Arrows & Safety

In the bow hunting community the common ethical guideline is that arrows need to be very sharp. It makes for a cleaner, faster kill. This also means that the arrow can be a source of potential harm for the hunter if he or she isn’t careful and wise. You do not want to be cut by one of these when you’re far from aid (actually, you don’t want to be cut by them period!).

Experienced bow hunters tell us that to avoid getting cut, it’s essential that the arrow matches the bow’s poundage and draw. This decreases the chance of the string or the arrow snapping, and in turn having the arrow land nearly anywhere unexpectedly. Before using any arrow, give it a good once-over. If you notice any cracks or bends in the shaft, don’t use that arrow. Note that you need not loose a good shot – just remember to check your equipment before you set up your stand so you’re prepared.

Another good preparation is having a proper carrying case for your extra arrow heads. These shouldn’t be loose in other goods where people might reach in and get quite the surprise. Sharpen your arrowheads facing away from you wearing heavy gloves (some hunters I know have used meat cutter gloves when tending their equipment). Afterward pack the arrows in a suitable container clearly labeled.

When you’re out in the woods, avoid shooting targets when you can’t be sure of something coming up behind the creature. A good example would be a deer on top of a hill. You don’t know what (or more importantly who) might on the other side. There have been fatalities due to people not observing this precaution. When in doubt, don’t release. You’ll have other chances at game.

Similarly to guns, your bow shouldn’t be knocked when you have to climb or when traversing rough ground. It leaves you without two good hands that could grab onto a secure spot and avoid falling. And, also similarly to guns, don’t knock your bow and aim it at anything you do NOT intend to shoot, and never shoot straight up (what goes up must come down!).

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