Archery may be a medieval weapon, but the best bow sights for hunting you can buy right now can boost your accuracy in the field.
Many hunters use a bow for hunting for the challenge of it. You may even pretend you’re in medieval ages and you’re hunting the way the knights of old did.
But do that with a simple bow and arrow set, and more often than not you’ll come home empty-handed. That won’t happen as often if you had the best bow sight for hunting and target.
You may want to pretend that you’re in the Middle Ages, but you shouldn’t forget that you live in the now. Modern hunting bow sights give you a fair chance of hitting your targets more accurately, while still keeping the whole thing challenging.
The Invention of the Archery sight
In the old days when using the compound bow was mainly for bow hunting and warfare, archers aimed mainly with hand and eye coordination. Basically, there was a lot of guesswork involved, which they minimized through experience. Many bow hunters and archers practiced their skills so that they would instinctive “know” where to aim when targeting a prey.
This was the case for hundreds of years, until the 20th century when archery was just for fun and competition. In 1937, bow sights were introduced at the NAA National Tournament in the US. Emil Pikula, the archer who used a bow sight, placed 2nd. No doubt the bow sight helped!
Modern bow sights (such as they were) started appearing in the 1970s and 1980s. Those bow sights weren’t really all that good, especially compared to the current models. Even the best of them just had a row or two of aiming number of sight pins (made from either stainless steel or brass) that you had to roughly easy to adjust by loosening a nut. These pins were fragile, and they didn’t last long because they didn’t have a protective guard.
The current bow sights today incorporate truly advanced features. These include features such as the round pin guard, round peep sight, tritium fiber optic pin that let your pins glow in the dark, a bubble level that keeps your compound bow and sight perfectly vertical pin, and micro-adjustments.
12 Best Hunting Bow Sight
To give you a clearer idea of how far bow sights have come since those old days, take a look at the best bow sights you can buy right now.
1. Garmin Xero A1i- Best Bow Sight for Mathews
Garmin isn’t usually considered one of the best bow sights brand, or at least not yet. Garmin is quite famous for its cutting-edge lock technology, offering advanced sports watches and activity trackers for athletes and gym rats.
If you like to use the latest tech to go with your exercise and sports regimen, you’re likely aware of this brand. So, it’s not surprising that we have Garmin brand represented here, since archery is a sport.
However, high tech here does come with a correspondingly high price. But if you can afford it, you’re in for a treat.
2. Trophy Ridge React Pro- Best Compound Bow Target Sight on the Market
When trophy ridge first came out a few years ago, many considered it as the compound bow sight to get when you want to go hunting. In fact, quite a few still maintain that this is still the best archery hunting sight. That’s because trophy ridge available at less than 1/3 the price of the new bow sight. At the same time, you get the 2 things you want in a hunting compound bow sight. It’s easy to use, and it sure is accurate.
3. HHA Optimizer Lite 3019 One Pin sight – Best Single Pin Bow Sight
The price for the HHA Optimizer Lite will range from just over a hundred bucks to more than twice that price. That’s because you have to pick the right bow sight configuration first, and different options will affect the price. However, if you go with the 3019 archery sight one pin model, you get the best single pin bow sight version. But it’s still quite good.
As to just how good this is, it’s an Optimizer Lite. Bow sights with that name has been around for more than 20 years now, and it’s still the most popular adjustable sight today. For 14 years straight, it’s also been bow hunting World’s best single pin sight. Some might regard this as their best budget bow sight, as the cost is quite reasonable.
4. Spot Hogg Grinder- Best Compound Bowsight for the Money
This brand offers a lot of best bow sights, and quite a few of them are unabashedly sophisticated. But then again there’s the Grinder, and this one is the opposite. While it does have its set of modern features, it’s basically the compact how bow sight you want when you don’t want the time-consuming bells and whistles. This is the no-frills bow sight you’re looking for when you’re a real hunter.
5. Trophy Ridge React Trio Pro Pin Sight-
As the “Trio” in the name may have clued you in, trophy ridge has 3 pin bow sight ready to help you with your aim. The Pro in the name indicates that this is an improvement on the regular React Trio. It’s a lot more compact, as it has both fixed pin sights for fast shots. It comes with a ring that glows in the dark, and the yardage indicators in the fiber optic pins face to the side (instead of to the rear).
The 3-pin bow sight setup is a bit unusual, however. This time, you have 2 number of pins in the side fixed pin bow sights in their positions. These are for the quick nearby accurate shot. But you can go for targets up to 100 yards away, thanks to the adjustable pin jutting from the bottom.
6. Burris Oracle Fixed Pin Sight- Best Fixed Pin Sight for the Money
Garmin isn’t the only brand offering a good sight with a rangefinder. You get that too with the Oracle. That means you know where to aim precisely, and you certainly keep the guesswork to a minimum.
