These days, you can buy crossbows that already come with a scope in the package. However, you can still do away with the scope if you choose to. Crossbows have other sight systems that can help you with your aim anyway.
The British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF) once proposed the prohibition of using scopes on bows during bow-only seasons. The proposal aims to regulate scopes on short-range weapons, including crossbows.
Unsurprisingly, the proposal received many complaints, which leads us to question: Do you need a scope to shoot a crossbow? If the crossbow scope ban gets approved, is there still a way to hunt effectively without a scope?
When crossbows first entered the war and hunting scene, the weapons didn’t have scopes yet. However, people were still able to use them effectively. So, it is safe to say that you can use a crossbow without a scope.
If you don’t want to use a scope, you can use the peep/pin sight for your modern-day crossbow. This system includes a peep where you can look through to aim at your target and a blade and pin sight in front.
The pin of the sight also has a little ball at the tip. This ball will help you ensure the accuracy of your aim. Like other sight systems, the peep/pin sight is removable.
It is possible to hunt using your crossbow without a scope. However, we still recommend using scopes to increase your chances of a successful hunt.
Scopes help you identify and track your targets more efficiently. It’s also quieter than rifles. With the help of the scope, you can improve your aim, which means that there’s a low chance of missing your target, which results in the animal getting injured but still escaping.
You can even use different kinds of scopes to fit your needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting in broad daylight or the dark of the night; there’s a scope that’s perfect for you!
What is a crossbow scope?
A crossbow scope is a detachable instrument that you can attach to a crossbow to help you improve your accuracy. Most scopes have crosshairs to guide you when you aim at your target. The crosshairs ensure that you have a good aim before taking the shot.
There are three types of scopes: the red dot scope, the magnified scope, and the night vision scope.
The red dot scope has dots that help you ensure the accuracy of your aim. The red dot scope is also one of the simplest scopes in the market because it has no magnification reticles.
Despite the simplicity of the red dot scope, it’s still a good scope of choice if your target is easy to spot and if you are hunting in broad daylight.
Another kind of scope is the magnified scope. As indicated in its name, this scope magnifies or enlarges your target when you look through the scope. Although this kind of scope does not guarantee better accuracy of aim, it does give you better visibility of your target.
Magnified scopes are perfect for bowmen who have poor eyesight or have not yet perfected the art of targeting.
If you plan to hunt in the wild at night or when the visibility is low, night vision scopes are perfect for you! This scope uses infrared technology to allow you to see and track your target even in dark surroundings. Night vision scopes will also enable you to hunt without seeing your target.
If you are not into night vision scopes but still want to hunt in the dark or places with low visibility, you can use scopes with illumination. Despite the absence of infrared technology, the red and green light in the reticle still helps you track your target in the dark.
Can you pair a crossbow with a riflescope?
It is possible to pair a crossbow with a riflescope. However, since you will not be using these scopes for their original intended purpose, you need to consider factors such as the recoil and the range difference between both weapons, among others.
The abovementioned factors may affect how your crossbows perform and how successful your hunt will be.
Scopes for both rifles and crossbows have the same goal: to guide you and help you have an accurate aim. However, since both weapons have significant differences, you may need to adjust to the riflescope if you plan to use it on your crossbow.
First, rifles and crossbows shoot at different distances. Crossbows shoot shorter distances compared to rifles, so this is one thing that you should consider if you want to use a riflescope on your crossbow.
Second, riflescopes make targets appear much closer than they are. Rifles are long-range weapons, so the riflescope’s magnification matches the distance it can shoot. However, crossbows are shorter-range weapons, so there is no need to magnify your sight that much.
Third, crossbows don’t experience recoil as a rifle does. Riflescopes are designed for backward recoil forces, while crossbow scopes are intended for forwarding force. Hence, when you shoot your crossbow, the sudden shock from the recoil may cause damage to your scope.
Can you pair a crossbow with a night vision scope?
You can put a night vision scope on a crossbow. Crossbows have evolved so much to fit the users’ needs. Hence, it comes with no surprise that night vision scopes became popular to address the problem of hunting in dark and low-visibility environments.
Some people prefer to use crossbows instead of rifles when hunting at night because crossbows are quieter than hunting rifles. This quietness is essential to make sure that your target doesn’t scram at the sound of the rifle, making the prey escape before it even gets shot.
Aside from that, crossbows are also much lighter than rifles. When hunting at night, you should also be able to escape quickly should danger happen at an unexpected time. This situation makes the weight of the crossbow an essential advantage.
