Sighting in Arrows for Bow Hunting

by Zach Lazzari

Sighting in your bow and arrows is a critical step for a successful hunt. Many hunters sight in their bow with target arrows and field points without considering the change in drop and speed created by hunting arrows and broad-head points. You must practice and sight in the bow with the same arrows and points used on the hunt.


Setup a stable archery target with a backdrop to stop a loose arrow. Hay bales make an effective backstop and block-style targets are ideal for sighting the bow and arrows. Measure distances at 10, 25, 40 and 60 yards from the target. Mark the distances on the ground with a piece of tape or line of spray paint. You may alter the distances based on the number of pins used on your sights. The 60-yard mark will remain as the farthest distance regardless of the sights.

Setting the Sights

Stand at the 10-yard mark and shoot four arrows at the target using the top pin for your aim. Observe the arrow placement and use a hex wrench to loosen and adjust the pin based on the placement. Raise the pin for low shots, lower it for high shots and move it in and out to compensate for lateral direction. Return to the line and shoot another four arrows and continue the process until the pin is in perfect alignment. Move down one pin and back one marker to adjust for the next distance. Repeat the process until all of your pins are aligned for the different distances.

Arrow and Point Type

Changing the arrow and point type will change the accuracy of the bow. Each time you make a change, the bow must be sighted with the new arrows and points. Carbon composite and aluminum arrows are the two primary choices and each have different weights. Field point, broadhead and flat points are used for different hunting situations and the arrow drops much faster with a broadhead or flat point. The field point is streamlined and has less effect on the arrow speed and direction. Practice with field points to gain accuracy but re-sight the bow and arrows when a new point type is added.


Pin sights with six or more pins provide the most options for accuracy but using fewer sights reduces complications in the field. Some hunters use only three sights and aim slightly high or low to compensate for differences in the distance. Sights aligned for 10, 40 and 60 yards prepare the hunter for most shot situations. You will make a quick decision with fewer pins and you are less likely to forget which pin is aligned for which distance.

Photo Credits

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