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Place the safety on "fire" (the safety may be on the side or the rear of the sight bridge).

When manually cocking a crossbow, place the ball of either foot in the cocking stirrup to prevent slippage.

Bend over the stock and manually pull the string back, utilizing the strength of your hands, arms, legs, and lower back, or use a cocking device.

Draw the string back along the barrel to the latching and safety mechanism.

With the longer stock on recurve crossbows and some compound crossbows, you will have to lean to the side when cocking because it is not possible to bend over the stock and reach the string.

When cocking by hand or with any type of cocking device, you must be extremely careful to center the string in the same trigger-latch position each time for consistent accuracy. A cocking aid ensures consistent string placement.

When the crossbow is cocked, engage the safety. On some models, the safety is engaged automatically. Check the owner’s manual to determine how the safety is engaged on your crossbow.

Always keep the front end of a cocked crossbow pointed downrange and in a safe direction, even if you do not have an arrow loaded.

Do not take the safety off unless an arrow is mounted in the crossbow in the shooting position and you are ready to shoot.