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Although shooting accidents are rare among bowhunters, they do happen. Archery and bowhunting safety rules cover all aspects of using a bow and arrow, including storing, handling, and shooting.

Bowhunter

In many states, a bow and arrow are considered a firearm, and the same rules and regulations that apply to firearms also apply to bows and arrows. Always check local laws, and follow these archery safety rules.

  • Only point the bow and arrow in a safe direction.
  • Only nock an arrow when it’s safe to shoot. Never nock an arrow or draw a bow if someone is in front of you.
  • Be sure of your target and what is in front of it, immediately behind it, and beyond it.
  • Never shoot over a ridge.
  • Only shoot when you have a safe range or shooting area, and a safe backstop or background.
  • Avoid dry firing a bow (releasing the bowstring without a nocked arrow). It may cause serious damage to the bow and can injure the archer.
  • Do not shoot an arrow straight up in the air. A falling arrow carries enough force to penetrate the human skull.
  • 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.
  • Wear an arm guard and finger protection while shooting bows and arrows.
  • Handle arrows carefully. Protect yourself and the arrow points with a covered arrow quiver.
  • Use a bow-stringer for stringing longbows and recurve bows.
  • Immediately repair defects in equipment.
    • Prior to each use, check your bow for cracks, dents, breaks, separating laminates, peeling glass, and defects in mechanical parts.
    • Check the bowstring regularly, and replace it if it becomes worn or frayed. Frequent use of bowstring wax greatly extends the life of a bowstring.
    • Check arrows for cracks, dents, or bends; discard any that have permanent flaws. Never use a cracked arrow.
  • Store your bows in bow cases—preferably hard cases—and store recurves and longbows unstrung.
  • Store arrows in quivers and accessories in a sturdy box or padded bag.
  • Keep your emotions under control, and think about safety first.
  • Do not drink alcohol or take mood-altering drugs before, during, or after shooting a bow.
No alcohol