You also want to make sure that you can easily walk and track your target while holding your weapon. With the crossbow’s weight and the convenience given by the night vision scope, you will have a good chance of having a successful hunt.
In conclusion, if you are into nighttime hunting, you are better off using crossbows instead of rifles. And what better way to increase your chances of taking home a target than using a night vision scope on your crossbow?
Night vision scope uses infrared technology that enables you to hunt more efficiently in the dark.
Do you need a remarkable scope for a crossbow?
Using special scopes for your crossbow is your prerogative. It is not necessary to buy a special scope for your crossbow. If you use a special scope, make sure that it will fit the purpose of its usage, the environment you will be hunting in, and your expertise level.
If you are a beginner in using a crossbow, you can use a simple scope that’s easy to read, such as the red dot scope, so that you can practice your aim. As soon as you are comfortable with using the scope, you can upgrade to a more advanced scope whenever you’re ready.
If you are already into hunting, you can use scopes with magnified reticles. It helps you improve or maintain the accuracy of your aim as you hunt animals at a distance.
If you want to hunt in the dark, you can always choose the night vision scope or a simple scope with illumination.
If you want to be more adventurous and you have a spare scope from your rifle, you can use the riflescope for your crossbow as soon as you consider the factors that may affect the performance of your crossbow.
Where do you aim with a crossbow?
Aside from using scopes and knowing how to shoot correctly, you should know where to aim at the prey to hunt it successfully. If you plan to hunt for large game animals, it’s better to aim at the vitals area since they are easier to penetrate than the skull.
Larger scale animals include deers and bears. The best angle to shoot these targets is called the broadside shot angle. At this angle, the animal or the target will be standing sideways from your point of view. This angle gives you the widest angle to the animal’s vitals area.
Since you have a good view of the vital’s area when you shoot at the broadside shot angle, it becomes easier to hit your target efficiently.
Another advantage of shooting the target at the broadside angle is that if you miss your target area by an inch, you still have a good chance of hitting a part of the vitals area, which can be lethal to the animal you are hunting.
Now, where is the vital area of an animal? As the name suggests, the vitals area is the area where the animal’s vital organs are located. These organs include the heart and lungs.
When you aim at the vitals area at the broadside angle, you will have a high chance of having a successful hunt.
Now, where exactly is the vitals area of the deer? To successfully shoot a deer, aim for the back of the animal’s front leg, one-third to halfway into the body. It’s easier to do this if you are using a crossbow scope.
If you do not have the broadside angle of the animal you want to hunt, you can still hit your prey using other angles such as quartering-toward or quartering-away. These angles mean that your target’s body is angled towards or away from you.
With the quartering-toward or quartering-away angles, you still have access to the animal’s vitals area, and you can aim for the shoulder. However, shooting at this is less recommended when hunting using a crossbow.
The quartering-toward or quartering-away angles don’t give you a broad view of the animal. As a result, you may encounter the following disadvantages:
- There’s also a good chance you will hit the animal’s shoulder bones that your crossbow arrow will have a hard time penetrating.
- Your target can easily detect your movements.
- Your target will see the arrow coming, and they can escape.
Not all angles are perfect for hunting, including the head-on and rear-end angles. If you are directly in front or behind your target at certain angles, you should wait for another chance to shoot your crossbow. Here’s why:
Head-on angle means that you are facing your target directly. This position would mean that your arrow can still damage the meat even if you hit its vital organs.
On the other hand, shooting at the rear-end angle means that you are directly behind the animal. This angle gives you no view of the sizeable vitals area, so hunting the animal at this angle will provide you with a low chance of success.
Is shooting a crossbow like shooting a rifle?
Rifles and crossbows are popular in the hunting scene, but both weapons have significant differences in usage and power. Even with the technological advancements of crossbows, shooting it will never be similar to shooting a rifle for now.
The similarities of crossbows and rifles most likely end with both weapons being popular in the hunting scene and needing your hands and shoulders for support.
For starters, rifles are long-range weapons, while crossbows are shorter-range weapons. While you can fire a rifle with a shooting distance of about 1000 yards, crossbows only allow a shooting distance of around 100 yards.
Sure, the most recent high-performance crossbows in the market can help you shoot targets harder and faster, but you still shoot them at the same distance as normal crossbows. A crossbow doesn’t give you the luxury of shooting from a far distance.
Furthermore, crossbow hunters should be extra stealthy when hunting because they’re required to be much closer to their target compared to hunters who hunt with rifles. Fortunately, crossbows are quieter than rifles, so it’s an advantage even if you’re shooting at a short-range.