When Do Bowsights Work Best?
Bow hunting is a whole different animal from other forms of the sport. I was attracted to it immediately, the second I held my dad’s bow in my hands for the first time. It’s so real – I’ve always felt a deeper connection to the land when I’m not hunting with an expensive rifle. The problem is, it can be hard to aim accurately with a bow in certain situations. The scope on a gun has all but eliminated sight problems, and bow sights aim to do that with bows. But when do bow sights work best?
1. When you’re not on level ground.
This is when I’ve found bow sights to work the best. They give you the ability to line up the appropriate sight pin on your target. As opposed to a bullet, which enters the body having the same impact as the bullet is rounded, bows are pointed. For maximum impact, you want the arrow to be as close to level and straight up-and-down as you can. When on slanted earth, this can be very tricky. Use a bow sight to:
- Know the approximate degree/angle that you’re shooting from, so that you can correct as necessary.
- See whether your target is on any type of slope. Also, whether or not the target is moving in a tilted manner or otherwise performing an action that might throw off the equilibrium of your shot.
- Go even further by precisely aiming for the right spot on the target, despite any slope in your position or the target’s position.
- These factors can eliminate the need for you to reposition yourself, which is particularly useful if you are in an area very dense with plants or other rustling, loud objects such as fallen leaves.
2. Ensuring that your bow is held in the right place.
When do bow sights work best for actual handling of your bow? Pretty much all the time, because they allow you to know immediately if you’re at an odd angle with the target. If you are shooting over multiple ridge lines, downslope, or upslope, bow sights work to better your odds of properly handling your bow for the situation.
- Even for beginning hunters, bow sights help with handling because they make it very obvious if you aren’t holding your bow the right way.
- Bow sights help the shooter identify and utilize the correct anchor point.
- They help immensely with aiming, as well as steadying the bow for an accurate shot.
- They make it obvious if you are shaking or jolting the bow around to the point where your shot will be directly impacted. Here is a video on a 3-pin hunting bow sight.:
3. When you have the perfect fit for your hunting style.
Do you prefer a fixed pin bow sight or a single pin moveable slider? After trying out the two and identifying your favorite, you will be a lot more comfortable using your bow out in the field that you were without a bow. Personally, I’m all for the fixed pin, because I’m used to its aiming and positioning now so I can properly place myself for each shot. I use the second and third pins most of the time. Here are some situations where one is better than the other, however:
- Single pin is better when you aren’t quite as sure about your distance from the target. You can adjust it a little higher if the target is further away than originally thought.
- Fixed pin is much better for short-distance shooting. After some practice, you’ll know almost instantly which pin to use based on how far away the target is. This article explains some times when you should and shouldn’t use a bow sight.
- Both can be useful when shooting over uneven terrain. Take an extra moment (if you can) to get the perfect placement on the pin so that you’re not focusing on anything on the ground.
4. When you have an estimated distance between yourself and the target.
Speaking of short and long-distance shooting, when do bow sights work best all of the time? When you’re confident about how far away the beast is from you. Bow sights are impeccable for aiming help when you’re in a blind spot and have been tracking the animal for a bit.
They are also great if you’re in other hidden areas, such as up in a tree or shooting from a risen platform. The entire point of a bow sight is to increase your accuracy on a calculated distance, so the more familiar you are with your shooting location, the more you’ll be able to lean on your bow sight for that perfect shot.
- When starting out with bow hunting, do some practice without a bow sight until you have some basic skill at gauging distance. Then try using a bow sight and see how much easier it makes everything.
- For blind spots, I always recommend using a bow sight. Particularly when large branches, water, or other hazards are between you and the target.
- When hunting big game like deer and elk, bow sights are incredible because they help you zero in on the specific part of the animal that you’re intending to hit.
- On the other hand, with smaller game, bow sights aren’t as necessary unless you’re needing assistance getting the shot line up.
The basic gist of when do bow sights work best is basically a combination of the distance and the difficulty of the shot. If you know how far away the animal is, use a bow sight! If you aren’t sure or are still trying to get a hold on distance acquisition, try some shooting without one. I’d urge you to always have bow sight skills in your bag of tricks, in case the opportunity calls. Better to be safe than sorry!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and know when to use a bow sight. Please feel free to leave a comment and chime in on the discussion, and as always, give this article a share on social media so as to increase hunter awareness- always a good thing.
Featured Image by Wisconsin