How To Aim With A Bow – Aim With Archery Sights - My Archery Corner

How To Aim With A Bow – Aim With Archery Sights

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In my first post about “how to aim with a bow“, I talked about instinctive archery. The technique where you don’t really aim, but just get a feeling for where the arrow will fly.
This required a lot of patience and training.

Now I want to let you know another way of aiming. This time we will use sights, which can make an archers life easier and are relatively easy to use.
You don’t need sights to become a successful archer. Try archery with and without sights to find out which you prefer.
When you have finished reading this article and the one before, you will know how to aim with a bow with or without a sight.

How To Aim With A Bow

Multiple Pin Sights

Multiple pin sights use up to 5 pins to help the archer hit the target. These pins have to be adjusted first and the archer needs to know the exact distance to the target. Depending on the distance you will use a different pin in your pin sight which marks that distance.
A great 5 pin sight is the Trophy Ridge React 5 Pin Bow Sight. Check it out!

When the adjustment is done (archers call that “sighting in”) you aim in a similar way you would aim with a gun. You bring the sight in front of your target and let the arrow fly. If you have done everything correct the arrow will hit the target.

This might sound a bit easier than done. Of course, it still needs a lot of practice, as you can make many things wrong when drawing the bow and releasing the arrow. You can learn everything you need to know in my archery training.

Multiple pin sights are somewhat limited, as you can only use a fixed amount of pins in one sight and they are often not very flexible to adjust them on the x and y-axis.

To be more flexible you should consider getting a single pin sight with a yard dial.

Single Pin Sight

Single Pin Sight

Single Pin Sights With A Yard Dial

The biggest advantage of the single pin sight with a yard dial is that you have much more control over it. You can move it up, down, left and right. So when you sight in your bow you can get it done rather quickly.

Those single pin sights let you set the pin to the desired distance precisely. If you shoot at a distance of 30 yards, you just set your sight to 30 yards using the dial and you don’t need to aim higher or lower.
The pin is moveable here.
Those sights come with a price, of course, but are very comfortable to use. One of the best single pin sights is the Optimizer Lite Ultra Sight.
Another great choice is the TruGlo Single Pin Sight.

Archers who don’t have a sight with a moveable pin often use a scope in addition to the sight. They need to aim higher/lower than the pin and a scope can help them to get the aim right.

Scopes come in various magnifications depending on the archer’s preferences.

Who Needs A Sight?

Before you get out now and buy an expensive sight, I highly recommend to try it without a sight.
If you are a beginner you will shoot on small distances and you don’t need a target sight for that.
Just shoot without any sight, or get a cheaper pin sight.

Most archers make a decision along the way if they want to shoot with or without a sight, but I really like both types of archery.

With my longbow, I naturally shoot instinctively and with a recurve bow I like to shoot with a sight.
It is the variation that is fun for me and it is kind of nice to be able to do both. 😉

Let me know which you prefer. Are you an instinctive archer or do you shoot with a sight?
Which sight do you use?

Any questions? Or would you like me to review a specific sight?
Write me in the comments and I will answer you quickly. And don’t forget to check out my getting started guide, if you are new to archery.


Leave a Comment:

(18) comments


It’s my first time that i came across archery websites, it’s very excited field and im willing to learn it soon because i like it .. Great post keep moving forward .


    I am happy that you like my site.
    I hope you will give archery a try. Awesome sport.
    Check out my posts about how to get started and which recurve bow I recommend for beginners.
    If you have any question, just let me know.
    I am happy to help!


Great archery tips! thanks!


    Hello Keye.
    You are welcome.
    Enjoy your stay on my site and come back anytime.



This was very helpful. I’ve long wanted to get into archery and am getting ready to buy my first bow. I will have to come back to your site so I can learn more about this sport.


    Hello Kevin.
    Do come back and check out my posts about getting started with archery and which recurve bow I would recommend to a beginner.
    Wish you all the best and I hope you fall in love with archery like I did.
    Great sport!


