Best Crossbow for Hunting in 2017

What is the best crossbow for hunting?

Hunting is a tradition that dates back in some families for generations. Continuing a proud legacy, many enjoy the thrill and excitement that come from the sport. As with any activity, the quality of the gear often determines the level of success a person will have out in the field. In terms of hunting, even the best shooter is worthless if their weapon can’t be trusted. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to review the best crossbow for hunting big game.

Carefully reviewing the best crossbows for hunting on the market, our list is organized by examining what hunters want and need from their crossbows.

As a result, our list is as good for experienced hunters as it is for beginners. Before we examine the top 3 crossbows, we will take a look at what makes a crossbow the best and how it may have influenced our overall score.

Best crossbow for hunting:

Crossbow previewModel & reviewFPSLBS
SA Sports Empire Aggressor Crossbow - Light and powerful for a decent price!

Check price and availability here! or Read full review !
Excalibur Micro 335 Crossbow - Compact, solidly built and very quiet. This lightweight crossbow offers great value for it's price!

Check price and availability here! or Read full review !
Barnett Penetrator Crossbow - One of the more powerful ones from Barnett, this crossbow continues the legacy of incredible power with a high draw weight and force that packs a punch. All this while maintaining a manageable weight by using lightweight materials.

Check price and availability here! or Read full review!

What to Look for in a Hunting Crossbow?

Every person has that one thing that a crossbow has to have. Whether it is accessories, aesthetics, or performance, we all have our own preferences and will stress certain aspects of a crossbow when shopping. That being said, there are a number of things that every good bow should come with.

When creating a list of the best crossbows, we carefully examined every aspect of the crossbow to bring you a list that is concise and to the point. One of the most important considerations is price. Is the quality of the crossbow you are paying for worth the cost? If the crossbow is on sale, then how much of an additional incentive is there to buy? Along with price, the schematics of the crossbows will be examined, including FPS, weight, draw weight, and more.

While greater isn’t always better, we will examine the schematics information in comparison to the crossbow as a whole. A final consideration will be the real experiences of those who purchase the crossbow. Even the best crossbow for hunting on paper can be unwieldy and ineffective in the field, and we will make sure every suggestion has already been tested by hunters like you.

With that all out of the way, let’s begin!


The SA SPORTS Empire Aggressor Crossbow made by SA Sports is another in a long line of quality crossbows made by this sporting and hunting company. Known for selling several high end and highly rated crossbows, the Empire Aggressor was originally on sale for around $600, but can be grabbed with a discount towards the $500 price range.

The crossbow combines a lightweight and tactical design with enough power to get the job done. An AR style stock and precision scope mount combine with an anti-dry fire trigger to make every aspect of firing straightforward and rewarding.

The Empire Aggressor weighs in at 6.15 pounds. With an axle to axle distance of 17.5 inches, the crossbow has a power stroke of 13.5. A draw weight of 185 lb. and a speed of 390 FPS are good for crossbows at this price point.

What brought the Empire Aggressor Crossbow (full review) to our attention are its consistently high ratings. Simply put, people love this bow. Referring to it as an astoundingly good crossbow, people who purchased this bow report excellent aim, a good weight, fantastic trigger, and success when hunting.

Of the few complaints that were our there, people did not like the price point and wanted it to be lower. In addition, some people had trouble reloading.

Click here to read customer reviews on Amazon!

All together, the Empire Aggressor Crossbow makes our list as one of the top crossbows thanks to people rating it as the best crossbow for hunting game again and again. Read my full review to find out more!

Add to an amazing crossbow a list of accessories that come when you purchase the crossbow and you can understand why people like it so much.

If you are in the market for a crossbow and regardless of whether or not you are new or experienced, you should consider the Empire Aggressor crossbow.

The Excalibur Micro 335 Crossbow is another popular choice we discovered when searching for the best hunting crossbows available. In the $800 range, it is the most expensive crossbow on our list. It is also one of the most effective.

