You learn some things before finding the crossbow, and then you learn some things after getting your crossbow.
Bow draw weight, draw length and the ideal tuning for your bow come after you have bought it! Before we guide you on how much draw weight is best for hunters, let’s discuss what draw weight is!
So what is draw weight? Draw weight is a measure of the force needed to pull the bowstring back.
This measure is in weight so that one may understand how much force may be applied to get the right extent of pull. For example, if a crossbow has a draw weight of 60lbs, it means it requires the same amount of force you would need to lift an object weighing 60lbs.
Of course, lifting would mean picking up the object but here, you draw the string horizontally. Nevertheless, the resistance you feel will be the same.
In most compound bows, the draw weight can be adjusted, and then you also have a choice for women and children, as numerous models have been designed to have less draw weight.
Adjustable draw weight allows you to learn shooting and adjust the draw weight starting from the minimum and gradually going up to the maximum.
Traditional recurve or longbows are designed to stay at a specific draw weight until you stretch the string to a certain length. Beyond that stretch, the draw weight will be higher.
What is ‘Let-Off’?
When you draw your bowstring to its fullest and will be measured as a percentage of the crossbow’s draw weight. Many bows have a let-off of around 75%.
This means that when the bow is stretched fully, the shooter is holding back 25% of the draw weight. So if you have a 60lb crossbow, 75% of let-off would mean that you are working up to 15 pounds to hold the bow.
This feature is specifically for compound and crossbows, recurve and longbows do not have let-off.
Why is Draw Weight Important?
The more force you use to pull back the string, the more potential energy you give the arrow. This simple physics makes the arrow go faster and in a straight direction.
Imagine if you use a weaker string with less elasticity, it will not give the arrow any speed or direction.
The arrow can cut through the wind, and hit Bull’s Eye only when you give it enough initial force! Draw weight is essential to give speed and direction to your arrow, and this enhances your success while hunting.
However, stretching the bowstring with force may result in the hunter changing posture, or compromising on foot balance. This is why we recommend a low draw weight crossbow for beginners so that as you learn to maintain your balance and posture, your target shots become better as you grow!
The Right Draw Weight For You
As we mentioned earlier, try to go for the lowest draw weight crossbow as a beginner because as you learn to hold your posture, you will also learn to handle more draw weight, hence a bigger and stronger crossbow may be used as you master the game.
However, if we speak of numbers, adult males can work with bows that have a draw weight of around 70-90lbs. As a beginner, you can choose bows that have a draw weight between 50-60lbs.
But before you note this down, there are some crossbows and compound bows that can shoot down a big animal with only a draw weight of 40lbs!
You can choose the best crossbow according to the animal that you are targeting. If you go deer-hunting, your bow can have a draw weight of 40lbs.
Yes! That is possible with the technology nowadays, as the advanced cam systems and heavy bowstrings take up much of your effort. However, if you use a longbow or a recurve, you might need a higher draw weight to aim for a bigger animal.
For elk and moose, we recommend a bigger crossbow with a draw weight between 60 and 70lbs. You can select the right bow by following the rule that a crossbow must be heavy enough for the shooter to draw arrows and shoot 30 times in a row.
If you feel fatigued with a certain bow, go for a smaller one!
Minimum Draw Weight For Hunters
When you select a crossbow, be sure to keep a minimum draw weight in mind according to the animal you are hunting.
If you are interested in small animals such as hare, wolves, and goats, smaller draw weight will work. If you go for a recurve bow, which does not have any cam system or pulleys to take off some of the draw weight, you will need a higher draw weight.
However, if we imagine that you go for a compound bow for deer hunting, the minimum draw weight can be as low as 30lbs!
Moreover, you must also keep in mind your location as you choose a weapon. Various states have specific minimum draw weight regulations that you must follow. In most states the minimum allowed draw weight is 40lbs.
On the range, you may choose as you like but for hunting, the specifications must be followed.
How Do I Adjust Draw Weight?
Now we come to the real question that many hunters ask. How can I adjust the draw weight of my crossbow for hunting?
While some hunters believe this is a technical adjustment, we disagree! Just take a look at your bow and you will see the bolts on both ends of the limb.
If you tighten the bolt with an Allen key, one whole turn would increase the draw weight by 2-4lbs.
This should give you an idea of the intensity and strength that you will be adding if you turn the key full circle! And before you think you are done, ensure that both the lower and upper limb bolts are equally tight. An inconsistent bow is a dangerous weapon!
People who look for ways to adjust draw weight are the ones who have selected a bow and are looking for ways to maximize their hunting experience.
Knowing what draw weight is and how it helps with shooting down your desired animal, it is easy to adjust your crossbow to achieve your hunting targets!
Now you can tune the weapon and enjoy your hunting trip knowing that you will return a winner!