September 09, 2015
If bowhunters would be more honest about their misses on game, more guys would probably realize that buck fever has a solid grasp on them.
To avoid that harsh self-awareness, however, we conjure up excuses about string-jumping, misjudged distances, and the ever-popular excuse that my arrow deflected off some unseen twigs.
Hey, I do it, too. The reality, however, is that most of our misses occur because of what is going on between our ears and nothing more. Because of this, simplifying your shot sequence with a single-pin sight can yield positive results.
It is that simple. Need further proof that a single-pin mover will change your life?
Here's How it Works
Consider a scenario where a whitetail walks into range at 34 yards. With a multi-pin sight, you draw and then count down pins. You gap to account for the middle distance, so you have to decide whether to hold your 30-yard pin high, or your 40-yard pin low. Then it's time to check your level and concentrate on your release.
The same scenario with a single-pin mover goes like this. Zap the range with your rangefinder and then dial your single-pin sight into exactly 34 yards. Draw and hold your one pin behind the shoulder to execute the shot.
Everything is the same, except having to think about whether to hold high or low. On paper eliminating that variable doesn't seem to be a big deal, but on stand it is.
Several things are having an influence here, but the most important is sheer amount of practice. How often do you practice a 34-yard shot at the range? Or maybe a 57-yard shot? If you're a multi-pin shooter and you answered that you don't practice those shots very often, you might be in trouble in the real world.
A single-pin shooter might not practice shots at those distances much either, but his sight window doesn't change. It's still a matter of putting the pin halfway up and four inches behind the shoulder because dialing into exact distances is possible.
Adjusting To Moving Deer
Every bowhunter I've talked to about switching to a single-pin mover has said something to the effect of, "I don't want to have to mess with moving my sight when an animal walks in." Fair enough, but having hunted extensively with a one-pin sight for six years now, I can recall one time on an Iowa buck where I drew and then he turned and walked in much closer. I had to let down and dial my sight down before I shot him.
Most of the time when I'm hunting whitetails, my sight never moves because shot distances are close and modern bows are flat-shooters. When I go out West, I often move my sight to accommodate the longer shots needed in big country, but there is nothing quite like the confidence of being able to dial into an exact distance before the shot, and then aim behind the shoulder.
There are situations where you'll run into trouble with a mover, and they often involve elk coming to a call, which is a small concern for most Midwestern whitetail hunters. Either way, if you spend an entire summer practicing with a single-pin sight that adjusts, you'll build a 'yardage check' into your pre-shot routine and it will become second nature to always eyeball your sight to know where you're at.
Ditto for adjusting the sight when it becomes necessary.
To curb extra movement at the moment of truth, I tend to lean toward sights that can be adjusted while my release is attached to my string loop. This means I simply move my hand a few inches, dial in and go back to my shot sequence. It's a two-second maneuver that occurs before I draw, which is important.
Simplifying Your Shot Sequence
The main reason to switch to a single-pin mover is, as I've mentioned, to simplify the shot sequence. The less you have to think about after you draw, the better. There is another benefit to most single-pin sights that most hunters don't realize until they shoot them, which is a vastly de-cluttered sight window.
A lot of new bowhunters will make shots that are too far forward or too far back. One of the reasons is because they are trying to peek around a rack of pins to see more of the deer in their sight window. Even a very minimal canting of the bow or adjusting of your grip can throw an arrow right into a shoulder or the guts.
A single-pin sight, especially a model with a vertical pin, opens up the sight window greatly and makes precision aiming much easier. You can see animal on both sides of your pin, and that creates a better scenario for hitting what you want to hit.
An even better idea is to opt for a sight with vertical pin that features a large-diameter sight aperture. I like those with diameters pushing two inches, because they are better in low light and give me a much more open sight window through which to aim.
If you have trouble making good shots on game but can shoot lights-out at the range, you're a prime candidate for a single-pin sight. Just do yourself a favor and give it a couple of months to get used to the new style. After that, it's a safe bet that you'll be a convert to the one-pin lifestyle — and you'll be far more lethal in the deer woods.