While marked down a little bit from its original price of $900, there are many things about the Excalibur Crossbow that are worth checking out.

Combining a dead zone scope with a featherlike stock, the Excalibur Micro Crossbow is designed to be as compact as possible while still providing the force necessary to take down a deer. Due to its size and power, it is often considered at the top of the list for the best crossbow for hunting deer.

With a 270 lb. draw weight, the Excalibur Micro Crossbow manages a speed of 335 FPS. While 55 less than the Empire Aggressor, it is still plenty powerful enough to take down a buck.

In addition, when considering that its overall length is 32.5 inches and bolt length 16.5 inches, it is pretty incredible that it can achieve such speeds despite being so compact.

Add to that the fact that it weighs only 5.2 lbs. and you have yourself one of the best crossbow for hunting big game.

Click here to read customer reviews on Amazon!

People love the Excalibur Micro Crossbow. A favorite of almost everyone who buys it, the high accuracy as well as small and sturdy design makes it an ideal bow for many people.

Add to that an ability to change string at camp if something happens, as well as a light weight that makes it easy to carry and you can understand why people love to use it.

As a final positive consideration, people have found that it is surprisingly easy to cock and decock. That being said, the most amount of complaints came when regarding the accessories. A lot of people did not like the scope ring and they considered the stock bolts to be too long.

All in all, the Excalibur Micro Crossbow is an exciting light weight crossbow that can go just about anywhere. Barring minor problems with accessories, this crossbow should be on your list if you are in the market for something that is proven to work time and time again.

If you have the money and you do not need additional power, then the Excalibur Micro Crossbow (full review) should be your first choice as best crossbow for hunting.

Barnett has a legacy of creating good quality hunting gear. The least expensive of our three options, the total cost is around $400.

Whiplash cams and a 5 to 1 safety factor make the crossbow easier to use and safer as well. An anti-dry fire as well as carefully constructed design improve on accuracy. Finally, the crossbow comes with a quiver, 3 20-inch arrows, and a red dot sight.

Resting between the two other crossbow options in terms of power, the Barnett Penetrator (review) provides 350 FPS and a 175 lb. draw weight. With 116-foot-pounds of energy behind every release, the trigger is carefully calibrated to require exactly 3.5 pounds of pressure. This means that you fire when you are ready with little difference in the overall performance and feel during the use of the bow.

A heavier and larger option, the Barnett Penetrator Crossbow comes in at 8.6 lbs., and measures at 24 inches by 37 inches.

Click here to read customer reviews on Amazon!

People love that the kit comes with everything they need to begin shooting right out of the box. From the package arriving to the first round of target practice, people report a quick and easy setup time.

Leaving you with an experience that is hard to replicate, the crossbow has managed to hold up, even through heavy use.

Far less expensive than the Excalibur Micro Crossbow, the Barnett Penetrator Crossbow represents an excellent alternative.

That being said, the accessories leave many people wanting. The red dot sight can be off and at time a bit fuzzy. In addition, some crossbows are sent with defective parts, requiring that the product be sent back and more money spent on shipping.

Despite these minor problems, the Barnett Penetrator Crossbow is a top pick for those looking for a solid crossbow well below the higher prices out there. A reliable crossbow that is fantastic for beginners and experiences hunters alike, its low price compared to high quality makes it among the best crossbow for hunting deer.

If you want to take the plunge but don’t want to spend $800 on a better model, then the Barnett Penetrator Crossbow (full review) is right for you.

Best Crossbow for Hunting: final words

Power, size, and price help to split apart our 3 top choices for the best crossbow for hunting. If you are currently looking for the best crossbow on the the market, then you have a lot to consider.

With that in mind, review the 3 listed above and determine exactly what you want out of your crossbow. Once you determine your need and price point, deciding on a final choice is a peace of cake. Until then, good hunting!

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