When you want to practice shooting with a powerful and modern crossbow without planning on hitting an animal or other targets, the crossbow will shoot an arrow for as far as 500 yards. When you use your crossbow to hunt, your skill, experience, the weight of the shaft/ broadhead, the configuration of the crossbow, the scope and, the velocity or FPS of the crossbow will determine the distance your arrow will travel to shoot deer. If you are new to crossbow shooting, your crossbow is likely to shoot deer at a distance of 30-35 yards. Normally, a crossbow will efficiently shoot deer at a distance of 60 yards. Very skilled and experienced shooters are known to shoot deer at a distance of 80 yards using a powerful crossbow.
To shoot and kill an animal the crossbow should generate enough momentum at the time of impact according to Erik Jutila https://outdoorempire.com/crossbow-effective-hunting-range/. A super-fast shooting crossbow will give more momentum and speed. The initial speed of the arrow determines whether the momentum is enough to strike and kill the animal. Arrows always slow down after a certain distance and the momentum of the arrow will drop. There is a higher drag force working on a fast-moving arrow. This means the arrow will slow down at a faster rate. Momentum also depends on the weight of the arrow. Heavier shafts or broadheads will help you alter the weight of the arrow. The inertia of a heavier arrow is much more. The drag force cannot slow the momentum of a heavy arrow as much as it can slow the momentum of a light arrow. Crosswinds play a major part in decreasing the momentum of an arrow. Crosswinds are less likely to affect the momentum of the arrow if it is heavy.
Momentum is not the only requirement to shoot deer at a distance. Another major factor is accuracy. Placing a shot correctly after achieving the required momentum is important to effectively hunt and kill deer at a correct distance without wounding it. Accuracy can only be achieved with practice. No matter how powerful, advanced or, good the crossbow is, if the aim is inaccurate the shot will wound the deer. Practice alone does not influence accuracy. The quality of the crossbow is a major factor in achieving accuracy. This is why Bob Robb in his article advises hunters to buy the best crossbow they can afford. He also advises them to get a fast-shooting crossbow. Winds are a factor that affects accuracy. Winds are not constant. They vary in every situation.
Your range while hunting deer is going to be much closer than when you practice. Your powerful crossbow will help you shoot the arrow for 100 yards or more accurately. In the wild, your accuracy and momentum will be affected by wind and drag. When the arrow has to travel a distance, it has to face the impact of drag and crosswind much more than at the close range. It will start slowing down as it reaches the animal. This slowdown could change the direction of the arrow and it could be off-target. According to Jen of Pink Crossbow the distance from which a hunter can shoot deer with a crossbow depends on the skill of the hunter. Some hunters require 40 years while others need 10 or 20 yards. Experts believe that a safe yet effective distance for shooting deer with a crossbow is 60 yards. Practicing in the wild after finding a kill-size target will help you determine the best max distance you need to effectively hunt and kill deer using a crossbow.
To effectively hunt and kill deer using a crossbow, you require accuracy and experience. The quality of the crossbow and the thickness of the arrow also play a role in determining how far you should shoot while hunting deer. Most experts suggest that a distance of 60 yards is enough to effectively kill deer for a reasonably experienced hunter. A distance where deer is not likely to react after the arrows strikes is the best distance to shoot deer with a crossbow.