North Carolina Hunter Safety Course


Bowhunting Safety Rules

Archery hunting can be just as dangerous as firearm hunting. As such, bowhunters are often required to take a hunter education course, and are always required to follow the rules of hunting safety. Archery hunting incidents could be greatly reduced if bowhunters followed the following safety rules, every time they handle a bow and arrow, including crossbows.

Always be sure of your target and beyond

Arrows do not travel as far as bullets, but they can still have a fair effective range. Do not attempt a shot if the path to the target is obstructed, or if there is someone beyond that target.

Always have an appropriate backstop

A dirt mound, free of rocks and debris, is a safe backstop to have. Never fire at an animal that is located at the top of a hill. As with firearms hunting, avoid shooting an arrow toward rocks that could send the arrow in an unexpected direction.

Do not shoot straight up into the air

If you do this, the arrow will come down point-first, and with enough force to seriously injure a person.

Do not nock an arrow until ready to fire

Do not nock an arrow until you are approaching your game or getting ready to shoot. Also, never draw back an arrow until you have identified your target as being a legal and ethical shot. NEVER dry-fire a bow or crossbow. It will cause damage to your bow and can also cause serious injury.

Safety First! Be careful not to use arrows that are cracked or otherwise damaged. After retrieving an arrow, check it for damage before reusing it.