Now that you know how to use your crossbow, it is time to learn about the safety tips.
1. Pointing the arrow is as serious as shooting it.
Keep in mind that you should never, as in, not even when playing or practicing, point your bolt at anything that you do not have the intention of shooting. Remember that accidents happen, and you can never pull back a bolt once it is released, accidental or not.
2. When it comes to triggers
When it comes to handling the trigger, make sure that you keep your finger away from it UNLESS you are ready to shoot. As like with the pointing to unwanted targets, having your finger exactly at or anywhere near that trigger can cause accidental shooting.
3. Your target
Always make sure that you can clearly see what your target is. Never assume. If you have the slightest doubt that your target is not what you intend to shoot, then don’t shoot.
You might want to shoot what seems like a deer, but from a far distance, you saw it move like a man, don’t push it, you may have end up killing or injuring someone because of carelessness.
Another thing to consider is the things that lie behind your target. Remember that your target will fall down, make sure that no one, or nothing valuable will be damaged once it does.
4. Safety on
No matter what happens, even if experts tell you that safety mechanisms can fail, never turn it off.
When it comes to cocking and uncocking, make sure that you are putting as much downward pressure as you can while stepping on the stirrups. We have already discussed its importance, but this advise is worth repeating over because the downward force will prevent the bow from flying into your face when you pull the string.
6. Inspecting the crossbow before using it
You should never deal with defective crossbows so your best course of action is to always inspect it before use. Here’s a step by step guide on how to inspect your crossbow before use:
- Always check the strings of the crossbow, look for signs of breakage. If you are using a compound crossbow, inspect the cables for the same things.
- Next thing to inspect are the limbs. See if there are cracks that will make them vulnerable. Also look at the connection between the stock and the limbs and see if they are still perfect. For compound crossbows, additional things to inspect are the cams and its cables.
- Lastly, check the stock itself, the safety mechanism, and the trigger.
7. How to be safe in the field and in the range
Hunters often go to a shooting range. This is a place where they can practice their shooting skills. When you are there, make certain that you follow the ranges's instructions and signals. If the marshal in charge says that the range is active, that’s the time you can cock your crossbow and load your arrow. Once you’ve cocked and loaded it, make sure that you always point it downwards.
If you are hunting however, you must make sure that cocking your crossbow is only done at the hunting location. There are also times when you’ll hunt from a treestand, if that’s the case, then be sure to cock your crossbow before you go to the stand.
Throughout hunting, your crossbow can remain cocked. They are made in such a way that the strings will endure the pressure.
8. How to store your crossbow and bolts
It is advisable that each crossbow and the bolts should be treated as you would a firearm or a riffle. There are two ways by which you can store it, the first is when it is hunting season and you expect to use your gear often. The second is when the hunting season is over and there is no use for your crossbow for a few months.
- Storing the crossbows temporarily
Always make sure that the broadheads of your bolt are covered and that they are out of reach especially by kids and strangers. When not in use, the bow should be uncocked, but you can leave the strings attached.
There are a lot of cases available in the market - often times, a hard case is preferred because it stops damage to the crossbow and it also protects it from heat and direct sunlight.
- Storing the crossbows for a longer period
If you will not be using your crossbow for a long period of time, then it is better to remove the strings. This will get rid of the tension.
When doing so, make sure that you refer to the manual, if you are not comfortable in removing the strings on your own, then it is best to take it to the crossbow shop where your bought it.
9. How to transport the crossbow
The instructions on how to transport the crossbow have already been discussed earlier, but let us repeat some parts of the explanation:
- Your crossbow should be encased
- It should be inside the car’s compartment where no one can access it even those people who will ride in the vehicle
- Make the crossbow as unusable as possible - that means, having it dissembled. In that way, even it someone managed to grab it, he or she will not be able to operate it unless there is prior knowledge on the how-to’s