In this month’s column, THLord Deryk Archer discusses the basics of archery range safety.

After the marshal has called “bows down, you may retrieve,” you place your bow on the ground and walk, don’t run, towards the target. Not running is very important with small children – they’re very eager to run down range and see what they hit. Shots that land in the ground are a tripping hazard. A running child could trip on the arrow, or “dead wood” as we call it. The arrow could break and impale the running child.

When you come across a dead arrow, you don’t lift it straight up out of the ground, you pull it backwards the way it went in so you do not break the arrow. If the arrow is not yours, take it by the point and stick it back in the ground straight up so the owner can find it.

When you get to the target butt, only one person removes their arrows at a time. This person is said to be in the” batter’s box.” The batter must look over his shoulder to see if anyone is too close before he worries out his arrows. Note in the left-hand picture, you see the back of the archer’s head. The archer must look back over her shoulder and look at the other “players in the field” as shown in the right-hand picture.

As you can see in the next picture, if the archer pulls the arrow out of the butt too soon, this could cause an eye injury if the people “in the field” are too close.

Photo 6

Always remember, you could still get hurt on an archery range even if the arrows are not flying.

Photo 5

This month’s safety tip: establish eye to eye contact with other archers when you’re walking on an open range.

Yours in Service,

THL Deryk