Holy moly, bow hunting season is right around the corner, and you’re searching for the best compound bow sights of 2023. There are few archery mods as important as your sight, so you can’t afford to get this wrong.
If you’re new to the archery game, you might be stumped about what kind of bow sight you need. For you, we’ve included our best advice on choosing a sight that works for your style and a list of FAQs and considerations to ponder as you research your future scope.
And, if you’re a seasoned shooter looking for the hottest new tech in the industry, we have several top-notch recommendations that might catch your eye.
On this list, you’ll find some of the best bow sights in the industry from brands like SpotHogg, IQ, CBE, Black Gold, and even some affordable options under $100 for hunters on a budget.
When designing your archery setup, success comes from the ability to control all the different variables at the right time to take that perfect shot. That is true for your entire archery setup, from your compound bow to your bow sight to your string.
We’ve chosen the best compound bow sights of 2023 for you and have only included selections that hunters and target shooters review and rate highly. Pick a product from this list, and you can rest assured you’ll be getting a quality piece of gear.
“Aim small and miss small” is a saying that rings true in the archery community, so grab the perfect bow sight, aim big, and hit your target every time.
We get it if you’re lost in the sea of information regarding archery sights. There’s an insane amount of noise regarding sights in forums, Facebook groups, and blog posts. We’ll do our best to break that all down for you in this next section. After all, the technology of archery sights has changed tremendously over the past few years.
I used a simple dial-to-the-yard single pin when I shot my first compound bow in the mid-nineties with my Grandpappy. But technology has changed a lot since then. Nowadays, some sights feature windage on-the-fly and rangefinding capabilities and are very customizable to each shooter’s preference.
For example, a single adjustable pin can work for long-distance open area shots but isn’t necessarily your best bet for close-up shots in a tree stand or uneven mountain terrain — different scopes for different folks.
If you’re unsure which style will work best for you, grab a couple of different types, take them to the range, and see what feels most comfortable. It’s best to get your gear dialed in now, not in the field when you need to take that perfect shot at a moment’s notice.
Here are the most popular styles you’ll run across when researching bow sights.
Best All-Around Bow Sight
Trophy Ridge React Pro
If you’re searching for the best bang for your buck professional-quality bow sight of 2023, look no further than the Trophy Ridge React Pro. It has all the bells and whistles you need to make micro-adjustments on the fly without the cumbersome tools of the more competition-style sights.
It features a 2nd and 3rd axis adjustment that helps you calibrate for wind and elevation easily without any complicated tools. It also possesses an audio click that lets you know how much you’ve adjusted without looking. Features like these buy you microseconds when hunting, which could make the difference between getting your shot off clean and spooking the prey.
My favorite feature of this sight is its adjustment knob that can move all five pins at once. While some hunters will space their pins at 10 yards, I like to distance all five pins apart at about five yards.
I set my middle pin to my average shot distance when I got to my hunting spot. Afterward, I know that I can take a shot +/- 10 yards from my middle pin distance without the need to adjust before my attempt. Doing so gives me tons of versatility and speed in the heat of the moment, with zero guesswork.
- Pros: Easy no-tool adjustment, durable, take a lot of the guesswork out of shooting
- Cons: It doesn’t come with excellent instructions, which makes it hard to dial in for beginners
- Best For: Hunters who want to minimize movement in their shot with easy adjustments
Top-Notch Single-Pin for Hunting and 3D Shooting
HHA Sports Lite King Pin
Once you pick your target with this sight, a simple dial turn will calibrate your pin (within ¼-yard accuracy) to distances of up to 100 yards. This incredible accuracy results from HHA Sport’s attention to detail, from the dovetail arm to the scope housing to the super fine-tuned and easy-to-use dial.
The Lite King Pin comes in two different sizes, .010 and 0.019. I prefer the .010, as the 0.019 will only cover your target significantly at distances over 50-60 yards. This bad boy also features an easily mountable magnifier modification, which will help you dial in your shot from distance. Your mistakes are more pronounced under magnification, which will teach you to steady your shot and become a much better archer.
