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There is no right or wrong bow sight when it comes to arming up for the next mule or whitetail deer hunt.
But, you can be better prepared to fill your tag if you know which type of bow sight can help to improve your success rate for your type of hunt.
From the heavy timber and farmlands to the high country and Western plains, there’s a bow sight that’s right for you.
Here’s our take and tips on snatching up a deer hunting bow sight that might end up being your set preference from here on out!
QUICK LIST: Best Bow Sight for Deer Hunting in 2023
- Burris Oracle 2 – Best Overall
- Black Gold Mountain Lite – Best Multi-Pin
- Trophy Ridge React Trio Pro – Best 3-Pin Floater
- IQ Micro – Best Budget
- Spot Hogg Grinder MRT – Best Value
Best Deer Hunting Bow Sight Comparison
Some swear by good single-pin sights and others by 5-pins. A pendulum sight has done it for some extreme steep angle hunters in tree stands, and yet, we’ve all heard a tale or two about how our buddy’s $50 sight bagged them a big 10-pointer trophy two Winters ago.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen single-pin sights get down-shelved because a hunter forgot to reset the sight for the right distance. We’ve seen multi-pin sights get thrown under the bus because a hunter accidentally chose the wrong pin to aim with. User error has some part in choosing the right sight for you, but it doesn’t accurately reflect the quality or function of the sight.
The thing about hunting is, every scenario and hunter is different – anything can happen. So, how in the world do you choose a bow sight for your deer hunt?
Evaluate what your hunting style is and then look into the sights that provide the most versatility for that situation. If you’re consistently hunting out in open country, single-pin setups can extend your long-range shots and eliminate the need to gap shoot.
Tight quarters in thick timber is where a 3-pin sight will shine. Long shots above 35-40 yards don’t happen here. High country terrain may have you thinking hybrid sights with a floater pin to provide flexibility for unpredictable scenarios. Get the idea here?
Being style-specific will help you decide if you need a change in the way you see your sights or if you just need an upgrade. Here’s our lineup of a variety of bow sights that you need to know about before deer season is here!
Our 5 Top Bow Sights for Deer Hunting
1. Burris Oracle 2 – Best Overall
The new Oracle 2 is the user-feedback replacement to the Oracle. With a ranging engine, LED lights, and auto calculations for the right aiming point, it’s technologically advanced but heavy and expensive. For exacting precision and less equipment needed to come to a full draw, it could be worth it.
- Fail-safe fixed pin
- Auto & manual brightness
- Locking micro adjustments
- Burris Forever Warranty
When many bow sights come in at under 10oz, the 20oz weight of the Oracle 2 seems like a beast. However, it’s fully justified with its integrated laser rangefinding engine.
Ranging out to 500 yards on reflective targets and 200 yards to deer, it offers extreme distance ranging even when most shots will be taken inside 100 yards. However, testing your limits on 3D targets beyond 100 yards is always a learning experience made possible with the exacting precision of the Oracle 2.
While some may be skeptical of its advanced technology, having an integrated rangefinder that provides a distance while at full draw eliminates the need for a separate rangefinder and the steps required before coming to full draw. The ranging engine also calculates for angles with the built-in inclinometer, and as a result, the right aiming dot appears on the ‘pin blade.’
If the CR123 battery fails you, there is a fail-safe, fixed 20-yard pin that is still visible. If the rangefinder produces inaccurate readings, you can always move into Fixed Pins Mode for 10-yard increment dots from 20 yards.
With locking micro adjustments, 2nd & 3rd axis, manual and automatic brightness, the Oracle 2 is a futuristic and effective tool for the hunting field. Backed by Burris’ Forever Warranty, it’s fully transferable, is covered for a lifetime, no receipt is needed, and no questions are asked. It’s fair to say that the Burris warranty is certainly the best in the bow sight industry.
2. Black Gold Mountain Lite – Best Multi-Pin
The Mountain Lite is lightweight, highly rated, and made for the backwoods to the backcountry. It’s certainly on the expensive end of the spectrum, but Black Gold has a Made-in-USA and professional quality reputation.
- Dual Indicator System
- Vertical Dial of Death
- PhotoChromatic shell
- 45-degree sight tape
- 3rd axis adjustment
- 2nd axis adjustment play
There are other Black Gold bow sight options for the hunter to consider such as the Trophy Ridge Hunter HD sights. But the Mountain Lite is cheaper and lighter than the Pro Hunter and has 3rd axis whereas the Whitetail doesn’t.
The Mountain Lite is very lightweight at 8.2 oz, has 3-pin design with .019” sizes, and a lot of adjustments to be made. While great for customization, it’s not the easiest to figure out. There have been very few complaints about minor amounts of play when setting the 2nd axis at the sight tape and sight ring level. Hands-on experience will be the best way to become accustomed to mastering this.
When it comes to features, the Mountain Lite is packing. The Dual Indicator System has two yardage pointers. The distinctive difference with Black Gold’s versus competitors is that you can individually set both indicators to your desired yardages.
The Dial-of-Death (DOD) has that huge, easy-to-use wheel and a zero stop to take you back to your ‘zero.’ Sight tape will always be highly visible at any angle given its 45-degree angle, and the Black Gold sight wouldn’t be complete without their PhotoChromatic shell. Used to temper pin brightness appropriate for the light conditions, you won’t deal with not-bright-enough or washed-out, halo pins again.
Having been made in the USA, backed by a lifetime warranty to the original owner, and built to be rugged, convenient, and feature-packed, the Mountain Lite is a quality bowsight for long-range hunts.
3. Trophy Ridge React Trio Pro – Best 3-Pin Floater
This isn’t a cheap Trophy Ridge sight, it’s the React Trio Pro. Welcome to fixed-pin comfort with a twist. Where’s the twist? Here, you have the basic 3-pin setup, or so it seems. With two horizontal pins, you have a fixed, quick setup for taking down bucks on a mission in the farmlands or in the timber.
Why is there a single, vertical pin? It’s your floater. Extend your range for those possible long shots along field edges and ridge tops. Move and set your floater pin for the long-range shot and watch your arrow fly and penetrate the kill zone.
Not too much out of your comfort zone? Check. Versatile? Check. Awesome? Check!
4. IQ Micro – Best Budget
Feradyne discontinued their original line of IQ sights and brought them back with “50% thinner improved bladed pin construction.” There are some fiber optic casing design differences, so it’s fair to say that the new IQ Micro may very well be better.
- Retina Lock Tech
- Micro adjust knobs
- Tool-free locking knobs
- 2nd & 3rd axis
- Tiny bubble level
There is the IQ Pro Hunter that was also improved and released recently, but given the price differences between the two, it’s easy to deduce that the Micro has an upper hand in the market.
Given that there are 5oz and 7oz bowsights in the market, it’s not the lightest ‘micro’ sight out there at 10.5oz, but it’s still acceptable especially so for the spot-and-stalk hunter.
Like the older models, it features Retina Lock Technology. In very simple terms, you center the dot for the green light which in turn provides confidence in point of impact due to proper shooting form.
You can use it with or without a peep sight. Because it doesn’t require batteries, it’s a convenient feature that eliminates anxieties related to hyper awareness of inevitable failure with battery operated sights. It does take some getting used to, but the benefit in having shot confidence every time you nock is worth it.
The fiber optic shell was also redesigned to be more efficient. It features a bigger, longer case for more exposure and therefore brightness. Too bad the bubble level is an afterthought because it’s tiny.
Additional features continue to impress such as its laser-etched windage and elevation markings, fine-tuning of pins for closer pin gaps, micro adjust knobs, and tool-less adjustments.
Since hunting requires ethics, the IQ Micro with Retina Lock will hold you to that ensuring you are making the best shot you can before you let loose. Is it worth the money? To tag out, I’d sure say so.
5. Spot Hogg Grinder MRT
Spot Hogg is an all-time favorite brand of many, and the price tags on their equipment have always been more than worth it. But, one of the newest additions for the brand also happens to be an affordable option: The Grinder.
Even though it’s the smallest and lightest bow sight Spot Hogg offers, it was intentionally made that way. Its compact dimensions combined with its tough and robust build should attract the eye of the hunter who may be constantly on the move or who isn’t afraid of rough terrain.
The Grinder may be simple to use and understand, but it has many high-tech features that will ultimately help you grind the field.
What to Look for in a Deer Hunting Bow Sight
You should’ve been able to guess the running theme of being style-specific when it comes to getting the right bow sight for your type of bow hunt.
No hunter, hunt, scenario, and bow sight are created equal in quality, skill, experience, and terrain. It makes sense to look for a sight that suits your preferences and your style of hunting. How do you know what features to look for? That’s what we’re here for. Take notes.
- Build Quality: Being out in the field calls for quality in craftsmanship and materials. Metal brackets and housings are stronger than plastic. Consider water-resistant or waterproof features if you often wait out in wet and snowy weather. Cover your bases with high quality construction, and your sight will be one you can depend on in the hunt.
- Single VS Multi-Pin: While this is primarily a matter of personal preference, you should consider if a certain type of setup will work better for your hunting terrain. Just a suggestion.
- Budget: To successfully make a clean shot the first time doesn’t require you spend hundreds of dollars. Some brands are more expensive than others, while some features will push a sight out of your price range. Set a budget, know what features you want, and invest in the one that can do what you need plus a little bit more.
- Brand-Specific: You might already have a favorite brand you’re loyal to, and that’s okay. But, it may be worth considering other well-known brands with reputed warranties and customer service. If you’re after a specific type of bow sight, look for the brands that have an authority in that technology.
- Legality: Not all the best bow sights will be legal for hunting in your area. There are different regulations and laws when it comes to hunting, and this may include the ban on electronic parts, illumination, integrated lasers, and the like. Don’t be left sight-less come hunting season and check what your local and state laws are before you buy.
What’s Your Deer Hunting Style?
How you hunt may be totally different to the way another hunter tags his prey, even in the same terrain, distance range, and scenario. While there’s no right or wrong bow sight for a deer hunt, there is only one way to buy right: be well-informed.
Our lineups are just options we’ve put together by comparing a wide variety of models with specific conditions in mind. Feel free to explore all our recommendations, and whatever you choose, be willing to learn and master your new setup, or stick with what you know best.
- 9 Tips For Bow Hunting in Low Light (& The Best Low Light Bow Sight Revealed)
- Apex Covert Single Pin Bow Sight Review (.019 and .010 Pins)
- Apex Gear Covert Pro Power Dot Bow Sight Review (11 Brightness Settings)
- Burris Oracle Review: Angle Compensating & Rangefinding Bow Sight
- Choosing The Best Peep Sight Size For Hunting (Plus, Peep VS No-Peep)