The Best Bow For Whitetail Hunting In 2023: Recommendations & Advice

Sarah Combs By, Sarah Combs
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow, with 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope
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Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow, with 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope

Barnett's Whitetail Hunter crossbow is the perfect choice for hunting in dense cover, or when shooting distances are limited. The lightweight design and break-action bolt allows for quick and easy target acquisition, while the four-reticle scope with a 32 mm lens provides clarity. This crossbow also includes a rope cocking device, lubrication wax, and two 22" headhunter arrows. Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Bear X Intense CD Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package with Scope

This ready-to-hunt crossbow package includes 3 Bear X TrueX arrows, scope, 4-arrow quiver, cocking rope and rail lube. This crossbow is perfect for hunting small to medium game such as deer or elk. It features a sleek design with a cocked length of 10" wide and an uncocked length of 14" wide. The Bear X Intense is also lightweight and features a built in cable release along with a built in poison tubular arrow rest Read Review

3. Top Choice: Barnett Wildcat Camo Recurve Crossbow Hunting Package

Take your hunting to the next level with the Barnett Wildcat Camo Recurve Crossbow Hunting Package. This package includes a 4x32mm Multi-Reticle scope, an aluminum arrow with a quick-detach quiver, two 20" aluminum arrows, and the latest in crossbow technology: a light weight side mount quiver. Other features include an adjustable cheek piece and multi-axis string loop for ultimate accuracy. Read Review

4. Best Realiable: Killer Instinct Boss 405 FPS Crossbow Package with Backpack Case

The BOSS 405 is a powerful crossbow, made to be easily handled by the hunter. It comes with a compact frame and reduced overall length, which makes it easy to handle for those who want an efficient crossbow for hunting in their backyard. The 6.5 inch-wide kill zone on this crossbow makes it perfect for hunting big game including deer, hogs and more. Read Review

There’s a significant debate amongst most novice and experienced bow hunters when choosing the right bow for them. Whether you are a beginner or have been out there for some time, you will always hear about the best bow for whitetail hunting your target of choice. That is because archery is a personal experience, and no two bows are alike.

To make things even more challenging, different states also have laws and regulations governing the use of archery equipment. For instance, it is necessary to use string release mechanisms on your compound bow in some places, while in others, this may not be mandatory. However, no matter which state you call home or which type of hunting you favor, there will undoubtedly be one perfect compound bow for you if you know what you’re looking for. That said, here’s everything you need to know before making that final purchase decision.

Our team had to focus on researching for 19 hours to get such results for readers. This study uses customer star ratings and customer interviews on their product experiences. In addition, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow, with 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope with Step-Through Riser is one of the most excellent models available, and it comes highly recommended by us. We also show the other fantastic alternatives with a complete guide worth your consideration below.

