Like any tool, there are benefits to upgrading a deer hunting crossbow, but when should you do it and what should you look for? On this episode I give some guidance for when to upgrade a crossbow, what to look for in a new bow, how to make wise budget decisions, and what you realistically will not gain from a new crossbow. 

The right time to upgrade your crossbow often intersects with something going wrong with your current bow or hunting experience. Either you have equipment wear out, failure, or maybe you have a hunting failure that causes you to cast doubt on your bow. Sometimes we get distracted by better bows but usually it is something going wrong that pushes us to make a purchase right away. Be careful in these moments not to jump to conclusions.

Sometimes you can repair a broken bow, sometimes nothing is wrong except your confidence takes a hit and practice may fix that much cheaper than buying a new bow. Be calm, patient, thoughtful, and think about the investment needed to get a bow that is better. Ideally you want a better bow, something with better features that will help you improve your hunting experience. Just replacing a bow may do the job, but you are probably better off with a short-term fix while you look for the right better bow.

A crossbow is a very sophisticated tool that is full of nuances. There are so many things to gain with a better crossbow in terms of comfort, feel, balance, features, ease of use, increased range, and less weight. However, if you have a working crossbow, chances are low that a better one would do much to enable you to take home more deer. A better crossbow makes the hunting experience easier and/or more enjoyable. But it often does not make it more effective.

This puts crossbows into a special category of gear where features have value but in the end they will do little to bring home more deer. That does not mean you shouldn’t upgrade your crossbow. On the contrary, you should simply upgrade with realistic expectations and timing.

I have found the best time to upgrade crossbows is around the end of season sales. You can often get a new crossbow that is very discounted. The trouble is you often cannot find the bow you have your heart set on in this way. It is better to simply follow the sales, look for the biggest discounts on credible brands trying to move last year’s model or clear inventory space and you can sometimes get a bow for as much as 50% off. By doing this you can upgrade a few levels higher in bow quality and function for alot less money.

However, if you have your eyes on one particular bow and you have to have that brand and model, your best bet is to save up your money and wait for even the most modest sale to come along. 

Listen to the full podcast episode to hear alot more about when to upgrade and how to pick a new crossbow.