Many users report excellent illumination with their pin — and the brightness is adjustable, too — making this sight suitable for daytime and low-light situations. Users say the pins are super vibrant and produce minimal glare. This is a big deal, as glare is a common design flaw in other similarly priced bow sights.
- Pros: Versatile, durable, adjustable brightness on the pin, ¼-yard accuracy
- Cons: Single pin takes getting used to when on the fly
- Best for: Hunters, tournament shooters
Rock-Solid Option for Elk & Deer Backpack Hunters
Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie XL
When Spot-Hogg released the Fast Eddie XL, they created an absolute monster. This scope is large, in charge, and can take a beating. If you’re a fast-moving backcountry elk hunter, this might be exactly what you’re after.
It’s constructed of machined aluminum that’ll hold up to abuse. It won’t allow for much slop or play, leaving your accuracy untouched in harsh conditions.
This sturdy sight weighs in at a heavy 14.6 oz, but Spot-Hogg also offers a non-XL Fast Eddie if you want to save a couple of ounces. I prefer the longer dovetail since I can get a more precise sight picture through my peep. (This is just a personal preference.)
The Fast Eddie XL features pins set at 10 yards from each other that are not adjustable, but don’t fret! This sight features an oversized knob that allows you to quickly cycle through your preset distances. The 2nd and 3rd axis knobs are straightforward to adjust on the fly.
When you combine all the XL’s excellent features, you’ll find this sight offers a rapid and easy target and distance acquisition and accurate shooting on a consistent basis. If you’re a backcountry hunter, you should consider this beast of a bow sight.
- Pros: Heavy-duty, easy oversized adjustment knobs, comes with sight tape matched to your arrow size and speed
- Cons: Some may prefer the non-XL version, as the XL is very heavy
- Best for: Hunters that beat up their gear but want reliability in the field when it counts most
Hunter’s Favorite Single-Pin Setup
Black Gold Pro Series
If you prefer a single-pin setup, give the Black Gold Pro Series some serious consideration. Black Gold is one of the top names in bow sights and has been for many years. They provide some of the best customer services in the industry, and if you ever have any issues, they stand behind their products no matter what.
Their new Pro Series features an insanely narrow pin throat, creating far less target blackout than its competition. It’s available as either a dovetail or the more common x-mount. It has everything you could ask for from a bow sight in its price range, including premium materials from top-to-bottom and superfine 3-axis adjustments.
Thanks to its top-mounted fiber coil, the Pro Series has an unmatched pin brightness level. Not only does it have bright pins, but it has a patented photochromatic, which can detect UV light and will automatically keep your pins from getting too bright during sunny hours.
If you’re a serious elk or deer bowhunter, get your hands on this premium sight from Black Gold and take it for a spin. It may very well be the last bow sight you ever hunt with.
- Pros: High quality and heavy-duty construction, super durable, precise, earthquake-proof pins, ultra-bright
- Cons: A little pricey, but you get what you pay for
- Best for: Serious hunters looking for the best bow sight to take ethical shots in any condition
Fixed Five-Pin Sight For Preset Accuracy
IQ Mirco 5-Pin
I already love IQ sights, but they stepped up their game when they released the Micro 5-Pin. It features super durable yet ultralight aluminum, which helps to shed a couple of ounces on your front end. Considering weight is essential for certain shooters looking to balance out their shots.
I’ve had my eyes on this fixed pin sight for a while now, and this may just be the year that I pull the trigger. I’m looking to lighten up my mods, but I don’t want to skimp on durability. This Micro 5-Pin from IQ fits the bill.
This sight has a super bright and thin pin blade that helps to declutter your sight picture when you put a pin on a far-off target. It sports tool-free micro-adjustments for wind and elevation and is highly customizable with other mods. It’ll help me extend my bow to longer shots, no doubt.
The IQ Micro 5-Pin is a no-frills solution compared to sights like the Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie. While it may lack in fast knobs and other accouterments, it more than makes up for it with its compact, lightweight, and durable design.
