How far can I shoot my crossbow? This is one of the most commonly asked questions from the beginning crossbow hunter. I wish there was one concrete answer to give to people when they ask this question, but as you read on, you will soon find out that there are too many variables that come into play when factoring out the equation. Let’s take a look at some of them.

First and foremost, you should take an honest look at your own personal skill level shooting a crossbow. Are you confident with your shot at 20 yards but not at 30 yards? Or is 30 yards a shot you can make all day long? Not every crossbow hunter will have the same skill level, or the same amount of time to practice with his or her crossbow. You should never take a shot at an animal unless you are 100% confident that you can make it.

Next is the terrain you are hunting in. A 40 yard shot in a wide open bean field has a much higher percentage (if you do everything right) then a 40 yard shot in thick cover or brush. Take your surrounding habitat into consideration when deciding your maximum shooting distance. You may find that your max distance for one setup may be different from the next setup do to a change in cover or shooting lanes.

Another overlooked factor that comes into play that we cannot control is the overall demeanor of the animal we are after. Is it very calm and relaxed while feeding, with out a care in the world? Or has its sixth sense kicked in and acting like it is walking on eggshells? Knowing the body language of the animal you are hunting can play a big role in determining not only how far you should shoot, but also when you should shoot.

How are you as the hunter feeling at the time of the shot? Are you calm and cool, or is your heart feel like it is going to jump out of your chest because it’s beating so fast? Remember, making a long shot on a practice target that can’t move, in the comfort of your own backyard, is a lot different then shooting a live animal. Take that extra breath and try to regain some composure before squeezing that trigger.

Weather can also play a role when determining how far you can shoot your crossbow. Are you hunting on a nice sunny bluebird day with no wind? Or is the wind blowing 30 mile per hour? Not only can wind affect your arrow flight, but if you’re in a tree, it can effect how still you can aim your crossbow too. How’s your visibility? Is it the last half hour before dark, and you’re under a thick canopy of treetops that makes the woods darker than they should be? Talk to any bow hunter that has some time in the woods and they will tell you a story about the big one that got away because they hit a sapling or tree limb they just couldn’t see at the time.

As you can see, there are many factors that come into play other than how fast or how powerful your crossbow is when it comes to deciding how far you want to shoot. You owe it to yourself and more importantly the animal you are hunting to take the highest percentage shot you can. Remember folks, we are bow hunting here. It’s all about getting close to the animals. The better hunter is the hunter that shoots hi animal at 10 yards not the hunter that shoots his animal at 60 yards. Here’s something to think about before you take that next shot. I read this somewhere down the line and it has always stuck with me. Ask yourself if you would be willing to pay a $1000.00 ticket for wounding or missing the animal you set your sight s on the next time you take a shot. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t be taking the shot.