A crossbow has a similar design to a traditional-style bow; however it is mounted horizontally onto a rifle-like stock, and features a trigger mechanism that holds the string and arrow (bolt) in place, with the added feature of a safety mechanism on most models to help prevent the trigger from being accidentally pulled. Once the bow string is pulled back and cocked into place, it is held in place by a retention spring, which is released when the hunter pulls the trigger. Most crossbows also feature a top rail on which you can attach a telescopic or aperture sight to help with accurate shot placement.
The compound crossbow has a similar design to the compound bow, featuring wheels and cams which allow for shorter limbs, which are handy for hunters on the move.
The recurve is another popular type of crossbow which has a similar design to the recurve bow, with limbs that sweep back and forward at the tips. It is a lighter crossbow than the compound, and the hunter does not have to worry about changing cables and cable savers, or broken wheels and cams.
Crossbows in New Jersey
As of June 2009, the definition of "bow" was amended in the New Jersey Game Code, to include crossbows. Since this amendment, crossbows can be used by all hunters during any season and for any species that can be hunted with traditional bows, provided the crossbow has a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds, and a minimum stock length of 25 inches.
IMPORTANT! Before using any bow or crossbow, examine both the bow and arrows for signs of damage or wear. If your equipment looks damaged in any way, do not use it until it has been repaired or replaced.