Every year in the United States, there are over 6.8 million archery participants. This means that there are more than this number of archery target bags, bow and arrow which are purchased in a yearly basis. Those who participate in archery are usually in the ages 6 to 14 at summer camps. Every year there are also 4,300 archery related injuries that require emergency room care. The most common type of injury is abrasion from bowstring or arrow.
Here is a guide of what you need to do in order to be able to shoot safely.
- Inspect the bow and arrow. Before you release the arrow, it is important to ensure that all of your equipments is inspected and is in safe working order. A major cause of accidents which are related to archery comes from the damaged bows or snapping of the bow strings. You need to make sure to check all of the components of the bow and arrow for any damage including chips, cracks, warping, fraying as well as any other wear and tear which can compromise the integrity of your equipment.
- Wear the proper attire. While this is not always taken into consideration, it is equally important to make sure that all participants in archery are properly dressed for the sport activity. The participants should not wear anything which will get them to be tangled with the bow. Never wear hoods, scarves, jewelry and other excessively loose paraphernalia. There have been reported cases of bracelets, necklaces and earrings getting caught when the arrows were fired and caused serious injuries.
- Safely fire a bow. In order to make sure the safety of all archers, you need to load, aim, shoot at the archery target bags, then retrieve the arrows at the same time. This will ensure that no one will be shot accidentally while someone is trying to retrieve the arrows. Most archery ranges use the same system in controlling shooting and retrieving. Typical archery uses a system of whistles in order to signify the right action to be taken. One blow of the whistle means that you can shoot at your archery target bags. Two whistle blows will mean that you can approach the shooting line while three means that you can retrieve the arrows that you have just shot. Other important things that you should consider when shooting is to never load your arrow to the bow when there are people in front of you. Ensure that you never stand in front of a bow that is loaded.
- Retrieving arrows. Ensure that all archers wait to retrieve the arrows until they will be signaled to do so. If the archer misfires the arrow and does not go very far, they are usually tempted to quickly retrieve the arrow so that they can fire again. It is very important to reiterate safety and at the same time discourage this behavior. Archers should not bring their bows with them to the range and should safely put them down after they have done shooting.