Modern hunting crossbows shoot harder and faster than ever before, with many shooting beyond 400 feet-per-second.
As a result of this evolution of performance, many crossbow hunters now wish to extend the effective hunting ranges of their crossbows out to distances greater than 50-yards, which has been the distance accepted by most crossbow hunters for many years as the maximum ethical distance for crossbow hunting.
Despite the recent advancements made to hunting crossbows, several factors still exist that make attempting a shot at an animal at greater than 50-yards a high-risk proposition.
The further away an animal is, the less chance you will see an obstruction to your arrow’s flight path. Crossbow scopes help to magnify the image you see when sighting to take a shot on an animal, however, most crossbow scopes carry only 3X magnification, which is not enough to see a small object in front of the animal at an extreme distance like 100-yards.
Crossbow hunting arrows lose speed, energy, and elevation quickly past 50-yards. Even if your crossbow shoots arrows at extreme speeds, no crossbow arrow can overcome the pull of gravity. For example, at 100-yards, a 400-grain arrow traveling at 400 feet-per-second will still drop 93-inches (over 7 feet) at this distance. This means that your shooting lane must be wide enough for your arrow to fit through but also high enough for your arrow to pass through without striking an overhanging tree branch or vine.
Some crossbow arrows can lose up to 15% of their speed and up to 25% of their kinetic energy levels by the time they have reached just 50-yards. These losses in speed and energy grow exponentially the further you shoot past 50-yards, which can lead to poor arrow penetration and a wounded animal with little chance for recovery.
A crossbow arrow may be pushed a few inches off-course by the wind at 50-yards but can result in several inches of wind drift at extreme distances, which is enough for you to miss the vitals on an animal altogether.
Even if your crossbow shoots at an extreme speed, an animal can still “jump the string” at extreme distances. If you take a shot at 100-yards, at the average speed of sound, it takes approximately 0.27-seconds for the sound of the crossbow shot to reach the animal. However, your arrow will take more than 0.67 seconds to arrive, and this nearly half-second gap is enough time for the animal to react and move out of position before your arrow gets there.
As an ethical crossbow hunter, you accept the responsibility to take the shot at an animal that you feel will give the greatest chance for an accurate shot that causes the animal to expire quickly. The closer you are to the animal, the chances are less that your shot will be affected by an obstruction, arrow drop, a loss of speed and energy, wind drift, or the animal “jumping the string”. Remember, crossbow hunting is a game of probabilities, and the most successful crossbow hunter is the one who chooses the shot with the highest chance for success.
For more information, please visit the TenPoint Crossbows website by clicking HERE.
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