Using a crossbow for hunting is easy and more fun than using other bows as it takes less effort to shoot a bolt with them than different types of bows. But you need to be more careful with them as you cannot keep your crossbow cocked for an extended time. Crossbows are unsafe when cocked as they can cause an accident. Also, it can damage your crossbow.
You might be thinking how leaving a crossbow cocked can be dangerous or cause damage to your bow because it has the potential to produce a misfire or a dry fire. Also, keeping your crossbow cocked when not in use will keep the energy stored in its strings and pressure on its limbs that can break them. Therefore, always remember to decock your crossbow after using it.
- What does it mean to Decock a Crossbow?
- 5 Simple Ways to Decock a Crossbow
- How not to Decock a Crossbow?
- Additional Common Questions
What does it mean to Decock a Crossbow?
While hunting or after hunting, if your crossbow is cocked for a long time, you will have to decock, which means that you should unload it and bring the string of the bow back to its initial position. Decocking your bow will remove the energy from its string and limbs. Once your bow is decocked, it is safe to carry around or store it someplace.
5 Simple Ways to Decock a Crossbow
As said before, using a crossbow is more accessible than using other types of bow. However, decocking a crossbow can be difficult only if you don’t know a proper way or you don’t use a decocking device for it. So before hunting with a crossbow first, you should learn the appropriate ways to decock a crossbow to prevent any accident or damage to your bow or bolt.
In the following article, you will learn how to and how not to decock a crossbow when you are done hunting with it.
1- Decocking Devices
A simple way to easily decock a crossbow is to use decocking devices that are crossbow defusers, also known as crossbow defuser decocker. There are two types of crossbow defusers:
- Conventional model
- Reverse limb model
These models work for any kind of crossbow. You can easily buy these crossbow defusers online. They are reliable for decocking your crossbow safely.
Simply attach the defuser to your crossbow like a bolt by turning its knob. Then press the trigger and untighten the defuser by rotating the knob. Fixed to the shaped part of the defuser, the bow’s string will come back to its place.
Although decocking devices are safe and easy to use for uncocking your crossbow, ask the manufacturer of your crossbow before using them.
2- Using a Crossbow, Decocking Target
The second technique to decock a crossbow is by using a decocking crossbow target. Discharge targets are shaped like a bag, block, or 3D archery style. Also, you can make a crossbow decocking target by yourself at home.
These targets are used to stop the bolt from a close distance. You can shoot at the discharge target by placing it on the ground using your loaded crossbow. In this way, your crossbow will be decocked without shooting the bolt at a far distance, and you can get it back quickly.
Also, you won’t have to find a safe place for decocking your crossbow. A bolt doesn’t pass through these decocking targets because they are filled with thick material or foam. For this technique to decock your crossbow, use a bolt with field points.
Crossbow decocking targets are helpful and portable, but you still have to carry them everywhere you go during the hunt. Compared to decocking targets, carrying a crossbow decocking bolt is easier and takes less space.
3- Using a Crossbow Decocking Bolt
Crossbow decocking bolt or unloading bolt is specially designed for decocking a crossbow. You can shoot them on the ground at a distance of a few feets. These bolts may be reused several times. However, they may only be used on soft ground, not hard surfaces.
Some decocking bolts are made of biodegradable material that can be used one time only. But then you will have to keep more than one decocking bolt in your quiver. So it is better to get a decocking bolt that can be used repeatedly.
If you want to buy a decocking crossbow bolt, the following is the list of some of the best crossbow decocking bolts which I have used:
- Carbon Express 22-Inch Crossbow Release Bolt
- Allen Crossbow Decocking Bolt
- Killer Instinct Crossbows Deadstop Decocking Bolt
Things to consider before choosing a decocking bolt:
The decocking bolt you choose should be strong and durable to be used repeatedly and withstand ground impact. Also, they should be compatible with the quiver that you carry and should be safe to use. Try to get a long decocking bolt so that you can easily find it after firing.
