Basic Safety for Every Archer

No matter what kind of archery you shoot, there are some basic safety principles that can help ensure you and your friends have a fun time at the archery range.

1. Before shooting, an archer should…

  • Check equipment for damage
  • Keep clothing and jewelry out of the string’s way
  • Make sure the range is clear

It is a good idea to check bow strings for signs of fraying. Look for cracks or warped wood in the limbs or riser of your bow. On arrows, feel the fletches to make sure they are fully attached and, if using screw-in points, test the points to make sure they are screwed in tightly. Replace any plastic nocks that have cracks.

2. While shooting, an archer should…

  • Point arrows toward the target when they are nocked on the string
  • Shoot at the same time and in the same direction as other archers
  • Wait until everyone finishes before going to the target

If any fellow archers are scoring during practice, or if you are shooting in a competition, remember to wait until everyone is done scoring before touching the target and pulling your arrows.

3. When retrieving arrows, an archer should…

  • Approach the target slowly
  • Ask permission before pulling someone else’s arrows
  • Brace yourself with a hand on the target near where the arrow hit
  • Check over your shoulder to see if the coast is clear
  • Pull the arrow straight out to avoid bending it by accident

If you think you may have missed the target, be careful not to kick or step on your arrows as you walk down to the target. If you need to search for an arrow behind the target, make sure the other archers know where you are so they can keep everyone from shooting until you are safely back behind the shooting line. If the arrow is embedded in the wood of the target stand, there is a risk of bending or damaging the arrow during removal, so be sure to ask for help.