One of the biggest risks is being hit by a stray arrow.
Please never shoot when someone is close or near to the front of your bow.
Always draw the bow facing the arrow to the ground.
Never release an arrow if you don't anticipate where it's going to end up.
Always keep your finger of the trigger when using a release aid so that the arrow can't accidentally fly off.
Don't draw a bow if there is someone close to the dangerous side of your bow, that’s the sharp end.
Always adhere to the range rules, where ever you shooting.
Respect those around you and value life!
When gathering arrows after shooting, check:
The head is firmly attached to the shaft, still intact and safe.
The nock and fletches are intact and firmly attached.
The shaft shows no sign of cracking or splintering.
(This is hardest to spot near the nock.)
(You can check this by bending the arrow an inch or 2 and listen for crackling sounds, if you hear any the arrow has been damaged.)
The head is clean and dry (water lubricates the arrow to go deeper into the target butt).
Always check arrow before shooting again!
During shooting the arrow flexes while the bowstring exerts a large force on it.
If it breaks, the bow can push the back half of the arrow through your bow hand or send it flying at your friends.
Some arrows have wooden shafts and some are fibreglass and some are carbon fibre, which is tough but has a reputation for shattering into nasty splinters when it does break.
Wood tends to make sharp points when it breaks.
When an arrow is shot it bends ("archer's paradox").
It bends less with a lighter head, shorter shaft, stiffer shaft, or weaker bow.
With a traditional bow if the amount of flex is too much or too little, the back of the arrow will strike the bow on its way past, this can throw the arrow of target or damage your arrow and arrow rest.
Make sure you have the correct arrows for your bow.
Check bow limbs regularly for nicks, cracks and twisting.
Never "dry fire" a bow (drawing and releasing without an arrow on the string).
The danger of a dry fire is that all the energy you stored by drawing the bow does not go to accelerate the arrow, instead the energy stays in the bow limbs and the string, the string and limbs tries to dissipate the energy and sometimes the string or the limbs can snap.
This could happen by accident if the nock breaks when you shoot or if it falls off the string at the wrong moment.
Therefore it should be in good condition and should grip the string adequately.
The string thickness and arrow nocks should be matched so that the nocks can grip the string lightly without falling off.
Serving on the string helps here, and also helps the string to slip off your fingers or thumb when you shoot.
Serving is a wrapping of fine thread around the few inches of bowstring near the middle, where you hold it. Also, for consistency and to stop the arrow sliding up or down the string by accident, most people like to have a nocking point on the string over the serving: one under (or over) the arrow and perhaps another above (or below) it.
You can use a brass ferrule for this purpose.
You should adjust the height of this to suit your bow and arrows before fixing it in position: set it so that the arrow flies straight rather than purposing up or down.
If it is slightly above the place on your bow hand where the arrow rests, the fletching should not hit you as they go by.
Check bow strings for cuts and general fraying.
To help the string last longer rub it with string wax from time to time.
The moment of greatest force on the string is just after the arrow has left, when the bow limbs are still moving and the string has to stop them.
Poor technique can cause the string to hit your arm when shooting, so you might want a wrist protector to protect the inside of the forearm of your bow hand from the bow string.
If you draw with your fingers ("Mediterranean" style), you can protect them from the bow string with a tab or a three-fingered shooting glove.
If you shoot using an aid (trigger) make sure your D-loop position is correct and make sure it is secure, checking often for damage.
When setting the draw weight on your bow always make a mark on the adjusting bolt and your limb.
Turn the bolt in fully and mark top and bottom bolt, the count as you turn the bolt out to ensure both limbs are set at the same distance from the riser.
If not correct this can affect your accuracy, almost same effect as cam timing being out.
Do not turn out the bolts to far as this will cause serious injuries if limb bolts come out.Most bows you can turn out the limb bolts 7 complete turns but some bows can only be turned out 5-6 turns, ensure you use the right standard for your bow.
All the above are common items available from all archery suppliers.