When I first started out archery hunting, the only bow available was a longbow. There was no sight and you had to judge the distance to your target by training over known distances. If you got good you had an advantage over someone who couldn’t estimate distances.
Needless to say, I was elated when they came out with the recurve bow and managed to get just one sight. Of course, there was always the problem of estimating distances, so I kept my shots within 20 yards.
At this point in the game, at least I managed to kill a deer. It was a point, which was legal at the time, but I couldn’t have been prouder if it was an eight-point monster taken with a rifle.
Then came the first compound bows made by Fred Bear. My wife gave me the Polar LTD, which was the top of the line at the time. At that time, there were five pin sights and the first rangefinders were on the market. I thought I was dead and gone to heaven.
That’s when I started to walk down to Lonesome Road Archery while it was still on Lonesome Road in Taylor. With his help, I started to shoot quite well.
When it opened on Main Street in Taylor, there was a great 20-yard range in the building and I started shooting three times a week. Again, with his help, I started hitting the bull’s-eye with every shot at 20 yards.
There was still the problem of getting the range finder, measuring the distance, then drawing the bow, aiming and shooting before the deer spotted you.
Today’s arcs and sights are so much better, but you still have to pick up the rangefinder, measure the distance, and shoot the bow without being detected. If you are using a five pin sight, you should also make sure that you are aiming with the correct pin.
The other day, when I was at Lonesome Road Archery, Kevin Jones showed me a viewfinder that eliminates all of these issues. The sight is the Oracle ll, made by Burris and it has a rangefinder built into the sight.
Once the sight is installed on the bow, when you pull the string, all you have to do is press a button on the sight and it not only measures the distance to the target, but also a only one pin appears in the window.
He places the pin within exact range of the target. With other sights, if the range is 23 yards, a 20 yard pin is used and you need to estimate the other three yards. At shorter distances this is not too critical, but at 30 yards and more it could mean injuring the animal. This view eliminates this problem.
Now, as with the best crossbows, this sight doesn’t come cheap. It can be purchased for a compound bow or crossbow, but they cost around $ 900. For me, that’s a godsend when you consider the research they had to do to perfect eyesight.
It can go up to 100 yards, but I don’t think shooting the game from 100 yards is very ethical.
As you can imagine, the sight is complicated to mount and aim, but if you buy the sight at Lonesome Road, it will mount and see it for 20 yards at no cost.
Imagine this; you see a deer, you shoot the bow, press the button, aim and shoot. What could be simpler ? If only they’d had this sight when I started hunting.
One thing though, it’s harder to see a crossbow than a compound. With Jason or Kevin setting it up and observing it for 20 yards, that cuts the stress by more than half.