How to Decock a Crossbow Safely and Easily

If you are a crossbow hunter, then you know the importance of knowing how to decock your crossbow safely. Failing to do so can result in an accident, which could potentially lead to serious injury. In this blog post, we will discuss three easy and safe methods for decocking your crossbow. We will also provide tips on how to stay safe while hunting with a crossbow.


Crossbows are a great tool for hunting, allowing you to rapidly load and cock your bolt without the need to sustain draw weight tension. This not only makes it easier on the arms and shoulders but also eliminates fatigue due to no longer needing to maintain constant pressure when aiming at your target.


With the convenience of a crossbow, it’s important to remember certain safety measures. So how do you unload one properly after a hunt? Do you risk shooting your arrow into the ground and hope that nothing is damaged? Or worse, ignore all warnings and dry fire it in hopes that this doesn’t cause irreparable damage to your crossbow limbs? Fortunately, there are better alternatives!

Why Unloading/Decocking is Important

Ensuring that your crossbow is unloaded or decocked before transporting and storing it is essential for safety. It’s always smart to practice responsible handling of all weapons, as a loaded crossbow carries the same risks as if you were carrying a loaded gun — which could lead to disastrous repercussions from an accidental misfire!

Additionally, leaving too much tension in the arms can damage the weapon if you dry fire; therefore making sure your crossbow is not armed when it’s not being used will ensure its longevity.


Three methods exist to safely unload your crossbow. Taking advantage of the products designed for this purpose, you can easily and securely unload it without dry firing or harming bolts and broadheads. It is essential to remember that all processes necessitate shooting the weapon at some capacity; thus, always be mindful of where you’re aiming while discharging in a prudent and measured way.

Additionally, ensure you discharge your crossbow only when approved by law – observing no fire zones beforehand- so as not to contravene any regulations set in place.

How to Decock a Crossbow Safely and Easily

To safely Decock your crossbow, here are the three essential steps to follow.

1. Use a Discharge Target: Morrell Portable Archery Bag

Use a Discharge Target

A discharge target is a highly effective method for crossbow decocking. These portable, thick-material archery targets are designed to safely stop the bolt at close range and prevent any penetration beyond the target.

After hunting, you can replace your regular Bolt with one fitted with a field point and shoot it into the Discharge Target placed on ground level – ensuring the safe deactivation of your Crossbow.


Although these types of targets require a smaller amount of space than typical ones, they must still be carried with you by the end.

Fortunately, discharge targets are easy to utilize and manage without any complexity. You just need to locate an area where it is safe to fire your bolt for the crossbow’s discharge target system to work correctly. The arrow recovery process is also quite straightforward as most release field points quickly and efficiently.


2. Use an Unloading Bolt: TenPoint Omni-CUB Crossbow

Unloading Bolt

If you’d like to decock your crossbow without risking personal injury, an unloading bolt is a great alternative. An unloading bolt—also referred to as a discharge arrow or biodegradable arrow—is designed specifically for this purpose and can be used multiple times if taken care of properly.

To use it, remove the current arrow on your bow and replace it with a heavy-duty unload bolt then aim at the soft ground that’s six to ten feet away from where you stand and fire! Alternatively, opt for single-use biodegradable arrows which dissolve into nature once they make contact with soil.


While discharge arrows may be effective, they require the soft ground to perform well and there is the risk of them becoming buried deep in the earth or bouncing off its surface. That being said, an unloading bolt can take up considerable space in your quiver that could have been used for another arrow instead.


3. Use a Crossbow Defuser: Crossbow Defuser Decocking Device

Crossbow Defuser Portable

For a safe and quiet decocking of your crossbow, you might consider using a Crossbow Defuser. This device fits into the body of your crossbow to secure the limbs in place so that tension can be released gradually.

To use it properly, follow manufacturer instructions for fitting and then dry fire before slowly cranking down on both limbs until they return to their pre-fired disposition.


If you’re looking for the best way to stay safe from crossbows, diffusers are your answer. However, you must read and understand all of the manufacturer instructions before using one – they won’t operate similarly in every instance! Additionally, make sure that you can comfortably carry a diffuser with your kit; if space is at a premium then reconsider your options.


Are you able to unload your crossbow without shooting?

You may find yourself pondering this query and wondering if the notion is even possible, particularly since you don’t have access to something like a Crossbow Defuser. To answer that – perhaps! It all depends upon the specific model of your crossbow and its corresponding safety mechanism.


While it may be possible to do, it often proves difficult — especially with crossbows equipped with Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) mechanisms. The wisest course of action is to read your manual thoroughly and understand what you can and cannot do safely in terms of discharging the bow.


Under no circumstances should you try to decock a crossbow using any method other than the ones listed above, as doing so can be hazardous! Exercise caution and proceed at your own risk.

How to stay safe when hunting with a crossbow

When hunting with a crossbow, it is important to maintain safety first and foremost. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:


Tips #1: Always wear protective eyewear when shooting your crossbow, even when practicing on targets.

Tips #2: When you’re about to shoot, consider the surroundings and be aware of the area behind your target.

Tips #3: Always use a proper arrow rest when shooting.

Tips #4: Take note of any rust, worn string, or other signs of wear on your crossbow before using it.

Tips #5: Make sure to check all bolts for soundness before loading them into the bow.

Tips #6: Always use the appropriate arrows for your crossbow.

Tips #7: Regularly check for any loose parts or components and tighten them if necessary.

Tips #8: Make sure to store your crossbow in a safe, dry place when not in use.

Tips #9: Be aware of weather conditions and their impact on the performance of your bow.

Tips #10: Utilize only approved broadheads and field points when shooting.

Tips #11: Follow all hunting regulations set by your state or locality.

Tips #12: When you’re finished using your crossbow, unload it and store it safely.


Follow these tips to ensure that you maintain safety while hunting with a crossbow!

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *