Buying your first crossbow can be very exciting. Hopefully you’ve done some research on the different brands and models and picked the one you feel best suits your needs. The first thing you’ll most likely want to do after purchasing a crossbow is to go home in shoot it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to become familiar with your bow and all of its features and components. The best way to do this is to spend some time with it practicing.
Practicing with your crossbow will not only help you become a better shot, but it’s also just a lot of fun. It’s no secret that to become proficient with a crossbow does not take that long when compared to a vertical bow. But even for us guys that have spent years shooting crossbows, we still practice. Why you may ask? Not because we feel that if we don’t we will loose our edge. Because it’s fun. Being able to set a target out in your backyard and shoot is enjoyable. Hitting what your aiming at, no matter the weapon, can give you a self gratifying feeling. But there comes a point in every new crossbow shooters life where he or she realizes practicing a certain way, can become costly. This type of practicing I speak of is group shooting.
It’s only natural to want to shoot all of your arrows at the same spot. Packing them all into a nice tight group can give a crossbow shooter a great sense of achievement and confidence. But shooting groups with your bow can also be hard on your arrows. From the time we first learn to shoot, whether it be with a B-B gun or bow and arrow, we are trained to pick a spot and shoot for it. When it comes to crossbows however, I would encourage you to do more than pick a spot. Pick multiple spots. As a matter of fact, pick as many spots as you have arrows that you are going to shoot. Why would I suggest this method? First of all, chances are if you are new to crossbows you purchased a package for your first go at it. That package most likely came with three or four arrows. It doesn’t take long, if your shooting groups at the same spot, before you shoot a vane off one of the arrows, break the nock out of another arrow, and crease another arrow. What you will be left with is a brand new crossbow with no arrows to shoot out of it. Crossbows are accurate. Even in the hands of the novice, it doesn’t take long before a crossbow shooter is damaging arrows. So to keep you practicing longer with the equipment you have, shoot at multiple aiming points.
Cost of arrows is another reason to shoot at multiple aiming spots with your crossbow. It’s not uncommon for some of the better arrows to cost in excess of one hundred dollars per dozen. The last thing you are going to want to do is start breaking them. So shooting multiple spots keeps your arrows from hitting each other. The cost of your arrows is only one thing to consider. Your target is the other.
A good target now a days is not a cheap investment. And you better have a good one if you plan on shooting crossbows. Many of the less expensive targets do not have what it takes to stop an arrow shot from a crossbow. If you already have a target left over from your vertical bow, it won’t take many shots with your crossbow to no if it’s going to work or not. Chances are your arrows will blow right through it. So investing in a good target is key. Just like any investment, you want to get the most out of your money. Shooting at multiple spots will help prolong the life of your target as opposed to shooting a group in one area over and over again. I have had brand new targets that I’ve worn out in one particular area by shooting groups at. Sometimes in only a matter of a few groups. For this reason, picking multiple aiming points is the way to go. If your target doesn’t have that many aiming points, simply take a permanent marker and draw some on. To get the most from your target draw more spots than you have arrows for and rotate which ones you shoot at each time you practice.
Shooting groups can be fun when you are first starting out. Hearing your arrows hit each other or seeing a broken nock fly after you shoot gives you an instant confirmation that your crossbow is dialed in and that your arrows are grouping. Shooting a robin hood even makes a nice trophy. But after awhile, it just becomes costly. More costly than its worth. So the next time you go out and practice with your bow, don’t just pick a spot. Pick multiple spots. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.

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