- Pros: Light and compact, super sturdy pins, small pin size
- Cons: Short dovetail bar can be troublesome with some peep sights
- Best for: Backpack hunters, those who want a lighter bow set up, competition shooters who must use fixed pins as a stipulation of the competition rules
Best Three-Pin on the Market
CBE Engage Hybrid 3-Pin
I may be a little partial to the CBE Engage Hybrid 3-Pin, but that’s just because I’m begging my wife to let me buy it. It’s on the upper end of my budget, but I can’t get over how bright and clear my sight picture was when I tried it out while shooting my buddy’s bow last fall.
One thing I love about this site is the razor-thin and ultra-bright .010 pins. Combine that with its super fluorescent sight apparatus, and you have quite the tempting little bow sight.
It’s called a hybrid because it can be used like a typically fixed three-pin and utilizes an adjustable dial to help you make elevation calibrations on the fly. Such functional versatility makes this an excellent sight for both beginners and experts who know how to micro-adjust in the field.
This sight also rivals the IQ Micro 5-Pin in size and weight, making it an excellent option for those looking to shed a few ounces off the front end of their setup. It features a brightness adjustment on its sight light, allowing you to bring more light to your pin in low light conditions.
In all, the Engage Hybrid 3-Pin from CBE is a super easy-to-use sight that meets the mark.
- Pros: Durable, lightweight, super-thin, bright pins allow less clutter in the sight picture
- Cons: A little pricey for some
- Best for: Hunters that need to micro-adjust on the fly, 3D shooters who want a decluttered three-pin setup
Best-in-Class Digital Rangefinding Sight
Garmin Xero A1i PRO
Some purists may call this Garmin digital rangefinding sight a fu-fu pick, and others may even say it’s cheating to have so many helpful features on your bow sight. It’s actually illegal in some states to use a digital rangefinding sight such as this one.
What can I say? When it comes to taking clean and ethical shots on a big game animal, there’s nothing I wouldn’t consider using to give me every advantage possible. I’ve wounded animals in the past, lost their blood trails, and never found them. If a high-tech sight like this could have prevented such heartbreak, I’m all for it.
Suppose that you, too, crave a device with all the bells and whistles to help you take clean and ethical shots. With rangefinding capabilities and a red dot sight that perfectly adjusts to windage, elevation, and range, this not-so-humble sight will outperform pretty much everything else on this list.
It also sports a laser location tool, an add-on that lets archers accurately save where their shot was taken on a Garmin GPS device. This feature is performed automatically and makes for a handy add-on, especially if you own a Garmin smartwatch or handheld GPS device.
If you have the money to spend and digital rangefinding sights are legal in your state, consider this Garmin Xero Pro a serious investment in your future as a bowhunter.
- Pros: Rangefinder built-in, durable, shot location saves to GPS unit automatically
- Cons: Very expensive
- Best for: The ethical shooter who wants every bit of technology right at his fingertips
Top-Notch Digital Rangefinding Sight
Burris Oracle 2
Much like the Garmin Xero A1i PRO, The Burris Oracle 2 is a powerful tool for the most discerning hunters and shooters. It’s undoubtedly an expert archery tool, but it has a surprisingly quick learning curve. It could make an excellent investment for a beginning bowhunter with a bit of extra cash burning a hole in their pocket.
The Oracle 2 gives you a ridiculous advantage when lining up your shot, and its built-in inclinometer adjusts your shot perfectly when shooting at an angle. And, when you combine this with laser-precise rangefinding capabilities, you’re looking at a remarkably accurate and deadly bow setup. It’ll take a lot of guesswork out of your precise shot distance and location.
When hunting big game in unpredictable conditions, minor variables will throw your arrow off, but an expert tool like the Burris Oracle 2 will help to counteract them. You’ll need to drop some coin for this sight, but what price can you put on a perfect shot?
Again, several states have outlawed electronic bow sights, so be sure to check local regulations before pulling the trigger on this bad boy.
