A serious blog article, but a worthwhile one!
As a crossbow or archery enthusiast, you already know that bows and crossbows are great fun as a hobby. You probably also know that in some countries people hunt game, large and small, to great effect with bows and crossbows.
In other words, fun as they may be, bows (recurve or compound bows) and crossbows are potentially dangerous and should be handled with care. They are quite capable of injuring or killing people, pets and livestock or damaging property. All out to considerable distances.
Your arrow, your responsibility
Why is this worth remembering? Simple: because you’re responsible for every arrow that leaves your bow or crossbow, regardless of who fired it. The buck stops with you.
So, in this blog you can remind yourself of some of the things you can do to help avoid accidents.
It’s up to you, the owner and user of archery equipment to make sure you use them in a safe manner and in a safe environment, and in accordance with the laws applicable to your situation.
What goes up, must come down, according to Newton. So, when you shoot an arrow, it will eventually land. Where, depends on the direction the bow was pointing when you fired. Given that modern bows and crossbows can easily reach out to 100m, an arrow fired at angle could go much, much further.
In other words, be very conscious about where your bow or crossbow is pointing. Even if there is no arrow in place and the limbs are not drawn. Do that reflexively when the bow is unloaded and the chances are you won’t do it with an arrow nocked either.
The rule is straightforward: if you don’t want an arrow stuck in it, don’t point your bow at it.
It’s nice to think you can’t miss, but if that wasn’t a risk, there’d be no challenge in archery.
So wherever you choose to put your target you need to first be sure the target is up to the job. Most archery targets are either very thick, or very dense, or both.
There’s a good reason for that: the sheer force that arrows can strike with. You want your target to be 100% sure to stop the arrow. But what if you miss? Where will that arrow go?
That’s where the second consideration comes in. You need to be sure that there is nothing nor anyone behind or near your target because your arrow will have to stop somewhere.
An arrow-catcher net, in this case, is a great choice. But whenever possible try to choose a place where there is nothing of value located behind the target and where no one is likely to pass through.
When to shoot
A bow won’t propel an arrow until it is drawn. Same with a crossbow. So, the wise move here is not to draw until you are in position to shoot and with your target and backstops in place. Only then should you consider drawing your bow and releasing, or cocking your crossbow, seating the arrow, deactivating the safety and squeezing the trigger.
What to shoot
Make sure you have arrows of the appropriate length, weight and stiffness to be safely shot from your bow. The easiest way to do this is simply buy the same ones that came with your bow. In the case of Steambow, that will mean top quality components, assembly and specifications all chosen to work best with your bow. Simply visit the Steambow shop to order online.
Archery and kids
Bow limbs are powerful and arrow tips are sharp. Don’t leave archery equipment in easy reach of children and don’t leave children unsupervised around such equipment. It’s that simple.
If you go hunting with a bow or crossbow, the likelihood is you already know plenty but if it’s something you are thinking of trying, you need to get familiar with local laws surrounding seasons, and locations, permits and licenses. You also need to be sure that your equipment is up to the job. That means appropriate broadheads and enough power to hunt humanely.
In the case of Steambow, its PowerUnit hunting crossbows have sufficient power for hunting a wide range of game animals, provided the shooter aims effectively to hit a vital area, ensuring a clean and humane hunt with minimal suffering to the animal.
Some have even successfully made humane kills on small to medium-sized game with the AR-6 Stinger crossbow pistol loaded with hunting arrows. With a fraction of the power of a full-size crossbow, this highlights how crucial precise shot placement really is.
Despite this and the fact the newer AR-6 Stinger II crossbows are more powerful, Steambow does not recommend hunting with a Stinger II crossbow beyond small animals, such as with pest control.
Know the laws
Wherever you live, be sure to know where you stand in relation to local and national laws and regulations. From the point of ordering a product, to how you then use it, it’s up to you to make sure that you’re doing things by the book.
If you obey the laws, use common sense (such as the guidelines above), always remember how dangerous archery can be and act accordingly, archery can be a very enjoyable, rewarding and, above all, safe pastime.
Now that you know what to do to stay safe, why not order a Stinger II, some arrows and one of our targets from the Steambow online shop?