The goal of bowhunting is pretty simple: put an arrow where you aim. To do this, you’ll need a sight (unless you shoot instinctively, and if you do, well, hats off), and there’s no shortage of quality options.
If there is a theme to this year’s lineup, it would be of a range-finding variety. Several new models have built-in rangefinders, and while it’s yet to be seen if these high-dollar systems will really catch on long-term, sight manufacturers seem to be betting on them. Here are 11 new-for-2019 options worth a look.
If you’ve had enough of boring sight pins and are looking to get a little rifle-like with your compound setup, check out the new Covert Pro from Apex Gear. This sight forgoes the traditional sight pins and uses a rifle-scope-style reticle instead. There’s an illuminated dot, and everything is micro-adjustable with both second- and third-axis adjustments.
This is an adjustable sight with rear-facing yardage tape for shots out to 120 yards, but instead of a single-pin setup, it uses the illuminated PWRDOT. You can pick from 11 levels of green illumination. At about $220, it’s not cheap, but it is well built.
Black Gold is known for tough, no-nonsense sights, and the Ascent Whitetail does nothing to tarnish that reputation.
The Ascent is an adjustable sight that uses Black Gold’s Photochromatic technology to manage pin brightness over the course of the day. This aids in gathering light in at dusk and dawn and prevents the pins from flaring or blowing out in bright, direct sunlight.
You can choose between a single up-pin housing and employ the sight as a standard, single-pin adjustable, or opt for a 3-pin housing and go the hybrid route. Regardless of housing, the sight has an oversized gear knob that should make it easier to adjust when wearing gloves and also minimize gear wear due to its large size.
It is fully adjustable with three axis adjustments, and the sight tape is attached at a 45-degree angle, making it much easier to see from various angles. It sells for about $200.
Last year’s talk of the ATA show was the Garmin Xero sight. It was an innovative new tool that automatically ranged targets, compensated for angle, and displayed a floating, holographic-style LED pin for the shot.
The A1i builds on that platform. To use the rangefinder, you simply point your bow at the target, hit the button, and an illuminated dot provides the correct aiming point for the distance calculated. It’s bright, clear, and very simple to use. The A1i gives you a choice of red or green illumination, and you can choose between single- or multiple-pin setups based on your preferred sight picture.
The A1i also has a “Laser Locate” feature that uses GPS to determine exactly where the animal was standing when the shot was taken. That info is then sent to your Garmin device (yes, you’ll need to buy another Garmin item to use this feature).
With a selling price of $1,000, it’s anything but cheap. But you are replacing your rangefinder with a new sight, so that might make the purchase price a bit more palatable.
This 5-pin sight boasts fiber-wrapped pins, a CNC-machined aluminum construction, and is adjustable for both right- and left-hand shooters. It also has a removable rheostat light and a glow-in-the-dark shooters ring around the housing for making shots in low-light conditions. The Storm is a refreshing, no-frills option that will get the job done at a price anyone can afford. At $35, this solid, functional sight is a great buy.
The Define Pro is a range-finding sight that features seven .019-inch pins. The rangefinder is good out to 150 yards and is accurate to within a yard. It also features angle compensation for elevated shots.
Ranging is quick and easy, even at full draw. Just push a button, and the system activates for two minutes, allowing you to adjust yardage for different targets. Like all of Field Logic’s IQ line, it has the Retina Lock system that helps with focus and accuracy while also preventing bow torque by providing a visual reference to ensure that the sight is properly aligned.
At $500, it’s not exactly cheap, but it is the lowest-priced range-finding sight to date.
The Oracle drew plenty of attention at this year’s ATA show and is the rifle optic company’s first foray into bowhunting sights.
The rangefinding system provides the distance to the target and also provides an aiming point for the shot. The built-in inclinometer compensates for elevation and angles, a must for hunters in treestands or hilly terrain.
The Oracle also features a cool alignment function that compensates for grip torque and eliminates the need for a peep by using a rear sight. It essentially takes the place of a peep sight but isn’t affixed to the bowstring. It has second- and third-axis adjustments, and the system can store up to two trajectory profiles for different arrow weights or poundages. It sells for about $800.
A long-time player in the adjustable, single-pin sight game, HHA’s Tetra Tournament is a solid dovetail sight that will be right at home on your 3-D rig or hunting setup. It features your choice of .019- or .010-inch pins and a choice of two sight housings. The Tetra Tournament is made in the U.S.A. and backed by a lifetime warranty. It’s also pricey, selling for $300.
Single-pin sights aren’t better than fixed-pin setups; they’re simply different. You either love them or hate them. For the most part, single-pin sights are pricey, and trying one out means making a pretty substantial investment. If you are looking for a single-pin sight but aren’t in love with single-pin prices, the Pursuit is worth a long look at.
At less than $70, this adjustable single-pin model has a .019-inch fiber-optic sight and a built-in rheostat light. The housing boasts a built-in level, and the aluminum bracket is stout.
If top-of-the-line (and top dollar) is what you want, this is your sight. The Engage Hybrid is a super-smooth adjustable single-pin sight for precise shots at short and long distance.
It has a dovetail mounting system and is second- and third-axis adjustable. The windage is micro-adjustable (with clicks), and you can choose from 1-, 3- or 5-pin housings. The pins are also micro-adjustable. The Engage Hybrid sells for about $300.
The Carbon Pro is an interesting offering. It’s an adjustable slider sight that uses Accu-Clicks that allow the sight to function similar to a standard multi-pin sight. This combination should provide excellent accuracy customized to your specific bow setup and solves one of my pet peeves with single-pin setups.
With the majority of single-pin sights, you move the pin to the desired yardage by means of a dial, lever or some other device. This is all well and good, but sometimes, in the heat of a rut-frenzied moment, you need to get that pin slapped into a yardage in a hurry. The Accu-Click system allows that to happen by indexing common yardage settings (20, 30, 40, etc.) so that the pin “clicks” into place.
As you would expect from a set that sells for nearly $350, the attention to detail and overall quality is excellent, including the rear-facing sight scale set at a 45-degree angle for easier viewing.
The Grinder was designed specifically for bowhunting. It’s compact, built from strong 6061 aluminum and is the lightest model in the Spot Hogg arsenal. The amount of ambient light or time of day can affect a shooters view through a peep sight. It can appear smaller in bright sunlight, and in low-light, a gap will form between the edge of the peep and the sight housing. Spot Hogg addresses this with their new Multi-Ring Technology or MRT housing.
Depending on the pin configuration, the sight includes interchangeable alignment rings at different thicknesses designed to help center the site in your peep and improve overall visibility. They fit on the outside of the sight and compensate for this gap getting larger or smaller. You can choose from 3-, 5-, or 7-pin configurations, and it sells from $180 to $220, depending on pin setup.