The Crossbow is a modern man’s bow and an arrow. It is a fun, easy to use hunting weapon and is widely accepted and liked by contemporary bowhunters. Also, today’s modern crossbows are lighter and more stable than ever, allowing shooters of all types and sizes to be confident with them.
However, the fact that crossbows are so simple and convenient to use can lead shooters to a false sense of safety. They are safe to use, but like any other weapon, misuse can be very dangerous.
Therefore, users should experience extreme caution in the presence of children by keeping crossbows out of their reach.
It may seem like common sense to operate and handle a crossbow safely, but it’s quite possible to ignore aspects that can trigger accidents or even disasters. Making a proper mental checklist of factors to look for every time you load your crossbow or fire an arrow should be mandatory.
Many crossbow hunters have taken some form of the hunter’s safety program, and common sense is also there to help us stay safe. Sadly, crossbows are often mistaken for toys and can be used without due care and awareness.
There are few crossbow safety-rules and tips that should be kept in mind while going out for crossbow hunting:
10 Best Crossbow Safety Tips & Rules :
1. Read Manual:
The first and foremost thing while setting up your new crossbow is to carefully read the manual that comes with the package.
Manuals are very helpful in explaining how to assemble, cock /un-cock, safely handle, and operate the crossbow. It is a good practice to read it thoroughly and act upon it for your own crossbow safety.
Manuals generally contain benchmarks and limits for certain aspects for example how much crossbow draw weight to apply and size limits of the bolts etc. It is very wise to adhere to the defined limits in order to keep yourself and others safe.
2. Take Care of the String:
Take very good care of your crossbow’s string, as it is one of the most important parts of the weapon.
Always use rail lube and wax the string before going out for your hunting adventure, because sting breaking is a very dangerous thing to happen, especially if the game is at close range and offensive. If the string is frayed or worn out, replace it immediately for the better hunting experience
3. Check the Safety:
Almost all crossbows nowadays come with automated dry-fire inhibitors to prevent accidental fire. If your weapon does not have this system, make sure to turn ON the crossbow safety switch when it is fully cocked.
4. Cocking Safety:
To avoid any mishap or accident, always use a stirrup while cocking the crossbow and point it in a safe direction while loading it.
Make sure to hold the string at the center of the stock while cocking your crossbow. A centered string provides better accuracy and a precise impact point of your arrow.
It is dangerous to place a rope cocking device around your neck while cocking the crossbow, as it can get stuck to the crossbow’s string.
Don’t carry a cocked and loaded crossbow around. Decock it safely. It is a good practice to decock your weapon by shooting into a safe target. One should never decock a crossbow by hand or a rope cocking device. Check our Guide on How Crossbow works? Crossbow Trigger Mechanism.
5. Arrow Seating:
Always inspect the nock cautiously for any breakage. If it is not in good condition, it is good to replace it immediately.
Examine the arrows for any splinters or bending and make sure they are firmly seated. Always use weight appropriate arrows with the bow, lightweight arrows can have the same effect as dry firing the crossbow.
6. Crossbow Safety:
Never walk around in the jungle chasing the prey with a loaded crossbow, as it can cause serious accidents that hurt you or anyone else unintended. Keep your crossbow cocked but the safety should be on.
Wear full-body safety gear while hunting; this will protect you from injuries. Always clear out all the branches from the path of your crossbow limbs, as it can cause damage to your weapon.
Keep your broadheads protected inside the quiver to avoid any accident. Load the arrow on the crossbow only when you spot the prey.
Check the crossbow properly before shooting; take a keen look at its limbs, cables, and strings. If everything is good to go, you can start shooting.
7. Safety while Target shooting:
Point your crossbow in the right direction only; don’t point it towards yourself or any other person. Always use a well-aligned scope and make sure that your line of sight is clear and no one is standing in close proximity to it.
Always keep your fingers and thumb clear of the cable and strings and below the stock before shooting the arrow. Try to avoid dry fire as it can damage the crossbow. You must know how to string your crossbow before loading.
Always use the bolts that are compatible with your crossbow. Shooting a lighter or shorter bolt can cause damage to the crossbow by creating a dry-fire situation.
If you are not using a cocking device with your crossbow, always lower your crossbow to the ground after shooting an arrow and then re-cock it.
When you shoot an arrow to an unintended target, collect it back and inspect it keenly. If it is damaged discard it. Do not discard it in the wild as someone can get hurt while misusing it.
8. Inspection to Avoid Accidents:
Make a habit of inspecting your bow thoroughly for any potential issues, like loose screws, broken strings, damage rails etc. Daily usage and atmospheric conditions can sometimes loosen the screws and therefore using such a crossbow can be really dangerous.
Inspecting screws regularly will help you to easily get familiar with your crossbow and how it should look and act in good working condition.
9. Proper Limb Clearance:
Being mindful of your surrounding environment and making sure you have adequate limb clearance while using a crossbow is of paramount importance. This is to ensure that you do not damage your bow and arrow reaches its target successfully.
Before cocking your weapon, grab an arrow and use it as a reference to measure the clearance you require in a tree stand.
10. Use of Haul Line:
Last but not the least, always use the haul line to carry your equipment to your elevated hunting stand and to lower your gear after a successful hunting session. Don’t go up and down with any equipment in your hand or even over your back, as it could hurt you or harm your weapon.
We have discussed almost all of the crossbow safety tips; you need to know before shooting with your crossbow. But there could be many other aspects to consider, it is therefore highly recommended to take a crossbow hunter safety course before starting your hunting experience.
Know your weapon, study the manual thoroughly, use your common sense, and avoid taking unnecessary risks while game hunting. It is also a good practice to seek advice from an experienced hunter and accompany them in hunting sessions to have prior hands-on training before going solo.
Finally, picking the right crossbow and reacquainting yourself with its safety features can make your crossbow adventure both safer and more pleasurable.
Keep yourself and others safe and enjoy bow hunting!