Having an adjustable bow sight attached to your bow or crossbow can make a major difference when you are out hunting game. The best bow sights are great as they allow you to aim much more precisely from a greater distance. No wasting arrows or bolts. These help you make a swift kill and hit the areas that matter. There are plenty of good sights for bow hunting around on the market today each with its distinct perks. But which of these archery hunting sights are the best for you?
Types of bow hunting sights
When searching the market, you will find three main types of sights for bows: fixed pin, multi-pin adjustable, and fully digital. Each of these offers different benefits so it’s best to know the properties of each sight type.
Fixed Pin Sights
As the name suggests, fixed pin sights contain a set number of pins in the sight to help you gauge the distance between your target. These sights will have anywhere between 1-9 pins and are designed to work from a specified range and an estimated accuracy guide.
These are the most common type of sights available to buy and most will have 5-9 pins in the sight itself. You can find many with a lock feature that meets your eye line to boost your accuracy and give further precision when firing your bolts or arrows.
Adjustable Multi-Pin Sights
Similar to fixed pin sights, the adjustable multi-pin sights can feature anywhere between 1-9 pins to help you measure the distance of your target. However, these sights are changed quickly to reflect a target’s movement or whenever you change your shooting position.
These sights work best when stalking prey from close up and with fewer pins. Anything with less than 5 pins should be used no further than 50 yards from the target. These can be switched quickly to nab your prey and get the deadly shots in with minimal fuss.
A relatively new invention, digital sights use a red laser dot to give you a central focusing point on your target. Evolved from its rifle based cousin, digital bow sights have no pins relying on the projections to focus on the main kill point.
Digital sights give a much clearer line of sight compared to pin sights giving you a wider field of vision to look through. However, this evolving technology is still not fully embraced by hunting commissions and you may need to consult with local rangers before using it out in the wild.
The Best Bow Sights – Our Reviews:
Editors Choice: Trophy Ridge Volt 5 Pin Bow Sight
Trophy Ridge is one of the top sight manufacturers in archery and their Volt 5 Pin sight lives up to the hype. This five pin fixed bow sight has horizontal fiber-optic pins that come with laser-edged markings to measure both elevation and distance. The alignments are judged with a bubble level to give you a clear representation of how to align each pin properly. Alongside that, the green hood allows for added focus and clearer visibility of each pin.
This is an extremely lightweight bow sight weighing just 200g making it easy to add to your bow without ruining the device’s overall balance. It also has a reversible mount allowing it to be attached to both left and right-handed bows. The body of the sight is also covered with a ballistic coating to reduce vibrations when each arrow is fired. A great all-around device that is accurate, light, and durable for use in any setting.
- Reversible mount
- Fiber-optic pins
- Vibration resistant coatings
- Sight light can be temperamental
- Horizontal bolt joining can be stiff
Top Seller: Garmin Xero A1 Bow Sight
Digital sights are becoming increasingly common and Garmin has entered the fray with the Xero A1 Bow Sight. The Xero A1 fixes to the top of your bow and uses a red dot laser that can pinpoint game targets up to 100yds away. The distance is shown through a digital screen at the top of the sight with both elevation and pitch also shown next to the distance. It also has a customizable digital pin feature allowing you to set between one and five LED pins in your sight. These pins can be fixed or adjusted depending on the target type.
Away from the digital side, the entire setup is wireless and powered by just 2 AAA batteries with an impressive lifespan of an entire year. It is also easy to transport coming with its casing, mount, and screws to allow for instant installation. It can also be charged via a USB cable meaning you can give it a quick boost in your car on the way to or from your hunting zone should it need it. A great modern gadget to help with your hunting needs.
- Good distance coverage,
- Excellent viewing,
- Good lifespan
- Right-hand mount only
- Limited use in some regions
Best Value: IQ Bowsight 3 or 5 Pin Bow Sight
The finer details are brought to the forefront with the IQ Bowsight which comes in both 3 and 5 pin variants. This sight is designed to pick up on the slightest adjustments due to the inclusion of both a retina lock and a fitted bubble level. The retina lock is smaller than similar models extending the maximum range of the sight and the bubble level reacts instantly to any changes in pitch or elevation.
The body of the sight is made from a light polymer meaning that the entire device weighs just 0.5lbs making it perfect for any type of bow. It also has knobs on the side of the body to allow for the sight itself to be adjusted to suit the conditions that you are hunting in. Furthermore, it has a reversible mount meaning that it fits on both left and right devices. An excellent adjustable bow sight for any environment.
- Good range
- Reversible mount
- Noisy when fired
- Mounting screws vulnerable if tightened too much
4.TRUGLO Carbon XS Xtreme Bow Sight
TRUGLO have looked to refine their offering with the redesigned XS Xtreme Bow Sight and it has truly reaped the rewards. Made from a carbon composite body, this 5 pin fixed pin sight has a large viewing window with the pins mounted to the center of the sight. The pins can be precisely adjusted to match both the wind conditions and elevation no matter where you’re shooting from. The pins themselves are also made from a bright fiber that reflects the glare from the sight’s LED light to remain visible even in wet or foggy conditions.
