How to Uncock a Crossbow the Easy and Safe Way

Using a crossbow for hunting requires skill and practice. While I want to say that people will automatically get how to measure their draw length for using at the perfect bow or where to get the best carbon arrows for hunting, I have to be honest. It will take a lot of passion and time for you to be able to understand all the terms and perfect the proper position and execution when bowhunting. But that doesn’t mean it’s the hardest thing in the world! You just need to learn the basics before moving on, like the steps on how to uncock a crossbow.

While uncocking a crossbow is simple, some people may have a difficult time (probably why you’re looking for tips!). So read on as I show you the best way on how to uncock a crossbow and more advice on hunting safely.

What Does It Mean to Uncock a Crossbow?

Before learning how uncocking works, what do you mean by cocking a crossbow anyway?

There are three main steps you need to know about when using your crossbow:


You do this when loading your arrow, pulling the string back with pressure on the barrels. You are readying your crossbow for the next step: Shooting.


This is the next important step, where you will take your aim and ready to take your shot. Pull the trigger at your target, and see if you made a successful shot.


Now, this is the part we’ll be focusing on the most. To uncock your crossbow, you will be removing the arrow from the barrel or shooting the crossbow, replacing it with a blunt-tipped arrow to keep it safe to use. This process is usually done at the end of the day, once you have finished your hunt.

uncock a crossbow

Some people leave their crossbows cocked the whole day, but I recommend that you don’t do that, especially during extended periods of time. It isn’t just about safety, but because you are putting the parts of your crossbow under enormous pressure or stressed, with it developing stress cracks along the way. Leaving it cocked will degenerate the limbs and tire your bow, resulting in slow arrow speeds.

Also, some states require your bow to stay uncocked while not using it for shooting, particularly when walking around the field.

It’s important to know how to uncock a crossbow to avoid any injuries, especially if you keep your bow cocked the whole day. It will also keep your crossbow in good condition.

Read more: The Best Crossbow Target For Broadheads: The Ultimate Guide You Need

How to Uncock a Crossbow?

While uncocking a crossbow is a simple step, beginners may have a difficult time at first, especially if it’s their first time handling a crossbow. But not to worry, because once you begin to practice, you’ll get the hang of it. But first, read and follow these steps to understand how it works:

how to decock a crossbow

There are two ways on how to decock a crossbow:

Firing the unused arrow to avoid it from putting, even more, pressure to your arrow

This doesn’t require anything but for you to shoot the arrow to the ground. While this is easy to do, you will need to make sure that you shoot it at the soft ground and away from anyone. This will prevent it from injury while keeping the arrow safe and ready to reuse once you cock your crossbow again.

Simply find the soft ground and softly shoot the arrow. Avoid any obstructions that can harm people or your arrow.

Another better way to save your arrow would be to use a blunt and “weak” arrow to shoot. Remove the arrow you cocked and replace it with the blunt-tipped arrow, shooting it to a soft spot safely to avoid any accidents or injury.

Read more: The 10 Best Bow Case Reviews You Need to Check Out Now!

Investing a rope cocking aid

This is also another ideal method, as it saves your arrow and the time looking for a perfect spot to shoot. Also, some arrows may not be able to uncock properly with an aid because it would only fire when it detects an arrow in it. If that’s the case, refer to the previous method I mentioned.

Investing a rope cocking aid

1. The first thing to invest in would be a rope cocking aid, where a lot of manufacturers sell them. No worries about getting a rope that may seem too long, as this will be essential later on.

2. Once you have the rope cocking aid, remove the arrow and place the aid’s hooks on your crossbow string, in its groove to the notch. It’s as if you were cocking the crossbow.

3. Pull all the slack and let the handle rest in one of the hooks, then switch the crossbow from safety to fire position. Using your dominant hand, pull the crossbow’s trigger (with the top handle on your opposite hand).

Let it click and allow the string’s weight to go to the aid’s hooks. Keep the pressure on both hands, letting it transfer to the aid. Expect some force while pulling the rope hand, but not to worry. It requires less strength as compared to cocking it.

4. Lower your left hand, which is still gripping on the rope. Allow the crossbow to move forward and back to the uncocked position. And you’re done!

Read more: The 5 Best Bow Release Reviews You Need to Own for Your Hunts

Here’s an excellent video on how to both cock and uncock a crossbow to get a gist on what it should look like:

Tips on Uncocking and Using a Crossbow Safely

Now that you know how to uncock a crossbow, the next step is learning how to do it safely, as well as handling your crossbow with ease and security. To find out more about how that works, you can follow these tips on crossbow safety while uncocking it.

  • NEVER dry fire your bow, as it will damage your arrow. Uncock your arrow by shooting your arrow to a soft space away from your feet or other people. The coast should be clear, and the arrow should have a definite target on the ground.
  • If you are in a tree stand, then make sure that the safety position of your crossbow is on before lowering it from your stand. It’s best to go down from the tree stand to properly uncock it, especially if you will be shooting an arrow.
  • Uncock your crossbow after firing each shot. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it improves your positioning and helps length your crossbow’s lifespan.

In Conclusion

When it comes to bowhunting, there are a ton of things you’ll need to learn. But before moving on to the advanced and complicated positions and tutorials, I recommend you to polish and perfect the necessary skills beforehand, so you get the gist of what to do and properly execute more careful steps correctly. And uncocking a crossbow is one of these basic yet crucial steps to learn!

I hope that this article shows you how to uncock a crossbow properly. So don’t wait any longer! Now that you’re familiar with uncocking a crossbow safely try and practice these steps on uncocking a crossbow today and enjoy a safer and easy way to bow hunt.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on uncocking a crossbow, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

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