Golden Rules...

The golden rules the safe and competent compound shooter understands and operates their equipment by are golden for a reason - they keep their equipment, the people around them and themselves safe. Golden rule number one is nobody touches your bow. It's a catch all rule - if nobody touches your bow, it's impossible for them to be unsafe with it. So Golden rule number one leaves the owner of the bow as the only operator left in the equation, and, as a good operator they embrace golden rule number two and three...

Golden rule number two is never draw your bow back with your fingers and never without an arrow nocked on the string. The modern compound bow is engineered and designed to be shot with a release aid. It's bit like the modern car - power steering and air conditioning are not options any more, they're factory fitted and we now think of them as just part of the car. The arrow on the string bit, it's about dry-firing your bow. And now to the nut of this article... if you have an arrow on your string you can't dry-fire your bow... but, saying that, there are a few ways you can dry-fire your bow and still be embracing the golden rules...

Drawing back, letting down, drawing back again... do it three times, and some nocks on some bow strings "saw" off the bowstring. They look like they are clipped on proper. But they might not be and if you shoot, the bowstring rips past the nock and their might be some repairs needed.

Distraction technique... the phone call, shooting with friends. There's any number of scenarios that can let interrupt your shot sequence and then you're open to drawing back, aiming like a champ and "bang" because you never put an arrow on the string. Yes, it happens!


Damaged nock... safe archers are always checking their arrows. But make sure you eyeball your nocks for cracks too. When you're a good shooter, you're always hitting your arrow nocks. A cracked nock can let go during the shot but clip on without you being none the wiser.

Oh yes, golden rule number three is finger behind the trigger at all times until you're about to aim.