The LED light on this horizontal bow sight can be removed when hunting in good conditions and is operated via the push of just one button. As it is made from a composite, the scope is extremely light weighing in at just 4.2oz with all the attachments. It also has a reversible mount allowing it to be fitted to both left and right-handed bows to suit your style. An impressive bow sight suited for use both day and night.
- Pins visible at night
- Large viewing window
- Reversible mount
- Issues with horizontal screws
- No measurement lines when adjusting sights
5: Spot Hogg The Hogg Father
Don’t let the name fool you, The Hogg Father Bow Sight from Spot Hogg is laden with all the features you could need for hunting big game. This bow hunting sight can be customized from 1-5 pins making it adept for anyone looking to make a short-range kill. This micro-adjustable bow sight can be tinkered to the exact measurements you want factoring in wind, distance, and elevation to help you line up the ideal shot.
The large viewing window gives you an excellent view of the target and is designed for use in all conditions. The tough composite body makes it perfect for use in wind and rain without losing any accuracy or precision for your bow. The mount is designed primarily for right-handed bows and fits any major model type including crossbows, compound bows, and performance sports bows. A tough customer built for any need.
- Precise adjustable markings
- Customizable pin selection
- Large viewing window
- Right-hand mount only
6. CBE Tactic Hybrid Bow Sight
Available in both 1 and 3 pin forms, the CBE Tactic Hybrid Bow Sight looks to meet the need of all archers. The sight has laser-etched markings to give precise markings when adjusting the pins to judge both elevation and wind speed. These can be adjusted to the exact degree or millimeter to give you a precise spot to aim for at short or medium distances. You also have the option of setting up a floating pin to give a bit more flexibility to the conditions and lock it immediately in place when you find the sweet spot.
It’s a great sight to sue when hunting in poor lighting with the pins made from a glow-in-the-dark fiber that shines from the built-in LED lamp. The pin tips extend directly into the center of the sight to ensure that you can aim even if hunting in full darkness. Alongside that, the sight can be mounted for both left and right-hand bows to suit your exact firing style. A great investment for any early or late hunting parties.
- Glow in the dark tips
- Precise marking,
- Large viewing window
- Reversible mount
- Not suitable for long-range shooting
- Max 3 pin sights
7. Burris Oracle Rangefinder Bow Sight
One of the more hi-tech sights around, the Burris Oracle Rangefinder Bow Sight is laden with technical features. The laser-guided sight automatically calculates the range and angle you need to find the perfect shot for your target. It also has a good range field with this digital bow sight capable of hitting targets as far as 500yds away. To avoid any confusion when lining up all the features, the scope only ever has the one dot in the center to ensure you know the exact point to hit when you fire your arrow.
The Rangefinder is also extremely durable with the all-aluminum body capable of operating in all temperatures as well as in wind and wet conditions. The scope is powered by a CR123 battery that can be used between 1000-2000 times before it needs replacing. It also has a reversible mount which also reverses the digital information projections when set-up for use on a left-handed bow, A high-tech sight aimed for high-tech situations.
- Automatic measurements
- extremely durable
- Long lifespan
- Excellent range
- Limited use in some areas
- Laser sight sometimes stuck in floating mode
8. 30-06 King Pin 4-Pin Sight
30-06 have looked to go big with their King Pin 4-Pin Bow Sight. The biggest feature in this bow sight is undoubtedly its large viewing window. The window is designed to let in more light and give greater visibility to precisely line up the pins for your needs. This helps in low light conditions where the pins can be boosted by a built-in LED light to shine red and green to keep the focus on the target.
Its aluminum body is tough and durable which works in cold and wet conditions allowing you to benefit from accurate shots all year round. Alongside that, the reversible mount can be adapted to both left and right-hand bows to suit your ideal shooting style. It also weighs just 0.4lbs minimizing any extra weight ruining the balance of your shot. An excellent bow sight for use all year round.
- Easily visible pins
- Precise markings
- Screw alignment on mount slightly off
- LED light sometimes cuts out
What should be the minimum range for my bow sight?
There is no set minimum range for your bow sight. However, many of the best adjustable bow sights have a minimum range of 20 yards with one pin on the sight. The more pins a sight has, the further your bow sight can work at. Most 5 pin sights reach 60-100 yards depending on the conditions. Some digital bow sights can estimate further distances stretching well into triple figures.
It’s always best to pick a compound bow sight that meets your shooting style and how you intend to use it. If you are stalking prey, then knowing your 1 or 3 pin sight is attached can give you great accuracy from a short distance but not for shooting targets a long way off in the distance.
Are digital bow sights legal everywhere?
No, digital bow sights aren’t legal everywhere so check the area’s hunting regulations before heading out. As they are a recent innovation in the hunting game, not everywhere has approved their use. If you are unsure, it is best to leave it in favor of a traditional hunting bow sight and avoid any possible trouble.
Do adjustable bow sights fit all bows?
No – some adjustable bow sights will be designed to fit right-hand bows only. Right-handed bows are by far the most common style in the market today so you need to check thoroughly before making a purchase. However, more and more lightweight bow sights are being made with reversible mounts allowing them to be configured for left-hand bows.
It’s always best to read all the specs of the bow sight to see whether it can be adapted for left-hand use before making any purchase. After seeing this, you can find the best bow sights for your style and bow type.