As in any sport rules are very important. But moreso in archery because you’re wielding a deadly weapon. Similar to shooting firearms, a bow and arrow can cause severe injury or damage to whatever target it hits. So safety and rules when it comes to bow shooting for hunting, training or sports is of utmost importance.
The following are general safety rules.
General Archery Safety Rules
These rules apply in general to shooting a bow and arrow. You’ll notice that a lot of it will similarly apply to any other weapon-like object that can fire projectiles like guns and pistols.
- Always be aware of where the bow is pointed. This includes:
- Never pointing it at a person or property other than a safe target.
- Never shoot it at a target you cannot see, are unsure of, cannot identify definitively or where you don’t know where it can land.
- Never nock the arrow until you’re ready to shoot
- These are very important because accidents can easily happen if you take any of these for granted.
- When stringing your bow, use a bow stringer. While there are ways that allow you do string without one, the stringer offers a safe way that will prevent you from injuring yourself or others.
- Don’t ever dry fire any bow. Dry firing is when you draw and release the string without any arrow. This damages your bow and can hurt you and the people around you. It also can void any manufacturer’s warranty.
- Bows come with specified draw lengths. While you can often draw further than what’s specified you shouldn’t do so since over extending the limbs and string can cause damage to them or injury to you.
- Make sure all your equipment are in sound condition each time before you use it.
- Make sure that the bow’s integrity is intact. Any cracks or slight breaks in the limbs can cause it to rip apart when you draw due to the tension. And like a broken baseball bat, a broken limb is a sharp flying projectile that can pierce human skin.
- Replace any damaged parts, including frayed strings, limbs with chips or other defective components.
Archery Range Safety Rules
- When you get to the archery range, a few extra safety rules and precautions need to be taken because you’ll be shooting with other people. This means you can hit others or be hit by others if you’re not careful.
- Archery ranges will use standard targets. And as such you won’t be allowed to use broadheads that will damage these.
- Archery ranges employ a marshall or range captain that serves as the instructor. They’ll give you instructions on where to assign you, when to shoot, when you can’t shoot. Listening to their instructions is necessary in order to keep everyone safe.
- Only shoot in where you’re designated to shoot. Do not draw your bow unless you are given the go signal to do so. In the same manner don’t retrieve any arrows until everyone has fired and the command has been given to pull the arrows.
- When retrieving arrows make sure that:
- You walk carefully towards you arrow. Look at the ground since some arrows may have struck there. Don’t hurry in getting your arrows as this may cause you trip and land on an arrow that’s stuck on the ground.
- Be aware of your surroundings when pulling out arrows, in order not to hit anyone. Also be aware of where you stand so you don’t get hit by others pulling out their arrows.
- If you’re on an outdoor or 3D range, stay in the designated route. The courses are designed for archers to follow a specific path and doing so will keep you and others safe.