HUNTING AND FISHING ENTHUSIST: How to sight in a bow

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I started shooting a new bow this year. I am shooting the Martin Onza III; it was a present I received from Martin Archery owner, Terry Martin. It is the same bow that Ted Nugent has shot for the past couple of years. I wish it came with the skills Ted has when it comes to shooting a bow, but as far as that goes I am on my own. I started setting my bow up and got ready to sight it in. I went to see Tyler, the archery specialist, at the Tackle Box. He fixed me up with a new sight, stabilizer, arrows, tips, the works. I was ready to go, no, not really, Not quite ready yet. Now I needed to sight the bow in.

Sighting in a bow is actually very basic and not hard at all to do. After some practice, I can sight a bow in pretty fast and efficiently, and hopefully I won’t break any of those high dollar arrows I just bought!

Before I even start shooting my bow to sight it in, I utilize a quick way to save some time and effort that works really well. Something that is going to save me a lot of time at the range is pre-setting the pins – left and right, also setting them up and down.

To get the pins set left and right before I hit the range to sight in my bow I will want to get the pins aligned with the arrow rest and the string. Basically a good starting point is to hold the bow out in front of you, pointing down range. Now I align my eye directly behind the string so the string appears to fall right on top of my whisker biscut, right down the center. This way my eye is directly behind the bow. Now my sight pin should fall right in behind that. Move the pin either left or right so that it falls in line with the string and the arrow rest.

The next step before I go to the range is to get the pin in the approximate correct vertical position. The first pin that I sight in will be the 20 yard pin so this will be the one I pre-sight in now. The rest of the pins will pretty much fall in line with the 20 yard pin.

All bows have a standard 2-hole sight mounting system and it just so happens that on just about every bow with most sights and a regular extension, the 20 yard pin works out to be right about equal height with the top hole for mounting the sight. So I move the 20 yard pin to the same elevation as the top mounting hole and that should put it pretty close to vertical alignment.

I am now ready to hit the range to finalize sighting in my new bow. Another friend of mine named Collin Douglas gave me some great advice to sight in my new bow. He told me to follow the arrow. What he meant was this, if you’re shooting to the right of your target, you move your pin to the right, if you shooting under your target, move your pin down and so on. Since I pre-set my pins before actually sighting in the new bow, I should be in the ballpark and won’t make any big adjustments at this time.

I only make adjustments in small increments. According to Ted Nugent, at 20 yards 1/8 of an inch adjustment at the release point can move your arrow over 12 inches at the point of impact.

Now you don’t have to be a physicist to figure this stuff out. Just be patient and guess what, it will work!

That’s it! Now for longer distances I move a pin right up underneath the 20 yard pin and that puts it very close to where it should need to be. It will vary from bow to bow, depending on the speed and kinetic makeup of the bow, so I will move back to 30 yards and repeat the same process I did at 20 yards and see where adjustments need to be made. That’s sighting in a bow in a nutshell. It’s nothing overwhelming, just pay close attention to what you are doing and you will get it done.

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