How to Adjust Compound Bow Sights: The Secrets to Successful Bow Hunting

Most of you know that as rule of the thumb, if you plan on shooting an animal with a bow, it is imperative that you do it as quickly and as humanely as you possibly can for their sake. That can be achieved by effectively sighting in the bow. This skill can also improve the accuracy of shot or aim. So, if you are serious about learning how to hunt using a bow and arrow, then you should first understand how to adjust compound bow sights.

Adjusting compound bow sights can take you anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour, but that entirely depends on your skill set and experience. To shoot a bow as accurately as possible is an impressive skill to have and an amazing hobby that will allow you to get closer to nature. This, however, without a doubt takes a ton of time, hard work, and dedication. Nonetheless, there are a number of methods to adjust the compound bow sights efficiently. To help you out, we will discuss the top-rated method on how to do so.

How to Adjust Compound Bow Sights: A Step-by-Step Guide

The bow sight is basically a mechanical device that is mounted in a bow’s riser and helps archers to make an accurate shot. As mentioned earlier, when a bow is sighted perfectly, there is a tremendous difference in the shot. The steps that we have listed below will help you achieve sighting your bow successfully.


Before you even start the process, you need to make sure that the sight was installed the right way. This means that the sight’s pins are on the same line as the bowstring and the arrow. Likewise, the vertical adjustment should be at zero. In addition, you should also ensure that you are shooting the right kind of arrow and the entire equipment is tuned correctly.


  • Step 1

The first things that you need to do are nock the arrow and then adjust the entire sight housing. It can be adjusted either to the right or the left so that the sight pins get aligned with the arrow and the string. What this will do is that it will adjust the bow’s windage. In this case, you can use a rough approximate. However, it should be as close as possible and should allow for the arrow to aim and hit the target with a level of certainty.

  • Step 2

The next step you need to do is to set the elevation. You can do this by elevating the yardage pin at about one-third of the distance from the right of the top of the sight’s housing. Most likely, this will be the 20-yard pin. This will make sure that there is adequate room for the sight pins which is necessary for longer distances. However, most importantly, this will place the 30 and the 40-yard pins close to the center of the sight housing.

  • Step 3

After which, ascertain that the downrange area is completely clear and position yourself at 20 yards from your target. When you aim at the center of your target, you can release the arrow. The arrow should have quite an impact on the target at this point. If not, then without a doubt, there is something wrong. However, what you need to remember is that it does not matter what part of the target was hit, as long as you hit it with an impact, you should not change the point where you are aiming.

That is because what is more critical is that you need to develop a pattern or a group wherein the shots have an impact on the target. This will tremendously help you in determining how you have to adjust the sight. With that said, repeat this entire step two to three times more. In each round, shoot no more than three arrows, or else you will tire yourself out quite easily which will cause you to make unreliable adjustments.

  • Step 4

Keep shooting until you end up developing a defined group. Also, keep readjusting the sight housing on the basis of your pattern. To give you an example, if all your shots impact the target high and on the right, then you need to adjust the sight housing upwards and towards the right. In this case, when you move the sight housing up, it will lower the point of impact of the arrow by forcing the arm of the bow downwards.

Keep repeating this process until you find that the arrows are only hitting exactly in the center of your target, and once you have achieved the right level of accuracy, completely stop from adjusting the sighting house. From this point onwards, all you will need to adjust are the individual pins.

  • Step 5

Keep practicing in good form and then only continue shooting at about 20 yards. In this process, keep making subtle changes to your 20-yard sight pin on the basis of the grouping of the arrows. Also, avoid doing this in a single shot. It goes without saying that this entire process will take you a while. It may take even more if you are new to it. So, be patient at all times till you end up getting it correct. When you begin to feel like you are more comfortable with how your shots are going, move further to either 30 or 40 yards and repeat the process all over.

Final Words

The method on how to adjust compound bow sights that we have discussed is amongst the simplest and most effective. Nonetheless, your skill set and experience play a significant role in this process.

We would like to emphasize that a bow that is adjusted properly and continued practice are the only ways to ensure that you get a great shot placement. In addition, just like every other shooting sports, using a bow and arrow also needs 100% of your attention to safety measures not just in the field but also on the range. Further, when you move back towards longer distances, do so as gradually as you can until you are aware that the arrow hits the target with an impact.

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