Practice Safety on the Archery Range
Archery is a popular and fast-growing sport among certain segments of the American population. From shooting inanimate targets on the archery range to taking down massive beasts with well-placed arrows, archery is a sport that can be both fun and practical. The bow and arrow, however, is a powerful and extremely lethal weapon system that has been used for hunting and for warfare for millennia, and must be handled with respect and with caution.
Archery in the U.S.: Facts & Statistics
- According to a 2012 nationwide archery survey, roughly 18.9 million Americans aged 18 and up participated in target archery and/or bowhunting.
- Statistically speaking, archery is one of the safest sports. According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council, the injury rate for archers is less than one in every 2,000 participants.
- People are over 3 times more likely to get injured playing golf than they are practicing archery.
- Bowhunters cutting themselves on sharp hunting arrowheads account for the vast majority of archery-related injuries (94%).
Archery Safety Precautions
The relatively low number of archery-related injuries is no doubt due in large part to the safety precautions practiced by both archery participants and by archery ranges (most ranges, for example, prohibit the sharp arrowheads commonly used in bowhunting).
Top Eight Archery Safety Tips To Always Keep In Mind
To reduce the chances of causing injury to yourself or others while practicing the sport of archery, here are eight safety tips that should always be followed when handling bows and arrows.
- Never dry-fire your bow: Dry firing is when a bow is drawn and released with no arrow. Dry firing can damage or even break bows.
- Don’t point a nocked arrow at anything you don’t intend to shoot: Just as you would (hopefully) never waive a loaded gun around, don’t point a bow with a nocked arrow at anything you don’t want to shoot.
- Always keep your arrow aimed at the ground when nocking it: To reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself or others, make sure the arrow is pointed down wards when you are nocking it.
- Make sure to use appropriate arrows for your bow’s draw weight: Arrows come in many different types and so it is important that you only use arrows strong enough to handle the power of your particular bow.
- Never overdraw your bow: Overdrawing occurs when you pull back the bowstring further than the length of the arrow shaft, causing the front end of the arrow to fall off the arrow rest. This can cause serious injury and can damage your bow.
- Don’t wear jewelry while shooting: There is always a chance that a watch, bracelet, necklace, or earring can get caught or tangled when drawing or firing a bow and arrow. Always remove these types of items prior to picking up a bow.
- Make sure to wax your bowstring regularly: Keeping your bowstrings waxed is essential for preserving them and keeping them from breaking.
- Don’t draw your bow unless ready to fire: There is no reason to draw your bow until you’re in position and ready to fire. At an archery range, this means waiting until all people are behind the firing line and the rangemaster has given the ok to commence firing.
Archery supplies for the range and for the field