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An Alternative Pin Setup for Compound Bow Sights

Whether you are using a 3 pin sight, a 4 pin, or a 5 pin sight on your compound bow a common theme is to setup the pins in the following order, with 20 yards being the pin most often used:

  1. 20 yards
  2. 30 yards
  3. 40 yards
  4. 50 yards
  5. 60 yards

Even though most compound shooters when bowhunting rarely use the 40, 50 or 60 yard pins because it is generally accepted to be unethical to take a shot at long distances when you cannot guarantee the accuracy. It is more likely for a bowhunter to end up needing a 10 or 15 yard pin setup as bowhunters often end up being that distance from the deer (or similar game) when hunting anyway.

The general rule of thumb is that an ethical hunter should only be shooting at any distance they know they can consistently hit a target the size of an apple (roughly the size of a deer's heart).

Thus a more useful (and ethical) pin setup is:

  1. 10 yards
  2. 15 yards
  3. 20 yards
  4. 25 yards
  5. 30 yards

The 3 distances most likely to be used are marked in a dark bold green.

Thus the bowhunter gets added accuracy by setting their target pins to the distances they are more likely to be using.

If someone actually had 6 or 7 pins they could potentially add 35 and 40 yards to their pin setup, but with the realization they might never use them.

Any experienced bowhunter will also tell you that you usually first see the deer at 25 yards or less anyway. At further distances they are usually obscured by brush or trees.

And once they are spotted you still have to wait until you have a clear shot at its heart and lungs, so they will usually end up wandering closer to the hidden bowhunter who needs to be patient to get a good shot at the heart area, which means the deer might only be 5 to 15 yards away by the time they take the shot.

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