This month I want to talk about safety on the range.

Here are some do’s and don’ts that will make your day safer.

  • Do check your bow string and wax it – the shooting season is half over, so check your equipment.
  • DO check your arrows for compression fractures. If you shot a lot this year your arrows maybe crack near the point.
    • Tip: break a cracked arrow so you don’t shoot it again. It may shatter on release, so don’t spend your day in the hospital having wood removed from your hand. Also, share the aroma of fresh ceder with your friends (we call it archer’s crack). Remember, it’s only ammunition.
  • DO check your bow for cracks and frets. If you think you see a crack, take a felt tip pen and put a dot on both ends of the fret. If the fret gets bigger, it’s time to retire the bow. It’s sad to retire a bow, so to make yourself feel better, buy a new one.
  • DO check your target area for weak spots from blow throughs.
Target area too soft, arrows blowing through.

Target area too soft, arrows blowing through.

Target area still safe, still stopping arrows .

Target area still safe, still stopping arrows .

  • DO check your target area for rocks or anything hard this may cause a ricochet.
  • DO obey the Marshall in charge at all times.

Now for the don’ts.

  • DON’T drink and shoot. REPEAT: don’t drink and shoot.
  • DON’T put things like M80 on your arrows, people have lost fingers doing this.
  • DON’T play with fire arrows. I do one demo a year with fire arrows. I love doing this, but I put in over a year of research before I made my first fire arrow. They don’t always work and one exploded on me – I was lucky, I was not hurt.
  • DON’T dry fire a bow. That means don’t draw a bow without an arrow nocked and then release it, because the bow may break.

Enjoy the rest of the season, hope to see you at at Archers to the Wald! As always, shoot often, shoot safe, and have fun….

THLord Deryk Archer