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10 Safety Tips for Crossbow Shooting Success


  1. Always read the manufacturer’s directions and use the recommended arrow (bolt) weight and length.
  2. Always visually inspect crossbow and accessories before shooting to ensure all are in good condition.
  3. Keep fingers and thumb low on the crossbow forearm, below the rail; the flight path of string and cable can cause serious personal injury.
  4. Never walk with a crossbow cocked and arrow loaded.
  5. Never cock a crossbow while in a treestand, except for crank-type models.
  6. Always raise and lower unloaded crossbows from a treestand using a haul line.
  7. Before shooting, check that bow limbs will hit nothing when they flex forward during the release. Crossbow limbs store enough energy to knock a hunter to the ground should the bow contact the tree or your stand.
  8. Carry in your quiver an arrow with either a field point, judo or blunt. Uncock the crossbow at day’s end by shooting that arrow into a target or soft ground.
  9. Never dry-fire a crossbow; releasing the trigger without an arrow in place can damage to the bow limbs or cause serious personal injury.
  10. Never store or transport a crossbow in the cocked position.
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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 11, 2017