Many states require a bowhunter education course to hunt legally with archery equipment. Even if not required, taking a course will give you an excellent start to becoming a safe and skillful bowhunter.
An arrow is as deadly as a bullet, so the basic safety rules that govern firearm shooting also apply to archery. Although shooting accidents are rare among bowhunters, they do happen. Archers must obey a few common safety rules, whether on the range or in the field.
- Release an arrow only when the path to the target and beyond is clear.
- Make sure there's something to stop the arrow if you miss—never shoot over the horizon.
- Avoid shooting an arrow in the general direction of another person. Arrows are easily deflected. A small twig, unseen by you, can cause an arrow to veer dangerously off course.
- Don't shoot straight up. A falling arrow carries enough force to penetrate the human skull.
- Carry arrows in a quiver and only nock an arrow when ready to take a shot.
- Use a haul line to raise a bow and quiver into a tree stand to avoid serious injury.