Barnett Whitetail Hunter Compound Crossbow Review

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Our rating – 9/ 10  

After tallying it all up, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter rings in as a great mid-level bow for someone looking to step up their game. It has everything you could want from a crossbow including adequate performance, comfort, and customization to fit the bow to you. If you also take its great looks into account, you can see why this bow is turning into a classic hunting crossbow.


For some people a crossbow is a tool to get a job done. For others it is an expression of their personality. Still for others it may be a chance to push their shooting limits.

Whatever you use a crossbow for, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter likely has something that would appeal to you. It combines performance, good looks, and price into a package that offers something for everyone.

Ratings, Pros and Cons

Assembly – 80%
Accessories – 100%
Trigger – 90%
Styling – 100%
Stock – 100%
Performance – 80%

What we liked:

  • Loaded with great accessories
  • Awesome high-def camo
  • “Deadly” accurate

What we didn’t:

  • Average arrow speeds

Features / Specifications

Draw Weight:160 lbs
Power Stroke:16.125″
Bow Weight:6.2 lbs
Speed:340 fps
Kinetic Energy:103 ft. lbs.
Bolt Size:20″
Axle-To-Axle:18.25″ Uncocked
Overall Size:34.25″
Price Range:Mid
Color:Hi-Def Camo
Warranty:5 year limited lifetime

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Here is a good breakdown of the Whitetail which includes some shot footage as well.

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Who’s it designed for?

The Barnett Whitetail Hunter is a compact and effective crossbow for anyone looking to step up their hunting game. This is a mid-level crossbow and offers good performance, great looks, and customization that can help you become the best hunter you can be.

What can I hunt with it?

The Whitetail Hunter packs a wallop, and produces around 103 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy upon impact. While the name would indicate this bow was designed strictly for whitetails, it has enough hitting power to hunt nearly any animal you would ever dare tread after. Needless to say for common species like whitetail, turkey, and black bear, this crossbow is more than capable of getting the job done.

Crossbow Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven’t yet) get added to our crossbow comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They’re a great place to get a quick overview of what’s on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

In-Depth Review


Assembling the Whitetail Hunter is a breeze and shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes. You’ll need to attach the riser to the stock and rail, making sure the cable and strings are in the appropriate slots. It then clicks into place and takes a few hex bolts to secure things.

After that you’ll just need to attach the quiver and stirrup and you’re in business. The owner’s manual makes this a breeze and it shouldn’t intimidate you if you’ve never assembled a crossbow before.



The scope on this crossbow is one people are really raving about. It is a 4×32 multi-reticle scope that Barnett mounts on many of their mid to upper tier crossbows. Anyone looking to up their shooting and hunting game will appreciate this quality scope. Another benefit of the scope system is that it mounts on a picatinny rail. This means you can swap it out for any scope that a picatinny accepts, and that is a slug of them. If you’ve dropped some cash on a scope that you’ve fallen in love with, chances are it can make the swap to this crossbow.

Cocking Device

This Barnett crossbow does come standard with a rope cocking device. Rope cocking devices not only make cocking the bow easier, but they increase accuracy as they replicate the draw with each draw.

Barnett also went ahead and designed this bow to accept a mechanical crank cocker if you would like to mount one of those. Mechanical cranks take cocking to the next level, increasing both the ease of the crank and the accuracy of the shot.

Although it is not included, if you want a mechanical crank device you can rest assured you can install one at some point.

Quiver and Bolts

Another unique feature of this crossbow is the 3 arrow quick detach quiver that comes standard with it. The quick release quiver allows you to keep your bolts secured while you are hunting, and then quickly remove it while you drive back and forth from your hunting area. Barnett throws 3 20” carbon Headhunter arrows in with each package. These bolts weigh a salty 400 grains, which contribute to the +100 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. They are deadly arrows, and are a nice addition if you are looking to hunt right out of the box.

Another way Barnett sweetened the pot with this bow is the inclusion of a glow in the dark decocking bolt. Crossbows should be unloaded if they are to be put away for an extended period, and the only way to do that is to shoot a bolt. This heavy duty bolt is built for the job and contributes to this bow’s ability to be used right out of the box.


Shooters like this bow’s trigger, and we think it has a crisp and clean break and shoots like a quality rifle.

Anti-Dry Fire and Auto Safety

​Barnett had their customer’s safety in mind when they created the anti-dry fire system and automatic safety on this bow. Each of these features will engage without needing you to remember to do so. Not only will it keep you safe, but it will keep your crossbow safe as well.


When it comes to style, Barnett really knocked it out of the park. This bow comes in high definition camo, with attractive skull designs throughout the pattern. Not only that, but the skeletonized stock not only makes this bow lightweight, but also gives it an edgy appearance as well.

In terms of branding, this bow is about par for the course with logos on the split limbs and above the trigger guard. Needless to say, if you want good looking bow, the Whitetail Hunter is right up your alley.

Stock and Limbs

Although it looks great, this bow also has a few design features the utilitarian can appreciate. First off, the pass through foregrip and finger guards are just another way to keep you safe. Who wouldn’t benefit from that is beyond me.

Secondly, the adjustable butt pad can help you find the sweet spot as you ready for the shot. If you are looking for a bow that feels as good as it looks, you might take a closer look here.


In the shooting department, this bow will earn its reputation as being “deadly”. It is well balanced so the center of gravity rests closer to the shooter than the front of the bow.

If you do a lot of offhand shooting, this really will be a feature that improves your accuracy. Once you get this bad boy dialed in you can expect to be accurate well past your furthest ethical hunting shooting limits.

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“How does it compare?”

Jackal vs Whitetail Hunter

If you are looking for a more entry-level crossbow, the Barnett Jackal may be a good fit.

Although it doesn’t have the same performance as the Whitetail Hunter, it is still a capable hunting tool for the fledgling shooter. It has a draw weight of 150 pounds and can hit arrow speeds of 315 fps.

Like the Whitetail Hunter, this bow comes with many features you’ll need to get started shooting right away. Read more…

Jackal vs Barnett Ghost

On the other hand, if you are looking to enter the realm of flagship crossbows you have to take a look at the Barnett Ghost 410.

This bow boggles the mind with its 410 fps arrows. That means it is shooting a bolt over the distance of a football field in less than 1 second.

Impressive to say the least.

Not only that, but the 410 can stack up arrows so well you’ll have to be sure to pick a different point of aim under 30 yards. Our Ghost 410 review.

Jackal vs Parker Thunderhawk

Another mid-level bow is the Parker Thunderhawk. Although it doesn’t quite reach the performance of the Whitetail Hunter, it can still hit speeds of 325 fps.

Not too shabby, and still capable in hunting situations. The Thunderhawk is also a lightweight bow, and weighs in at 6.9 pounds, a nice feature for those of us who do plenty of walking on the hunt. Here’s our take on the Thunderhawk.

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Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

1 thought on “Barnett Whitetail Hunter Compound Crossbow Review”

  1. I have a quad 400 I’ve had it for 5yrs now , have had to replace the limbs on it 2yrs ago, now I’ve noticed small splinters in one of the limbs ,I put an epoxy coating on the splinter, nu question is what does it cost for limbs to be replaced, do you think the epoxy coating will help


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