My son wants his own crossbow, we have been sitting together since he started hunting and it's time to cut him loose. any suggestions on a youth crossbow? cocking the bow , In my eyes is going to be the main issue.
Youth choices are limited, unfortunately. There are some youth crossbows out there but their quality is not up to par with the general offerings.
For that reason, I have steering folks towards the new Darton Rebel135ss. Darton has been quietly making crossbows for a long time and have developed a loyal following. Darton makes many components for other crossbow manufacturers, which is a little known fact.
Darton crossbows are the easiest cocking compound crossbows that I have ever shot, which is a factor to consider when cocking is a issue. The Rebel is very short, fast enough, easy to cock, and will balance sweet with it's bullpup stock and forward trigger. it is a quality bow and Darton bows are pretty much bulletproof within the crossbow world.
How old is your son and how big is he?I think most crossbows already have a short enough length of pull that most kids can handle well.My son is only 9 and not a big kid for his age.He shoots a full sized crossbow just fine and I replaced everyone of his youth rifles this past year with full sized ones.If cocking one by himself is the main issue,I would just buy one with a hand crank.
There is a method to cock a crossbow that I'm trying to get a decent video of. It makes cocking even the big ones easy for the smallest lady or child. I'll try to link it up as soon as I get it finished.
How much money do you want to spend?I shot a 100 lb scorpyd.It was very easy to cock.In fact I think it would be good for a kid because the stock folds out of the way when you cock it.It shot right around 300+ fps which is smoking for a 100lb draw.Not cheap though.
If he is hunting on his own then he is 16, so there may be several crossbows that he could cock on his own. You would just have to try them out. Personally I would wait a few days until after the ATA show to see what new stuff is coming this year.