Of course, you do have to deal with the very high price (comparable to the Garmin Xero A1i). But at least you won’t have to worry about your bow sight failing right after you bought it. This comes with what Burris calls their “Forever Warranty”. If this best fixed pin sight is damaged or breaks down, Burris will replace it or repair it. No questions asked, and that’s including the electronics.
You activate the rangefinder just by pushing a button. This determines the range, and then you get the aiming drop point. It’s that easy.
7. Truglo Storm 5 Pin Sight- Best Multi pin Bow Sight
Truglo pendulum likes to make sure that their R&D division is kept busy, so that they keep improving their pin sights. That’s why in 2020, the Storm came out will various improvements that makes this an even more attractive option. Take note that this Storm model is actually meant for new and intermediate archers, so it can’t be overly complicated. It’s still a light bow, but it’s a modern bow sight nonetheless.
The one we reviewed is the multi-pin bow sight model (0.019 fiber optics pin), though it also come with just 3 pin sight. You don’t really have to worry about a cluttered sight, since you get a 2-inch view and a shooter’s ring that glows in the dark.
8. Black Gold Ascent Verdict 3 Pin Sight- Best Bow Sight for Target Shooting
Some say that if you’re going with a multi pin sights, you may want to limit this to just 3 pins. Having 5 or 7 number of pins can just make it much harder to find the prey through the sight while you’re out hunting.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Black Gold Ascent Verdict. It’s actually packed with a very long list of features and improvements. You get 3rd center line, greater durability, and greater ease of use.
9. Field Logic IQ 5-Pin Sight- Best Bow Sight for Aging Eyes
Field Logic IQ bowsights can be annoying when you’ve got your pin on perfectly, and your shot is still off. That’s because you’re inconsistent in your actions. Maybe the torque changed, or you have a different spot point each time.
This is a problem that you can solve with lots of practice, but it really helps you on the field if you have the field logic iq bowsights. It’s a smart pick since you have the Retina Lock Technology, and that’s not all.
10. Fast Eddie Double Pin Sight- Best Bow Sight for Beginners
The Fast Eddie is one of the more popular bow sights in this brand lineup, and it’s available in several configurations. Now we’re focusing on the Double Pin model since it’s popular. That’s understandable, since it seems to combine advantages of both the single pin and the multiple pins sight setup. You just one pin bow sight on your view so there’s clutter. But you have 2 target points you can use.
You have the 0.019 fiber optic pins here, which in our opinion is a better option than the 0.010-inch pin size. While this smaller pin is better for longer distances, when hunting you may like to get a bit closer for a surer shot. The smaller pin isn’t easy to see in low light, which means you’re going to need a rheostat light and that’s another thing you have to buy.
11. CBE Engage Hybrid-
This is another bow sight that comes with a premium price, and it’s available in several different configurations. We picked the 3-pin bow sight model, as it’s great for hunting. You can make quick shots at close range, while you don’t clutter the sight.
This is a bit on the expensive sight since it comes with lots of nifty features. What’s striking about this sight is that it can really reduce your frustration.
12. Axcel Accutouch Carbon Pro-Best Slider Bow Sight
This is among the most expensive adjustable single pin sights that don’t come with a rangefinder. However, even though you do get the Axcel X-31 scope. It’s available with a 0.010-inch pin, but we went with the adjustable 0.019 fiber optic pin.
“Adjustable” doesn’t begin to describe this bow sight. Here you can micro-adjustments for windage and elevation. Then you also get adjustment options for all axes. You don’t need shims for adjusting the 1st axis level either.
Understanding the Types of Bow sights
1. Slide-Bar Bow sights
These are not for hunting. These are instead program designed for competitions, or just for casual target practice. With a slide-bar bow sight, you have a long extension arm in a fixed position. This puts the pin farther away from your eye compared to the distance of a fixed pin sights. At the end of the extension arm, there’s a vertical bar with a small block at the front. You slide this block up and down the vertical pin, and this also has your scope, aperture, and pin.
These slider pin sights tend to have just a single pin bow sight to minimize the distraction. You can then synthesize the sight pin to account for the distance to the aim.
2. Fixed Pin Adjustable Bow sights
Fixed Pin Adjustable bow sights are actually very similar in design with the slide-bar bow sights. You can actually use these sights for competition as well. However, even though the main difference here is that these are actually meant for hunting.
The main difference in the design is that unlike the fixed extension arm of the slide-bar bow sights, this type has a pivoting extension arm along with a graduating scale. This means able to synthesize the sight more easily to adapt to the distance to the aim. You can just slide the extension arm along the scale until the indicator is set at the correct distance to the aim.
3. Pendulum sights (Tree Stand Bow Sights)
Pendulum sights are best for bow hunting in tree stands. These are specifically designed for shooting at an elevated point. In other words, if you tend to hunt with a bow using a tree stands, pendulum sight is the type of bow sight you need.
When your target is below you, you tilt your bow accordingly. The whole sight pivots when you do this to keep the pin adjusted to your target. All you need to do is to set for the distance to the target. The mechanism of the pendulum sight adjusts to the windage and elevation angle automatically.
