Bow hunting is an art. It takes time and patience to perfect, and when you do it’s a beautiful thing. When you pick up a compound bow for the first time, you instinctively aim it. Using a bow is very intuitive, but it doesn’t make you accurate. Through modernization, bows have become much more accurate thanks to the addition of accessories.

With the addition of bow sights, archers can be precise when aiming. But, do you always need a sight on your bow? The answer to that question depends largely on the archer, what you plan to do with the bow and more. To help you come up with the answer that best meets your needs, we’ve gathered information that helps you understand when bow sights work best.​

What’s a Bow Sight?​

To understand when a bow sight works best, you have to understand what a bow sight is and what its function is in the woods or at the range. In general terms, a bow sight is an accessory that archers use to decrease errors in their shot. It is very similar to a rifle sight with a few differences.

A bow sight is most useful when you needed to know how far away your target is. A sight allows you to measure the distance between a standing point and the game your hunting. You can use a sight from a blind or even while sitting in a tree stand. After you’ve used the sight to determine how far something is from you, you just set up your sight pin on the target and prepare to shoot.

Different Types of Bow Sights​

Making bow sights even more complicated is the fact that sights come in two types; fixed pin and single pin. A fixed pin bow sight is not adjustable. A single pin bow sight has a movable slider. With a fixed pin bow sight, you will get a stack of pins that range is a distance from 20 to 60 yards. Many bowhunters prefer a fixed pin bow sight because it doesn’t require any adjustment while hunting. However, a fixed bow sight has some disadvantages such as blind spots that are created because of multiple pins.

In comparison, a single pin movable slider is adjustable and lets you estimate distance to a target. Hunters using this type of sight to increase their intuitive accuracy prefer it because it reduces clutter in the sight.

How to Know If You Want a Bow Sight?​

compound bow sight

Another question to consider regarding bow sights is whether you even want to use one? Beyond that, you must determine if your bow will accommodate a sight. You also shouldn’t decide whether you need a bow sight until you’ve shot your bow for the first time.

It’s important not to buy a sight until you’ve shot your bow for the first time because you don’t know how accurate you are without it until you’ve tried. For example, you could be some sort of archer prodigy. If that’s the case, you don’t need a sight at all.

Next on the list is to determine whether your bow could accommodate a bow sight. How do you determine whether your bow will accommodate a sight? You have to think about what type of bow you are using. Are you using a compound bow, longbow, or recurve bow? If you’re using an older bow model, the new sights might not accommodate it. If you aren’t sure what type of sight is best, it’s important to visit an archer store for expert advice.​

Lastly, you have to think about how you plan to use your bow. Will you be shooting long distances? If you’re only planning on shooting close targets, there’s really no need for a bow sight. This is true because bow sights are most useful at long distances. If you’re aiming at targets within a 10-yard distance, you probably don’t need a bow sight.​

Bow Sights are Ideal for Hunting Situations

bow sight hunting

With the above information in mind, a bow sight is best for hunting situations. Specifically, a bow sight comes in handy when you can’t easily determine the distance between you and your target. Even if you use a bow sight, you need to train your mind to hone in on how to guess the ground space between you and your target. However, if you are just starting out with a bow in the woods, you may want to skip the sight for now.

Beginner Bow Hunters Should Skip the Sight at First​

When bow hunters first pick up a bow and start practicing, it’s best to skip the sight at first. Instead, newbie hunters should concentrate on instinctive aiming. Instinctive aiming allows hunters to shoot with both eyes open. Doing this allows them to gain better skills in estimating distances between themselves and game. As soon as a shooter can hit a bullseye on a target without a sight, they’re ready to put a sight on their bow to increase their accuracy.

Experienced Bow Hunters can Become Better Shooters with a Sight​

Experienced bowhunters may opt to use a sight right away. Sights can increase accuracy because hunters will know the distance between them and game. Experienced bowhunters don’t need a sight, but it will definitely come in handy, especially when hunting from blind spots or stands.

Bow Sights are Best for Veteran Hunters​

Almost every bow hunter that enters the woods has a sight on their bow. It doesn’t mean they always use it, but it’s there just in case. The bottom line is a hunter probably relies on their sight when setting their eye on any target between 20 and 100 yards away. The difference between aiming at a target 10 yards away and aiming at a target 50 yards away is really subtle. However, if you miss, you’ll be wishing you took advantage of the sight.

The Verdict

For the best results in the field, you should visit an archery shop. A professional archer will take into effect everything you do in the woods and recommend the best equipment for the bow hunting job. With a sight on the bow, you’ll be nearly unstoppable in the woods.​