Although a crossbow is handled in a manner similar to a firearm, it must be remembered that a crossbow is nothing more and nothing less than a bow mounted on a stock. The same hunting techniques therefore apply to bows and crossbows. Indeed, the arms have a similar range, i.e. one that is reduced and highly sensitive to an accurate assessment of distances. Accordingly, a hunter must practice shooting before hunting to become thoroughly familiar with the arm, its capabilities and its limitations. The main difference between the two hunting implements is, above all, that it is easier to learn to shoot with a crossbow than with a bow. By respecting the crossbow's shooting range, a shooter will obtain satisfactory hit results for hunting in less time than with a bow.
Moreover, it is very important for hunters to bear in mind that the crossbow, like any other hunting implement, is an arm that must be handled with the utmost caution: a loaded crossbow must be handled in the same way as a loaded firearm. Special attention must also be paid to obstacles that might impede the course of the crossbow's limbs when shooting.
An animal shot with a crossbow is killed in the same manner as with a bow, i.e. through a hemorrhage caused by the arrow. In the case of big game, the hunter must, therefore, wait from 30 minutes to several hours after firing the arrow, depending on the part of the animal's body that was hit. This period allows the animal to lie down and die. The area around the heart, the liver and the lungs are the ideal points of impact. The head and the neck are not satisfactory targets. As is the case for bow hunting, the tip of the arrow must be razor-sharp.
Lastly, except in Areas 17, 22, 23 and 24, crossbow hunting is always permitted during a firearm hunting period.
To hunt with a crossbow, a resident must hold a hunter's certificate bearing code "A" or code "B". Despite the information that appears on the back of the certificate, since 2007 code "F" does not permit crossbow hunting.