New Jersey Hunter Safety Course


Shooting a Crossbow


Before using any crossbow, be sure to carefully read and understand all the manufacturer's recommendations. Cock a crossbow by placing your foot in the stirrup, and pulling the string upward until it locks into place. This can be done by hand, or with the help of a cocking aid which is usually supplied by the manufacturer. Once the string is cocked, the safety is engaged, and you are positioned for the hunt, you may nock the arrow onto the string.

If hunting from a treestand you should cock the bow and engage the safety before climbing into the stand. Cocking a crossbow in a treestand is very difficult and extremely dangerous. Before climbing down, be sure to remove the arrow, and unload the bow only when you are back on the ground.


IMPORTANT! Do not still hunt or stalk game with arrows nocked. Wait until you are in position before nocking an arrow and disengaging the safety.


Watch your fingers!



Before shooting a crossbow, remember that the limbs will swing outward with considerable force. Be sure there is nothing in the immediate area such as tree trunks or branches that your bow will hit. If it does, it will affect your shot placement, and also could cause damage to your bow or injury to yourself. Finally, be sure to keep all fingers below the rail when you pull the trigger, to avoid serious injury to your fingers.