Hunting Sights

WHAT IS A BOW SIGHT? The sight on a bow serves the same function as the sight on a gun. It tells you where the arrow is pointed. Those tiny little dots in the center of the round sight housing (called “pins”) are the aiming points – much like the front sight bead on a gun. Simple. But since arrows don’t fly as fast as bullets, the comparison really ends there. Since an arrow flies along at just 300 fps (compared to 2,500+ fps for a run-of-the-mill .308 bullet), judging for distance is critical. The slower flight of the arrow means it flies in a more exaggerated parabolic arc (compared to a bullet anyway). If you’re used to shooting guns, you know a small +/- 20 yard change in distance has little effect on the accuracy of the bullet, but a +/- 20 yard change would dramatically affect an arrow’s point of impact. An arrow ranged for a 30 yard target might entirely miss a 50 yard target. So bow sights usually have multiple pins (or a sliding adjustable pin). Each pin (or pin setting) represents a known yardage. For example, many archers setup their sight pins for 10 yard increments. A typical 4-pin layout is 20, 30, 40, 50, but the pins can be set for any distance you like (within the limits of the bow and your skill of course). The top pin is for the closest distance, the bottom pin for the furthest. It’s up to the shooter to “set” those pins via trial-and-error testing. If you’ve never “set the pins” on a bow sight, it’s actually rather enjoyable, though it can be time consuming. You shoot – you adjust – you shoot again – you adjust again – until each pin is oriented in such a way to point your arrow in the right direction, and compensate for the distances you like. When you go hunting, all you have to do is decide which pin you want to use, based on the estimated distance of your intended target. Big fun!