- Pros: Ultrabright pins that adjust to target, capable of rangefinding, very durable, extremely accurate
- Cons: Very expensive, takes a bit of training to understand
- Best for: Experienced archers and hunters looking for every advantage from their setup
Budget Friendly Buy Under $100
If you’re a beginner hunter or shooter, but you’re not ready to drop some serious clams on a top-flight sight, then the TruGlow Verso is for you. No, it’s not going to win any beauty contests, nor does it offer advanced features like windage and elevation adjustments on the fly. But, it will help you reliably launch an arrow into your target.
This entry-level three-pin fixed sight has a robust aluminum housing that matches well with most bows and has plenty of room for a quiver. Its strengths don’t end there, as I can attest to the pins’ durability. (I had to use a loaner bow last elk season while mine was being re-strung with this sight, and I used it for a good chunk of September.)
This little fella never let me down, as I was shooting 6-inch groups from 50 yards more often than not. I only re-sighted it once, which is especially remarkable since I went through some nasty backcountry last year. I’ve dealt with some gnarly damage to my setup in the past — broken pins, lost knobs, etc. — but this thing held up like a champ.
If I’d just been more patient and not hurried my shot, I could have taken down a black bear with this exact sight. Instead, I got giddy and stuck my arrow in a tree. I assure you, though, this was entirely my fault and not the bow, the string, the sight, or anything else.
If your budget is under $100, then this is the sight for you.
- Pros: Budget-friendly, large front sight, extremely durable
- Cons: No three-axis adjustment on the fly.
- Best For: Anyone looking for a quality and consistent three-pin sight, especially backcountry hunters
Ultra-Affordable Sub-$50 Buy
Trophy Ridge Joker-4
There are bow sights on this list that cost ten times as much as the Trophy Ridge Joker-4, so why would you want this one? If this is all your budget will permit, you could do a heck of a lot worse. Trophy Ridge makes incredible sights across all price ranges, and this inexpensive option is no different.
The Joker doesn’t offer much in terms of accessories or adjustments, but it does have a rheostat light dial that helps its four pins shine as bright as possible. Users also report a sturdy, non-plastic feel from this inexpensive and solid piece of aluminum. It also sports on-the-fly elevation adjustment, which is pretty helpful for hunting in the mountains.
I rock a pretty similar five-pin from Trophy Ridge on one of my cheaper bows, but I think I’d prefer the 3-pin as it has far less clutter. Overall, this is a useful site that does what it’s supposed to.
- Pros: Bright pins, elevation adjustment, low cost
- Cons: No 3rd axis adjustment, thick pins
- Best for: Newbies, those on a budget but still want to shoot with accuracy
Bow sights are intricate beasts, so we created this section to help answer some of the questions you may have. And if, after reading this, you still have any burning questions, please reach out to us in the comments section below. We’d be glad to help!
Bar Length – How Far Should My Sight Be From My Bow?
The further you get the sight on the dovetail bar away from the bows risers, the closer the pins will appear to each other. The more forward the site is on the bar, the more pronounced your mistakes will be. Your sight will have more weight out toward the end of the bar, which may cause your bow to lean forward and create an inaccurate shot.
Some prefer having the sight further away from the bow because it will give them more feedback on what is going wrong with their shot. If you are a newer shooter, you may have a hard time if your sight is 9 inches down the dovetail. Start with 4 inches, and your aiming will be much more forgiving.
What’s The Best Pin Size? Why are My Sight Pins Blurry?
The larger your pins are, the better you can see them. But unfortunately, fatter pins become especially worrisome at longer distances, as they cover up more of your target. The thinner nails you can get, the more accurately you can place your shot. It’s as simple as that.
The most common sizes of pins are 0.010 – 0.0129. The smaller number indicates, the smaller the hook. I shoot a .019 when elk hunting, but I’d consider purchasing a sight with smaller pins if I were extending my range past 60 yards.
Bow Mounts – Are They Universal?
Most sights will mount to your bow since most bows have predrilled holes for screws that’ll fit almost any sight. But you must consider what type of quiver you use and whether it’ll be compatible with your sight. It’s crucial to get with an archery shop or a professional before picking a specific quiver.
