Re: recurve crossbows
I would focus your attention on the Excalibur Axiom/Pheonix and also look at the TenPoint GT Flex. The TenPoint Flex comes as a package, including scope for $499 many places. The flex has a adjustable draw weight.
Both are solid recurve crossbows from companies with exceptional CS and warranties.
For $500 in recurves, your choices are limited. Those are what you want to look at.
I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!