Too Much Sight Pin Movement?

Does excessive sight pin movement bother you mentally and hinder your shooting accuracy? This is a common problem for many archers; however, it is one that can usually be corrected.

To identify what is causing the difficulty, place a large, plain piece of cardboard on a target butt. Then draw the bow and let the pin settle on the cardboard. Note if the pin movement is at an acceptable level. Next, put an orange dot in the middle of the cardboard and shoot an arrow at it. If you encounter too much pin movement, the problem is in the aiming process.

Many archers tighten muscles in their bow arm in an attempt to hold the pin on the desired location. This is an incorrect method of aiming. The extra-tight muscles used to steady the pin produce the excess movement. Instead of tightening the muscles in your bow arm, come to a full draw, anchor, and then wait a few seconds to relax the muscles in your arms and shoulders. At the same time, you must continue to maintain a constant pressure as you pull the bow apart. You should notice a difference as the pin no longer jumps around but rather begins to float softly on the target. When you reach that moment, you are ready for the shot execution.


ARE YOU OVER-AIMING?


Some archers find that they have a steady sight picture until they start to release the arrow. This usually occurs because they are over-aiming the shot. In an attempt to hold the pin on the target, they relax the bow arm and start and stop the release procedure. Instead of doing this, let the pin float on or around the target, add a little forward pressure to the bow arm, and finish the shot.


Years ago I remember when there was little or no movement in my sight pin. Now, with the grey hair invading my scalp, I experience a lot more movement. I reassure myself, "This is about as steady as the pin will get. Put pressure at the target and execute." The movement does not bother me, because I know if I shoot a strong shot, it will hit where I am aiming.

Once, an older gentleman came to me for lessons. As I watched him shoot five shots, his bow arm seemed to be shaking at about a 7.1 on the Richter scale. He said, "See the problem? I have an affliction and the bow arm won't quit shaking."


I replied, "That isn't the problem. The difficulty is that you are worrying about the sight movement and not putting pressure toward the target." Then he tried to ignore the pin movement and executed a strong shot. The arrows hit the mark. Aiming and trying to hold the pin on the bull's-eye is over-rated. This man learned to trust his form and shoot a strong shot. He went on to win a national championship.

TOO MUCH POUNDAGE?

Another common problem that produces a poor sight picture is when an archer attempts to hold more pounds of draw weight than he or she is capable of handling. You can check to see if this is a factor by reducing the draw weight 5 or 6 pounds and releasing a few arrows. If the pin movement subsides, you need to use the lower draw weight. My daughter Sally has taken over 30 deer with her 45-pound bow. She hits the mark at which she is aiming and the arrow passes through the deer. Accuracy is one of the most important attributes for a successful archery hunter.


A draw length that is too long can also cause sight movement. With too many inches, the archer will have to push his or her bow arm forward to such an extent that there is no room left to push forward and maintain pressure. The overextended bow arm will start shaking. Steady forward pressure is one of the key elements in having a good sight picture. Stand with your shoulders relaxed and in a down position. Now draw and anchor.

If you have to raise and extend your shoulder, the draw length is likely too long. Shorten it and note if the conditions improve. With a compound bow, over 90 percent of the misses can be attributed to the bow arm. If an archer cannot maintain steady forward pressure, a poor shot is apt to occur.

CONDITION THOSE MUSCLES!

Weak muscle tone can also produce a shaky sight picture. All archers, whether they are weekend warriors or championship competitors, need to practice at a blank bale in order to solidify their form and develop muscle tone. Blank-bale shooting can be done at home from a distance of five yards. The goal is to shoot every shot exactly the same and condition your muscles to the process of shooting. Pay special attention to determine if the bow arm finishes in the same position with every shot. If you can shoot every arrow in the same way, then each one should hit the identical spot. This practice of blank-bale shooting will help develop the muscles, which in turn will give you a calmer sight pin and a smooth shot.

A steady sight pin relaxes the mind of an archer when he or she is attempting a shot. Doing everything possible with equipment and form to calm down the sight pin will help with accuracy. When you're sitting in your stand and a big wall-hanger walks into your shooting lane in the woods, there will still be sight movement, but hopefully you will have reduced it to a manageable level. As you face that moment of truth, just trust your form and shoot a strong shot.

Recommended for You

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters. Scouting

Will Wireless Trail Cameras Make You a Better Hunter?

Tony J. Peterson

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters.

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer! Bowhunting

Best New 2019 Crossbow Accessories

Laden Force - July 02, 2019

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Stan Potts

Stan Potts' Debut NAW Hunt

North American Whitetail revisits Stan Potts' very first hunt for the TV Show.

Putting a New Spin on an Old Whitetail Hunt

Putting a New Spin on an Old Whitetail Hunt

Gordon Whittington returns home to Texas to relive one of his favorite deer hunts of all-time, and make new memories.

Alternative Season Whitetail Hunt

Alternative Season Whitetail Hunt

Mike Clerkin is hunting the alternative weapon whitetail season in Missouri with his S&W revolver.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois non-typical bow-killed whitetail was announced today in the OSG booth at the 2019 ATA Show in Louisville. According to North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and associate editor Haynes Shelton, the Brewster buck is the largest buck ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

BREAKING NEWS: Brewster's 320-5/8-Inch Non-Typical Buck Pending World Record Announced

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2019

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois...

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional requirements will not only increase your chances of harvesting a good buck, but also your enjoyment of whitetail hunting. Land Management

What Do Deer Eat?

Dr. James C. Kroll

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional...

See More Stories

More How-To

December hunting is tough, but you can bump your success with some simple steps. How-To

5 Ways to Stay in The December Whitetail Game

Mark Kayser

December hunting is tough, but you can bump your success with some simple steps.

Hunt opening day? Wait until the end? In gun season, the best honest answer is, 'It depends.' Here's why. How-To

Why Timing Is Everything in Gun Season

Mark Kayser

Hunt opening day? Wait until the end? In gun season, the best honest answer is, 'It depends.'...

Access is one of the largest impediments most of us face when it comes to deer hunting. Here's how to deal with the deer ground conundrum. How-To

Should You Buy Or Lease Hunting Land?

Tony J. Peterson

Access is one of the largest impediments most of us face when it comes to deer hunting. Here's...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.