Our Top Picks

  • The most trusted name in crossbows since 1962
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer, Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System, Finger Safety reminders, TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology
  • BARNETT WHITETAIL HUNTER CROSSBOW STR WITHOUT CRANK DEVICE: Ultra-compact compound crossbow with complete hunting accessory package. The lightweight crossbow has a manageable profile that hunters of all sizes can handle and shoots 375 feet per second
  • EFFICIENT: Crossbow is equipped with Step-Through Riser (STR) technology that reduces the length of the crossbow and has an overall weight of just 6.6 lbs., creating an easily controllable profile that hunters of all skills and sizes can manage
  • INCLUDES: 4.32mm Multi-Reticle Scope, Two 22" Headhunter Arrows, Lightweight Quiver, Rope Cocking Device, and Lubrication Wax. Ships mostly assembled. Color is Mossy Oak Bottomland
TOP Choice #2 Bear X Intense CD Ready to Shoot Crossbow Package with Scope
Our Score:
Bear X
  • Measures 10” wide cocked and 14” wide uncocked
  • 12.7” power stroke delivers hard hitting power at 400 feet per second
  • BARNETT: The most trusted name in crossbows since 1962
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer, Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System, Finger Safety Reminders.
  • VERSATILE: The recurve bow was created with first-time crossbow users in mind. The Wildcat is lightweight and sturdy, making it easily maneuverable by beginners and includes a quiver and two aluminum arrows so you can get practicing right away
  • READY TO HUNT PACKAGE: Includes 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope, Lightweight Side-Mount Quiver, Two 20" Aluminum Arrows, and Lubrication Wax. Ships mostly assembled. Cocking device not included. Color is Brown Tear
  • BARNETT WILDCAT CAMO RECURVE CROSSBOW: Recurve crossbow with complete hunting accessory package. The Wildcat offers a classic, easy-to-use design and features a full camo wrap, anti-dry fire trigger system, and shoots 260 feet per second
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Killer Instinct BOSS 405 FPS Crossbow Package with a crossbow case and three hunting broadheads
  • COMPACT FRAME: Reduced overall crossbow length is easy to handle and lightweight to carry
  • CUSTOM FIT: 6-position buttstock and adjustable X-Lok provide a customized fit
  • PRECISION SHOOTING: Enhanced Micro-Lite aluminum barrel and 3.5-pound KillerTech trigger for consistent accuracy shot-after-shot
  • EASY-TO-USE - The Whitetail Hunter STR comes ready-to-hunt with all the accessories you need, including 5-pack 22" Headhunter Arrows with field points & moon nock, and requires just one bolt for assembly
  • CONFIDENCE IN SAFETY - Nock sensors and anti-dry fire give you peace of mind for double the safety, and a three-pound, the zero-creep release gives you the confidence to make the shot
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CROSSBOW - Step-Through Riser (STR) technology reduces the length of the crossbow by integrating the foot stirrup directly into the riser; combined with an overall weight of just 6.6 pounds, this crossbow hunts light and fast
  • MORE ARROWS THAN IN A STANDARD PACKAGE - In addition to 2 arrows which are provided with a bow, the bundle includes a 5-pack of 22" Headhunter arrows specifically made for superior performance with crossbows
  • READY TO HUNT PACKAGE - It includes a crossbow, 4x32 multi-reticle scope, rope cocking device, lightweight quiver and side-mount adaptor, sting and cable lubrication wax, string dampeners
  • Lightweight Performance: Ultra-light composite stock is comfortable and easy-to-maneuver
  • Quiet Performance: Custom rubber shock absorbers reduce noise and vibration for increased stealth and performance
7 SAS Manticore 150lbs Hunting Crossbow (Black Fiber)
Our Score:
Southland Archery Supply
  • High-tech fiberglass limb
  • Powerfull 150lbs Crossbow. Stringer is recommended to put or change the string. ASIN for stringer: B00JHA14NG
8 SAS Feud X 30-70 Lbs 19-31" Draw Length Compound Bow for Hunting
Our Score:
Southland Archery Supply
  • Let Off: 70 - 75%
  • IBO Speed: 300 FPS+
  • BARNETT WHITETAIL PRO STR: High-performance compound crossbow in TruBark with complete hunting accessory package. The lightweight crossbow is ultra-compact and shoots 400 Feet per Second
  • EFFICIENT: Compound crossbow has an overall weight of just 6.9 lbs., creating an easily controllable profile that hunters of all skillsets can manage. The hunting crossbow also has a fiberglass composite step-thru riser making it easier to balance
  • READY TO HUNT PACKAGE: Includes 4x32 millimeters illuminated scope, Two 22" Headhunter Arrows, Side mount quiver, Crank Cocking Device & Lube Wax| Ships mostly assembled | Color: Tru Bark
  • BARNETT: The most trusted name in crossbows since 1962
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer, Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System, Finger Safety Reminders
  • READY TO HUNT PACKAGE: Bow dimensions are 36.5"L x 20"W. Package includes two Headhunter 22" Arrows, Multi-Reticle Scope 4X32mm, Crank Cocking Device, Lightweight Side Mount Quiver, Lubrication Wax. Ships mostly assembled
  • The bow selected technology wood,bamboo and fiberglss,introduction of German lamination technology.The bow handle is comfortable and durable.The bow tip vibrates slightly.It is suitable for outdoor shooting,hunting and training.
  • Package content:arm guard*1 finger tab*1 arrow rest*1 copper buckles*1 stringer*1

What Are the Most Critical Aspects of best bow for whitetail hunting That You Should Concentrate on?

