With bowhunting season around the corner, all your gears, including bows, arrows, and bow sights, should be in form. While you may have a baseline knowledge of bows and arrows, sights may be tricky. Though it involves technicality, a bow sight may help improve the accuracy of your bow a lot. The main reason why many experienced archers use them is that they eliminate shooting mistakes and help hit the target. In addition, they are often compared to gun sights due to their similar shape.

Though bowhunting is undoubtedly an exquisite art that you can master only through practice using the right gears greatly adds to the precision. However, veteran hunters and archers often stress using the right equipment at the right time. Surely bow sights increase accuracy, but you may not need them every time you shoot. Therefore, it is important to know when you need a bow sight and when it works best.

What Are The Different Types Of Bow Sights?

type of bow sights

A bow sight is an accessory element that most archers attach to the riser or bowstring to provide constant aiming aid. The best thing about a bow sight is that it allows an archer a consistent shooting rhythm. There are different bow sights based on the kind of bow, complexity, pin set, etc.

A typical bow sight may consist of pins, an aiming reticle, or crosshairs. They are mostly ring-shaped to fit on the riser or bowstring rightly. The aiming reticle or crosshairs help in determining the distance. Many sights also allow adjustments for different shooting distances. The process is termed sighting in and involves levelling your arrows with the sight for accurate aims.

Based on complexity, there can be simple or complex sights. The simple bow sights are also known as the single pin bow sights. As the name implies, these are the simplest bow sights and use only a single pin for adjustments. Archers who shoot from a specified average distance of 20 yards use single-pin bow sights to achieve greater accuracy.

The complex bow sight or the multiple pin bow sight has a multiple-pin setup for adjustments. It involves around 3 to 5 pins to make adjustments for variable distances. Most archers that go to shooting competitions use multiple pin sights. Sighting in complex bow sight is more complicated than a single pin bow. However, it is more convenient since the archer does not have to adjust every time the target changes its position.

When Do You Need A Bow Sight?

bow sight compound bow

Even experienced archers don’t know when not to use a bow sight. When going on a competition or hunting, taking bow sights can significantly level up your game. However, it might not be a good idea to take a bow with an affixed bow sight as a beginner because it takes a great deal of practice to understand how bow sights work. In addition to that, if you are not consistent in your style, bow sights may be useless. So, make sure that a stable, compatible shooting configuration boosts accuracy. As a beginner, you should strengthen your archery shooting muscles to get a firm hold of the bow and start using sights. Otherwise, the bow sigh will dis-balance the bow stealing you off your accuracy. Toppling is the setting and fine-tuning, which makes using sights even more complex. Unfortunately, beginners might need to practice to use the sights fully.

On the contrary, knowing when your gear works best as an archer is critical. The same goes for the bow sights.

When Do Bow Sights Work Best?

When looking for a firm foundation for the proper handling of your bows, bow sights may be ideal. But when do they work best? Here are the perfect conditions where sights work best.

When Arrows Are Kept Straight Up And Close to The Level Position

Bow sights work best when the arrows are kept straight-up low and as close to the level of your target as possible. This produces just the optimum impact and the most effective shooting strength. In addition, the sights in such cases allow you to locate any awkward angle with the target almost immediately.

They will also help you identify the correct anchor point for taking the proper aims. Surprisingly when the arrows are kept low, bow sights may also help you understand if you are holding the bow right or not.

When Your Bow Is Held In The Right Place

Well, this is crystal clear for your bow sight to work best; your bow holding ability should be on point. How effectively you can use the sight directly depends on how accurately it is positioned along with your bow. This brings us to our previous point that beginners might not be able to use sights correctly, as they may first need to practice how to hold the bow. Fortunately, sights may help you inaccurately identify the odds of holding the bow.

When you align the bow with the target, they almost immediately help you identify any odd angle, and you can correct your bow position easily.

When You Have The Perfect Fit Of The Bow Sight

After taking into account the bow positions, the next is the bow sight itself. The chances that your bow sight will work just fine largely depend on the sight you choose. When buying, don’t forget to judge whether it fits accurately with my bow, whether it goes along with my shooting style, or whether it makes it difficult to hold the bow or the opposite.

These simple questions will surely help you choose the right sight and increase the odds of your bow sight working best. To succeed in your purchase, it is always better to try all your options. Even the finest long-range bow sight is useless if it does not go along with your bow.

When You Can Estimate The Distance Between Yourself And The Target

How do you know you are trained enough to use a bow sight? It is when you can accurately estimate the distance between you and your target. The ability to rightly calculate the distance makes bow sight even more effective. Whether you are shooting short distances or long, this is a remarkable skill to learn. This will help you in the selection of an ideal sight. This surely comes with practice, and once you have trained yourself in estimation, you can use bow sights to their full potential.

When There Is a Need To Increase Shooting Accuracy

Who does not want to increase shooting accuracy? Of course, every archer practices to take the right aims in a single go. But you may need to be more accurate in some conditions than others in your archery experience. For example, when going on hunting birds or in an archery competition. Bow sights work best in these instances than in ordinary shooting conditions. In addition to that, when you are missing a lot of shots consistently, you may need adjustable bow sights for greater precision. The best part about these sights is that they don’t dent your budget. For instance, even low-cost long-range recurve sights work ideal.

Bow Sight May Not Be The Right Option In Every situation!

As an archer, you need to understand that it may not be appropriate to use bow sights every time you are shooting. Beginners should first learn to handle bows and arrows and then go to other accessories such as bow sights. If you don’t know how to hit consistently, nothing other than practice can suddenly help.

If you cannot hold the bow and are missing shots due to an injury or a weak muscle, it can be tempting to buy a bow sight, thinking it would help. But again, sights do not work well when your shooting stance is not stable.


Bow sights can be a great gear, significantly to increase accuracy, but you may first need to be consistent in shooting and find a strong anchor point. A good bow sight does not necessarily have to be expensive, and thus your judgement plays a crucial role in shopping for it. It is always best to try one or two sights alongside your bow before buying one.


Do You Need To Use Bow Sights Every Time You Shoot?

No, bow sights work best when the archer is consistent in shooting and has a firm anchor point. Therefore, sights are recommended for experienced archers and not for beginners.

Do Bow Sights Work Best For Long-Range Shooting or Short-Range?

Most archers prefer sights for long-range shooting. An important thing about using sights is the proper distance estimation.