How to Set Up Sights for Compound Bows

Written by jennifer young
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How to Set Up Sights for Compound Bows
Bow sights can help improve accuracy in hunting or competition situations. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Bow hunters and archers must be able to consistently shoot arrows at their prey or target to be successful. Bow sights which are correctly set up can improve consistency and can be installed on both recurve and compound bows. The pins on these sights can be adjusted for various distances to ensure versatility during hunting and shooting competitions.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Allen wrench
  • Open, flat area at least 50 yards in length
  • Chalk, paint or tape
  • Movable archery target or hay bale
  • Rangefinder or measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Attach the bow sight to the bow with the mounting screws by threading the screws through the sight and into the body. Tighten the screws with your fingers. Use the Allen wrench to tighten the screws until they are snug in the mount Make sure that screws are not over-tightened, but are secure enough to ensure stability during use.

  2. 2

    Insert pins into the bow sight if they are not already mounted. Pins should be lined up vertically. Make sure that the pin colours are arranged so that it is easy to differentiate between the colours that are next to each other.

  3. 3

    Mark your shooting area with chalk, paint or a piece of tape.

  4. 4

    Measure a distance of 10 yards from the shooting area with the measuring tape or rangefinder. Place the movable target at the 10 yard point. Return to the shooting area and assume your archery stance.

  5. 5

    Nock an arrow and draw the bow. Aim at the target and view the designated pin through the peep hole. Center the pin on the target and release the arrow when the bow is steady. Repeat this process with two more arrows.

  6. 6

    Examine the target to determine how close your arrows landed in relation to the target. Adjust the pin you used up, down, left or right in small increments. Remember that pin movement will have the opposite effect on your aim. For example, moving the pin up will move your aim down.

  7. 7

    Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your arrows are consistently in the target area.

  8. 8

    Repeat steps 4 through 7 at ranges of 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards.

Tips and warnings

  • Your aim will be affected by your breathing cycle as well as your shooting position; try to maintain the same shooting conditions to ensure consistency with your shooting. Angle of shot and wind speed in hunting conditions will also alter your shot. Try to practice in various environments to ensure that you will be able to compensate in these situations.

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