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.

Hunter with a bow
  • 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 the nocked position only when slowly approaching game—never nock an arrow or draw a bow if someone is in front of you.
  • Use a haul line to raise a bow and quiver into a tree stand to avoid serious injury.