Bow Package Contents
Before I start I would recommend to all parents who have no idea about the topic so far to read my beginner’s guide here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
This may help you to avoid some common mistakes regarding bows. What you never ever should do is dry fire your Crosman Wildhorn youth bow. Dry firing means shooting without an arrow in place. The energy of the compound is relieved into the arrow after the release. If there is no arrow it goes right back into the bow, probably damaging it or the shooter severely. If you want to know more about dry firing, feel free to read my article about it here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
You should not use arrows that are too light for the Wildhorn either (same effect as dry firing) and you should not overdraw it. That means you should not try to draw it beyond its maximum draw length setting, as this might damage it irreversably as well. Children won’t be able to do so anyway, but I already found statements from adults who tried to shoot with it – which is nonsense as it was designed specifically for kids!
The Crosman Wildhorn Youth Compound is available in a version for right-handed shooters only (that means you draw the string back with your right hand while holding the riser in your left hand). It comes ready to shoot out of the box and all you have to do by yourself is to install the sight and the quiver. This is not that hard to do and the manual – even if it’s not that in-depth – should help you with setting these two things up pretty well. But, apart from that, don’t expect too much from it.
Along with this model comes a no name arrow rest. Some parents stated that it did a poor job in holding the arrows in place, which resulted in wild shots sometimes, others said it worked well. I assume some kids managed to use it well while others were struggling a lot – so it comes down to a personal thing. If the arrows tend to fall down all the time, try to slant the whole thing a bit to counter that.
The one pin sight is a simple one which is pretty good while learning to deal with a model like this. More pins would distract your children from shooting and having fun which should be the focus for them. This is a model to introduce your kiddos to archery, not a high tech hunting bow. Don’t forget that. To sight it in please read my guide here => How To Sight In A Compound Bow.
On the package are two sights displayed but you will get only one. This is a mistake by Crosman which they will correct someday, hopefully.
The two 26″ long fiberglass arrows that are included are crap. Fiberglass tends to splinter or crack when hitting hard objects – which might happen from time to time with kids shooting them, don’t you think? Whenever that happens you should check those arrows. Shooting damaged ones can land splinters in your child’s hand, which you surely don’t want to happen. On the other hand the tips are glued on, so they tend to pull off when pulling the arrows from certain targets. I would recommend you get Easton Genesis 2 arrows. These are well known and used youth models. And get a bunch of them, as they will get lost over time anyway.
The two piece quiver can contain 4 arrows and is pretty standard. You don’t need it for youth models, so it’s up to you if you want to install it or not. It will add a bit of weight to the Crosman Wildhorn, though, which might make it harder for weaker or smaller kids. On the other hand, adding a bit of weight may make the whole shooting process more stable, so for stronger kids it might be a good thing to attach the quiver.
The finger guard is crap as well. As there are built in knocking and finger paddings on the string, you won’t need it anyway. If you want your kid to wear a finger protection nonetheless I would suggest you get an archery glove for him or her. It is easier to shoot with those.
The armguard is made of cheap plastic as well. Apart from that it is the tiniest armguard I have ever seen – even for a youth model. I would recommend you get a better one, as it will protect your kid from getting string slaps to the forearm. These hurt and may lead to bruises and – in the worst case – they will associate shooting compound bows with pain and fear, which might end your kid’s archery journey rather sooner than later.
String slaps are a sign that something is wrong and your kid is probably not shooting with proper form. If you want to learn more about proper form, please read my guide about it here => Proper Form For Compound Bow Shooting.
Crosman states in the manual that you should wax the string and cables of your Wildhorn Youth regularly, but they did not include wax. This sucks, as wax is not that expensive and including a tube would have been much appreciated by customers. You should wax string and cables before shooting the first time and then regularly. String and cables should be switched out entirely after 5,000 shots or once per year. When you find frayed or worn areas on the string, this needs to be done sooner.
The instructions are minimal and sometimes quite confusing, as they are about three models at once: The Crosman Elkhorn, the Wildhorn and the Upland.
There are also no targets included. You could buy one or just get some hay bales and stick paper targets on those. Hay bales are good as a backstop as well. Don’t put targets in front of hard objects like walls or trees, as those might break or damage – which is the bigger problem – the arrows.
The Crosman customer support is quite good, by the way. I only found positive statements about it, so in case you have a problem with anything concerning their products, they will help you out as fast as possible.
Finally you will get a 90 day limited warranty that starts at the date of purchase. So please don’t forget to keep that receipt or the warranty will start from the date of manufacture. It is against defects in workmanship and materials. Items not covered are strings, cables, bearings, paint etc., basically all the moving parts and accessories. Additionally the warranty gets voided when misusing, abusing or modifying the compound in ways it was not meant to be used or modified. Think dry firing or drilling additional holes in the riser etc.
Noise Level / Hand Shock Of The Crosman Wildhorn Youth Compound Bow
This one sounds rather normal while shooting it. It’s not as silent as the high tech hunting bows of the kid’s daddies, but as it was never designed for bowhunting this is okay, as far as I am concerned. Because of the parallel limb design – and the overall low poundage – there is no handshock at all.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
Overall the bare Wildhorn seems to be quite sturdy and durable, which is in general very important for a kid’s or youth model. The limbs and riser are made from a modern composite material, just like a lot of the full sized adult models out there. The split limbs are – as many of the modern available models – designed in a parallel way for eliminating a possible hand shock completely.
With a net weight of just 1.6 lbs the Crosman Wildhorn Youth Compound bow really is a very lightweight option for your children. It’s light as a feather, compared to other youth models. Just look at the SA Sports Majestics, the Diamond Atomic or the Bear Brave.
