When do bow sights work best? (And why you need one)

When do bow sights work best

Bow hunting is something to be considered as an exquisite art. The combined skills of precision and accuracy are what you need in order to be a good bow hunter. And sometimes, experienced bow hunters employ the help of a bow sight to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of their shot. However, bow sights aren’t recommended at all instances of bow hunting, so how do you know when do bow sights work best?

In this article, we’ll be answering that question and some more important ones that you may need to know before taking a bow sight on your next hunting trip.

Bow sight

Bow sight – Photo credit: www.hobbyjump.com

What is a bow sight?

First and foremost, what is a bow sight and what is its function? Simply, a bow sight is an accessory for archers that will help them decrease the error in their shot, contributing to the accuracy and precision of their arrows. It works just like a rifle sight, but has a few slight differences.

Bow sights can come in two types;

  • Fixed pin bow sights
  • Single pin movable slider

Fixed pin bow sights consist of a stack of pins with fixed distances ranging from 20-60 yards. Most bow hunters prefer this type of bow sight because it doesn’t require adjusting during the hunt. However, fixed pin bow sights are not perfect, as they can create blind spots due to multiple pins.

bow sight pin front

bow sight pin front – Photo credit: totalcompoundbows.com

On the other hand, a single pin movable slider bow sight has, from the name itself, an adjustable single pin that you adjust according to the estimated distance of your target. Hunters who prefer this type of bow sight use it in order to increase accuracy due to less clutter in the sight, unlike multiple pin bow sights.

single pin movable slider

single pin movable slider

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When do bow sights work best?

The answer is pretty simple, although subjective. But for most hunters, bow sights work best when you are in a situation wherein you can estimate the approximate distance from your spot and your target. For instance, bow sights work best when sitting in tree stands or blind spot. In these situations, the hunter can estimate the distance between the game and himself.

This is because bow sights are designed to increase the accuracy of your shot relative to distance, so knowing the distance of your intended target as accuracy as possible is vital for success.

Instinctive aiming

Instinctive aiming refers to targeting your prey with both eyes open and all your focus on that target. As it sounds, it’s pretty difficult for most inexperienced bow hunters, because aiming without a sight can be complicated and the perfect bulls-eye is extremely difficult to achieve.

However, instinctive aiming is a very helpful practice tool when training on estimating the distance between you and your target. Without a guide or bow sight, you can get the hang of aiming your bow according to the distance of the target, which will come in handy when you are going to use bow sights later on.

In conclusion, when you have instinctive aiming down pat, you have the ability to accurately determine the distance of your target when using a bow sight, and thus increase the accuracy of your shot. However, it will require a lot of practice and a lot of patience when it comes to instinctive aiming.

Do you need a bow sight?

For beginner bow hunters, I generally recommend practicing without a bow sight (instinctive aiming) so you can grasp the skill of assessing distances. Bow sights can only come in handy when you accurately determine the distance between you and your game. When you can shoot a respectable bulls-eye on an unmoving target without a bow sight, then you can take it to the next level and use a sight on your next hunting trip.

On the other hand, for experienced bow hunters, a bow sight will increase the accuracy further given that you know the distance. You don’t necessarily need a bow sight, but it will come in very useful when hunting at fixed points such as tree stands or blind spots.

 bow sight full

Photo credit: bowhunting.com


When do bow sights work best?

Bow sights work best when the hunter is capable of assessing the distance between him and his target accurately. Moreover, a bow sight is especially useful when you’re hunting in a situation that allows you to assess the approximate distance between you and your target.

Thus, a bow sight can be very useful when hunting, say, big game like elk and deer. However, it requires a lot of practice in order to use a bow sight perfectly as it is when it comes to instinctive aiming. So don’t think that a bow sight is a shortcut; it’s more of a helpful accessory.

That’s all for this article and I hope your questions have been answered. If you liked this bit, don’t forget to leave a comment and share this with your friends.

Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

Last update on 2021-04-10 at 11:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

By Joseph Gleason

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

1 comment

  1. I think if most bow hunters would accept that bow hunting is a relatively short distance hunting instrument most guys would be better off. utilizing a multi pin of 2 or 3 pins only set at 20, 30 & or 40 is probably long enough shots on game for most hunters. if you get that occasional 45 yrd. clear, broad side non moving animal… hold slightly high. my opinion is past 45 yard. shouldn’t be taken by must hunters. I think hunters get into trouble with multi pins when they have 4, 5 or 6 pins to look at. I hate the extra movement required with a single movable pin. To qualify this…My hunts are in timber on white tail. not in wide open space. and not often over food plots. deer are typically walking, need to be stopped. then shot. The amount of time between stopping the deer, acquiring pin for shot and shooting is minimal.

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