When I was first introduced to the realm of the crossbow in 2009, it broadened my perspective of bowhunting in many new ways. To this day, I am fired up about educating new and old archers alike to the art of crossbows. With all that being said though there are some essentials every owner should have. Don’t worry though. These are not expensive edition or fancy gadgets.
The number one piece of equipment I recommend to crossbow owners is to have a good rest. Since most hunting requires us to move to a specific location, having something easily portable is important. A good bi-pod or mono-pod is what I use. It will keep your crossbow steady in a standing, sitting or kneeling position and make your shot rock solid. You can be the best archer in the world but that all goes out the window if you don’t have a steady platform for your weapon.
Secondly, I recommend a good rope cocking devise. I started out cocking my first crossbow with my bare hands. It was painful and I ended up losing a nice buck many years ago due to the crossbow not being cocked with the string evenly in the center. After that experience, I vowed I would never shoot a crossbow again without a rope cocking device or crank cocking device and I have stuck to that covenant. I highly recommend cocking ropes made by the manufacturer of your bow as many different crossbows have different designs and intricacies you want to pay attention to so as not to cock your crossbow unevenly.
The third thing I recommend is a quality lube wax and string wax. Many times lube wax can be used for strings but you can always buy a separate string wax. In any case, you want to keep the rail your bolt travels on well lubricated and your string well waxed. Your equipment will last a lot longer if you take these parts of your crossbow into consideration.
The goal in shooting a crossbow is to make an accurate shot at a given distance on your target of choice, whether that is a stationary target at the range or a moving game animal in the field. Hunting is hunting but at the end of the day having a solid rest, good string cocking mechanism and a waxed string and lubed rail are vital to successful days in the field. Practice hard, shoot straight and have fun out there!
Dustin Vaughn Warncke