The 27″ axle to axle length (ATA) makes it a very compact model that clearly is targeted at youth archers. Maybe small built females could use it too, but it definitely is meant to be shot by children or tweens, not by adults.
Some customers stated they got a 16 strand string, so they were able to serve a peep sight in – which is too much in my opinion as we are talking about a kid’s model that is finger shot anyway, so why would you serve a peep sight in at all? Apart from that there is not much tension in the string to hold a peep in there, so why bother?
On the other hand some customers stated they got a solid string, which is usual for these kinds of youth models. Solid strings are not splittable so it is not possible to serve a peep sight in, which makes sense, as these models were created to introduce kids to archery, nothing more. It’s all about having fun and enjoying shooting a compound, not hitting the bull’s eye every time.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
This Wildhorn youth model is pretty smooth to draw (cable slides smooth too) and – believe it or not – pretty powerfull as well. Arrows will easily penetrate 5 inches into a foam block that is 25 yards away. This should make it clear that this model is not a toy at all. It could injure pets and humans, so supervision by the parents while shooting is highly recommended. At least until your children know how to deal with such a compound in a reponsible and safe manner.
The draw weight can be adjusted up to 29 lbs. This is funny as I could not find a minimum setting – even on the Crosman website – which is odd. Normally you adjust it by loosening or tightening the limb bolts that attach the limbs to the riser. Tightening increases the poundage, loosening decreases it. If you really need to adjust it down as low as possible I would suggest you bring it to a professional shop. They can do it for a small fee without damaging it. If you want to try it by yourself you should make a full turn on one bolt, then make a full turn on the other limb bolt, and vice versa. Keep the number of full turns on both sides the same. If you are in doubt, tighten the bolts to the max and start over from there.
A word of caution: usually there is a minimum number of full turns you can do before the limbs get detached from the riser completely, which you don’t want to happen, as a compound bow is under a lot of tension. I could not find such a minimum number. This may be because the poundage is not that great anyway. Just don’t overdo it. I would stop after 4 to 6 full turns and bring it to a professional shop if you need a lower poundage.
Some parents stated that even the lowest setting (which I was not able to dig out, sorry for that) was too hard for their 9 and 10 year old kids to pull back. This is bad because your offspring should concentrate on proper form, which is not possible if it is too hard to pull back. The Wildhorn Youth Compound comes set to 29 lbs.
The draw length ranges from 17″ – 26″. This should be a good range for most kids and tweens. If your kid is taller or has longer arms, you should measure the draw length to be on the safe side before buying the Wildhorn. If the personal draw length of your child is bigger than the maximum setting of the compound, you need to look for a different model. If you want to know more about measuring the draw length, please read my guide here => How To Determine Your Draw Length.
The draw length is adjusted with an Allen wrench (that should be included) in 1 inch increments on the cam’s module. You need to loosen the screw, turn the module and tighten it again. Fairly easy to do.
The let off of the Crosman Wildhorn is 65%, which is good for beginners and kids as it gives enough room for aiming while being at full draw. The brace height is 6.5″.
Shooting Speed Of The Crosman Wildhorn Youth Compound Bow
As this is a kid’s model there was no speed measured.
Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
With a maximum poundage of 29 lbs this model is way too weak for killing anything with it. It does not meet even the smallest legal requirement and therefore is not allowed to hunt with in any state.
For bowhunting you need a lot of kinetic energy for taking game in a humane way. If you want to learn more about kinetic energy, feel free to read my article about it here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.
Suitable For Bowfishing
I did not test it myself and I could not find a statement out there about attaching a bowfishing reel to this model. Due to the low poundage I doubt it would be a good idea, though, because you need some power to penetrate the water and hit the fish well. I don’t think that 29 lbs are enough for doing so – on the other hand it might work, so I’m not sure about that. I fear you have to test this for yourself.
At around 60 bucks the Crosman Wildhorn Youth is an affordable model to test the waters and to see if your kid will like shooting compound bows at all. The bow itself is well made and seems to be quite sturdy, although the accessories are not that good, which is very often the case with sets like this – unfortunately.
If you have more money to spend, you could go for something like the Barnett Vortex or a high end model like the Infinite Edge Pro. With these you will get higher quality models – but at a higher cost as well, of course. Those also make sense as kinda step-up models for children that outgrew their beginner models.
On the other hand, if you have no idea if your kid will like archery at all, it might make more sense to start with a cheaper one like the Wildhorn and get a more expensive model later, after your kiddo knows if he or she likes shooting bows.
Pros & Cons
– ready to shoot out of the box
– adjustable poundage and draw length
– cheap accessories
– only two arrows
– minimal instructions
As I have already mentioned, the Crosman Wildhorn Youth Compound bow is recommended as a beginner or step-up model. Crosman recommends it for kids that are 9 years and older but at the end of the day, you need to look at your child as an individual. Some are younger and stronger, others are older and weaker. The recommendation means that it should work for most kids that are 9 years or older.
Because it is a very compact one it might be possible for small built females to use it as well. But to be honest I would suggest you get an appropriate adult model in this case, as the Crosman Wildhorn is a kid’s bow. It’s as simple as that and therefore you cannot expect more from it.
A lot of customers were pretty satisfied with this bow, while the other half thought it was very cheaply made. Which leads to my conclusion, that you have to test it for yourself, as it seems to be a question of personal taste and the ability of your kid to shoot well with it. On the other hand you get what you pay for. If you want a high tech accessory pumped killer model, then expect to pay a lot more than 60 bucks. If you want something for testing the waters and having a lot of fun, then this one might be just for you.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!