Crossbows are becoming a more and more popular way of hunting from the ground without needing a blind. While this can be an exciting alternative to traditional bow hunting, it does require extra planning and attention to detail.
Before setting up a crossbow, it’s essential to ensure all limbs are cleared away from the blind wall. Limbs can damage or miss your target entirely if not cleared away properly.
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Though treestands and ground blinds have made hunting more accessible, a skilled crossbow hunter can still harvest a deer without one. This style of hunting offers several advantages, such as increased shooting range and an expansive field of view to watch for the game.
However, hunting from the ground without a blind has its limitations. On public land it may be difficult to conceal a crossbow; thus many hunters opt for private property where they can construct a makeshift stand out of saplings, fenceposts, brush piles, and another cover.
Another issue is finding a suitable location for your stand, especially if you want to avoid crowds and traffic. While you may not get lucky on busy roads, with some creativity and some scouting you may be able to locate an ideal site in less-populated areas.
Start by setting up in the woods or field, where you can climb into a tree stump or other structure for some extra room to move around and be less conspicuous than using a treestand or ground blind. This may provide more privacy than an urban setting may offer, as well.
You can use a shooting stick for your crossbow and rest it in an ergonomic chair for optimal relaxation. Alternatively, you could invest in special apparatus that holds the forend of your crossbow securely so you can shoot with minimal motion.
To get your bow ready to shoot, you must ensure proper limb clearance. This will protect against damage to the limbs and make hunting an enjoyable experience for you and others.
No matter if you use a rifle or crossbow, it is essential to practice with the weapon before heading out into the field. Doing so will give you an improved insight into draw weight, trigger sensitivity, and other aspects of your crossbow that could influence shot placement.
Getting Set Up
Setting up is one of the most crucial parts of crossbow hunting without a blind. If done incorrectly, it could spell disaster for your hunt, so do your best to get everything set up correctly the first time.
Before shooting from a blind or stand, make sure the height is sufficient for comfortable shooting. Many ground blinds lack windows large enough for most hunters to comfortably shoot from and can leave you crouching or unable to line up your shot correctly, leading to missed shots or poor target placement.
Also, you need to be able to see out of the blind or stand window. Therefore, bring a chair that’s comfortable for your height and fits perfectly inside either device – swiveling chairs work best but be sure to test them first in an outdoor environment before using them inside of your blind or stand.
Another important factor when shooting from a ground blind is wind. You must be able to read the wind and adjust your hold accordingly to ensure your arrow flies straight without striking anyone’s crops or creating an accumulation of birds.
Wind can be tricky to predict while lying in a ground blind, so try to gauge it ahead of time by studying local weather forecasts or relying on visual cues such as swaying leaves and grass. You could also put some flagging tape downrange at your desired shooting distance to help judge wind direction and speed throughout the day.
Finally, when shooting your crossbow it is essential to remain very steady. This is especially crucial when using a fast, lightweight crossbow like the Wicked Ridge Invader G3. A little movement can drastically affect how far your arrow travels.
To keep your crossbow steady when shooting, you can use either a tripod or monopod. Most crossbows come equipped with these and they are perfect for holding the bow in place when firing. If you don’t have access to one of these, a gun rest can help maintain stability during shots.
Getting Ready to Shoot
Before beginning crossbow hunting from the ground without a blind, make sure your crossbow is ready for action. Before heading into the field, practice shooting it on a target so that you become acquainted with proper techniques and get the most out of your hunt. Doing this will help guarantee success when entering unfamiliar territory for the first time.
Crossbow hunting from the ground requires using a shooting rest. This will enable you to position your crossbow at an ideal angle so that you can safely shoot without hitting any objects or people.
You might want to consider using a swiveling, adjustable-height chair that can be adjusted according to the height of your ground blind. Ideally, set it about one foot above ground level so that you can comfortably rest your body in it while shooting with your crossbow.
If you are uncertain of the proper way to sit in a ground blind for crossbow shooting, reach out to an expert who can demonstrate it correctly. It’s also beneficial to take your crossbow out to the range before hunting so that you can practice firing it accurately.
Crossbow hunting from the ground offers a greater potential for encountering obstacles and obstructions, especially if you are standing in a tree stand. Therefore, it is recommended to clear away any limbs which could interfere with your crossbow’s shot or cause the arrow to deflect during impact.
Beyond having to navigate various obstacles, crossbow hunting from the ground requires some considerations. First and foremost, ensure the area around you is free of debris such as leaves or pine needles, and ensure there is enough room to move around during your hunt.
Getting the Shot
Before you venture out into the field without a blind, it is wise to take some practice shots from your tree stand, ground blind or elevated blind. This will give you an accurate measure of elevation and angle at which to shoot from each location.
No matter where you shoot, a crossbow arrow’s point of impact will be higher when shot uphill or downhill than when shooting on the flat ground due to gravity pulling the arrow downward once it leaves its flight rail and until impact with your target.
Angled shots also work, such as shooting straight down at a deer from your tree stand. In such cases, your point of impact will not be as high since the arrow’s flight height will be reduced due to its downward angle from where you stand.
Practice shooting from the ground with your crossbow without using a blind by setting up targets at various distances and angles. By doing so, you can determine which elevation and angle will produce the highest point of impact, which in turn helps adjust your bow and arrows for each hunting situation.
It is essential to practice shooting a deer with your crossbow from the same position and bow that you will be hunting with. Doing this helps guarantee that the crossbow will be ready to fire off an accurate bolt when hunting from a tree stand or ground blind in the field.
Before you venture out on a crossbow hunt from a ground blind, it’s wise to take some extra time and ensure the area beneath your blind is free of any debris or limbs which could hinder firing your crossbow. Doing so could prevent accurate re-zeroing of scope or cause the bow to teeter, placing both you and the bow at risk for injury or damage.