To beginning archers, I can understand why bow sights are confusing. You might even ask yourself, "When do bow sights work best?"

Unfortunately, many people assume that understanding a bow sight is easy... and it might have been... 20 or so years ago.

But today, these hunting companies are creating some rather unique bow sights, and it's good to know what the differences are and which one might be best for you and your style of hunting.

If you're interested in learning more about bow sights, we've got the information you need to right here!

What Is A Bow Sight?

A bow sight is a bow accessory that attaches to the riser portion of the bow.

These accessories are used to help archers aim the bow at their desired target. By using a pin (or several different pins) the archer knows where to accurately aim their bow depending on the distance of the target or animal.

They come in quite a few different sizes, shapes, and configurations, and are most commonly used on compound bows for both hunting and competition shooting. 

One caveat - many competition archers that utilize recurves equip their bows with sights for added accuracy.

Best Time To Use Bow Sights

The best time to use a bow sight is when the distance of your target is known. 

While bow sights are not necessarily a requirement in archery, they do help individuals, especially those that use compound bows, to accurately aim at their target... from several different distances.

Types Of Bow Sights

When it really comes down to it, there are only two major types of bow sights:

Single-Pin Sights

Single pin sights contain one pin within the pin guard area and are used within adjustable sights. Hunters use the adjustable dial to move the pin based on predetermined markers.

Multi-Pin Sights

Multi-pin sights contain more than one pin inside the pin guard housing - usually anywhere from 3-6 pins. Multi-pin sights come in fixed and adjustable style sights, but are more common in fixed ones as you don't necessarily need an adjustable dial with these.

Types Of Bow Sights

But just in case, you want some additional information, here are a few images summarizing the different sub-types of bow sights (fixed pin vs. adjustable pin) available to archers today!

Bow Sights - Fixed Pins vs Adjustable Pins

Parts Of A Bow Sight

Take a look at the image below showcasing the various different parts of a bow sight. Don't worry, it's not too bad!

Parts Of A Bow Sight

How To Sight In A Bow

Once you've found the best bow sight for hunting, you're going to want to get this thing dialed in. Take a look at the recommendation below, as well as one of the most highly viewed videos, to learn what you need to do.

The number on thing to remember when sighting in a bow is to move your pins and/or housing where your arrow is landing on the archery target. For example, if you're sighting in your 20 yard pin and your arrow lands down and to the left of the bullseye, you need move your pin and/or housing down and to the left. 

This will make you move your bow up and to the right when you take your second shot, which is the direction you need to go to get closer to the center.

What If You Don't Want To Use A Bow Sight?

If you choose to not use a bow sight, you're going to use what many call the "instinctive aiming method".

This means that you're shooting your bow with both eyes open and aiming based off mostly feel and the general direction, level of your bow... rather than putting a single reference point on the target. 

While this is commonly used while hunting with a recurve or longbow, most hunters don't usually utilize this method with a compound bow.

Also, we have an amazing blog summarizing the Best Ravin Crossbows if you're interested in reading somethings somewhat related!