learn more about bowfishing and its legality.
Most people wonder whether they need a license for bowfishing. As with any other activity like hunting or fishing, you will need to secure a license or permit. The laws in each state vary from one another, so make sure to get as much information as you can.
It’s also a good idea to contact a wildlife officer to help you with the rules of bowfishing in your area. Know where you can do bowfishing and what type of species you can shoot. Each state has its guidelines, so familiarize yourself first before you go.
It’s not uncommon to come home with a barrel of fish after a long day of bowfishing. But, intentional waste of fish is illegal in many states, so only harvest enough fish that you can handle. Do not discard fish along public shorelines or trashcans as it is very inappropriate.
You can do a lot of things with a crossbow. Whether it’s underwater archery or bowfishing, it’s all up to you. Refer to this article when doing both activities to ensure your safety and enjoyment.