How to Use Compound Bow Sights – 8 Steps to Improve Aim


Archery fanatics just getting into the sport may find aiming to be a tricky technique at first. To make things more comprehensive, we’ve provided this step by step list of 8 steps to improve your aim.

How does one properly use compound bow sights and improve aim? The following steps are guaranteed to improve aim:

  1. Preparation
  2. Proper positioning
  3. Gripping the bow properly
  4. Consistent anchoring points
  5. Use a peep sight
  6. Take time to sight in
  7. Shoot with both eyes open
  8. Pin alignment

To learn all these simple steps in detail to improve you aim, continue reading. In no time your aim will be drastically improved if you implement these 8 steps.

Step 1. Preparation:

Firstly, you need to get rid of stress and tension by warming up. You need to be at ease and relax as tense muscles can disrupt the form of your shots and produce less stable shots. Once your muscles are relaxed, you will achieve the same position for your shooting. Therefore always make it a habit to warm up before any archery session by doing some stretches to ease the shoulders, upper back, neck and relaxing your forearm. These will ease your tension and then you can adopt a shooting position.

This small practice to rid yourself of stress will make a world of difference in your aim. Being overly tense leads to punching the trigger, flinching and grabbing the bow which are all factors that greatly alter accuracy. Take the time to prepare mentally.

Step 2. Positioning:

To get the perfect shooting stance, stand at a 90° angle facing the target with your feet shoulder width apart while you move a little closer to the lead foot and turn it outward. Now, ensure to balance the weight equally without slanting in any direction between the two feet. When you feel that you are about leaning to a particular position, adjust your position to be facing the target and be a little more open.

Paying attention to your initial stance when practicing and mastering that natural stance is essential to your overall accuracy. Sighting in and shooting a compound bow is meant to feel completely natural.

Step 3. Gripping Properly:

The next step that will greatly improve your accuracy is the way you grip your bow. Gripping the bow is meant to feel natural and relaxed. Many archers grip their bows tightly and lose that natural feel completely.

The proper way to grip a compound bow is done by placing the forehand palm against the handle like normal, get to full draw, then simply take your forefingers off the handle entirely. The tension created by the bow at full draw will rest the bow snuggly on your hand, with or without your forefingers.

By removing one’s forefingers from the handle, they will find that they will eradicate the tendency to flinch and grab the bow upon releasing. Naturally, when one quickly grabs the bow, the action will jolt the bow outward, varying accuracy significantly. Take my advice and try to let go of gripping the bow so tightly.

Step 4. Anchoring Points:

Now, draw the bow to the points where it meets your face- anchor points. Keep your wrist relaxed and straight while you nock the arrow on your bowstring and push it back. As the string comes closer to your face, search for anchor points where part of the bow will meet your face.

Depending on your personal shooting style, your anchor point may be different from your neighbor’s. The key is finding a natural anchoring point where you will return on each shot, ensuring that your shots are consistent.

The usual anchoring points used by archers are just below the cheekbone, almost as if checking your pulse with your wrist, and under the ear or neck depending on the draw length.

Step 5. Use a peep sight: Now sighting the compound bow is quite easier when you look through the peep sight. The peep sight has been fixed to the string in the compound bows. Resembling a ring, the peep sight will help you look through in order to aim when you draw your bow to your anchor points. The small sight allows you to focus on your targets even when the distance is on a wider range while the large one will help you in low-light situations.

Step 6. Take time to sight in:

Try to sight the target using the forward sight which is fixed in front of the bow. Make sure the forward sight and the target are seen using the peep sight when you align the bow. You can extend the forward sight couple of inches in front of the bow as the more the distance between the forward sight and the peep sight, the more it makes your aim accurate.

Take the time to really sight in your bow. You will need to really set in your shooting style, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your grouping lies where you desire. Each time you shoot, take a few shots and see where your groups wind up in respect to your target. If you are consistently shooting low and to the left, for example, adjust the foresight with an Allen wrench and lightly tap it so the sight itself moves down and to the left. Repeat this process till you are all sighted in.

Step 7. Keep Both Eyes Open:

When shooting make sure to keep both eyes open. Archery and rifle hunting are two completely different beasts that require very different techniques. When shooting a rife, one must close one eye to see into a scope. With archery, shooting properly requires depth perception. One need to keep both eyes open to determine how far the target actually is. The human mind only determines the distance between him or her from their target with depth perception.

Growing up in an archery hunting family, I had always believed that shooting with one eye closed would make me more accurate. Later on, when I began to show that I was serious about archery hunting, my father taught me to shoot with both eyes open and my accuracy was dramatically increased.

Step 8. Pin Allignment:

Lastly, align the correct pin to face your target. The compound bow sight has numerous pins lined up inside with 20 yards typically being the highest pin. You can move the bow to ensure the pin is facing directly to the target after selecting the pin that best suits the distance to the target. Take time to get to know your bow and sight in your foresight for varying distances. Set one up for 20 yards, another for 30 and another for 40 at least.

By taking time to set up your pins properly, your confidence will increase dramatically. You will be able to determine the distance between you and your target easily and know what pin to look at through your peep sight.

Related Questions

How do I sight in my bow? Sighting in a compound bow is a simple task that requires repetition. First, pull back your bow without an arrow to learn what position is the most comfortable for you. Make sure to not release your bow without an arrow. Second, stand 10-20 yards away from your target and take at least three shots at a spot on your target to see how your grouping turns out. Based on where your group lies, you can adjust your foresight slightly with an Allen wrench to compensate.

How many pins do I need? The amount of pins on a compound bow is personal preference. 90% of shots on big game are taken within 25 yards from the target. For archery hunting, there really is no need to have more than 4 pins, but some enjoy having the opportunity of taking a shot at 60 yards.

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