Hunting crossbows for more than 50 years. Dependable, accurate, and tough as nails, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR PRO may be the company’s best offering to date. The Step Through Riser (STR) design is revolutionary, providing superior balance, stability, and accuracy.
Although a tad on the long side for treestands and ground blinds, the Whitetail Hunter is built for full-grown hunters. It also produces some pretty impressive arrow speeds. Let’s take a look at what makes this crossbow ideal for fall whitetails.
Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR PRO – Crossbow
- Velocity: 400 fps
- Draw Weight: 187 lbs
- Length: 34.5
- Weight: 6.9 lbs
- Power Stroke: 16.25
The Whitetail Hunter STR PRO pitches arrows at impressive speeds, and the step-through riser design creates a balance that is easy to handle. With all the features and performance built into Barnett’s Whitetail Hunter STR PRO, it’s hard to reconcile this model’s budget-friendly price tag.
What’s Included In Barnett STR Pro Package
- A 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope
- Rope Cocking Device
- 3-bolt Side Mount Quiver
- Two 20-inch Headhunter Arrows
- String Lubrication Wax
Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR PRO – Detailed Review
The Whitetail Hunter STR PRO is Barnett’s fastest crossbow (the company is known for its speed). This crossbow slings arrows at an intense 400 feet per second with a respectable 140-foot pounds of kinetic energy.
This is plenty of speed and power to bring down big Boone & Crockett bucks. The Whitetail Hunter STR PRO produces that impressive speed and power with a manageable 187-pound draw weight.
The Whitetail Hunter STR is made from composite fiberglass that is incredibly lightweight yet super durable. The limbs are made of an industry-standard composite material and are laminated front and back to increase stiffness and durability.
All the edges are powder armor coated for extra protection from bumps, thumps, scratches, and bad weather. All in all, this crossbow earns high marks for its rugged durability.
Quality of Optics
The Whitetail Hunter STR comes with a 4x32mm illuminated scope. The optic includes seven different reticles. Most hunters will gravitate toward one of the dot reticles, which will help put arrows accurately on target for 80 yards.
The optic is also waterproof and shockproof to handle rough use and harsh weather conditions. While the sight picture is nice and clear in daylight, we wish it was a bit brighter in low-light conditions, especially since deer are the most active.
Barnett understands how easy it is to spook whitetails with a noisy release. To help keep noise and vibration to a minimum, they added string dampeners and an anti-vibration stirrup to the Whitetail Hunter STR PRO.
These features do a good job of suppressing noise. While this isn’t the quietest crossbow we’ve shot in the woods, it is quieter than average.
Cocking the Whitetail Hunter STR is not at all complicated, thanks to the integral cocking system, which includes a stock-mounted cocking sled and crank handle. The built-in cranking system reduces that 187-pound draw weight to a measly cocking effort of just 17 pounds. Honestly, cocking this thing is so easy a toddler could do it (maybe with a little help from Mom).
The Step Through Riser design shifts the weight of the crossbow rearward. With a heftier portion of the weight concentrated in the stock, it is super easy to hold this crossbow on target while you’re waiting for that perfect broadside shot.
We’ve also fallen in love with Barnett’s TriggerTech Frictionless Release technology. The trigger on this model is super crisp, only requires about 3 pounds of pressure, and has zero creep.
It’s worth mentioning that the Whitetail Hunter STR PRO is a “full-size” crossbow. While it isn’t exactly huge, it is designed for the average male hunter. That doesn’t mean smaller shooters won’t be able to handle this crossbow.
The weight-rearward design actually makes it easy for shooters with limited upper body strength to hold at the shoulder. However, it is on the heavy side. Plus, it’s over three feet long, so lugging this thing long distances over rough terrain probably won’t fit your idea of a good time.
Barnett’s Step-Through design does more than improve the crossbow’s balance; it’s also a handy safety feature. The design lets the shooter instinctively wrap their hand around the bow’s foregrip in a position that keeps fingers away from the string.
The crossbow also has two wide, ventilated flanges above the foregrip that help keep even the longest fingers out of the string path. Since many a hunter has lost a rogue finger to a crossbow string, this design should give shooters some serious peace of mind regarding safety.
The Whitetail Hunter STR PRO also has nock sensors and an anti-dry fire feature that keeps a safety bar in place until the arrow is properly seated. A manual safety must also be disengaged before you can fire an arrow.
- STR design is well-balanced
- Produces an arrow speed of 400 fps
- Easy-to-use cocking system
- Lots of safety features
- High-quality trigger
- Length makes it difficult to maneuver and hard to carry
- No lifetime warranty
With all the features and performance built into Barnett’s Whitetail Hunter STR PRO, it’s hard to reconcile this model’s budget-friendly price tag. This thing performs like a high-end crossbow. In fact, it will give plenty of expensive crossbows a serious run for the money.
The Whitetail Hunter STR PRO pitches arrows at impressive speeds, and the step-through riser design creates a balance that is easy to handle. Measuring over three feet long, this is a big one. It isn’t the crossbow you want to lug through the backcountry. However, this weapon handles like a dream once you get to your stand.