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Well I'm new to crossbow hunting but I did a ton of research for about 2 weeks prior to making a purchase.
It didn't take much research to figure out that Excalibur was the best I could buy (my opinion based on research) but I was concerned to pay $800 - $1,100 on my first crossbow and end up not liking this style of hunting. I decided to take baby steps and make a purchase under $500. My research found that the top 3 starter bows were the Barnett Raptor, PSE Fang, and even though it's slightly over $500 with Cabela's sale price of $540 the Excalibur Grizzly.
Now I know lots of you will have other crossbows to add to this list but I narrowed down my list to these 3 based upon reviews, service, warranty, and stats.

I picked this bow up at Cabela's in Moncton on Friday in the Bargain Cave for $249.99. Regular price was $349.99. I saved $100 because it was a display model and didn't come with bolts or a cocking aid. I purchased an Excalibur cocking aid for $28 and a pack of 6 bolts for $46. Bass Pro had the same bow for $429.99. Over priced compared to anyone else east - west in Canada. Online they sell it for $349.99 but because it was the last one and in high demand they decided to jack the price up because they knew they could get it. Kind of shitty of Bass Pro in my opinion...
This was also the last one Cabela's had. Online both stores show that it's back ordered so this helped confirm my decision due to high demand and sales.

I have fired it about 20 times so far getting it sighted in and practicing since I am new to crossbows. It works very well and is very accurate. I'm very pleased with my purchase. I have fired a Excalibur and a Barnett. They were all about the same as far as sound. I liked the fact that the Fang came with string stops.
If you are new to crossbows like me or just don't have a large budget to work with this crossbow will give you high end results for a low end price! I highly recommend it. Others who have shot my Fang who are experienced and own Barnett crossbows really like it as well.

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