The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt safety campaign recommends some guidelines when hunting with archery equipment, including crossbows.

“The safety considerations for using a crossbow, longbow or compound bow are similar to other hunting methods,” said Travis Casper, state hunting education coordinator. “Hunting safety is exercising caution, following manufacturers’ instructions, obeying regulations and putting into practice what you’ve learned in hunter education, no matter what type of equipment you’re using.

“As with any method of hunting, always point your crossbow, longbow, compound bow in a safe direction,” Casper said. “Only release an arrow after positively identifying your target and what’s beyond it. Know your equipment’s capabilities and limitations.”

The statewide Home From The Hunt campaign advises:

  • Never carry a bow with a notched arrow.
  • Keep fingers and thumb below the rail of a crossbow at all times.
  • Never “dry-fire” a bow (releasing without an arrow can cause sudden breakage).

When using a tree stand, all hunters should use a full body safety harness at all times; maintain three points of contact when climbing; and check belts, chains and attachment cords before use. Always use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.

With a crossbow in a tree stand, Casper said hunters should:

  • Cock the crossbow on the ground before climbing.
  • Load the crossbow only when in hunting position.
  • Clear away any tree branches before taking a shot.

In North Carolina, all first-time hunting license buyers must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course, offered free across the state by the Hunter Education Program. Consult the online version of the 2012-13 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest or call 919-707-0031 for more information.

Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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