Some ministries are finding that archery provides a strong opportunity for outreach. If your ministry or camp offers archery activities on your grounds, take special care to ensure the safety of participants and anyone on or near your property during the event. Whether you are setting up a temporary archery activity or a permanent installation, it is important to provide a safe, rewarding experience for both new and experienced archers.
Employ a licensed instructor. Make sure your shooting activities are run by a licensed instructor with experience and training specific to the equipment in use at your range.
Monitor your range’s perimeter. Enlist the help of adult volunteers or chaperones to watch the perimeter of your shooting range and make sure no one wanders into danger. This is particularly important in the case of temporary installations, as passersby may be less likely to recognize the area as dangerous.
Protect the safety of minors. Never allow minors to supervise shooting activities, and only allow them to participate in shooting activities in a carefully monitored setting. Keep target distance and difficulty age appropriate.
Require minimum safety gear. Shooters should use finger tabs and armguards or archery gloves for protection.
Consider permitting additional standard safety gear. You may also choose to require additional, standard, safety gear, such as a chest guard or eyewear.
With your range safely set up, you are ready to invite guests to come and enjoy. Proactively manage risks to maximize the safety and enjoyment of everyone who uses your archery range.
Your archery instructor should ensure that participants follow these and other safety guidelines to promote safety and avoid injury on the range during your event.
Archers should wear closed-toe footwear and tight-fitting clothing.
Archers should inspect bows and arrows for cracks and damage.
Prohibit shooters from pointing a drawn arrow upward at an angle above horizontal (called “sky drawing”). Arrows can travel hundreds of yards and hit unintended targets.
Remind participants to inform your range supervisor if they drop something in front of the firing line. The reflex to pick up a dropped item can be deadly, because archers often think a loaded bow held at a downward angle is pointed in a “safe” direction.
A shooter should never snap a bowstring without an arrow nocked (called “dry firing”). This can seriously damage a bow and potentially cause injury.
After firing, participants should approach targets slowly. Injuries can result if someone falls against arrows protruding from a target.
When removing arrows from a target, participants should stand to one side of the target, facing it. After making sure no is standing behind them, they should grasp the arrow shaft, twist, and pull back slowly.
When carrying arrows, archers should use both hands to hold arrows bundled in front of them. Instruct participants to cover their points with one hand and walk back to the firing line.
If you have an outdoor range, your instructor and volunteers should pay attention to weather conditions and respond appropriately to ensure safety. For instance, periodic breaks, shady rest areas, and water should be provided in the case of extreme heat.
At the end of your group’s session, store all bows, arrows, and other equipment in a secure, locked area. Perform a final canvas of your range area for misplaced arrows and other equipment. Finally, remove all warning signage and flags.
Follow these guidelines to improve safety at your archery range.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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