In many states, use of a bow and arrow follows the same rules and regulations as firearms.\nSo, it’s critical that all hunters and target-shooters alike check with local laws to learn about required licenses and programs before you pack up your gear. And remember, many bow-hunting injuries are self-inflicted.\nEquipment Safety in Archery\nEquipment safety begins before you go hunting. Improper equipment safety can cause damage to the bow, or more importantly, the archer. Some basic rules are as follows:\n\nAvoid firing a bow when the arrow isn’t nocked\nWear an armguard and finger protection\nImmediately repair defects in the equipment\nMake sure the arrow matches the draw weight of the bow\nBe careful when sharpening and handling broadhead; they are razor sharp\nKeep arrows in a quiver as much as possible\nIf possible keep bows in a hard case when not in use\nPack extra water, food, and a bright vest so other hunters can see you\n\nRELATED: Hunting Safety: Prevent Hearing Damage This Season\nHunting Safety for Archers\nWhen trekking through backcountry, you should be mindful of potential safety pitfalls: The environment, wild animals, and other hunters alike. Awareness safety includes:\n\nOnly nock an arrow when it is safe to shoot\nWhen preparing to shoot a target, make sure you know what is between you and the target and what is behind the target in case you miss\nNever shoot into bushes or over a ridge where there is no direct line-of-sight\nBe aware of broadheads that you, and others with you, have exposed\nAvoid areas where a lot of hunters are trekking\nDo not shoot arrows directly up into the air\nDon’t drink alcohol when hunting\nKeep a first aid kit handy\n\nThink Safety Even After the Shot\nYou take the shot and it hits home, but that is not the end of the safety process: It’s essential that you remain safe as you’re approaching the target.\n\nDo not run to the target. You may fall and injure yourself in the excitement.\nIf the target ran, wait at least 30 minutes before chasing after it. Chasing it immediately will cause it to spook. A spooked animal will either run or turn on its attacker.\nGet help moving the target. A large male elk can be 700 pounds or more.