The Budget Hunter: Barnett Whitetail Hunter

Crossbows are a great way to extend your hunting season.

Bows—even compound bows—take time and skill to master. To make the shot, you've got to put in time and effort.

While there's still a learning curve, it's not nearly as high with a crossbow. Many modern crossbows handle much like a rifle, though their range is considerably more limited.

If you're looking for a great tool to explore archery season with, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter is a great option. It’s lightweight, easy to handle, and a proven shooter.

Keep reading for a closer look at the Whitetail Hunter.


Is It Worth Your Money?

For new or mid-level shooters, the Whitetail Hunter is worth every penny. It’s powerful, accurate, and more than capable of taking any game most hunters would want to take.

This crossbow is also lightweight and maneuverable. The stock is compact and ergonomic, and the limbs are relatively narrow, making it easy to carry in the woods or handle in a stand or blind.


A Closer Look at the Barnett Whitetail Hunter

Barnett has been making crossbows for quite some time now. In fact, they're one of the oldest names in the modern crossbow industry. It all started with a few handmade crossbows in the founder's home.

The Whitetail Hunter is a bit more advanced than those early bows, but the same care and attention to detail still goes into every crossbow.

 


Features

The Barnett Whitetail Hunter is an inexpensive crossbow that really delivers. For the price range it falls in, this crossbow is relatively narrow, giving the bow a more compact feel. This design gives helps the Whitetail Hunter send arrows downrange at over 350 feet per second.

The skeleton-like, composite stock keeps the Whitetail Hunter light and maneuverable. The pass-through foregrip and ergonomic pistol grip also helps users manage the bow in the field.

The best part about this crossbow though is the performance it gives shooters for the price. With a draw weight of 160 pounds, this bow puts out plenty of power with great accuracy.


Specifications

The Whitetail Hunter has a lot of great features. Here’s just a few of its most important specs:

  • Lightweight, with an overall weight of just 6.4 pounds
  • Fast arrow speeds of up to 380 feet per second
  • Powerful—over 120 foot pounds of kinetic energy
  • Includes a 4x32 scope for low light and long distance shots
  • 160 pound draw weight
  • Feather weight three pound trigger

Ease of Use & Reliability

The Whitetail Hunter ships from the factory mostly assembled. There’s no need for a bow press to finish putting the bow together, meaning that this crossbow can be used just about as soon as you get it.

A rope cocking device is included for easy cocking. But, a crank cocking device can also be used with the integrated connection point.

This crossbow also comes backed up by Barnett’s 50 years of experience in the crossbow business.


Pros

  • check
    Powerful—with arrow speeds of up to 380 feet per second and over 120 foot pounds of kinetic energy
  • check
    Lightweight overall build, weighing less than seven pounds
  • check
    Very accurate

Cons

  • The scope is of marginal quality
  • The stock and grips are not adjustable

Cost

One of the strongest arguments for the Whitetail Hunter is the price. While competition is not exactly light in the crossbow market, there are few that can match this bow in power and features.

With a price tag of under $300, it’s hard to compete with this crossbow. If you want more features or power, you’ll need to take a big step up in price.


Who Is This Crossbow For?

The Barnett Whitetail Hunter is a solid mid-level crossbow for anyone looking to step up their crossbow game.

Many hunters cut their teeth on inexpensive crossbows. There are, after all, some great cheaper crossbows out there. They’re just lacking in the feature, power, and accuracy department.

The Whitetail Hunter provides a real step up in terms of accuracy and power. The compact stock and narrow limb design also make it much more maneuverable in the woods. Plus, it’s got great hunting features like a camouflage stock and scope.


Our Opinion

The Whitetail Hunter is a great bow—especially at this price level.


This crossbow gives shooters plenty of power to take just about any North American game. It might have “whitetail” in the name, but it’s capable of much more. Accuracy is great too, with many shooters reporting above average results.


The only real downside is for those who want more speed and power. Many higher end bows are now breaking the 400 feet per second barrier for arrow speeds. While the Whitetail Hunter is close, it’s not quite there.


If you’re looking to move up to a more powerful and accurate crossbow or want a really nice beginner bow, the Whitetail hunter is worth considering.


Other Options Worth Looking At

While the Whitetail Hunter is a great option, it’s not for everyone. As a mid-level or advanced entry-level crossbow, it really excels. But, for some buyers it’s a little much, for others it’s not enough.

For those looking for something a bit cheaper and more basic, there’s the Barnett Jackal. The Jackal is a true beginner’s bow with the price to match. It still offers good performance, with arrow speeds just over 300 feet per second and kinetic energy of around 90 foot pounds.

Whether you’re brand new to crossbows or looking to take a step up, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter is one of the best options available. With great power and accuracy, this crossbow is sure to be a welcome companion on your next hunting trip.

You can also check out our other crossbow options here: http://www.minutemanreview.com/best-crossbows-money/