Crossbows are a popular choice for hunters. Their comfort of use and familiar transition from rifles lessens the learning curve on handling and using a crossbow. Crossbows are fun to shoot and fantastic for hunting. As with any weapon, there are a few key safety rules and tips that you should take in when operating.
It can cause serious injuries if it isn’t used safely and responsibly. Before you go out on the hunt or for target practice, here are some Crossbow Safety Tips that every hunter should commit to memory.
Crossbow Safety While Hunting
1. Never Stalk, Walk, or Drive Loaded – Never stalk prey over long distances, walk long distances or drive to a hunting spot with a bolt loaded into the crossbow. It can lead to discharge and inflict damage accidentally on you, your vehicle or the crossbow itself.
2. Wear a Full Body Safety Harness – Always leave your safety harness on with a safety bow rope when hunting from a tree stands. This’ll protect you from accidentally falling out while loading your crossbow.
3. Allow for Full Limb Clearance – For your safety and protection of your crossbow, clear all branches out of the path of your crossbow limbs. Contact with branches could crack or splinter your bow limbs.
4. Use Haul-line to Move Crossbow Up & Down – Never climb onto a tree stand with a crossbow hanging by its shoulder sling. Always use a haul line to take your weapon up and down while making sure that no branches are in the way. Take extra care to assure that neither the crossbow string and cables touch the ground. Also, make sure that the line isn’t attached anywhere near the trigger and that your weapon is unloaded.
5. Use Arrow Quiver for Broad-heads – Make sure your crossbow broadheads are inside the quiver to avoid the risk of injury.
- Always use a broad-head wrench when fastening or fastening your broad-heads from the shaft insert.
6. Inspect Your Crossbow – Inspect your equipment properly before shooting. Check the limbs, strings, cables, and other essential parts. Once you’ve thoroughly inspected and are certain everything in good working order, you can enjoy shooting a crossbow.
Safety Tips for Seating the Arrow and Cocking
1. Always use the stirrup by securing your foot in it while cocking devices, to avoid personal injury from the weapon slipping out underneath your foot. Make sure crossbow is pointed in a safe direction while loading a bow.
2. When cocking your weapon manually or with a rope aid, hold the string at equal distance on each side of the stock. Doing this will help to give you better accuracy when shooting.
3. Don’t place rope cocking aid around your neck, as one end could accidentally get stuck to the string of a crossbow. Always place it on the ground or elsewhere so that it doesn’t make contact with your crossbow.
4. Some modern crossbows come with an automated anti-dry mechanism. This mechanism helps to keep the shooter from accidentally firing the crossbow when there is no arrow seated.
- If your crossbow doesn’t come with this mechanism. Make sure always to set the safety to the ON position as soon as your weapon is fully cocked and before you remove your foot from the stirrup.
5. Scrutinize the nock for any wear or breakage before an arrow. Check the signs of wear or damage to the nock as well as splintering or bent arrows. If the nock isn’t in perfect shape, throw it away. Some arrows are too lightweight for your bow and shooting with that crossbow bolts will have the same effect as dry firing your crossbow.
6. The best way to ensure proper handling of your equipment is to read the owner’s manual that comes with it on how to de-cock and cock your crossbow properly as well as recommendations and safety points.
7. Don’t store your cocked or loaded until you aren’t ready to shoot and never pull the trigger until you’re ready for a shoot. Decock the crossbow safely; otherwise it’s cables or pulleys may cause catastrophic damage.
- Continuous stress on the limbs, cables or pulleys may cause damage that can’t be seen until the bowed is fired.
8. Make sure the arrow is seated firmly against the string.
Target Shooting Crossbow Safety
Whether you plan hunting or just shooting in your backyard, must follow these important safety tips.
1. Treat Like a Firearm – Never point your crossbow at a person or anything you don’t intend to fire it, even if no arrow is seated. Always treat it like a cocked crossbow. Don’t shoot at heavily obstructed areas that may cause broken pieces back at you.
2. Know Your Surroundings – Be sure that no one is within proximity of your line of sight before the bow shooting. Never shoot your crossbow if anyone is standing behind it, in front of it or even to the side of it. Make sure that the sight pins in the scope are properly aligned.
3. Never Dry Fire – Shooting your crossbow without arrow is called dry-fire. Never dry fire a crossbow, as they will generate a lot of vibration in the limbs and damage them. This can also lead to strings or cables snapping, limbs cracking or splintering, and even the crossbow flying apart in some cases.
4. Keep Your Fingers and Thumbs Clear – Make sure that your arm stays clear of the crossbow strings and cables always have your fingers or thumbs placed below the stock. Whether you have experience of other bow hunting tools still if you’re a beginner, you should pay attention while dealing with crossbow tools.
5. Use The Correct Bolt Weight, Length, and Nocks – Use bolts that are the correct length and weight for your model. Never shoot a bolt that’s lighter or shorter than the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- If a bolt is too short or too light, it can slip off the string and create a potential dry-fire situation.
6. De-cock Your Crossbow Before Placing It – Always remove the arrow and dec-cock your weapon before placing it anywhere. The perfect way to de-cock your crossbow is to shoot it into a safe target. A loaded crossbow could be accidentally triggered if set down with an arrow seated in it.
- Never attempt to de-cock a crossbow by hand or with a rope cocking device.
7. ON Trigger Safety – Always hold the trigger safely in the fire position. Keep the safety engaged and your finger off the trigger until you’re shooting.
8. Inspect Your Arrows After Shooting – Always check your arrows after shooting them as you remove them from the intended target. Shooting arrows closely together in groups lead to damage caused by the other bolts.
- It is perfect to have multiple bulls-eyes that are spaced apart from each other to extend the life of your arrows.