Bow Sight for Aging Eyes

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By: Hunt98
Posted: 23-Mar-11

I'm helping out a 50+ yr old who has been shooting for a year and needs to upgrade the bow sight. Looking for a sight in the $50-75 range.

What would you suggest for a sight? pin size (.019, .029 or ??)?

Thanks for your help!!

By: Canuck
Posted: 24-Mar-11

Went through same problem. Best thing I ever did was go to a single pin adjustable sight. With my Hoyt Maxxis, and my maximum shot distance of 25 yards, I never have to move it so I'm not disadvantaged at all. I also went with the largest size as there is only one (I wasn't able to do this with a multi-pin sight as they were too blurred and close together).

By: Charlie Rehor
Posted: 24-Mar-11

Our resident Eye Doctor (Genesis) recomended that these old eyes needed to get rid of red pins (as these distort the eyes the most) so now I get a custom site from Black Gold and alternate Green and Yellow.

PS: High Country is 25 years old so discount his recommendation for older eye advice!LOL!

By: Russ Koon
Posted: 24-Mar-11

Presbyopia is the inability to focus over the same range of distances that we used to when our eyeballs were younger and more elastic. It's why we need reading glasses or longer arms when trying to read the paper when we're in our late 40's or early 50's, as a rule.

I noticed it first twenty some years ago when trying to squirrel hunt with open sights on my .22. Finally added a scope.

Could still see the brightly painted pins on the bowsight for several more years, but they were gradually becoming less distinct. Finally needed fiber optics, then bigger pins, all green pins, then lighted pins, and finally even that wasn't enough any more and I did what would have saved me much time and effort to start with, I corrected the focus instead of trying to deal with it by making the pins bigger and brighter.

For less than the price of a brighter and more visible sight, I bet your friend can put on reading glasses or use one of the other methods to correct his aiming eye focus at thirty inches, and he'll be happily aiming precisely with the sight he now has.

If he consults an optician for advice, have him be SURE to tell the optician the distance he needs to be in sharpest focus, as most reading glasses will be aimed at providing best focus at about 18" for reading, and the results will be better if they are the lesser strength to provide the best focus at 30". He may need to really emphasize that. In my experience, most opticians have hearing problems of their own when the customer says anything past the word "reading", and will be determined to fix him up with readers for the 18" focal distance. Some opticians will be more familiar with the term "computer glasses" as they are usually corrected for about the same focal distance as he will need.

I've had good results with cheap drugstore readers, but had to buy a few different strengths to settle on the right ones. You can get close just comparing them in the store for a minute and reading something with fine print held at arm's length, but sometimes after a few hours in the field, you may find that one strength higher or lower would have been a better choice.

The correct focus will usually clear up most other problems, like the pins disappearing in low light. It's amazing how little light it takes to see them clearly when your eyes are properly focused, and how quickly the pins disappear if they're not.

There are other ways to achieve the same thing, if your buddy has a strong aversion to wearing glasses while hunting/shooting. There are peep sights that contain what amounts to a reading glass lens screwed into the peep body, by Specialty Archery. They work pretty well, but you do have to check them occasionally to make sure they haven't gotten loose, or they can shoot out, and under certain weather conditions they can fog up or get rain or snow on the lens. Doesn't happen often but can.

Contact lenses with one eye corrected for the 30" focal length and the other for full distance sharpness is another solution that works well, and was my favorite for a while. The daily wear contacts got kind of expensive after a while, though, and I kept getting halfway to range or the woods before realizing I still had my glasses on and no contacts with me. Also, at the age when most of us need the help in focussing, we tend to nod off for little catnaps during a slow afternoon, and that's not good with most contacts.

Pretty much personal choice which method is best for each shooter. All will clear the pins up and make them visible in low light again, but each has its own minor drawbacks. But any of the solutions that deal with the root problem of the inability to focus well at thirty inches will be better in the long run than the stopgap measure of bigger and brighter sight pins.

By: Ridge Runner
Posted: 24-Mar-11

Might be a dumb question, but when using the reading glasses and having the sight pin be clear,won't the target or what ever your aiming at be blurry.I use reading glasses all the time (several pairs,I'm always loosing them ),but when I look up from the paper or magazine everything in the distance is fuzzy. Just wondering Thanks Ridge Runner

By: jdan
Posted: 24-Mar-11

Ditto! my reading glasses make the sight pins crystal clear but everything else is blurry.

By: recurve
Posted: 25-Mar-11

I have the same problem and found that using .019 yellow and green pins helps. The larger pins are just larger blobs. Avoid red pins, they're the worst.

By: Buckfvr
Posted: 25-Mar-11

I keep trying to talk myself into a single fixed 029 green pin.....I have one on one of my back ups, but still opt for 5 pins, 029 for hunting. I may drop to 3 pins this year, never needed more than that, one pin dead on @ 25 will do anything I need .....

By: IA-Booner
Posted: 25-Mar-11

HHA !!!!!!!!!!! Helen Keller could shoot with one!!!!!!!!

By: Russ Koon
Posted: 25-Mar-11

Yep, the rest of the world will be a little fuzzy when using reading glasses.

The closer the focal distance, the fuzzier everything downrange will be. That's why you want the glasses you use for making the pins sharp for shooting to be the ones for at least 30" focal distance. They will be noticably less strong than normal readers that make things sharp at 18", so they will make stuff downrange less fuzzy than the full strength readers that you'll want for sitting down with a goood book.

The shooting strength readers will still make stuff a little fuzzy out there, but I've tried it both ways and you definitely can see where you're aiming better when the pins are sharp. The target or animal can be a little bit out of focus and still be sharp enough to aim at and hit where you need to hit it. It's good to be able to see the critters in sharp focus and "pick a hair" to shoot at, but if you have to trade off some sharpness at one place or another, the pin sharpness is far more critical.

If the readers are like most, smaller than regular full size lenses, you'll probably want to wear them low enough on your nose that you can look over them to see in the distance, to see the critters and acquire the target, then push them up a bit before aiming, to sharpen the pins. Might sound like a lot of trouble, but people who wear them often get used to doing that so naturally that it's not even noticable after a while.

Another option is to remove the lens for the non-aiming eye. Most people adapt very well to one eye being corrected for distance and one for closer, and the brain normally selects the sharpest image available automatically so you get sharp view of the critter and also sharp pins when you close the non-aiming eye, without even thinking about it. It's one of those things that works better than it sounds like it would.

By: hobie
Posted: 26-Mar-11

red dot if legal in your state no peep sight required.that's what i went to this year.

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