It’s the question of every beginner: is archery a safe sport?
Here’s the answer: It totally depends on how you use the equipment and if you wear the safety guards while shooting arrows and bolts or not.
Many studies already proved that archery is three times more safe than playing volleyball or football but that definitely is for trained archers and not for beginners.
As we know, in starting of every activity there is always a safety concern which reduces as we practice and learn how to do it properly. People can hurt themselves even while playing indoor games if they’re not well practiced.
But when it comes down to archery, you just need to focus on two things: using the equipment in the right way and taking all the necessary safety precautions whenever you are shooting.
Let’s discuss all of them…
1: Wear Archery Arm Guards
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The purpose of wearing the arm guard is to protect your arms from any damage while shooting the arrows.
The outer layer of the arm guard is fabric, and from inside it’s built with hard materials that protect the skin from any damage of arrows.
It’s easy to wear, you can simply tie it to your arm using its straps, also it’s not very costly and plays an important role in archery safety.
2: Use Arrow Rests When Shooting
If you are using the compound bow which most people use due to high accuracy and the latest features embedded in it, you should use the arrow rest extension.
The benefit of using arrow rest is that you don’t need to hold the arrow anymore and this will not only protect your hands but will also help in your arrow’s straight flight.
It’s used by a good percentage of beginners for saving their hands from arrow and professionals for straight arrow flight. We discussed the best arrow rest options here.
3: Use A Release Aid
When you are a beginner and completing your first 200 arrow shots, then instead of using your fingers for releasing the arrow I suggest using the release Aid.
A release aid is a device that is also known as the mechanical release that can help you shot arrows with more precision.
You can use the trigger of this device for shooting the arrows which can save your fingers from hurting.
4: Arrows of Proper Length
The length of arrows vary according to the height of a person and if the arrow is short it can cause serious damage to shooters hand or arm.
If you are a beginner in Archery, the general rule of thumb is to use the arrows which are long enough to go beyond the back of your bow.
Remember, only professionals with a lot of experience can shoot the small length arrows that too while wearing all safety equipment.
5: Inspect Equipment Before Shooting
Every time when you are going out for shooting make sure the equipment is not broken from any side even if you have just purchased it.
This is one of the biggest reasons beginners hurt themselves unintentionally because their equipment is broken and they didn’t check it before using it and went for a shot and ended up hurting themselves.
6: Never Fire Your Bow Without Arrow
People who are just getting started in archery normally dry fires the bow without arrow for testing purposes.
It actually damages the bow’s strength which may ultimately become the reason for wrong shots.
And shooting with broken equipment can cause severe damages to the shooter.
7: Never Run on Archery Range
When you are shooting with other archers in a tournament or gathering make sure you are not running in the archery range.
Because while running, you can unintentionally cross in front of other archers or can step on someone’s archery quiver and end up hurting yourself seriously.
Most beginners do this mistake which results in injury to themselves. So, always walk and never run within the archery range…
Common Safety Rules of Archery:
1: When you are nocking the arrow make sure it’s pointing towards the ground and not towards a person.
2: While shooting, make sure you are not wearing anything on your arms/hands like a watch or bracelet.
3: Always mark the area of your archery range with rope or something so others can understand you are practicing here.
4: If you don’t have much experience in flight archery, never shoot the arrow in the air as you don’t know where it’s going to land.
5: After listening to the command “Stop” or “HOLD” never ever shoot until the range is declared clear by the instructor.
Pro Tip: If you are going to go out on a hunt, make sure you PLAN AHEAD. If you find yourself hurt, in the middle of the woods, on a cold day and haven’t packed the right equipment, you could be in a lot of trouble. Always prepare and double check your list of essential items before you leave. Here’s a great list of all the items you should pack before you go hunting.
While practicing archery most of the beginners ignore these small things like pointing the arrow towards the ground while nocking or putting out ropes to signal people that you are practicing archery there etc…
Let me remind you that Bow is a lethal weapon just like a handgun and can hurt you or others with your little ignorance.
My simple rule for archery safety is to first make sure the equipment is working fine, and you are wearing all the safety equipment.
During the shooting, your archery range should be marked and during the competitions listen to the instructor closely and never disobey their orders like “HOLD”.
Lastly, you should always follow the rules and regulations relevant for your state and/or country.
Let’s hear your thoughts about archery safety in the comments section below…