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What are the Best Bow Sights?

Bow sights are one of those things that you absolutely must have in order to be successful at long range wild game hunting. Sure, its cool to go to a range and try your luck on a target to see how accurate you are with the naked eye, but trying to do so when a trophy mount is 50 yards away isn't the same thing, and you will be kicking yourself if you attempt it and miss. Here is a brief overview on the types of bow sights, as well as some applications and features to look for.

Types of Bow Sights

Fixed-pin sight: A fixed pin sight is the most common type of bow sight, and the sight which I use for my own setups. It involves the use of about 3 to 5 individual pins, which are then set at distinct increments. The purpose of these pins is to identify to you the distance an animal is, and how much your arrow is likely to drop at a given distance, so you'll have to raise the sight and line it up correctly.

Almost all sights are adjustable, and most of us good hunters will set our pins at increments that are easy to remember, so like 5 yard increments, or 10 yard increments Sighting a fixed pin is also easy, you simply move the target 30 yards away and compensate for the difference in distance. The sight will do all of trajectory work for you.

Moveable-pin sight: Moveable pins are a little bit different, in that instead of having multiple pre-set pins, there is a single one which you maneuver on the bow to get right. The execution of this is usually very easy, and most quality bow sights have smooth gears that allow you to do this seamlessly. The major benefit is that if your target is 30 yards away, you can simply alight the pin 30 yards, or any other distance you deem necessary. However, having to manually adjust your bow while you are lining up for a shot can be a major issue if you have to think quickly, and there is no guarantee that your target will sit still for you either.

Pendulum sights: These models are a bit different, in that they compensate for elevation, and are appropriately called treestand sights as a result. However, there are major drawbacks in that an arrows relative trajectory when shooting at a downward angle has a lot to do with the speed at which the arrow is fired, and how high you are up in the tree.

Fixed-Plate Versus Dovetail Mount

This is simply the mounting system of your bow sight, and how it is attached to your bow. Dovetail mounts are not very common because they are a bit more complex than fixed plated mounts. Dovetails take some intricate mounting, and a separate plate is inserted into the bow, while fixed plated has two simple Allen Screw which tighten everything into place.

Compensating for in Between Targets

When it comes to game, its not all black and white. A target that is in between 20 and 30 yards isn't going to line up exactly how you want the pin to to see, so you will have to do some compensating in your own head and aim for in between. This might also require you to use a quality bow stabilizer in order to compensate for any additional vibrations on the bow, as any small bit of vibration would send your arrow too far off course.

Moving targets are especially difficult to adjust for, however, a common practice that I use is to give them a 10 yard cushion from the bow transfer speed to the target, that works pretty well unless your target is more than 50 yards away.

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