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There are some basic safety rules just as with firearms. One important safety rule is never dry–fire a bow. Dry-firing a bow means to pull back a bowstring without an arrow and then release the bowstring. Dry-firing can damage and even break bows. Never dry-fire a bow without an arrow!

A hunter stringing a compound bow

Another archery safety rule is to match the arrow to the draw weight of the bow. There are many different types of arrows available today. You can buy aluminum arrows, wood arrows, etc.; but the arrow must be strong enough for the bow you plan to use. Never shoot arrows which don't match the bow. You can get more detailed information from archery shops and/or archery clubs if you don't know how to match arrows to your bow. Never use arrows which are bent, cracked, or damaged.

This next special safety rule applies to bowhunting. Never hunt without a covered quiver! The quiver holds extra arrows. There are many different types of quivers. Usually, they attach to the bow. The only quiver you should use while hunting is a quiver that covers the broadheads. This type of quiver will protect your broadheads and prevent you from cutting yourself as you reach for an arrow.

A fourth archery safety rule is to remain alert whenever you are around broadheads! Big game archery hunters are required to use broadheads. Broadheads are razor-sharp and cut very easily. Most bowhunting incidents in Washington are self-inflicted. This means that the hunter hurts himself! Usually, the injury is a cut from a broadhead.