Can a crossbow kill a bear?
This is something that a few people are curious to know, especially when they are keen on doing some bear hunting.
After all, there is always the suspense and adrenaline rush involved when pursuing such a massive and vicious creature as a bear. This adds to the thrill and challenges in the experience.
So, if you are thinking about hunting a bear and looking to use a crossbow to do it, keep reading. Find out if your crossbow is powerful enough to overcome such a massive beast. Let’s go right into it.
Can A Crossbow Kill A Bear?
Bear hunting is another of the most popular – and anticipated – big game hunts. But we all know that bears are a whole different level when it comes to hunting. These are ferocious and massive, and yes, trying to hunt them comes with some dangers. When they feel threatened, they can retaliate quickly and can even cause severe injuries to their target.
So the answer to the question above is a yes. You can kill these gargantuan beasts with a crossbow. However, you need to be knowledgeable and skilled in terms of the best shot placement. You should have a good understanding of the most critical target zones, which increases the likelihood of killing these animals.
When you are able to throw an accurate shot, you can most certainly take this beast down quickly.
So, it is necessary to understand even the most basic points of bear anatomy. This way, you can determine the ideal target zones. But at the same time, you would want to perform human hunting techniques, so it is best to target the vital organs that will lead to a quick and sure kill.
Unlike other game animals of the same size, a bear’s body structure is quite different since you will need some unusual angles. Among the vital organs to target are the heart, liver, spine, lungs, and the shoulder blade. However, it is not ideal to shoot these animals in the neck or head because the thick skulls do not guarantee a fatal kill. With the bolts glancing off, the bear may only get provoked. Plus, the bolts may pierce through your target but only cause them to miss a nose or jaws.
A neck shot is also to be avoided when you look for a quick kill. The arrow may hit the trachea or esophagus, leading to a slow and painful death. There are also no blood trails to be expected from a neck shot. So, if you are trying to retrieve your target’s body, this can be hard to do.
Now, as for the shoulder area, this is to be avoided, as well. The bear has such heavy bones and muscular shoulders. So, even if you have a heavy crossbow, the arrow will not pierce right through some key organs. Additional shots will only wound the animal, causing it to suffer instead of die quickly.
Best Shots To Kill A Bear
With all these things in mind, you may want to look at the key shots to consider when killing a bear. You can also practice your shots using two methods.
1. Quartering Away
This is a good technique to implement when your target is not facing you. Aim for a precise shot on the vital organs, which are found behind its shoulder. This should be opposite its front leg, and by using the shot angle, you can kill the bear clean and fast.
2. Broadside Shot
As for method, this refers to the heart-lung shot placement. Your arrow should penetrate the target’s ribs and then piercing through the lung and heart. When you do this type of shot, you may also be able to quickly puncture both of the lungs, increasing the fatality rate.
And most importantly, this type of shot causes bleeding. Hence, with a bloodtrail present, you should be able to track your target effortlessly. Keep the aim between a third of the bear’s chest cavity to achieve the right aiming spot.
When you perform the wrong shot placement, this could only provoke your target. So instead of killing it clean, you may only cause wounds and serious injuries and trigger it to retaliate. By having a better understanding of the best shot placement angles, you can achieve a better success rate at hunting.
It also takes practice to get the result you want. Patience is important, so you should simply wait until your target is at the best angle to ensure a clean kill.
The Best Crossbow To Use In Killing A Bear
An average bear stands 4 to 8 feet tall. Brown bears are over 1200 lbs at most while female ones are under 1000 lbs. The bones are always heavy while the belly has a dense fatty layer and they have long, thick fur all over.
With that in mind, bear hunting with a crossbow requires the right tools. You need to use a crossbow with a standard draw weight of 150 lbs at the least. As for the broadheads, these should be at least 450 grain and with a minimum of 350 FPS that should be more than capable of piercing through the animal’s thick skin.
Aside from the draw weight, you need to consider the kinetic energy. The bolt must possess ample kinetic energy capable of piercing through the bones, muscles and hide. So, if you are aiming for a larger bear, you also need to get a bolt with a great kinetic energy to go through the animal’s vitals.
For instance, the ideal crossbow to use when hunting a black bear is a minimum of 40 ft. lb of kinetic energy. But if you are aiming for grizzlies, it should be less than 60 ft. lb. A high kinetic energy makes the kill cleaner and quicker.
The shooting range is also important to consider. Shoot within at least 20 up to 30 years to achieve precise shots. A high pound crossbow is still considered as a short-range weapon, so you need to make sure it is strong and big enough to ensure a fatal hit.
A crossbow can most definitely kill a bear. However, there are points to consider in ensuring a high success rate such as hitting the vital organs, using the right draw weight and kinetic energy for your crossbow, and maintaining a favorable range when shooting your target. With all these things in mind, practice is very important to achieve the results you want.