Retrieving Arrows from the Target – Safety & Technique

Retrieving Arrows from the Target

Retrieving Arrows from the Target – Safety & Technique

Men, women, young, and old all enjoy archery, whether it’s done for fun or work. Even though archers are a diverse group, we all follow the same basic safety rules.

These rules keep us and those around us safe from harm and injuries.

On the archery range, you must ask about the safety rules and regulations.

Safely retrieving arrows from the target is one of the first guidelines you should pay attention to.

Let’s learn all about the best safety and techniques when retrieving your arrows to ensure that you and your fellow archers are safe.

The Best Techniques for Retrieving Your Arrows from the Target

The first thing you should do is to wait until the command has been given for all archers to stop shooting. The command can be either ‘Bows Down’ or ‘All Clear’.

You can only retrieve your arrows when the range officer gives the command ‘Retrieve your arrows’. Then, one by one, each archer goes to pull out the arrows from the target.

The rest of the archers must remain 6 feet (1.82 m) from the target at the target waiting line. This waiting line is at least 16 feet (5 m) behind the shooting line.

When you’re at the target getting your arrow, place one hand on the target. The best place to put your hand is above the arrow itself. The other hand should be wrapped around the arrow.

Once you’ve gotten your arrows, place them in your quiver until you’ve returned. Keep them safely stored in the quiver until it’s time to shoot.

If you don’t have your quiver on hand, hold the arrows in your hand like a bouquet as you return to the shooting line.

Retrieving Arrows from the Target

Safety Factors to Watch Out For When Retrieving Arrows From The Target

Here are a few things you should pay attention to while you’re out on the range.

Crossing the Shooting Line

Avoid crossing the shooting line when the range officer hasn’t given the appropriate command.

Even if you drop an arrow in front of the shooting line, leave it on the ground until you hear the command that it’s safe to retrieve your arrows.

Nock Your Arrow

Never nock your arrow while someone is still over the shooting line. Wait until everyone has returned over the shooting line and you hear the command to begin shooting.

The ‘Hold’ Command

If you hear the command ‘Hold’, that means you should stop shooting at once. Even if you’ve nocked your arrow and your bow is drawn, you must stop at once.

The only way you can be sure it’s safe to shoot once again is to wait for the range officer’s command to start shooting.

Watch Your Eyes

When you’re pulling the arrow out of the target, watch your eyes. It’s easy to lean in to retrieve one arrow and put your face into the nock of another arrow! Be careful of your eyes.

Pull the arrow as close to the entry point as you can.

If you pull the arrow from the spine, you risk damaging the arrow.

Grip the arrow shaft as close to the tip/point/head as you can, and twist gently as you pull the arrow out of the target.

This will ensure a smooth transition from the target and reduce the risk of damage or injury.

Archery Range Whistle Commands

Some archery ranges use whistle commands instead of the range officer calling out. It’s a great way to make sure every archer hears the officer’s commands and acts accordingly.

  • One whistle blast: ‘Begin shooting’
  • Two blasts: ‘Archers head to the shooting line’
  • Three blasts: ‘Walk forward and retrieve your arrows’
  • Four (or more blasts): ‘Stop shooting immediately and return your arrows to your quiver’


Archery is a great sport. It’s enjoyed by millions of people of all ages. This is one reason why it has lived on for such a long time.

Now that you know all the safety rules concerning range etiquette, it’s time to go out and enjoy yourself on the archery range.

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