The Excalibur Vixen II is a good bow for youth hunting. The stock is shorter than most and the bow is very reliable. They are 150 lbs.
The Parker Buck Busters have an adjustable stock, so that the bow can grow with your young hunter. They come in 150 and 175 lb models.
Carbon Express has the XB series that also has an adjustable stock design. The have 0 inch, 1 inch and 2 inch buttpads that can be added or removed to grow with a youth hunter. They also have one of the best cranking device mounts that I've seen. The XB 3.3 has 185 lb limbs and the XB 3.5 has 200 lb limbs.
My son uses my Buckmasters crossbow. The stock is too long though. We were at the show yesterday looking at them and the way to go is with one that has a collapsible stock, like the ones on an AR-15, so you and him can use it.
I looked at the Parker, only downside of all the ones I have seen so far is the weight. The little guys can't hold them up so you have to have shooting sticks. I talked to my archery guy and he said there are some new models coming out this year that will be lighter so i am going to wait and see what comes out.
Personally I would not spend the money on a AR type crossbow for a child.Maybe you have way more money than me.If you do I don't begrudge that.However the average person may dig a little and accept a tradeoff or two.Actually I would think shooting sticks would be good for an 8 year old.That's me though.
Youth crossbow, Didnt think I would need to clarify in the crossbow forum. Just wondering if I should go with a youth one(smaller, lighter) Or get like a 150 draw weight little heavier he will grow into since I will be with him all the time anyway for a while!
I would probaly opt for the one he will grow into. There is no recoil to worry about so the Parker BuckBuster would be a good choice. The adjsutable stock will grow with him.
Tips? Here are a few.
Choosing a crossbow…..
How do I know which crossbow is right for me? That is a question that many are asking lately. This will be my attempt to help you choose the right crossbow.
What type of hunting will you be doing? Will you hunt from a tree stand or do you prefer ground blinds?
This is the first question any reputable dealer is going to ask. (If they don’t you may want to consider leaving) There are many crossbows on the market. Some are wider than others, and the wide crossbows are better suited to ground blinds. Tree stands can get a little close so a narrow bow is an excellent choice for tree stand hunting.
What will your budget allow you to spend on a quality crossbow?
This will be the second question your dealer should ask. I would say that you should plan on spending around $500 - $700 for a quality crossbow. You can find really good crossbows for less, but if you want one of today’s high performance crossbows it is going to set you back about $700 for the package.
Most major manufacturers have a warranty on their crossbows. Pay attention to the warranty. It is important, considering that you might be spending a few hundred dollars on your purchase. Some offer a one-year warranty and some offer a lifetime warranty. Remember, they designed it; they know how long it should last.
How will I know the quality bows from the bad ones?
Well, you found this website, so ask around. Take the time to read reviews and ask others about their experiences with the bow they are using. Many times you will get good information from users of that bow. Remember that sometimes people will tell you things in a P.M. that they wouldn’t dream of posting in an open forum. It pays to send a P.M. or two and ask questions.
Here are a few more points to consider about quality. Look closely at the riser. Does it look like someone hacked it out with a file and hammer? Or, does it have smooth machining and flowing graceful lines? Does it look to be a cast part or is it a machined billet part? Look at the finish. Are there places where the finish is missing? Are there other issues that concern you?
Does the crossbow fit you? Are there accessories to lengthen the stock? Is the stock too long? Are you comfortable with a crossbow that is “front heavy” or do you prefer a more balanced crossbow? Also remember that a crossbow that fits while you hold it in a standing position changes when you are in a tree and angling the bow down for the shot. How does it fit when you angle it downward?
There are many new safety features on the market. Are you comfortable with the safety features on the bow you are considering buying? Do you want an auto-engage safety? Is an anti-dry fire mechanism something that would be a good fit for you? Is the forearm shaped it a way that assures you or your children don’t get fingers in the strings flight path?
How far are you going to try to shoot at game? Today’s faster crossbows can extend your range a few yards. Ask yourself what your self-imposed limit will be and then shop for a crossbow that will fit your needs.
Shock and Vibration-
When you shoot the bow is there shock and vibration? Is it something that will bother you in the long term? Remember, there is little you can do to get rid of it.
Crossbows are noisy when compared to compound bows. Is the noise something that you can live with? Again, there is little that can make a crossbow quiet. There are some products out there that will help, but most make the bow slower.
This is a great year for optics. There are so many new and exciting innovations in the optics market,that I think I’ll leave that for another discussion at a later date.
It is my sincere hope that this helps you make an informed decision in some little way. I have helped many people make the decision, and it’s never an easy one. I think we have all struggled with the burning question – “is this the one for me”? And remember too, if you do happen to buy the wrong one…..you can never have too many crossbows! You can call it your “backup” bow.
Wishing you a safe and successful season,
My son is 11 and shoots my Equinox (with shooting sticks) with no problem!(225lbs draw).Cocking it he can't do but a 150lb bow he won't cock it by himself either! My thought is get 1 he can shoot 10 years from now.I know there are cranks that a 5 year old could cock it back. My son only shoots and hunts with my crossbow with me to watch every move to keep his fingers away from the rail!!They are alot of fun but can be very dangerous.
Hey buddy i have a 6 point proslider made by 10 point and it is adjustable from 125#-150#-175# and it adjusts very easily and the bow is very accurate and comfortable to shoot.I may sell it If you'd be interested in it id be able to send you pics if you wanted.