Really, really lucky


New member
I was nearly 20, and had been shooting for about two years. During the winter we used to shoot in the local school's gym, which was small so we put our boxes down the side wall. (This was a long time ago, and safety standards have risen since.)

You can probably see where this is leading; I got to the shooting line, realised I'd not got my finger tab, and went back to get it ? cutting the corner and walking across the front of a drawn bow.

Goodness knows how I survived. The poor woman holding the bow was inexperienced and a nervous character, but fortunately she didn't loose the string out of surprise. I was overweight and she was short, so there was a lot of body for the arrow to hit.

I'm glad to say that she didn't realise the enormity of what had almost happened and wasn't scared off this dangerous sport.


Well-known member
I'm very relieved your story had a happy ending :)

However, I must take issue with your calling it a "dangerous" sport. It isn't. Injuries do happen, but actual incidents of people being hit with arrows are extremely few and far between. I certainly feel far safer as an archer than I ever have when sitting on the back of a horse, for example. Now horse archery is another matter ;)

Seriously though, provided common sense is applied and the simple safety rules are followed, archery isn't dangerous.


New member
I phrased it badly, JohnK. I was pleased that she didn't decide it was dangerous and give up – she went on to become a very accomplished archery.

I think, if challenged, that I'd stand by the description of 'dangerous', though I'd accept 'potentially hazardous'. Bows were developed as killing machines, and it's only the rules and procedures that manage the risk. I've been reading on this forum of people shooting arrows through windows, closed doors and suchlike, and it's clear that even experienced archers are capable of fouling up big time. I don't ride horses, but I would imagine that the danger is mainly to yourself and the horse; if you get it wrong in archery it's other people who are at risk.

As small children we used to make bows out of bamboo canes and string, and at the age of 6 one boy in my class lost an eye when he was hit by an arrow hit from one.

Sorry to get heavy on an essentially light-hearted forum.
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Well-known member
No need to apologise :)

I think we will have to agree to disagree.

My definition of a dangerous sport is one during which serious injury can occur even when safety rules are followed. You can minimise risk (wearing a riding helmet, double checking your parachute, using the best ropes and harnesses available), but if an accident does happen the probability of severe injury or even death are high.

Making a bamboo bow and flinging arrows as a kid isn't partaking in the sport of archery, it's pratting around with a weapon, which is definitely dangerous (and yes, I did it when I was a kid). You can also be dangerous by flinging a cricket ball around a crowded playground, but that doesn't make cricket dangerous :)


New member
We could turn this thread into near misses:)

In my days as field captain, I was standing close to the line while archers were gathering arrows. I turned round to see how it was going and when I turned back I saw a fully loaded bow being aimed more or less straight at me by a novice archer. I said in as calm a voice as I could muster "Would you lower your bow please?"

Yes, I should have been on the line watching the archers, but I'll never know what possessed someone to raise a bow while arrows were being gathered. Maybe she just didn't like me;) You cant account for stupidity and from that point on I made sure that I never left the line, or if I did, I'd deputise someone to keep watch.

Rabid Hamster

Well-known member
many decades ago when I was a student a group of us were behind the equipment line examining the new club compound. another member of the club wandered over to see what we were poking at and on seeing the new bow exclaimed "AWESOME!"
At which point a slightly slow on the uptake noob on the line, who was at full draw turned around to see what was awesome ... still at full draw.
4 of us hit the floor instantly and we were saved from perforation by the club coach who virtually snapped the ali arrow in half as he snatched it off the bow before the string was released.
We all watched that noob after that


We'd been called to collect our arrows and all wandered down the field obediently, got half way to the target and heard the unmistakeable *thud* of arrow on boss as a newbie loosed an arrow at the 10yd target.

Goes without saying he was given a stern talking to especially as on the target next to him were some kids who, at the time of him shooting, were behind their target collecting some strays.

It's not surprising that the near misses are as clear in my mind as the great ends I've shot...probably as they're equally as rare.


New member
Near miss

Accidents can & do happen...I was on the shooting line at our indoor Sunday shoot some 15yrs ago. At full draw with my recurve, the archer to my right was also at full draw & let fly. Instead of hitting the target as one would expect, the arrow came off the string at a right-angle passing between the riser & string on my bow just missing my arm. We discovered that the arrow noc had one lug remaining. It was that little experience that taught me to examine all shot arrows at both ends before shooting them again.


Back in the early 90's I was shooting a league match against a compound archer - it was a handicap vegas round. The compound archer was a good'ish shot - I guess 560/570 standard but he wasn't shooting that well, and I was shooting OK - around the 550 mark.

Midway through the round, I was concious that he was getting frustrated / angry with himself (about to be beaten by a recurve archer!!). After his last shot, I heard a loud crash, looked around and assumed he must have thrown his release aid very hard into his tackle box which was about 5yds behind the shooting line against the back wall.

What had actually happened was his arrow (an all carbon shaft) had hit the back wall (concrete with steel beams) and bounced back, very luckily missing the people on the line and the people behind the line (it was a crowded space). Apart from a damaged pile, the arrow was intact.

This could have been really nasty. Most people were unaware it had even happened.


New member
Not archery but similar....

When I was a Territorial we were on the ranges at Sandhurst, doing live firing with the SA80 rifle. One of our number had his rifle jam. Whilst we were all taught how to clear a jam, he decided to turn around with his loaded rifle to inform the instructor his weapon was jammed, whilst pointing the rifle straight at the instructor.

Very calmly the instructor said "put your rifle on the floor and come here".

Let's just say a brief moment of physical violence ensued!! :fight: