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Decided to Add a Sidebar for Accuracy
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
pav 26-Jun-23
Smtn10PT 26-Jun-23
JTreeman 26-Jun-23
Bowfreak 26-Jun-23
EmptyFreezer 26-Jun-23
wyobullshooter 26-Jun-23
Ambush 26-Jun-23
midwest 27-Jun-23
Charlie Rehor 27-Jun-23
pav 27-Jun-23
x-man 27-Jun-23
Bowfreak 27-Jun-23
Coondog 28-Jun-23
SoDakSooner 29-Jun-23
Medicinemann 29-Jun-23
Dino 29-Jun-23
pav 30-Jun-23
pav 01-Jul-23
Bowfreak 01-Jul-23
Bowfreak 01-Jul-23
pav 01-Jul-23
pav 18-Jul-23
t-roy 18-Jul-23
From: pav
26-Jun-23
After 45+ years bowhunting, I've placed an order for a sidebar setup for my hunting rig. Been dealing with "aging eyes" for some time now. Still comfortable with my accuracy at 20-25 yards, but beyond 25 yards, I'm on a downhill slide. For hunting whitetails from a treestand, not really a problem...but for western big game hunting, something has to change. I'm holding off on a verifier as long as possible...mainly due to hunting in adverse weather conditions...which happen often out west and in Alaska.

I've noticed, when shooting at distance, it is becoming more and more difficult to focus on the bubble, pin and target at the same time. I get alot of pin float when attempting to focus on all three at full draw. I'm hoping proper setup of the sidebar will add some "bubble relief " to my 25+ yard shots.

Initial setup will be a 10" carbon up front and 8" carbon sidebar. No idea where the weight ratio will end up...but I plan to start light on the front with 2-3 times more weight on the sidebar. For those of you Bowsiters already using a sidebar...I would definitely be interested to read about your experienced setups, plus pros and cons of spot and stalk hunting with the sidebar. Thanks in advance for the feedback!

From: Smtn10PT
26-Jun-23
I have an 8" sidebar and no weight out front other than my sight bar. First bow I set up with one and after experimenting i found the front weight was unnecessary.

From: JTreeman
26-Jun-23

JTreeman's embedded Photo
JTreeman's embedded Photo
I shoot a bee-stinger microhex counter slide. Certainly not a true side/back bar set-up, but seems like a nice compromise for me. I shoot a bit better with it, but I’m not gonna be winning any tournaments. I think I’m like 8-9”out front, and 5-6 inches to the back. 3 oz front, 2 back. As much as anything I’m trying to offset the quiver/sight a bit. One of my requirements for a front stab is it must be long enough that the sight is tucked inside the plane from the upper limb pocket to the stabilizer tip of that makes sense. See attached photo. I often lean it against stuff like shown, and the sight is somewhat protected.

As for verifier, I’m shooting one this year (getting old sucks), I would call my satisfaction mixed. I’m a bit worried about rain/snow/ice, but most everyone I’ve talked to said they really have not had major issues with that (but obviously lots of variables). My main issue is if I go strong enough on the lens to completely clear the pin then the target starts to get really fuzzy. Without the lens the target is not fuzzy at all, but the pins are getting to be a real problem. When I back off on lens power my pin fuzzes but the target clears. I’ve tried 3 lens and just can’t really find the right one…but ALOT of the guys I’ve talked to claim verifiers have saved their hunting.

—Jim

From: Bowfreak
26-Jun-23
Hopefully the sidebar helps you but I wouldn’t focus on the pin, target and the level. Check the level, check the pin and focus on the target. The less you even care about the pin the better.

From: EmptyFreezer
26-Jun-23
Dont be afraid of a verifier, adverse weather has yet to make a difference for me.. Good Luck

26-Jun-23
Paul, I used a Bee Stinger Hunter Xtreme kit with sidebar for several years. Eventually I also removed the front bar because it wasn’t needed. It definitely helped balance the bow and settled down pin float. I had zero issues with spot and stalk…until. Just a head’s up. Check the tightness of the bar every so often or it can easily be lost forever. Don’t ask me how I know. ;-)

About 3 yrs ago I also switched to the Microhex Counterslide. Does the same thing as my old setup, but It’s easier to adjust, somewhat less expensive, and much lighter.

I agree with Bowfreak. Verify your bubble, get your pin settled, then put 100% of your focus on the spot you want to hit.

As far as a verifier, I used one for two years before my cataract and astigmatism correction surgery. It had reached the point where I saw 3 of every very fuzzy pin. Got a verifier and problem solved. I never had a problem with moisture, although I always carried Q-tips with me. The one problem I did run into was shooting into a rising or setting sun. It was like looking into a million candle power light. It was impossible to shoot and it took a good 5 minutes before I could partially see again. Luckily it happened during a 3D shoot and not while I was hunting.

From: Ambush
26-Jun-23

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
New for this season is an HHA combo. 10” up front and 8” inches back. It does help with balance though I need a bit more side weight to offset the quiver.

Been using a verifier for quite a few years now and other than the very odd time the sun lines up perfectly, it’s been gold. My eyes are now 70 years old and I use the second power from the bottom. 5/16” housing which gives a 1/4” peep.

From: midwest
27-Jun-23
Once your side bar and front stab are set up right for you, you'll barely need to look at your bubble except on side hill type shots.

I absolutely couldn't hunt without a verifier at this point and I have zero problems seeing my pins and the target. Never a problem yet with moisture or debris but I carry a few q-tips as mentioned just in case. It was suggested to me from the pro shop to get the hooded peep so that's what I went with. Couldn't be happier with the set up.

27-Jun-23
Verifier solved it for me too, 17 years ago. I carry a q-tip but don’t think I’ve ever used it.

From: pav
27-Jun-23
WOW! I'm a bit taken back by all the positive verifier responses...coming from VERY highly respected bowhunters. Sounds like another move I need to make happen...

Absolutely appreciate you guys!!!

From: x-man
27-Jun-23
I will echo most of what has been said above. I am getting by without a verifier so far. I have simplified my hunting by 40 years of experience in the same handful of locations. All 100% of my shots taken are between 17-23 yards. Therefore I have my brightest pin set for 20 yards and dead-center in my pin housing. The 30 and 40 pins are only there for a follow-up shot if ever needed. Now all I have to do is settle to my anchor point and concentrate on the center of the vitals. Everything else self-centers itself, and I always hit where I aim... (the deer isn't always in the same spot when the arrow gets there but I can't blame that on my equipment). I would say "most" of the time I don't even see my pin while releasing. Like said above, once the bow is properly setup for you, you won't even need to check the pin or level unless making a follow-up shot.

From: Bowfreak
27-Jun-23
Aging eyes pushed me to a single pin slider. The cluttered sight picture was causing issues for aging eyes. I am actually using the Spot Hogg double pin now, but I have no issues with it. I was a little nervous about using it at first but I couldn't be forced to go back to multiple pins now. I set it at 30 for elk hunting and can shoot from 0-50 with the double pin without a sight adjustment. For deer I leave it on 25 yards. I don't know how many animals I have shot with this setup, but I have had zero issues in the moment of truth with a single/double pin sight.

From: Coondog
28-Jun-23

Coondog's embedded Photo
AAE Mountain Series
Coondog's embedded Photo
AAE Mountain Series
I have been using a 12 inch front bar with 1 ounce and a 6 inch back bar with 5 ounces. From the lower position on the Hoyt, it’s more like a 15 inch because it’s farther out on the riser. I hold much steadier and the bow is so balanced with this set up. When I put my quiver on, I just bump the back bar out a little farther front the riser to offset that weight. I have had no problems with this set up while elk hunting or while hunting whitetails from a tree stand or saddle. Couldn’t recommend it enough.

From: SoDakSooner
29-Jun-23

SoDakSooner's embedded Photo
SoDakSooner's embedded Photo
Ive used a back bar for many years. Seems to help. I did take it off last year for elk season and didn't miss it. Just spent a bunch of time practicing without prior to season. Set up a new bow this year and went more extreme. 15" front, 12" back, but I can run a bit less weight. It holds dead solid and barely have to check the level. I haven't thrown the quiver on it yet so will probably have to adjust, but only treestand stuff this year and no western style hunts so I can run without the quiver this season.

From: Medicinemann
29-Jun-23
Pav, PM sent

From: Dino
29-Jun-23
Sight housing, bubble and peep alignment are my true nemesis…if I could keep these all aligned through my shot sequence I feel as though I would be a world champion… :) I love what bowfreak says…it’s just so damn hard to do! Coon dog! Sweet bow, sweet shot…what shoot is that at?

From: pav
30-Jun-23
Update:

REALLY appreciate all the feedback guys...and I'm following your advice. The sidebar arrived in the mail today...so I'll be working that setup over the weekend. Went to a local archery shop last night and used their hand-held verifier tool. Placed an order for a hooded peep with both #4 and #5 verifiers. Both looked pretty good through the verifier tool...so I'd like to try both in the actual peep on my rig...and make a decision from there. The verifier tool pin actually became more crisp with the higher numbers, but the target became very blurry starting at #6 and got worse the higher the number. Again, I appreciate you guys!!!

From: pav
01-Jul-23
@Bowfreak - Our sights paths sound very consistent. I switched to a single pin slider several years ago due to aging eyes. Still use the single pin slider on my turkey bow. A couple years ago, I switched to the Black Gold Dual Trac on my big game setup. Worked fine for a while, but now the green pin (top) gets fuzzy at distance using the slider and the red pin (bottom) is nearly useless for me at any distance. Hoping this new verifier cleans up the green pin and enables use of the red pin going forward.

From: Bowfreak
01-Jul-23
I don’t notice a halo on green. I’m the same with red. Basically useless to me. The beauty of the single pin for me is that it is easier to just focus on the target and allow my brain to center the scope in what I’m shooting. I don’t need to have a super crisp pin if I can see the target. Oddly….I am nowhere near as comfortable if I have to shoot my second pin but I can do it well. My brain doesn’t like the fact that my second pin is not in the center of the scope.

From: Bowfreak
01-Jul-23
I don’t notice a halo on green. I’m the same with red. Basically useless to me. The beauty of the single pin for me is that it is easier to just focus on the target and allow my brain to center the scope in what I’m shooting. I don’t need to have a super crisp pin if I can see the target. Oddly….I am nowhere near as comfortable if I have to shoot my second pin but I can do it well. My brain doesn’t like the fact that my second pin is not in the center of the scope.

From: pav
01-Jul-23
"My brain doesn’t like the fact that my second pin is not in the center of the scope."

Amen Brother!

From: pav
18-Jul-23
Update #2:

Took a couple weeks, but I'm feeling really good about my setup. Using a 10" carbon stabilizer on the front with 1.5oz of factory weight. The sidebar is an 8" carbon stabilizer with 6oz of weight. Had to kick it away from the riser a bit more than I hoped (with quiver and arrows), but the balance is perfect. Big thanks to Coondog for his recommendation to use the lower stabilizer front mount on the Hoyt. Made a world of difference in accuracy!

The verifier peep has also made a huge difference. Using the #4 verifier right now, but have the #5 verifier ready for backup (aging eyes keep on aging). Can't believe the difference in pin definition...especially down range. Big thanks to all of you guys for talking me into the verifier peep. Definitely a game changer at my age. Should have made the move years ago!

Best of luck to all of you in 2023!!!

From: t-roy
18-Jul-23
Sounds like those goats are in big trouble this fall, pav!

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