A few of the sights mentioned here are mountable on a dovetail bar, meaning they can move in and out from the bows risers. Some, however, have a fixed x-mount, so make sure the sight you purchase will fit your setup in this regard.
Fiber Length – The More The Better
Fiber cable is what takes in ambient light and focuses it onto your pin. The longer the fiber is, the more light you’ll get to that pin. The location of fiber is also vital. Some manufacturers have caught on to this and don’t feature the spool of fiber on the top of the sight where more ambient light is available.
Some sights have a battery-operated laser-style light for the fiber, but I don’t hunt or shoot with these since regulations in my home state of Colorado forbids it. Again, check your local laws before you invest in an archery sight.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Axis Adjustments
You’ll often need to adjust your sight for the conditions you’re shooting. Let’s say you’re shooting a perfect group at 50 yards, but your arrows are drifting a little to the right. By using a micro-adjustment on your sight, you can adjust for this effortlessly in the field.
Many fixed pin or “cheaper” sights won’t have this feature, and most of the sights in this class will require tools and some time back in the shop to calibrate. This isn’t to say you can’t shoot accurately with a less-adjustable setup, but axis adjustments do help if you’re a serious hunter who wants to ensure your sight can be tweaked on the fly.
Several sights on this list will allow for a mod that adds a magnifying glass, which would be helpful for target or 3D competition shooters. Magnifying lenses will help, you guessed it, magnify the target to get the pin in the middle of the target easier. Magnifying lenses are also quite helpful for older shooters whose eyes have to strain to acquire their target.
Again, like other mods on this list, using a magnifying lens is illegal in certain states when hunting. Always check with your local division of wildlife to make sure you’re compliant with all regulations.
Primary Materials – What is The Most Durable Type of Bow Sight?
I don’t like plastic sights because they learn adjustments and create slop in your calibration. This is because the plastic makes minor grooves in your sight when it’s tightened down. This problem comes from when you adjust your calibration and loosen the screws. When you retighten your front sight down, it’ll have a little slop from the groove you created.
Instead of plastic, invest in bow sights made from aluminum, titanium, brass, and synthetic carbon fiber. Picking a site made from quality materials is non-negotiable in my eyes. If you’re looking to refine your shot, but the lifespan of your plastic sight is 4-5 shooting sessions, you’ll never create the muscle memory you need to advance.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Pins
Since everyone acquires their target differently, the location of your pins is a personal choice. Many guys I know feel like horizontal pins clutter their sight picture, while others swear they can get a faster shot off with vertical pins.
I prefer vertical pins since I acquire my target by starting at the bottom and slowly circling my way up to the center. I focus on this small “hovering” motion until my bowstring lets go. (The release should be a surprise.) I’ve found that this method works best for me, but I can’t tell you what’ll work best for you.
This post has been a long and windy road, but hopefully we’ve helped you choose one of 2023’s best bow sights to add to your setup. In archery, you must put all the pieces together at the right time to take a clean and ethical shot, and your sight is a massive piece of the puzzle.
We’re glad that you, the discerning hunter or shooter, is doing your homework and reading up on all the latest archery information. When it comes time for the big test, will you be let down by an inferior bow site with which you did little research? Or will you be the one who was able to put together a deadly accurate kit that synchronizes with your shooting style? The choice is yours.
We’ve given you plenty of options for 1, 2, 3, and 5-pin setups across several price points to accommodate hunters and shooters of any budget. Whether you’re looking for the best bow sights for deer and elk hunting, or you’re a tournament or hobby shooter, we did our best to give you as much variety as possible. We want you to make the perfect choice for your style of shooting.
From Spot-Hogg, CBE, Black Gold, and Trophy Ridge, we’ve only recommended the top names in the industry. We know there are many more great bow sights on the market, but we wanted to steer you towards some never-fail options. If you know of any additional sights that would make this list better, please tell us about them in the comments section below.
EatElkMeat.com was founded on providing knowledge to hunters in an industry where information is kept close to the vest. We feel that everyone deserves to be informed when making a big purchase, like when they’re searching for 2023’s best bow sights. We hope we hit the mark!
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Last Updated on August 16, 2023