Archery Tips

Archery is a stimulating activity for children. It is fun and brings loads of entertainment. It is also one that can teach them hand-eye coordination, patience and timing while building their confidence and skills. Fewer than one in every 1,000 people participating in archery suffers an injury, according to the National Safety Council. Compared to the number of injuries suffered in other sports, which are 10 to 25 per 1,000 participants, the archery number is very modest. The key to this commendable emphasis lies in safety. Teaching archery safety for kids as part of the rules of the sport leads to safe and effective archery practices.

Not unlike firearm safety, there are safety rules that really must be understood before children begin to use bows and arrows. Even the language should change. It’s a safe sport provided the participants are serious and take precautions. Some of the inherent dangers are associated with children learning to shoot a bow and arrow. That’s why as a parent, it is extremely important for you to know and understand the rules, so that you can properly educate your child.

Primary Rule
The first archery safety rule for kids is: Never point a bow at a person or other living thing. It tops the list because it is the most important. As with firearms, a shooter should always assume that the bow might accidentally shoot toward anything in its path. Teach children always to keep their bow and arrow pointed down range, toward the ground or toward an area in which there are no people or animals. No matter his experience, never leave a child unattended at the range or practicing at home. They may find it entertaining to shoot at areas other than the target or at a friend just for fun. This could lead to serious injury.

Choosing and Inspecting Equipment
The second step in archery safety is equipment safety. Before shooting, teach your child how to properly inspect and maintain his equipment, including the bow and arrows. Provide your child with an age-appropriate bow that is recommended for his height and weight. They should use equipment that fits them. Use proper safety gear, including an arm guard, finger tab or glove, and a quiver. These should be sized properly. Make sure the archer’s bow is the right size and weight. The bow should be close to the height of the archer, and of a weight that can be comfortably drawn; if the archer can’t hold the bow at full draw for 30 seconds, the bow’s draw weight is too heavy. Drawing a bow that is too heavy can result in injuries and can interfere with safe aiming, resulting in wild shots. Inspect the string and replace it if worn or fraying.

Also, inspect the arrows to ensure they’re not damaged and are the correct size for your child’s bow. Ideally, the arrow’s point should sit 1 inch beyond the bow when it’s drawn. If the arrows are too short, they can fall off the arrow rest and strike the hand. Improper arrow length will lead to difficulty with shooting and accuracy. Make sure the point is not loose, and look for cracks, dents or damage to the nock and shaft. Loose or missing fletches will affect the arrow’s flight, but they are not a safety risk. Never try to shoot an arrow with a damaged nock.


Shoot Safely

Always fire at a safe target. A safe target is one that will stop the arrows without letting them pass through or ricochet. Always make sure that the area behind the target is safe; do not shoot if

there is a danger of hitting something beyond the target in case of a missed shot. Teach kids that it’s never okay to fire an arrow straight up into the air.. Never draw and release a bow without an arrow. This can cause serious damage to the bow and possible injury to the archer. Place the target at a realistic distance for your child. Placing it too far away could cause the arrow to become lost or damaged if it hits the ground.

Releasing a Bow
In the event that something should interfere with shooting or present an unsafe shot, children need to know how to release a drawn bow. Teach children to release a fully drawn arrow by first lowering their bows until the arrow’s point faces the ground about 3 to 5 feet in front of them. Next, the children should let the bowstring down slowly until it is back to its resting position. They should remove their arrows from the bowstring until the person, animal or obstruction is cleared and they have been given the signal to begin shooting again.

Retrieving Arrows
A significant percentage of the injuries that do occur, happen at the target while retrieving arrows. Teach children to take turns withdrawing their arrows from the targets and to check to ensure that no one is close enough to get poked if an arrow is pulled out too quickly. Also, teach kids to carry their arrows pointed toward the ground and to never run with arrows in hand. Finally, when your child is retrieving an arrow from the target, instruct him to always look and walk, never run, especially if the arrow fell short of the target. Stepping on an arrow jutting from the ground will not only break it, it can also injure your child.


For more information, contact your local archery range or club, outdoor store, or local chapter of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).


Badges & Bulls Eyes is a program designed to teach kids archery. This program gets kids active in a fun and unique manner. Archery teaches kids discipline, safety, and patience all while having fun and interacting with cops.

Kids on Target 3 for 3 (Archery Program) is a weekly event for Young adults between the ages of 12 and 17. This program is from Whitetails Unlimited and sponsored by Midway USA. Kids will receive Awards for their accomplishments. Safety is the key to all our events.