(Courtesy Portage Co.)

Be safe during archery, crossbow season

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds deer hunters that their first opportunity to pursue deer this fall is coming up with the opening of the archery and crossbow deer season on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The archery and crossbow season runs through Jan. 8, 2023.

The DNR reminds all outdoor enthusiasts that safety is part of the fun, and urges hunters to review these four rules of safety (TAB-K) before enjoying the season:

Treat every bow/crossbow as if it were loaded.
Always point the bow/crossbow in a safe direction.
Be certain of your target as well as what is before and beyond it.
Keep your finger outside the crossbow trigger guard or archery release until ready to shoot.

When heading out to hunt during the archery or crossbow seasons, remember these additional safety tips:

  • Crossbows have a safety. Immediately after cocking, always check to make sure that your bow is on safe.
  • Always use bolts/arrows recommended by the manufacturer and handle carefully.
  • Protect yourself and the arrow points with a covered arrow quiver.
  • The safest way to carry, transport, and raise or lower a crossbow from a stand is always to have the crossbow un-cocked.
  • The safest way to un-cock a crossbow is to fire a bolt into a safe target.
  • Make sure that the limb tips are free of obstructions and that your fingers, hand or arm are not in the string path at any time while the crossbow is cocked.
  • Never fire the bow or crossbow without firing an arrow or bolt from it (known as “dry firing”).
  • Know your range for accuracy.
  • Tree stand safety is also a key consideration throughout all the deer hunting seasons. Tree stand incidents are a leading cause of injury to hunters. Always wear a safety harness, use three points of contact when going into or out of the stand and use a haul line to bring the unloaded bow or crossbow into the stand. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

For more information regarding tree stand safety, visit the DNR webpage.

For more information on the upcoming deer season, please read the Fall 2022-Spring 2023 Combined Hunting Regulations.