Hunting with a crossbow is vastly different from using a recurve or a compound. Crossbows bring intense kinetic energy to the fight, and among them all, Barnett reigns supreme.
I’ve never used anything quite this powerful that’s legally allowed to be sold to the public. This crossbow carries 150 pounds of draw weight, which will take down some of the biggest beasts in North America.
I’m very excited to review the Whitetail Hunter II from Barnett. Let’s get started.
- BARNETT WHITETAIL HUNTER II CROSSBOW: High-performance compound crossbow in RealTree Extra with complete hunting accessory package. The lightweight...
- EFFICIENT: Crossbow is equipped with an axle-to-axle length of 16.125" overall weight of just 6.4 lbs., creating an easily controllable profile that...
- SAFETY FEATURES : Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer, Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Trigger System, TriggerTech 3lb zero creep Frictionless Release Technology
- READY TO HUNT PACKAGE: Bow dimensions are 34.25"L x 18.25"W. Package includes two Headhunter 20" Arrows, Multi-Reticle Scope 4X32mm, Rope Cocking Device,...
- BARNETT: The most trusted name in crossbows since 1962
Last update on 2023-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hunting Crossbow
First thing’s first: you have to look at the draw weight. It’s going to be a telltale for all the other quality components of the crossbow. No manufacturer is going to risk putting a false number on the draw weight portion of their listing if it can’t actually perform there; it would be a fiasco.
The draw weight is indicative of quality because a high draw weight needs sturdy, high-quality components to function properly. Otherwise, things would just break.
Next, look at the FPS, or feet per second. This is going to be relative to the draw weight because you can’t achieve a high FPS without a high draw weight.
If you use a laser rangefinder when hunting, you have to know that the distance between you and your prey matters. Bridging a 375-feet gap with a bolt that doesn’t reach the target in a single second is ineffective. This is why some bows list kinetic energy ratings as a metric as well.
Sights: in addition to being able to hit targets 375+ feet away, you need to be able to see what you’re doing. If someone told you to shoot a bolt straight across a football field and hit the five-gallon Gatorade jug on the other side, you’re going to have a hard time doing it without a scope. Anything over 100 feet away and you need some sort of optics.
Overall handling is important as well. This touches on the handle grip, finger inlays, additional handle grips, and the stock. It’s a pretty broad range that’s difficult to properly gauge online.
This is where personal accounts (like the ones I’m going to share with you) matter a lot. It’s not easy to judge how a crossbow will feel just from the pictures you see online, so let me tell you.
Review of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
Barnett is one of the top crossbow brands for a reason. In terms of protection, the Whitetail Hunter II has an anti-dry-fire feature, as well as a nock sensor, so you don’t pull back too much.
The simple lever system is easy to operate, so you can nock the bolt with ease. It’s built with all-steel components, and while that’s good for now, it’s a bit of a pain when it comes to eventual repairs and part replacements.
The inclusive scope is agreeable. It’s the perfect hunting range, but the lens isn’t coated, so try not to bring it out on foggy mornings.
You can release bolts at 350 FPS from a 150-pound draw weight, which is impressive in and of itself. Barnett’s cost is justified, especially when you look at the integrated handle and stock, as well as the grips located across the entire bow.
- Powerful 4×32 scope provides the perfect hunting range
- Durable stainless steel construction across the entire bow
- Anti-dry-fire trigger system
- Integrated handle built right into the stock
- Impressive 150 lb of draw weight
- You have to wax/lubricate the string after every eight to ten shots
- High repair costs
- Scope ring is not good; should be replaced immediately
Features and Benefits of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
You’re handling a fully loaded machine, make no mistake. Quite literally, having a solid grip on it is vastly important. Grip points are located at the secondary handle, or hand rest located under the crossbow, as well as on the handle and the back of the stock.
Each of these has a point of contact on your body, meaning they’ll stabilize you as you fire your shot, and prevent you from misfiring or hitting objects/animals that are not your target. Barnett’s grips are top-of-the-line, but like with any grip, they’ll need to be replaced in about three to five years.
Draw Weight + FPS
One hundred fifty pounds of draw weight is nothing to scoff at. That’s powerful stuff. Consider that it’s rare to even have a recurve bow above 70 pounds, and compounds above 85/90, and it shows you how much power is there.
It’s a bit curious why the FPS is only at 350 with that kind of power, but after using it, I believe it’s due to Barnett’s ability to include heavier, larger bolts that could weigh down your shots. It’s a capable crossbow with about as much power as one should legally be allowed to buy in this fashion.
The scope has a good range, though you should know that it’s not the most top-tier scope out there. Barnett included it so that you can actually utilize the full capabilities of the FPS and draw weight range (and I’ve used crossbows that awkwardly had scopes that couldn’t let you see far enough to matter).
As for the magnification itself, it works beautifully, and the lens is crystal clear. I listed this as a benefit because I often don’t have high hopes for stock scopes included in crossbows. This will do for a while, though you can easily upgrade if you feel the need to do so.
This is perhaps one of my favorite features, and it’s something that you just have to experience to truly get it. Most trigger handles are standalone, as in not integrated into the stock. This can pose a problem when it comes to recoil and maintaining control. The overall control on this crossbow is excellent, and I chock a lot of it up to the integrated stock.
As one of the most important points of contact on your body, your shoulder is cradled while recoil is evenly dispersed throughout the entire backside of the crossbow. It sounds like a small feature, but it’s quite effective, and what makes this bow so unique.
From the nock sensor to the anti-dry fire shot, it’s as protective as you’re going to get. Having 150 pounds of draw weight is nothing to mess around with, so while this isn’t quite like putting your crossbow into safety mode, it’s going to help you load and fire safely.
Alternatives to the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow
XtremepowerUS Multifunctional Crossbow Review
If you’re on a budget and looking for something with a decent amount of power, XtremepowerUS is as close as you can get while still having something reliable.
I’ve got to give it to them: this scope is magnificent. The crossbow itself? Better than any compound, but still with its problems. The maximum draw weight is 80 lb, which is plenty to take down whitetails, but it will take a few shots to bring down an elk.
If you want to do some target practice, you can switch out crossbow bolts for BBs and handle it in a safe environment. Versatile, inexpensive, and powerful.
PSE Crossbow Coalition Review
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PSE offers decent FPS at 380, but it’s a bit pricier than some other alternatives. I enjoy the feel of the stock, but it can really test your own strength to reload this properly.
The sight alone is a thing of beauty: excellent clarity and an anti-fog lens. The scope is great, but that upon which it rests is pretty flimsy. If you look closely, it’s only really held on by the back. Now while the scope isn’t that heavy, it’s still an odd design choice.
Last but not least, the handle grip gives you good control, while the four-slot bolt quiver on the bottom of the crossbow allows you to quickly reload if you run into a few whitetails at the same time.
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CenterPoint Volt 300 Compound Crossbow Review
With a bit less power than the Barnett, the CenterPoint Volt crossbow gives you up to 130 lb of power to take down whitetails and other large game. Personally, I like the convenience of the additional bolts in the mounted quiver.
The stock here provides good positioning for better control, and the sight is decent enough for short-range firing. If you want to get something for a longer range, which I would recommend, you’re going to need an upgraded crossbow scope.
Conclusion – Is the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow for You?
Barnett makes one wildly effective crossbow. While you shouldn’t use it for target practice, you can take down some big game with it.
With immense power and some of the best control of any crossbow on the market—especially one in this draw weight range—the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II wipes the floor with every other crossbow I’ve personally used.
I’ll let you make up your mind between Barnett and like-minded brands; just make sure it’s got enough power to take down your prey.