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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wexford, Pennsylvania 15090
The good, the bad, and the ???????'s
O.K. This will be my first season with a a crossbow. I bought a Mission MXB-360 and I really like it. So, I'm over that hurdle.
I hunt exclusively out of a Summit Viper climbing tree stand. I've been shooting the crossbow off of my backyard deck to get a feel of how the shot trajectory is when shooting down at an angle. So far so good, but the deck isn't that high and I hunt anywhere from 20 to 25 feet up and I wanted to get some shooting in from my actual tree stand at a height at or near where I would be hunting from. So, my daughter and I took a walk in the woods with my tree stand, crossbow, and a large block target.
So, here's what I've found out so far... With my climber on my back, and a small day pack, the crossbow was really awkward to carry in and out of the woods. I can imagine what it will be like trying to manage a small flashlight as well. Do you guys use a sling on your crossbow? Even if I were to consider that, how would I manage that with a climber?
Once I got to a suitable tree, stand set up and hoisting my crossbow and my pack up went well. Not all that different from doing the same with my bow and pack.
I cocked the crossbow using a rope cocking aid <span style="text-decoration: underline">after I climbed up</span>. It was a pleasant surprise how well and easily that went. The limbs fit down nicely inside of my shooting rail and when cocked, I was easily able to pull the crossbow up and lay it across my stand's shooting rail. I still have some concerns about the noise generated by the hooks for the cocking aid when they ride along the side of the crossbow's rail as I cock the rope. Do you guys cock and un-cock at your vehicle or when you get to your stand? I posed the noise question to Mission's tech staff and they recommended a little rail lube on the outside of the rails? Have any of you tried that? Thoughts?
As for shooting, that went well too. I shot from 4 yards out to 30 yards at various positions. Being left handed, shooting off my left shoulder was the most awkward of course and shooting in front and to the right were much easier. The Viper has diagonal tubes that extend up from the horizontal portion of the top rail, to the top cable that wraps around the tree. Those diagonal tubes were awkward to maneuver around and it took a bit of effort and a lot of movement to get in position to shoot.
Once in position, shooting went well. I was very pleased that the top 20 yard scope cross hair was on at both the 4 yard shot (nearly straight down) out to just over 20 yards, with no having to hold low to account for the steep trajectory. I shot reasonably well out to 30 yards, but had some room for improvement at that range.
As for getting into position, I was in a sitting position to start. That's a bit unusual for me, as with a bow I always shot from a standing position (mostly because of my tree stand choice with a top rail.) So, I'm trying to figure out whether or not I should stand and raise my top rail up so I can use it for a rest, or keep shooting from a sitting or crouching position. (We were running out of daylight and I didn't get to try that yesterday.) Any thoughts on your preferences?
All in all, I feel like even after bow hunting for 16+ years, I'm starting over again trying to figure out how to make this new equipment work for me.
Any advice will be very much appreciated!!!!!!!