Cocking question? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Cocking question?

First year using a Crossbow, I have a Ravin R9.
I hunt out of a ladder stand and my question is do you experienced Crossbow guys cock your bow before or after
getting into your stand?
The Ravin has a pretty simple cocking system along with a good DFI system.
Even with the DFI and and no bolt cocked on the crossbow I'm a little Leary about hoisting the Cbow up in the tree cocked.
So just wondering what you guys do?
Thanks ahead.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:00 PM
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I will not cock my crossbow until I am in my stand just like I will not load my rifle until I am in my stand. convenience does not trump safety and after all it is your life.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:12 PM
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It would be difficult, if not impossible to cock some crossbows in some climbing tree stands. My Mission Dagger limbs will fit ( barely) inside the Viper seat section. My old crossbow, a Horton, would not fit. That said, holding the crossbow with your foot while cocking it 20 feet up a tree while in a climbing stand isnít something I look forward to.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbrownie View Post
It would be difficult, if not impossible to cock some crossbows in some climbing tree stands. My Mission Dagger limbs will fit ( barely) inside the Viper seat section. My old crossbow, a Horton, would not fit. That said, holding the crossbow with your foot while cocking it 20 feet up a tree while in a climbing stand isnít something I look forward to.
I agree. I cock mine at the truck, carry it in and hoist it cocked. I have cocked mine in my Viper climber. Very awkward and not fun.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:19 PM
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I cock my crossbow immediately upon walking away from my truck. If I walked up on a deer on the way to my stand, it would not be the first time that happened and I want to be able to take a shot if I choose. If it's in the AM and thus dark, I still cock it then so I have as little commotion as possible when I'm at my stand. When I climb my ladder, I have the bolt removed and in the quiver. After I climb into my stand, I raise the crossbow with a rope and the business end of the bow pointed downward. Best of luck to you.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kudu58 View Post
I cock my crossbow immediately upon walking away from my truck. If I walked up on a deer on the way to my stand, it would not be the first time that happened and I want to be able to take a shot if I choose. If it's in the AM and thus dark, I still cock it then so I have as little commotion as possible when I'm at my stand. When I climb my ladder, I have the bolt removed and in the quiver. After I climb into my stand, I raise the crossbow with a rope and the business end of the bow pointed downward. Best of luck to you.
I should have added. I do not load a bolt on the rail until I'm settled in, have my pack tied off and am fully situated and comfortable.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:32 PM
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Some crossbows have a winding device that would make cocking in a tree easier. A couple years ago I liver hit a buck and had it bed down 40 yards from the tree I was in. That was the only time I ever had to reload on a hunt with the X bow.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 07:34 PM
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I just got a TenPoint Nitro and the cocking device on it is very easy and very quiet. Cocking it up in the stand will be no issue at all.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 09:28 PM
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It is difficult to use a cocking rope in a tree stand...just don't load a bolt until situated in your stand.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 11:10 PM
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In general I cock the bow at the truck before I walk in. Mine is a reverse draw with a sled. No ADF. For a ladder stand I will pull it up with rope. The ladder stands are permanent so the ground is cleared of brush. With a climber I put it in the third hand bow holder and take it with me. A little weight on the top section of the climber doesn't hurt. What I don't like is putting the cocked crossbow on the ground and hoisting it up swinging through branches/vines/tangles in the dark, especially as I often wind around a tree. The pack gets pulled up a rope, but not the crossbow if I can help it. Getting down, sometimes I will drop it down with the rope if I'm sure it's clear. I did that tonight, and it was an absolute mess. In the dark, the middle of the rope got tangled somehow between the crossbow and the bag. It went down about 10 feet and then wouldn't drop anymore. Had to pull it up and down twice before I got cleared, more than a couple minutes. A mess like that is exactly why I don't like using a rope for a cocked crossbow. I was only 20 ft up on a very nice tree and I was kicking myself for not just dropping the bag alone with the rope and climbing down with crossbow in the holder.

I can cock mine on stand, either ladder or climber. It is tight but can be done. The problem is possibly dropping the sled, making sure everything is routed right in the dim light, and if it is light enough, I may well see a deer on the way up in a climber. I shot one while climbing last year. I'll climb slow and look around, if I see one, pull the stabilizer straps tight, get a bolt out, and get ready.

Saturday morning I shot a fawn from a ladder and watched it crash after 40-50 yards (12 yard heart shot). I figured I may as well try for another, carefully cocked it without hardly moving, looked right, and saw one coming back to see what spooked them. Got the arrow out, and when it passed behind a tree I was able to load it. Shot that one through the heart at 9yds, same 50 yards in another direction. That was enough for me since it so warm yet, and I pulled up the rope to drop the bow down. One thing I will not do, and I know people that do, is climb a ladder with one hand holding the bow or rifle. Even just a two section like that one.

I couple years back in January I had a shot deflected by brush as it was getting dark. I was about 30 feet up and the deer scattered but didn't go far, so I went to recock...I had a couple deer watching me from about 40-60 yards, and I couldn't figure what was wrong with the thing. It seemed really hard to cock! I had to let it down once and get little more stretched out. I got it done and killed one a couple minutes later that was milling about at 30 yards. The next time I shot the crossbow I realized I hadn't doubled the rope over the back. It was a hard pull because it was 175lbs, 30 ft, with 6 sets of eyes on me! So that's another issue with recocking in a stand - it doesn't feel the same as on the ground, not the same muscle memory, and weird stuff can happen.

What I really wish about my crossbow is that I could decock it, instead of having to shoot it off. I don't see how it could possibly be done, but if I could I would decock in the stand before getting down after dark, every time.
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