NOTE: Barnett has released a newer version called the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro STR.
The Whitetail Hunter crossbow series has been very successful for Barnett. The reason is simple: Barnett makes great crossbows. The Whitetail Hunter Pro is a nice upgrade to the previous Whitetail Hunter crossbows. Keep reading this Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro review to see if you think the upgrades make it worthy of your next purchase.
The Whitetail Hunter Pro is an upgrade to Barnett's wildly popular Whitetail Hunter. The Pro may come with a bigger price tag, but also with much better performance, accessories, and features.
In this Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro review we will examine why exactly this is the best deer hunting crossbow on the market. We will also see how Barnett has improved on the Whitetail Hunter model to justify the higher price.
Specs And Performance
- Weight: 6.4 lbs
- Speed: 380 fps
- Kinetic Energy: 122 ft. lbs.
- Draw Weight: 160 lbs
- Power Stroke: 13.625 in
- Width: 17.75
- Length 35.25 in
If you have been around crossbows before then you would be very impressed by these specs. They are especially impressive when you consider that the relatively low price. Because those are usually the stats you see from the most expensive crossbows.
Important Note: the 380 fps is measured with 380 grain arrows. Since the Headhunter Arrows are 411 grains your speed will actually be about 370 fps. That's still fast but it's unfortunate that Barnett had us expecting 380 fps.
The first thing that stands out is the kinetic energy which comes at a powerful 122. That's an improvement of 19 KE compared to the previous 103 KE.
If you don't already know, when it comes to hunting, kinetic energy is king. It is the determining factor when it comes to penetration.The requirement for hunting deer is about 40. So that means that with a KE of 122 you are almost guaranteed to achieve full pass-throughs even as far as 50 yards away!
The second thing that's exciting about the Pro is the staggering speed. It's predecessor tops at 340 fps, so clearly the Pro blows it out of the water. This speed also means you will have consistent accuracy even at 50+ yards.
Both the weight and the draw weight have remained about the same when you compare them to the previous model. Cocking the crossbow will be slightly easier though because the power stroke has been reduced by about 3 inches.
The Whitetail Hunter Pro is stacked with features that make our hunting lives convenient. Barnett's engineers have designed this crossbow to be comfortable, sturdy and unobtrusive. As with many Barnett crossbows, the Whitetail Hunter Pro has a 7/8" picatinny rail, anti-dry fire, and a pass-through foregrip with finger reminders.
The limbs are custom laminated which makes them very durable in cold climates. The trigger is made with TriggerTech technology and is designed to be smooth and have zero creep. What that basically means is that you will get a crisp release at the exact time that you want to shoot.
As expected, this weapon has the all too important system called anti-dry fire. Accidentally firing a crossbow leads to severe damage to it and also potential harm to the user. What the anti-dry fire mechanism does is prevent any release from occurring during the time when you cock your crossbow and place a bolt. You also must manually disengage the safety switch to fire.
Cocking The Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro
These days, it is common practice to use a rope cocking device rather than your hands when loading a crossbow. Not only does it reduce the energy required but it improves the accuracy that your shot will have.
If you don't already have a rope cocking device, you will be pleased to know that Barnett includes it with the Whitetail Hunter. Given this tool, cocking the Pro is really easy - the draw weight is at an average 160 lbs but with the rope it means you will only have to bare about half of that.
If you want it to be easier than that then it can be, since the Whitetail Hunter is crank cocking device compatible. If you don't already have one, you will only have to pay a little bit extra for Barnett's own device.
Shooting The Barnett Whitetail hunter Pro
Included in the package is a 4x32 multi-reticle scope. This scope is waterproof, shock resistant and it allows you to line up your shots at various yardage quickly and easily.
This crossbow is impressively comfortable to shoulder. That's probably due to the improved butt pad, cheek piece and pistol grip. It is lightweight and compact with a great center of gravity. And as mentioned before, the trigger is smooth and has no creep.
Since you're probably looking to hunt whitetails, you'll be very interested to know that this crossbow is as quiet as a mouse. Barnett knows how important this is, which is why they have added string dampeners and an anti-vibration stirrup.
What Bolts Should You Use?
If we're going to talk about hunting deer, we can't go without mentioning what are the best bolts out there for the task. Of course, Barnett's Headhunter Arrows will do the job just fine, but you're still probably wondering what else is out there.
For ultimate penetration you can never go wrong with Carbon Express Piledriver Bolts. These crossbolts are 20 inches which satisfies the Whitetail's specifications and they are 442 grains. Obviously the increased mass will slow it down slightly but over all it will have more kinetic energy. If you still are not sold on these arrows, just check out the stellar reviews on Amazon.
Other great hunting arrows are the Carbon's Whitetail Crossbow Bolts. They are actually ranked "best in class" for whitetail hunter by the QDMA pros who study and understand whitetails better than anyone. They are also 20 inches but have a low mass of 330. Note that they don't come with field points though.
What broadheads should you use?
Broadheads are essential for hunting. With so many out there, it's hard to know which ones you should get, but we're here to help you out.
First, there's the question of whether you should use fixed or mechanical blades. More specifically, what type of broadheads should you use for hunting whitetails? Well according to this 2014 study by the Quality Deer Management Association the recovery rate is slightly higher when mechanical broadheads were used. This means that it is both more efficient and humane to use mechanical broadheads.
Having that in mind, we think one of the best mechanical broadheads are the Grim Reaper Broadheads. These are specifically designed for whitetail-sized game. They have three blades and have a mass of 100 grams. They also come with a practice head so you can check point of aim.
Note that some states don't allow certain kind of broadheads. So before purchasing, check if mechanicals are legal in your state.
Accessories Included In The Package
It looks like Barnett has pulled no stops in terms of what they're giving you along with the weapon itself. When you get the package to your home these are all the things you're going to get:
- A 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope
- Rope Cocking Device
- Side Mount Quiver
- Two 20" Headhunter Arrows
- String Dampeners
- Lubrication Wax
Barnett Whitetail Hunter Pro Review - Conclusion
By now you should be convinced that this is one of the best crossbow for deer hunting. It's almost as if it's too good at killing deer. Don't be fooled by the name though because the Whitetail Hunter Pro is more than capable to hunt bigger game. What's great about it is that it's a reasonably priced crossbow. The types of specs and features are things that you may see from crossbows that break the $1000 mark.
Whitetail Hunter Pro Crossbow Manual
If you are looking for more information, here is the digital version of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter manual that you will get once you receive your crossbow. That includes instructions on how to assemble it:
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