Editors Blog

Sighting in a Hunting Bow Has Never Been This Easy (or Fun)

A great gear combination will result in ultimate archery accuracy.  (photo by Dan Schmidt)

A great gear combination will result in ultimate archery accuracy. The author gets his new bow dialed in and ready for whitetails. (photo by Dan Schmidt)

That’s possibly the understatement of the day: Sighting in a hunting bow has NEVER been this fun or easy! It’s true: The days of noisy, hard-to-shoot compound bows have long passed us by. If increased arrow speed and smooth shooting are your goals, visit your local pro shop and shoot a few of today’s new bows. Granted, the array of manufacturers and models makes the job of selecting one bow a tall order for some folks. Fortunately, today’s bow companies have addressed the problem head-on and are now working on more efficient designs.

by Daniel E. Schmidt

One example is the new No Cam® from Mathews Inc. This radical design rewrites everything we’ve known about compound bows over the past decade or more. I shot one for myself last week, then spent a good portion of this weekend flinging Carbon Express Reds at my Field Logic Block Black target. The only thing I can say is that you have to shoot one for yourself to see what all the buzz is about.

What’s the best bow for you? That’s an impossible question to answer. They’re all good for bowhunting. However, all archers – from rookies to seasoned veterans – still can’t go wrong with a perimeter-weighted one-cam. In my humble opinion, this configuration is practically foolproof. Most perimeter-weighted single cams feature a coin-sized disc that’s placed within the upper end of the cam. When the bow is fired, the weight catapults in the opposite direction of the limbs, counteracting limb movement. The result is drastically decreased recoil and noise and drastically increased accuracy.

Ask any seasoned bowhunter and they will probably tell you they were attracted to archery by its beautiful simplicity. Indeed, the challenge of killing a white-tailed deer with a bow, arrow and broadhead is perhaps the most difficult challenge in hunting. While today’s bowhunters still enjoy the challenge, archery is a bit more complicated, especially when it comes to equipment. Hunters must still possess skill and strength to shoot a bow accurately, but they must also know how to use some high-tech equipment to achieve the same goal. That high-tech boom is currently going on with archery accessories such as sights, releases and arrow rests.

A good drop-away arrow rest can make all the difference in the world when it comes to accuracy. (photo by Dan Schmidt)

A good drop-away arrow rest can make all the difference in the world when it comes to accuracy. (photo by Dan Schmidt)

Rests have come a long way since the days of those little glue-on plastic dealies. There are many choices, including drop-away rests that come with their own video that explains how to install them on your bow. For the past few seasons, I’ve been shooting the Ultra-Rest from Quality Archery Designs. This is a full-capture drop-away rest that locks into position but can also be released with a flip of a lever. It’s darned-near foolproof, in my opinion.

Bow sights and other aiming devices fall into another category with seemingly endless possibilities. Today’s fiber-optic sights have definitely reached that next level. Combined with the advancements in bows, rests and releases, today’s sights are so reliable that most seasoned hunters can shoot accurately out to 50 yards without much problem. My favorite sight of late has been the terrific new models from Apex Gear and TRUGLO. This year I will be shooting the TRUGLO Rival Hunter. It’s a tool-less design with micro adjustments. Just a really solid sight with great fiber optics, too.

Each year, dozens of hunters ask me what I prefer on my arrows: plastic vanes or natural feathers. I used to say feathers without hesitation, but that was years ago before the Blazer vanes took off. Hard to beat this configuration now. Plus, I’m shooting the Carbon Express RED arrows, which are super high-tech. They don’t need much help downwind. They’re insanely accurate out of my rig.

But that’s just me. Every archer and every bowhunter has their own favorites. What works best for you? I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.


Which bow are you shooting? Arrow rest? Arrows?


Want to know how you can become better bow shot, improve your consistency, increase your range, what gear will make you more effective and how to avoid bowhunting’s most common bugaboos?

Deer & Deer Hunting’s Guide to Better Bowhunting is packed with the very best tips and strategies from our No. 1 archery expert. Inside you’ll find shooting advice, insights on critical gear, bowhunting techniques and tons of helpful hints for in-the-field archery success.