Hunting with a crossbow brings back memories of my first hunts with my dad in upstate New York. Leading up to the archery season, we spent our afternoons after school practicing with our bows and prepping gear. Though in the past I’ve spent many hours in the woods with a bow, I haven’t been able to take advantage of the archery seasons in recent years. Taking the CenterPoint Pulse 425 out adds to the excitement of this hunting season for me. Not only is it a new piece of gear, but I am also enjoying the preparation and the process of learning it.
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Whether you’re hunting with a rifle, handgun, bow, or crossbow, making a shot on an animal is never a sure thing. Being quiet, setting up for the wind and knowing your aiming points at various distances, are all important factors to name just a few. Whether you’re firing bullets or bolts, putting in the work on the range and in the field matters. Fortunately, many hunters have options and seasons to choose from, including hunting with a crossbow.
After a minor shoulder injury this year, pulling back on a bowstring made practicing with my compound bow no longer an option. The unfortunate circumstance made me appreciate this crossbow even more. The CenterPoint Pulse 425 made archery hunting possible for me this year By using different muscles to make it ready to shoot, it not only allowed me to practice more, but with a velocity of up to 425 fps, it’s a more powerful and faster combination than my compound bow. That combination only helps improve the odds for a successful hunt.
Shooting a crossbow and hitting your target precisely isn’t exactly easy. It takes technique, training, and patience. Like with any archery hunting, I also needed to work on my short-distance ranging. When I scouted my hunting spot, I spent time identifying markers to help me determine distances and correct aiming points. I drew up a handy little map with those markers and yardages for reference.
One of the features on the CenterPoint Pulse 425 is its webbed foregrip. It’s a comfortable grasp while also ensuring that the support hand is in a safe position for offhand shots or shooting from the fold-down stirrup in a supported position. I even played around with shooting the crossbow from a tripod. I use a tripod for rifle hunting, and with the crossbow’s similarities to shooting my hunting rifle, shooting from the tripod with an adjustable saddle made for a very steady position while still keeping my support hand low and safe at the base of the saddle. It was a great option for sighting in and having my family try shooting it, too.
Settling into position on my first hunt, I immediately thought of how the crossbow brought together the best of both worlds for me. Unlike when hunting with a firearm, I didn’t need to worry about hearing protection. Spotting a deer in the woods is a much closer encounter than I normally expect to experience while rifle hunting over a field. My confidence with the crossbow also is much higher compared to my compound bow, thanks to the similarities between rifle shooting and the steady positions I can shoot from. I have the same feelings of giddiness and anticipation I had when my dad and I hit the woods with our bows for my first deer so many years ago.
I’ve yet to take a whitetail in my crossbow hunting adventures. The good news is that the longer archery season offers more opportunities. Whether or not I bring home the venison, I still view it as a success. There’s a quiet intimacy while archery hunting that I appreciate and if you’re interested in giving it a try, a crossbow like the CenterPoint Pulse 425 is a great option.