Modern bow sights are much more accurate out of the box than those your parents used, but they still need to be adjusted to fit your bow and shooting style. If you take the time to sight your bow the right way, you’ll see tremendous improvements in your accuracy, and better results when you hunt.
Take A Control Shot
When sighting in your bow, you need to have a control set before you can determine the adjustments that you need to make. Take a control shot at a target 10 yards away, and use the results as the basis for any changes.
Follow The Arrow
A general rule of thumb when making your adjustments is to always follow the direction of your arrow. An arrow that missed to the left of the target can be corrected by moving the sight to the left, while missing above the target can be addressed by raising the sight, and so on. These rough initial movements will make it easier to fine tune your sights later.
One Axis At A Time
Small changes to the sight will have a big impact on your accuracy, so only change one variable at a time. As you’re sighting in your bow, move the sight either along the X-axis (to adjust left or right) or the Y-axis (to adjust up or down). After making the adjustment, fire again, and reevaluate any changes you need to make.
A Group Effort
Environmental factors and variations in your mechanics will cause your arrows to deviate slightly for each shot. After you’ve fine tuned your bow to a point where you’re reasonably certain of the accuracy of the sight, it’s time to evaluate a group of shots. Fire three arrows in succession. If all of the arrows are within a 1-2″ group, your sights are accurate at that range.
Once you’re done sighting in your bow at the 10 yard range, move back to 20 and repeat the process. At this distance, your sights don’t have to be perfect, they just need to fall into a cluster close to your intended target. For hunters, the 30 yard pin is the most important one to sight in completely, and where you’ll spend most of your time.
At 30 yards you want more than just a tight group; you want your shots as close to dead center as you can get them. The reason you need to focus on the 30 yard pin is because you’ll use it as the anchor point for every other pin in your sight. After you’ve sighted your bow to your satisfaction at 30 yards, you won’t need to adjust the body of your sight again. From that point, you can adjust the individual pins up/down, left/right as needed.
Make It A Weekend
Rest is important when sighting in your bow. Drawing your bowstring over the course of a couple of hours at the range rapidly increases your fatigue. As your arms become tired, you begin to make compromises in your stance and lose power, factors that significantly alter your accuracy.
Sighting in your bow takes time, but the results pay off almost immediately. The time that you spend sighting in your bow can be the difference between a successful hunt, and returning home empty handed.