By Cabe Johnson
It's fun to see how far we can shoot. But just launching an arrow into the air isn't good enough; we love to see how far we can shoot accurately.
With a movable-pin sight, we can dial our aiming point to the exact yardage we want. When using a movable, multi-pin sight, we have to designate which pin is our floater. We always choose the bottom pin to get the most distance.
Of course, the maximum distance is limited with a bow due to physics. When shooting a gun, there are very few limitations to how far we can shoot. With a bow, we have to slide our sight pin lower as shot distance increases. Eventually, we run out of clearance between the pin guard and the arrow’s path. The faster your setup, the farther you’ll be able to shoot before running out of room, but you’ll still max out eventually.
Well, we’re always trying to push the limits and see just how far we can shoot during our practice sessions. One way we increase our shooting distance is to move the pin housing closer to the bow. Not all sights have this ability, but if you’re using a sight with a dovetail mounting bracket, or one with multiple sets of mounting holes, you typically have the option to slide the pin guard toward you so that it is closer to the front of the riser. The closer your pins are to your riser, the farther you’ll be able to shoot before experiencing clearance issues.
Another adjustment that can increase your maximum range is sliding the peep sight up the string to increase the distance between the nocking point and the peep. Just be careful not to go so high you end up with a sloppy anchor point.
As mentioned, gaining speed is another way to gain some distance, as faster speed equates to a flatter arrow trajectory. You can accomplish this by increasing your draw weight, reducing your arrow weight or both.
Another way to increase arrow speed is to increase draw length. Too long of a draw length can diminish accuracy, but shooting a short-necked or trigger-forward release aid can increase draw length without sacrificing comfort or accuracy.
Yet another way to add extra yardage to your setup is to use the bottom of your pin guard or top of your bubble level as aiming references. A smaller housing can also provide some extra clearance and, thus, more distance. However, be careful not to sacrifice pin-guard centering in the peep just to use a smaller housing.
A final thing to consider is the vanes on the arrow. Using high-profile vanes and nocking your arrow with a vane pointed straight up will reduce your clearance significantly. Pointing a vane directly down, if your arrow rest will accommodate it, solves that problem. Another option is to use vanes with a lower profile.
Long-distance shooting is fun, and we love shooting as far as our skill will permit. By employing the methods discussed here, we have usually been able to do just that.