You must know the best bow for whitetail hunting to make a substantial purchase. There's a slew of additional issues which have to be looked at and assessed. Each commodity has its own set of difficulties. As a result, you can rely on us to give you comprehensive counsel and support.

You might quickly become overwhelmed in your quest for the best bow for whitetail hunting because there are so many models and features. Avoid being suffocated by an expensive item that only serves to take up room in your cupboard by following our advice.


Crossbow accessories are important and should be included in your unit. This saves time, money and effort to purchase them individually.
You should also include a noise dampener and cocking device as well as a quiver and sling in your crossbow accessory package.
We'll do a detailed review of the top crossbow broadheads, bolts, bow sights, and scopes so that you can make the right choice when choosing crossbow accessories.


Crossbows are made with a bow, stock and assemble to make the whole machine. There are two main types of crossbows: one is the type of bow that attaches to it and the other is the style.
Three types of crossbow designs are available: compound, reverse draw and recurve. Each design has strengths and weaknesses. To help you choose the right design, it is important to understand what you want in a bow. It is therefore difficult to choose the right hunting crossbow. Don't worry, we have a comprehensive guide for buyers.


It is better to launch an arrow at a faster speed than the crossbow. Your technique also plays a major role. However, most crossbows have a speed limit that you can't shoot an arrow beyond. It is important to consider this when buying a Crossbow.


There are a few things that go into the design of a crossbow. First, the type. The types have been described above. The crossbow design will vary depending on which type you select.
It also includes the appearance of the crossbow. Even if the Crossbow is identical, its aesthetics may vary. When choosing a crossbow, it is important to take into account both these aspects.

Ease Of Assembly

Crossbows come mostly in boxes and may require some assembly. Most bow sections come fully assembled. Crossbows with a lot of assembly work will require that you link the bow to the stock.
A crossbow that is almost completely assembled may be the best option for you if you're new at assembling it. A unit that is less difficult to assemble will be more valuable. A manual for the crossbow is an advantage as it can help you with assembly.
It is important to be able to disassemble the unit quickly, particularly if you frequently camp. This makes it easy to store your unit during the off-seasons or when you are not using it.

Safety Features

Safety in archery should be your top priority. An anti-dry firing system is a safety feature that protects crossbows from dry firing. An auto-engaging safety feature is another option.
A pass-through foregrip is another safety option that crossbow users should consider. It keeps your fingers in place while you focus on the shooting. Safety features such as trigger safety are essential. These safety features prevent the unit's firing upon turning it on. You could accidentally injure yourself or another person if they are missing.
You should reconsider the purchase of a unit that lacks safety features.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the amount of pounds required to bring the string from the crossedbow back into the cocked place. Your shooting mistakes will increase if you have a heavier draw weight. The bow's wear rate will also increase if it has a heavier draw weight.
Crossbows are available in draw weights between 90 and 260 lbs. Different draw weights are suitable for different individuals. You should consider how much weight you are able to comfortably take on.

Bow Weight And Size

For those who are not well built, a heavy bow can be restricting. Weight is an important factor when choosing the crossbow that will best suit your hunting needs. You may have to transport the bow for long distances, and you might feel fatigued.
The best crossbow is not necessarily the largest. The purpose of your crossbow will determine the size you choose. The longer, more powerful crossbows with wider legs will produce greater speed and power. It would however be more difficult to use, particularly in dense forest or thickets. It would be harder to aim because of its longer length.
The size of your bow is ultimately dependent on what you need. However, there are regulations in some states regarding the minimum bow width or length. You should be aware of these rules and take them into consideration.

