Through the years our hunting gear has come leaps and bounds from what it was in the days of old. From rangefinder binoculars to GPS communication devices. That progression isn’t stopping for anything and we can continue to expect more and more advancements in the future. One of the biggest leaps in bowhunting technology has been slider bow sights. They have broken down more than a few barriers and have played a hefty role in elevating us as archers. While not everyone shoots one, they are certainly growing in popularity, and for good reason. Down below, we’ll break down 3 reasons to shoot a slider bow sight.
What is a Slider Bow Sight?
Let’s first talk briefly about what a slider sight is. Regular multipin bow sights have a set amount of pins (normally 3, 5, or 7) that represent certain yardages that the shooter chooses. These pins help us aim for these yardages. For the sake of argument, let’s use a 3 pin as an example. Generally, each pin has a 10 yard separation between them. So, a 3 pin might look like 20 (top pin), 30 (middle pin), and 40 yards (bottom pin). Meaning that the farthest one could shoot with this sight is 40 yards. This is where the slider comes in.
A slider sight not only will give one the ability to have preset pins like discussed above, but it also extends the archer’s shooting ranges well past that of the bottom pin. It does so by having a wheel or dial that let’s one rapidly adjust the sight up or down. Along with that, there will be what is called a sight tape with yardage marks. There is also an indicator needle that let’s one know what yardage mark they are currently set at. That yardage indicator should be set to the yardage that your bottom pin is at. When all of this is set up properly, one will have the ability to adjust the sight down, which would increase the range on the bottom pin. We call this a “floater pin.” So, if one puts the indicator at 80 yards, the bottom pin will be 80 yards.
Single pin sights are slider bow sights with only one pin. The archer must adjust his sight tape for each distance before shooting their shot.
Extend Practice Range
Alright! Time for the meat and potatoes of why you should consider shooting a slider sight on your bow. Th first reason is to extend your practice range. Not only is it fun shooting long range at targets, but this is a fantastic way to really dial in your shorter game as well. By practicing at distances past 50 and 60 yards, and being proficient at them, it will make your 30 and 40 yard shots seem easier. Keep in mind that just because these sights give you the ability to shoot past 100 yards, doesn’t mean that you should shoot at an animal at those distances. In the end, we need to be honest with ourselves about our own ability and comfort level at longer distances.
Exact Yardage Accuracy
Another benefit of the slider is being able to aim for exact yardage more accurately. Say you’ve got a target out at 87 yards and your bottom pin is 70. Traditionally, you wouldn’t have a pin to shoot at an 87 yard target. With a slider bow sight, you can dial to the exact yardage once your sight tape is calibrated. Doing this isn’t the most ideal for heat of the moment situations in the field, but it’s no doubt an option. Single pin shooters know this challenge well. Don’t forget to dial the sight back to its original position after your longer shots or you will miss high when you go back to shorter yardages.
Better Chance for Follow Up Shots
In a perfect world, we’d get that ideal broadside opportunity at an unaware animal with all the time in the world to execute our best shot. We watch as the arrow zips right through the bread basket and see the animal fall in sight. If you’ve bowhunted for any amount of time, you know how unlikely that situation seems to be. Things happen fast in the field and situations aren’t always ideal. Sometimes the angle is slightly off, the wind is howling, or we just plain choke under pressure. A follow up shot is in order from time to time and a slider sight can help with that.
There are many times when an animal will get hit, run a short ways, and not know what happened. Maybe your first shot was at 43 yards, but the animal runs out to 82 yards, offering another shot opportunity. While long range bowhunting isn’t ideal, it is ideal in this imperfect situation. Once we pull the trigger, we as hunters have a responsibility to do everything we can to make sure that animal comes home with us. Having the ability to quickly dial our sight to that 82 yards for a follow up shot is one of the ways we can achieve this. Follow up shots aren’t something that we should strive for, but they are something we should be prepared for.
Closing Remarks on the Slider Sight
I want to stress something here. Bowhunting is and always will be a game of getting close. Just because one has a slider sight is no reason to stray from that path. With that being said, the benefits of using a slider sight are undeniable. They push our ability as shooters which hones our skills overall. Hone your long game and you’ll tighten up your short game without a doubt. Plus, it’s flat out fun shooting targets from a distance and laying some money down with buddies. Slider bow sights are merely another tool in our ever evolving toolkit as hunters. A new standard in modern bowhunting equipment.
Written by Josh Kirchner of Dialed in Hunter