Nova Scotia Crossbow Safety Course


Chapter 1: Know Your Crossbow

primitive crossbow

The evolution of the crossbow can be drawn back to man's early days of using a stick as a spear to hunt animals. Improvements on this were finding a way to mechanically propel the spear and attach a stone tip to better harvest the animals hunted.

Eventually, the use of a bow was introduced. A limb and vine was used to add energy to the spear which was now smaller like today's arrows. Next, the bow was attached to another piece of wood. This additional piece held the draw weight, and allowed for a more accurate shot. The hunter's efficiency improved through this tool, and hunting was made easier.

Improvement in design and accuracy continued through the 4th and 5th centuries, as crossbows continued to be used for hunting and in battle. The material, string release mechanisms and stock design all went to make the crossbow stronger and more reliable.

When firearms started being developed in the 14th century, they started to replace the crossbow as the weapon of choice in battle. But this didn't mean the end of the crossbow. It was during this time that the crossbow was better developed and appreciated for sporting. Its use shifted to target shooting but continued to be a hunting tool.

More recently, there has been a large resurgence in the crossbow for both target shooting and hunting. The crossbow today is designed, built and tested with all the most advanced materials and equipment available, to ensure accuracy in fit and performance. When properly used, today's crossbows are more reliable, durable, accurate and safe.