4. Fixed Pin Archery Bowsights
These are also called the multi-pin sight. Basically, you don’t adjust the pins when hunting. The pins are already set for specific distances. Single pin bow Sights can be used for 20 yards, then another for 30 yards, and so on. You can have 3 pin, 5 pin or even 7 pin sights.
Fixed pin sight makes it easy to adjust on targets on the draw, as you can adjust your aim even of your target scampers to another direction. All you need to do is to get the distance right, and then use the correct pin to aim for the target. However, when the target is at an inexact distance (such as 46 yards, you may have to aim using the gap between pins.
Comparison between RANGEFINDER, SINGLE PIN, 3-PIN, 5- PIN Bow Sights
Which Is Right for Me?
That’s actually for you to decide. Even though it’s right for you if the bow sight improves your accuracy when you use it. However, you do need to take into account the advantages and drawbacks of each type to help you find the more suitable options. For example, a rangefinder may not be for you if you just can’t afford it.
Multi-pins are great if you tend to hunt and go for prey at closer distances, and you don’t mind the multiple pins all that much. But this may not be the best dovetail bow sight for you if you can’t get the hang of using the gaps between the pins for inexact distances. It’s also not good if your view is too cluttered and you keep on using the wrong pins.
When multiple pins are not working for you, single-pin sights may be the best option. However, it takes time to adjust the sight for the exact distance, and you better pray the prey doesn’t move when you’ve already drawn your bow.
Features to Consider When Choosing Archery Target Sight
When you’re doing your research on bow sights and reading up on specs and reviews, pay attention to the following factors:
Some bow sights can be terribly expensive especially the premium models with tons of technologies.
You do want to expand your budget to take advantage of current technologies. These features can help make your shots more accurate. Just keep in mind that the more high-tech features you get with your bow sight, the costlier it becomes.
3. Ease of Use
The best technologies are useless if you can’t actually use the bow sight. Some of these bow sights can be very complicated. This means you need to make sure that you’re able to make use of these features without too much difficulty.
This means you have to factor in your own skill level for the meantime. In addition, you need to reflect on how you’re planning to use your bow. Some bow sights are designed specifically for hunting, and there are bow sights for tree stand bow hunters. Others are more apt for target competition.
Ways of Handling a Bow
Of course, the way you handle a bow will also affect your accuracy. In fact, you may want to make sure you’re doing this right. Even the archery sights can’t improve your accuracy much if you’re not handling your bow the right way.
1. Start with a consistent stance
You have to make sure you have a comfortable stance that gives you the balance and foundation you need. It must therefore be the same every time. You can use tape on the floor where you practice to help you with this.
2. Keep your elbow rotated straight
It has to be straight up and down. If it’s not, you end with weak and inaccurate shots, and you can even bruise your inner elbow.
3. Hook the bowstring the right way
You can do the split-finger hook, with a finger over the arrow and 2 fingers below the arrow. Hook the bowstring at the right place, and with the right finger tension. Your hand position should also be consistent for each shot.
4. Establish a consistent spot point
This is the area on your face to which you pull the drawstring. Newbies usually go for the corner of the mouth. Just keep it consistent, although as you get better you may want to switch to having your spot point below your chin.
5. Finish strong with your shot
Don’t aim too soon. But don’t focus so much on your aim that you overlook the proper movements of your muscles. Instead, focus on those muscle movements so that you’re able to get a powerful release and follow-through
How an Archery Bowsight can Improve Your Hunting and Shooting
Here’s the essence of a bow sight—it shows you where your arrow is going to hit. That’s how it helps. Without a bow, you’re reduced to guessing which way to aim. In fact, for many bow multi pin sights this still happens in certain situations. If you’re targeting a moving animal, you may have to do some guesswork as to where the arrow will hit. But in general, you can aim where you want your arrow to go and improve your bow accuracy.
What and Where Are You Hunting?
This is one of the key questions you need to ask when you’re determining which bow sight is for you. It’s actually 2 questions in one. The bow sight can be better for a competition target, or it may be designed for hunting prey. You can be indoors or outdoors, and you may have windage and elevation issues to contend with. All these factors can tell you which bow sight to get.
Why Bowsights are Costly?
Actually, some multi pin sights are very cheap. It’s just that the good ones tend to cost more. That’s due to several factors, including the use of materials such as aluminum for the construction. Then you have to factor in the technologies included in the sight, and the manufacturers have to recoup their research costs. The more technologies you have in your bow sight that makes it more accurate and easier to use, the more expensive it gets.
It does help to consider that the more expensive best bow sights can last for a good long time while. You can expect some of them to last for years. You may even find some with a lifetime warranty. Divide the cost by the number of years you expect to use the bow sight, and the per-year cost may not seem all that bad.
You may find that in the end, you get greater accuracy with your shots. For lots of people, that’s worth serious money, especially in the long time.