A crossbow is a weapon used in hunting wild game. As with any weapon, there are a few key crossbow safety and security measures that you should take in when operating one.
Here are some safety tips that one should always follow each and every time the crossbow is used to ensure security and proper handling.
Safety for Cocking and Seating the Arrow
- To avoid injury from the crossbow slipping out underneath your foot, always use the stirrup by securing your foot in it while cocking the crossbow. -Whether you manually cock your crossbow or use the rope aid, you will need to cock it evenly to reduce injury. To do this be sure the string is held at equal distances on each side of the stock, doing this will also help to give you better accuracy when shooting.
- The rope cocking aid should ALWAYS be placed on the ground or elsewhere so that it doesn’t make contact with your crossbow. In other words, don’t place it around your neck for risk of having it become stuck to the string of your crossbow.
- Some crossbows come equipped with an anti-dry fire system that helps to keep the shooter from accidentally firing the crossbow when there is no arrow seated. Not all crossbows have this mechanism, however, so in such cases the safety feature should always be set to ON immediately following cocking the device and while your foot is still in the stirrup.
- You should always look closely at your arrows prior to seating them. You want to check for any signs of wear or damage to the nock as well as splintering or bent arrows and throw any away that aren’t in top shape. Likewise, you should inspect all parts of your crossbow prior to shooting at every session.
- The best way to ensure proper handling of your crossbow is to fully read the manufacturer’s guide that comes with it on how to cock and de-cock it properly as well as recommendations and safety points.
Safety Tips When Target Shooting
- As a general safety rule, a weapon should always be treated as loaded. Never aim or point your crossbow, or any weapon for that matter, at any object or person other than the projected target, regardless of whether it is loaded or not.
- Be sure that no one is within close proximity of your line of sight prior to shooting your weapon.
- To prevent accidental firing of your crossbow, it should never be held around the trigger.
- Always remove the arrow from your crossbow and be sure it has been de-cocked before placing it anywhere. A loaded crossbow could be accidentally triggered at any given moment if set down with an arrow seated in it.
- You never want to shoot your crossbow when there is no arrow seated in it as this could lead to damage as well as shorten the life of your crossbow’s mounting and string.
- The trigger safety should always be set to ON and only turned off just at the moment that you are ready to shoot.
- When shooting you want to be sure that your arm stays clear of the string and always have your fingers placed below the stock.
- There should always be a sufficient stop placed behind your target should your arrow miss it and to prevent the arrow from going completely through it.
- Always inspect your arrows after shooting them as you remove them from the target. Shooting arrows closely together in groups can lead to damage caused by the other arrows. To extend the life of your arrows it is ideal to have multiple bulls-eyes that are spaced apart from each other to shoot at.
Crossbow Safety and Security While Hunting
- As with target practice, the same rules should always apply while hunting.
- Always leave your safety harness on when hunting from a tree stand.
- Never climb a tree stand with your crossbow. Make a haul line to take your crossbow up and down while making sure that no branches are in the way. Do NOT attach the line to any area around the trigger of your crossbow and always be sure it is unloaded before moving it. When moving the crossbow down be sure that the string and cable do not touch the ground.
- For your safety and protection of your crossbow you will want to make sure that no branches will be in the way of the limbs’ free movement prior to shooting.
- With arrow broad-heads always make sure they are INSIDE the quiver to avoid the risk of injury.
- When fastening and unfastening broad-heads always use a broad-head wrench.
- Always follow these crossbow safety and security tips to help avoid injury and damage to your crossbow.