Hey Moritz,

I like all the details you have on these instruments for your bow. I’m really interest in bow hunting, are all these necessary for that as well? And should I use a recurve or compound bow? I’m looking for a top end bow with a lot of power and accuracy.



    Hello Benjamin,

    you don’t really need a sight, but many archers will say that it will improve your accuracy a lot.
    There are instinctive archers out there who prefer shooting without a sight.

    The same goes for the question what kind of bow you should use.
    Most hunters use a compound bow, while others prefer a recurve bow and a few even a longbow.

    For a nice recurve bow check out my review here or head over to read about the Martin Jaguar Takedown Bow.

    This SAS Compound Bow with adjustable Quad Limb is a really great compound bow for hunting.
    The advantage of a compound bow is, that they are usually shorter, so it is easier to use them in a forest.

    Happy hunting!


Hello Moritz,
I have never used a site before, I am unsure if they even had them back then. Are they difficult to learn how to look through them and get them to stay on the target?
You really do make it sound easier than I remember it being.


    Hello again, San. 🙂

    I am not sure when sights started to be used on bows, but they have been around for quite a while.

    Most olympic archers use them and many other target archers and hunters do so, too.

    If you are used to shoot without a sight it can take a while to get used to a sight.
    But they are easy to understand and use.
    They need to be set up and sighted in correctly. From there it is just a matter of time and practice until you can use them efficiently.

    Your welcome, San.



I would love to give this a go! I read another post on your site about how to draw a bow and even though I have never thought about archery as a pastime I am finding your posts interesting.
I’m just not sure where to go about buying equipment in my area or if there will be lessons or a place to practice!
I am in South Africa in a little town about 150 kms from Cape Town. Kinda sleepy here and not much going on!


    Hello Lynne,

    welcome to my archery corner.
    I am happy that you find my articles helpful and interesting.

    I have never been to South Africa, but I just made a quick google search “south africa archery” and found quite a few places. Of course I don’t know if those places still exist, but you can have a look there.

    Another way would be to make your own bow.
    I am planning to teach this as well on my website.
    The bows won’t be able to compete with professional bows, but they will be easy enough to make and still strong enough to hunt small, maybe even big, game.
    They will be survival bows.

    But this is planned for the future and still can take weeks or even months before I can get to it.

    Let me know when you find a place or at least a shop where you can buy equipment.
    When you follow my safety guide, you can shoot at home or on a field, too. If you have enough space.



I have always like bows, even though I have not used one since I was a teenager. I knew they had sights, but I never knew they could actually have a scope. If I were to use one again I would not mind trying that. Do you use a scope, and if so what model?


    Hi Adrian,

    a scope on a bow is definitely an interesting experience!
    I have tried it, but I usually shoot without a scope.
    When you are used to shooting without a scope it can take a while before you can shoot consistently with a scope.




Hey Moritz, great site man! When I was a boy I owned a bow and had a heck of a time with it. My life goal is to buy a farm just like my dad, and I’ve always wanted to take it up again. I’d really like to learn how to bow fish!

A suggestion, you should add a section that reviews books on archery, one of the first ones up – Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.



    I am very happy, that you like my site.
    Living on a farm sounds great. Would love to do that, too.

    Thanks for the idea about the book reviews.
    There will be many changes to my website in the next days and weeks.

    One thing is, that I will publish my very own archery book soon.
    I will have a look at other books, too, though.




The single sight pin seems like the way to go, it sounds so much more flexible!
I’m super new to archery and am loving your tips, guides and reviews. I hope to be able to help teach this skill to my 5 sons as they get a little older.
Thanks for sharing your opinions and expertise Moritz!


    Hi Dara.

    Thank you for your very kind words.
    Archery is a great sport for everyone.
    I am sure it would be great fun for your sons, too. Many kids nowadays spend too much time in front of a screen.
    Archery can help them to get out of the house again.

    I wrote about some great bows for kids.
    Take a look at The Barnett Vortex Youth Compound Bow Set, the Bear Archery Scout or the Bear Archery Apprentice 3 Compound Bow.
    All of those bows are really great.
    Let me know if you need any help or information.
    Have a great day.

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