Power Stroke

This is more commonly used to refer to the length of crossbow draw. The distance between the string's most back pulled and cocked position (when resting) and the uncocked is called the power stroke.
Hunting crossbows rarely have a power stroke less than 11 inches in most instances. You should also be aware that some areas have rules regarding the maximum power stroke.
The power stroke of a crossbow can affect its speed. Recurve crossbows have a larger power stroke, which allows for more time to accelerate bolt.
Imagine you're looking at a compound crossbow. Crossbows have advanced cam systems, which don't require a long power stroke in order to improve their speed.

Noise And Vibration Levels

Noise level is an important consideration if you're a hunter. Noise from crossbows is more common than that of regular bows. The vibrations generated by the firing of the crossbow create noise. This could cause your prey to startle, making it difficult for you to get a shot.
Crossbows that produce low vibrations and are quiet to operate well are a great choice. This is achieved by most manufacturers using vibration dampeners and string suppressors.


What Is The Best Crossbow For The Money As A Beginner?

Crossbow novices should pay attention to safety features such as anti-dry flame and finger guards.

What’s The Difference Between Recurve And A Compound Crossbow?

Bows are powerful because they store the energy that is drawn backwards. This is different for compound and recurve bows.
Crossbows that recurve are similar to traditional hand-drawn bows can be used as well. The string is pulled back, causing the bow's two limbs to bend. This generates energy. The energy from the string is released and the bow shoots.
Compound crossbows don't use linear force. Instead, they make use of a combination of strings and wheels (cam-system) that pull back the string and bend it. This system allows them to produce more force, fire arrows faster than recurvebows and can generate more power. They are less maintenance-intensive than recurve crossbows, which only have a few moving parts.
It's up to you which type of bow is best for your needs. If you want maximum speed and power, however, compound bows may be the best choice.

What Are The Best Crossbow Bolts For Hunting?

All crossbows come with bolts. Some high-end models even have 6 bolts. You'll want to improve your bow as you get better at shooting.
But, it is important to note that choosing the right bolt for your bow will be a subjective decision. There is an ideal bolt for every crossbow.

What Type Of Limbs Are Best On A Crossbow?

The string attaches to the ends of the limbs, which are attached to the riser. Crossbows of high quality have limbs that are made from carbon, fiberglass or some combination thereof. They are light and durable which is important given the stresses placed on them by crossbows. Avoid crossbows with aluminum- or wood-limbs. They will most likely fall on you quickly enough.

How Much Money Should You Pay For A Crossbow?

Although price is not always a sign of quality in archery, it can be. If a crossbow is less expensive, you will have a hard time finding a high-quality crossbow. It will also likely contain inferior materials, which could make it dangerous or hazardous to use.

What Are Some Essential Crossbow Hunting Accessories?

A shooting stick is one of the most important crossbow hunting investments. It will help you stabilize your bow standing or sitting so that you get the perfect shot every time.
A good hunting bag should be able to hold your knife, food, drinks, or any other items you may need. You should also apply wax and lubricant to your strings every 10 shots, so they stay in good shape.
A rope cocking device that decreases draw weight is a good option if your bow does not have it. The ACUdraw rope cocking mechanism is the most effective and can be attached to any bow.
A shoulder strap can also be a useful accessory because heavy bows can cause fatigue in your arms.

What Are The Best Crossbows Targets?

Crossbow hunting requires practice. You can practice by setting up targets in your yard and shooting at them all day. You would use broadheads to hunt and field-points as practice.
The power and distance of your bow are important factors in choosing the right target.

What Is The Best Crossbow Scope On The Market?

The speed of the crossbow is the deciding factor in choosing a scope for your application.

After all, it's time for you to pick up your buddy based on the things above. Don't waste your time at any unreliable site. As mentioned above, our website includes not only interesting information but authoritative one, so that you should come to us as regularly as possible.

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About Sarah Combs

Sarah Combs
Sarah Combs is a visual editor who loves to travel and hike. She enjoys taking photographs of her journeys, which help her to remember the beautiful places she's been to. Sarah is grateful for the opportunities that she has had to see the world and looks forward to continuing to explore new places in the future. Sarah is the editor of CampfireHQ since 2021 and has written on a variety of topics, from camping, and hiking to other outdoor guides.

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