How to Sight a Compound Bow

Do you want to be a good hunter? Then you must learn to sight in a bow. This is the only way you’ll be more accurate and be able to put down animals faster. If you have a license to shoot animals, it is only humane to kill them as fast as possible, not to cause them undue pain and anguish by inaccurate shooting.

If you have a new bow sight, it will take you between 30 to 60 minutes to sight it in. It all depends on your level of skill. It takes dedication and time to be adept with bows, and once you’re good at it, you’ll always be looking forward to your next hunting expedition. In this article, we discuss the basics of sighting compound bows. Read on.

Before you can sight in the bow, there are some items you’ll need. In this guide, we assume your bow is in tune already. The items you’ll need include:

  • A set of Allen wrench
  • A target or shooting block
  • Arrows
  • Mechanical release (this is optional)

A mechanical release gives the shooter more control and consistency in releasing the bowstring. With the above items in place, follow the below steps to sight in your bow.

Step 1: Check the Equipment

Before shooting, you must make sure your equipment is in good condition. If there are any loose parts, you may not shoot accurately or consistently. Consistency means all your shots are done similarly. If your rest or sights are loose, the shots will never be consistent, and you’ll have a hard time hitting the target.

To check for loose parts gently wiggle the sights and the rest. Also, check whether the bowstring, the arrow, and the sights are aligned. If you notice any looseness, use your Allen wrench set to tighten the screws.

Your arrows also need to be perfect. Check them for any damage before you use them. The fletching should not have any cuts or nicks, and the practice point should snuggly sit into the arrow’s front.

Remember that even small discrepancies will affect the trajectory of your arrows. You may not notice the discrepancies when shooting at short range, but when shooting at a longer range, the discrepancies will be more pronounced.

Step 2: Your Stance

When considering your stance, consistency again plays an important role. You should have the same stance for all shots. How do you achieve this? You must ensure you stand up straight with your body perpendicular to your feet. The bow should be held by the wrist and the string should be pulled back to the same extent (anchor point) in all shots.

Having a good stance requires some practice. If you are an expert shooter, a good stance will come naturally. When your anchor point is consistent, you’ll be looking through the sights consistently in every shot, and this will improve your accuracy. Anchor points vary from person to person, so you need not strain yourself to achieve an anchor point that doesn’t fit your stature.

Step 3: Sighting In

The best point to stand is 20 Yards away from the target. Before you start shooting, make sure the environment is safe with no people moving around. Always know what is behind your target to prevent injuries.

The pins are designed for different yardage. For example, a three-pin set up is for between 20-30-40 yards. If you are satisfied with your preparation, you can start shooting.

Move all the pins down to remain with only the twenty-yard pin. When you feel it is safe, shoot the target and observe how the arrow moves.

Step 4: Adjust the Sights

You don’t need to worry if you cannot hit the target at first. You may need to practice before adjusting the sights. But before anything else, ensure your arrow groups are closer to the target. Once you get the arrows moving consistently and the arrow groups getting closer, you can adjust the sights.

Note that whichever direction you move the sight; it will have the opposite effect on the target. For example, when you move the sight upward, you'll shoot lower. When you move it downward, you’ll shoot higher. When you move the sight to the right, the arrow will shoot more to the left. Likewise, by moving the sight to the left, the arrow will be pushed to the right.

So, depending on how your arrows moved, make adjustments and start shooting again. Continue shooting until the twenty-yard pins get dialed in.

Continue Sighting

Once the twenty-yard pin gets dialed, there will be no need to adjust the whole sight. Do some right and left adjustments. The other adjustments you can do is to move the pins down (or up) until you get the sight zeroed at thirty yards.

Sighting in at 30 yards

Use your wrench to move the thirty-yard pin upward until it is closer to the top pin. Once done, shoot at thirty yards. The points you’ve hit on the target should help you adjust your sight. Get the pin into place by adjusting it slightly.

Sighting in at 40 yards

Move back to the forty yards position. Again shoot arrows, keeping your eye on the third (forty-yard) pin. When making adjustments now, don’t interfere with the whole sight box, just adjust the pin only. You should strive to make the forty-yard arrow go when the pin points.

When you’ve got a good sighting, move again to the 20 and 30-yard positions to confirm your settings. Make any necessary adjustments until you are 100% sure your bow is perfectly sighted.

Continue Practicing

Before setting out to go hunting, you need to practice as much as you can. you want to make sure that when you are out there hunting, your expedition will not end up in disappointments and regrets.

Final Words

As you practice, your groups will get closer and closer. This is also a sign that you are getting more consistent. To improve your accuracy, you can pick small dots and try to hit them. Also, try working on moving targets.Don’t forget to check out our latest review on top recurve bow for deer hunting.

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Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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