When Should You Carry Arrows In The Nocked Position

The question: “When should you carry arrows in the nocked position?” has a general answer. Carry your arrows in the nocked position when it’s safe. 

Similar to bullets, arrows can be devastating. Undeniably, it’s deadly. For a responsible hunter’s hand, the bow & arrow can be exciting and fun. However, for careless ones, it means accidents. 

So, this time, I’ll tell you some points to remember for your safety.

Bowhunter in nature

Components of Arrow

Let me first discuss the features of an arrow as these terms are some of the concepts you’ll encounter as you continue to read through.

Nock: The nock is the slotted top at the back end of the arrow to grip the arrow.

Shaft: The long stick of the arrow is the shaft. It is usually made of fiberglass, wood, or aluminum. It needs to be solid to match the bow.

Arrowhead: The arrowhead is a sharpened tip added at the front end of the arrow. Arrowhead ranges from bullet point, blunt point, broad head, fish point, and more.

Fletch: Fletch is a combination of three feathers that are positioned before the nock that gives balance during the journey. 

Safety Considerations

There are some considerations to take when carrying an arrow in a nocked position. Note that walking with a nocked arrow is always riskier than keeping the shaft in your quiver.


One of the vital things to consider while you have your arrow in a nocked position is the point of the arrow that you are carrying. The blunt, bullet and the field points are not always risky but still can cause injury.

Now, walking with a broadhead on your bow means that you’re looking for trouble. This type of arrow is used to kill similar sizes or larger than humans and can inflict serious injury. Thus, I do not recommend moving with this broadhead arrow.


The terrain where you are is a huge factor why should you or not be hunting with an arrow nocked. In an open flat field, it’s generally safe. Therefore, you need to positively quiver the arrow if you are on a steep slope.

Aside from this, the flora that you are moving through is a factor. The arrows can snag easily on a woody brush and poses a risk of the arrow getting back to you.

Hunting types

The types of hunting that you’ll do play a big factor in your decision. Whenever you are hunting on foot, basically, there are two different modes in which you’ll be in. Are you traveling or stalking?

Traveling is when you move at a brisk pace while stalking is at a slow pace. Now, if you are a slow stalker, having an arrow nocked can be a good idea.

On the other hand, hunting from the tree stand or blind is different. Here, since you’ll be stationary, you may keep your arrow nocked the whole time while waiting for the chance to get a shot. Although this is not risk-free, it’s different than when you are moving.

Hunter Skills

Assess yourself. Are you skilled enough to carry the arrows in a nocked position?

Are you naturally clumsy? If you are, you may want to nock an arrow during your final approach on the game. It means less chance of getting hurt or getting a shot.

If you are careful and sure-footed, you may be safe with an arrow knocked. Do not become overconfident because accidents may still happen at any time.

Reminders when Shooting an Arrow

The moment you carry your arrow for hunting in the nocked position, remember the following safety procedures:

Recognizing Precautions

One of the essential things to do is to acknowledge precautions. This way, you’ll be able to prevent having a severe injury; utilize a haul line to put up the bow; & quiver to a tree stand.

Approaching the target

Carefully and gradually approach your target. It should be the only time that you need to take your arrows in the nocked position.

Nocking the Arrows

In nocking the arrow, gauge where your target. Then, in a right position to it, stand up. Remember to do it while feet apart and shoulder width. See to it that you’ve got a vigorous posture and a comfortable feeling. Then, make a slight stance. Just slide your foot from the front a little to the back.

If you’re right-handed, nock the arrows and then elevate the bow. Undoubtedly, the cock feather will point on the left. At a time you’re nocking the arrow, position it at ¼ inch overhead the handle. Check the video for nocking the arrow.

You may also make it easier by locating the nocking point crimped on the bowstring to spot the correct nock position.

For a tip about nocking the arrow safe, check this video.

Releasing Arrows

Always release the arrow if the track is clear. So, while you are nocking an arrow, be sure that no one is standing in front of the shooting path.

Many archers are still occasionally tempted to shoot the target even the path has some obstruction because they look forward to making it. However, you won’t even know what can obstruct the path without checking it first.

You cannot be a 100% sure; you may accidentally hit your fellow hunter from the adjacent field. That’s why many professional archers advice the novice to abstain themselves from drawing his/her bow whenever an individual is in front of the target object.

On Shooting

Never send arrows outside the horizons or don’t shoot arrows for your pleasure.

You will never know you will hit something. So, make sure that there is something to halt your arrow if you miss the target.

Shooting outside the view may create a danger to other hunters. Besides that, there is a chance to hit a restricted area unintentionally, and even if it’s not intentional, it is an offense.

Remember that you are not shooting in a skyward position during hunting.

The falling trajectory of an arrow is tough to confirm. It gets enough pressure when it comes back. So, it may cause too much danger.

So, never shoot straight up.

Never shoot an arrow to other people.

I remember the golden rule in archery: “Don’t be too much confident of shooting arrows.” Never shoot the arrow in a broad way of a person because it can deflect without any expectations.

Certain factors may rebind an arrow. You cannot be sure whether it will land on the way you intended it or not. Say, the unseen tiny twig is good to veer the arrow.

My Final Thoughts

As a hunter, you should know when to carry an arrow that is in nocked position. However, depending on the equipment, terrain, situation, and own skills, it’s a matter of personal judgment and common sense.

When shooting an arrow: recognize precautions, approach the target, and nock the arrows, release, and shoot. Carry your arrow in a nocked position when it’s safe. Remember if you’re in doubt; leave your arrow in a quiver. Enjoy your trip and be safe.

How about you? When should you carry your arrow in a nocked position?

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Hi! I'm Demi and welcome to my blog. Here, I will share everything I know about enjoying and surviving the outdoors. Whether you love to go outdoors, you will find interesting and informational articles on this blog.

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