Whether you’ve just gotten a new bow or you’re pulling an old bow out of storage, the first step you’ll want to take before hunting is sighting in your bow. It’s a key part of bow hunting and bow maintenance that you won’t want to skip, as it will ensure the accuracy of your shots when you’re out in the field.
To sight in your bow, you’ll need to do some trial and error shots where you can make adjustments in between. Once you’ve attached the sight and it’s aligned with the nock of the arrow and bow string, you can fire some shots to see where things are at. To ensure your sight is sighted in for specific distances, take your first practice shots at 20 yards out from your target. This will hone in your shot even more so you know how to aim based on the distance between you and your target. Take note of where the arrow hits the target, if it’s going too high or low. From there, you can move the body of the sight up if your arrow is going too high, or down for if the arrow is hitting too low. You should be utilizing the same pin every shot to make consistent adjustments. Once the pin is accurately adjusted so you can aim and hit the target from 20 yards, you can move on to the next pin on the sight. Often, you won’t need any pins closer than 20 yards, and the following pins can increase by increments of 10 yards.
Repeat the process at 30 and 40 yards. Take a couple days to keep practicing with the sight, adjusting as needed. Your stance may vary from day to day, so it’s normal to have to go back and adjust pins that you’ve already adjusted previously. Remember, if you’re adjusting your shot at a specific distance, you only have to move the pin for that distance. So if you take a shot at 30 yards and need to adjust, only move that pin and not the 20 yard or 40 yard pin.
The final step is to decide which rear sight will work best for you. There are many to choose from, but considering the conditions you’ll be shooting in and the amount of practice you’ll be able to put into your shooting can help narrow down your choices. Peep sights are one of the most popular choices, and one of the easiest to work with because it functions very similarly to sights on other weaponry. Simply look through the loop on your bow string and aim using your sight. A kisser button is another good option, and may be helpful for those hunting in conditions that involve close-range shots and low visibility. This sight anchors at the shooter’s mouth or the corner of the mouth and allows a wider view, but it isn’t as accurate past 30 yards.
Once you’ve gone through the process of properly sighting in your bow, you’ll have a truly reliable shot when you get out in the field.