4- Use a Cocking Rope
Besides decocking devices or targets, you can also use a cocking rope for crossbows. For decocking a crossbow with cocking rope, turn your crossbow downwards so that the foot stirrup touches the ground. Place your foot in the foot claw and attach the other end of the rope to the other side of the crossbow’s handle while holding one end of the rope in your hand.
Now put some pressure on the end of the rope that you are holding in your hand and press the trigger. Your crossbow string will return to its original place with this technique.
Being a simple and easy process, a cocking rope is better to use for decocking your crossbow as compared to decocking bolt or target.
5- By Simply Shooting an Arrow at a Safe Spot
If none of the above tools are available for you at the moment and you need to uncock your crossbow. The simplest way to do so is to shoot a bolt with it as some safe spot.
Check that there is no one or nothing at the location you intend to shoot. You should shoot at a distance of ten feet, and if the ground is of soft soil, it will be better as your bolt will not break and can be found quickly for reuse.
How not to Decock a Crossbow?
You should never unload your crossbow without any decocking tool or with your hands. No matter how easy and safe it seems, uncocking a crossbow with your hands is never safe. You can easily damage yourself since uncocking a crossbow demands a lot of strength.
Therefore, always choose a decocking device or other tools to unload a crossbow with the manufacturer’s recommendation. If there is no tool available, shoot a bolt at a safe place to uncock it.
1- How to decock a Barnett crossbow?
You can decock a Barnett crossbow just like any other crossbow with a decocking diffuser, target, bolt, or rope. You may also employ the Barnett Thump Decelerator Decocking Crossbow Arrow System, consisting of an arrow and a safety head.
2- Can you decock a crossbow?
For decocking a crossbow, there are several tools, including a decocking diffuser, decocking bolt, target, or rope. You may use any of these tools.
3- Which crossbows have a Decocker?
If you want a crossbow having a decocker, then TenPoint and Wicked Ridge Crossbows are for you. These are equipped with a decocker, so you don’t need a separate decocker for them.
4- Can you decock a crossbow with a crank?
Using a crank is a simple way to decock a crossbow. Simply put your foot in the foot stirrup of the crossbow and attach the crank to it. Now release the spool of the crank and clip all the hooks around the crossbow strings. After clipping the hooks, attach the crank handle. Finally, tightly grip the crank and shoot with the other using one hand. Rotate the crank backward to bring the string back to its initial position.
5- Is it ok to leave a crossbow cocked overnight?
It’s never OK to leave your crossbow cocked overnight. As the string and limbs will remain tensed, it will affect the crossbow’s performance.
Although all uncocking devices are great, you will need the one that goes with your model of crossbows. For that, ask the manufacturer and buy the device accordingly. In my opinion, a decocking defuser or rope is better to use than a target or decocking bolt. Both are simple to use and may be repeated. But never try to decock a bow without any of these tools.
Additional Common Questions
How regularly should you Decock a crossbow?
While it’s entirely accurate that your crossbow is manufactured to remain cocked throughout a full day of hunting, making it unnecessary to de-cock or discharge it during that time, it’s largely agreed upon among experienced hunters and manufacturers alike that de-cocking your crossbow at the end of each hunting day is a sound practice. This is suggested to ensure both the durability of your equipment and your safety as well.
Can you Decock a crossbow using a crank?
Yet to be answered
What transpires when you fire a crossbow without an arrow?
It’s of the utmost importance to realize that “dry firing” – the act of shooting a crossbow without having an arrow properly positioned – can have severe consequences. Practicing this can both damage your crossbow and risk injury to both yourself or bystanders. It’s akin to operating a car without oil – it might briefly function, but it’s bound to cause costly damage.
Which crossbow ranks as the best for cocking and Decocking?
In the competitive landscape of crossbows, finding one that’s straightforward to cock and decock (especially using a rope cocker while up in a treestand) can be challenging. However, in my extensive testing of various crossbows, I’ve discovered a standout: the Wicked Ridge Raider 400 De-Cock. It continually beat my expectations, proving comfortably manageable to both cock and de-cock, and thus confidently claiming its place among the top ranks. It’s a rare find in the crossbow world.
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