8 Tips For Sighting In Your Bow

8 Tips For Sighting In Your Bow

When you get your bow and arrow ready to strike a target, you can’t just give it a go and see what happens.

Sighting in your bow helps you to hit it with greater accuracy.

How does sighting in your bow help you to hit the target?

It lets you compensate for arrows falling to the ground due to gravity, while it also helps you to reduce disturbances that can interfere with your firing of the arrow.

So, if you’re battling to hit the target, make sure you sight in your bow! Here are eight ways in which to do it correctly, and it really isn’t difficult to master.

If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the bow sighting, we got you covered:

Bow Sighting

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Attach A Bow Sight

Man Attaching Bow Sight

You’ll see that most bows have attachments specifically for bow sights, and they’re often attached to the bow with the use of screws.

While that’s easy enough, the important thing when attaching a bow sight to your bow is to make sure that the sight’s pins are vertical to the string of the bow.

In addition, it’s a good idea to give the sight a chance to settle, so leave it overnight, as wikiHow reports. Then, tighten it a bit the next day before using it.

Set The Sight’s Pins

You’ll need to use an Allen wrench for this part of the task. Set all the sight’s pins so that they’re in the center.

This is important because it will help you to make adjustments to the pins during the process of sighting in your bow.

The great thing about this is that once your pins have been correctly set, it will make it so much easier to shoot arrows from a distance.

If you want to shoot at a target that’s 10 yards away from you, for example, you will just sight your bow by placing the 10-yard pin that’s already been set by you on the target that you want to shoot.

It really takes the stress out of the shooting process.

Adjust Your Sight Before Shooting

Adjusting Bow Sight

It might sound strange, but a good tip for sighting in your bow before you shoot an arrow is to move the sight body up if you are aiming for above the intended spot.

On the other hand, move it down if you are aiming below the intended spot.

When it comes to aiming for the right or left of the target, a similar rule is in place. When you are aiming for the left of the target, move the sight body to the left.

And, if you’re aiming at the right of the target, make sure you move it to the right, as Bow Hunting Mag reports.

Time To Shoot Your Target!

Now is the time to try to shoot at your target and see what happens.

Before you shoot a really small target that can make the process stressful and not help you sight in your bow, it’s a good idea is to choose a large target and then shoot many arrows at it to see where they land.

You then want to adjust your elevation and windage, or the force of the wind on your arrow, and try again, until you get arrows landing closer in one spot.

Follow The Arrow

You want to notice where your arrows have been shot in the target and then follow these with your bow.

So, if your arrows are all going to the left and down on the target, aim for the left and down!

This is an important task to ensure that you gain greater accuracy. Shoot your arrows until you hit the bullseye consistently.

The one-shot is not enough to sight in your bow correctly. You should shoot at least three arrows or more to give you more information to help you sight in your bow.

Move Further Away

Girl Using Bow

Now, when you’re at a distance that enables you to shoot arrows towards one spot on your large target and you’re hitting it consistently, you might think you’re done, but you still have more sighting to do!

You want to increase your distance from the target and try shooting your arrows again. This is what will give you the most precise sighting.

The important thing is to adjust your sight pins in small ways so that you don’t over-shoot.

So, start by shooting from 10 yards and then once you’re close to shooting your intended target, move back about 10 yards more, using the same pin.

This will help you to become more accurate with your shooting and not fall into the trap of only shooting from a certain distance.

A good idea is not to increase the distance too much, especially if you’re sighting your bow for the first time.

If you start with 10 yards, move to 20 yards instead of taking a leap to 30 yards and keep adjusting your pins.

This can help you to better fine-tune the process, without feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. 

Once You’ve Set The Sight, Don’t Touch It

You’ve completed sighting your bow, so make sure you don’t move it again.

It’s easy to grow tired of the process and let fatigue get in the way, which is why it’s probably good to take a few days in which to properly follow the steps to sight in your bow instead of doing it all in a few hours.

Avoid Sighting In A New Bow Or String

If you’ve got a new bow and string, you don’t want to spend time sighting it in.

Rather wait until you’ve broken them in a bit.

The reason for this is that if you sight in a new bow or string, it will stop being effective as the bow or string will start to wear down over time and that will change your readings.

So, it’s better to dedicate the time to sight in your bow when it’s already worn in a bit and won’t change.

It might surprise you to find out that when breaking in a bow’s new string, you should shoot it for at least 100 to 200 times to enable it to stretch properly, and this is the case even though many bowstrings on the market have already been stretched by the time they arrive at you, as Archery 360 reports.

Are Single Or Multi-Pins Better?

Single Pin Vs Multiple Pins Bow Sight

On the subject of sighting in your bow, you might wonder if a single or multi-pin sight is better.

Here are some things to bear in mind. A single-pin sight only has one pin that can move.

You adjust this pin up and down and set it in the right spot depending on the distance from where you want to shoot your target.

The good thing about this type of pin is that it’s simple and easier to use than a multi-pin sight because you don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong pin.

However, multi-pins, which can have three, four, or five pins that are set for specific distances, can be better for you because you can quickly and easily adjust the distances without having to continuously adjust the actual sight.

Related Questions

What is the paper test when sighting in your bow?

It’s shooting arrows into the paper to improve your form. Shoot a paper target from about six feet away.

Look at the mark the arrow has made in the paper. A hole with small cuts that match the bow’s fletching is a good sign. Uneven rips mean your bow needs to be adjusted.

Should you keep attachments on your bow when you sight it in?

A compound bow will have more attachments than other bows, and it’s best to remove them.

The reason why is because you don’t want anything getting in the way of you properly gauging how accurate your shot is. Keep things simple for the best results.


As you can see from this article, sighting in your bow is an important step to follow before you shoot arrows.

It can actually prevent you from wasting arrows because you’re more likely to make a precise shot!

While sighting in your bow might seem difficult to understand at first, we can see that it’s actually a really easy task that’s worth getting right because it will help you become a better archer.

Put in the work and you’ll get the results that you’re really after!

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