An effective tool caters to the needs of its user, and a proper bow sight is no different. What you want out of your bow sight will depend on several factors, but in the end, it all depends on what you want to do with your bow.
Different Sight Types
Fixed-pin sights are the most common among bow hunters, and a wide variety of options make them a suitable tool for almost any shooter. This style offers a varying number of adjustable pins, and most sights of this type offer the ability to add or remove pins.
Most movable-pin sights have a single pin that can be adjusted before every shot. These sights provide more accuracy if the shooter accurately gauges the yardage of his/her target, but many in the hunting environment won’t want to adjust their sights before taking their shot on a living, moving target.
A pendulum sight is designed to aid hunters in a tree stand by adjusting for their particular elevation when they take their shot. This type of sight automatically swings out and up to compensate for the shooter’s angle above their target, making it a nearly invaluable tool for those hunting from up high.
The 3D competition sight, or target sight, may be the most accurate sight you can find, but it was not designed for hunting. This elaborate tool is similar to a movable-pin sight, but it also includes an intricate system of elevation and windage adjustments. These sophisticated sights enable some of the most accurate target shooting ever, but mainly because they’re downright huge compared to other, simpler sights.
Use in Low Light
The effectiveness of your sight in low light will often be the key to your effectiveness as a hunter, as the best shot opportunities often come at the first and last light of the day. The varied market offers many options for sights crafted specifically to stand out at in this lighting. Fiber optic technology in particular is effective in this regard, as it essentially traps light at the head of the pin to provide the shooter with an exact, bright target. A radioactive element known as Tritium can be added to paint to make for a similarly bright pin tip.
How Many Pins do you Really Need?
Several factors affect the amount of pins necessary for a hunter to have on his sight. Hunting west of the Mississippi River typically leads to shots over longer stretches of open terrain, while the dense forests in eastern states limit a shooter’s effective range. A user’s preference on pins depends also on whether or not they like “gap-shooting”, or shooting at the gaps between pins. Some prefer just a single pin to aim at, then aiming above or below that pin in relation to the target’s distance. Other shooters have as many as six pin placements to ensure that they’re aiming directly at a pin for every 5 or 10 yard increment. Your number of pins depends completely on your preferences and your surroundings.
How Much should you Spend?
Expert target shooters often spend upwards of $500 for their competition sights, while a novice or intermediate shooter can find a perfectly adequate sight for as low as $20. If this is your first purchase of a bow sight, you should be able to find everything you need for no more than $50. Once you know what you want next, you can continue from there by splurging on as many bells and whistles as you wish.