“To Peep or Not to Peep”| Peep Sights vs. No Peep Set Ups? – 2024

Video what is a peep sight

It doesn’t matter the topic, in the world of archery hunting and archery equipment opinions will often vary depending upon the question, gear, or method being discussed. There are some hotheads, trolls, “experts”, the true experts, and then the genuine bow hunters. Sometimes this can be overbearing, but the interest and comradeship is what makes the sport so fascinating and fun! The differences of opinion and approach to any given subject helps to make the sport of archery hunting one that is incredibly diverse in nature, and one that truly embraces the old saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat”. With that in mind, we took a look at one discussion…peep sights vs. no peep sights?

When you are discussing archery equipment, there is no question that one of the most discussed and a debated accessory is the bow sight. Many archery hunters will search and shoot different sights until they find that perfect set up that fits them just right. What works for an archery hunter may not necessarily be the best fit for another hunter, but again, it is this diversity of needs and the ability to truly “dial in” and personalize your equipment that makes the sport of archery hunting so appealing to so many.

As a whole, bow sights are fairly standard. Most utilize a pin mechanism that allows the shooter to adjust the pins up or down, or the collection of pins up or down until they are comfortable and shooting as accurately as possible. Other bow sights simply utilize a one-pin system that allows the shooter to adjust the pin to the desired yardage. This system can eliminate the need to sight in multiple pins as well as reduce the possibility of accidentally using the wrong pin. However, there is movement involved with the adjustment of the pin, which can sometimes be difficult to address when you have a set of eyes looking in your general direction.

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What is a Peep Sight Anyway?

While both of these bow sight systems are a little different, they both share one trait in common; both often utilize a peep sight. You just might be surprised how many archers, seasoned archers at that really do not grasp what a peep sight is for. Much like the peep sight on a rifle, a peep sight is nothing more than a hole in your bow string which allows the shooter to ensure that there is adequate line of sight between their eye, the pin, and the target. Peep sights allow you to effectively hone your shooting prowess, and can help you ensure that you are dialed in consistently. Peep sights have been around as long as compound bows have been in existence, and almost every archery shop in the world will outfit a new compound bow with some version of a peep sight.

The Pros of a Peep Sight

There are many positives for shooting a peep sight. For starters, a peep sight can really help you to narrow in your sight picture, and help to eliminate outside distractions. This is very helpful when you are hunting big game such as white-tailed deer or elk. Peep sights can help you stay fundamentally sound when shooting your bow. Much like any sport, in archery hunting staying true to the fundamentals and a routine is important. It can be very easy to change your anchor point without realizing it, which can drastically reduce your accuracy. Peep sights can often help address that issue, however, it isn’t a cure all. Employing a feature such as a kisser button along with a peep sight can help you to ensure that your anchor point is solid every time. While there are other benefits to using a peep sight, these few are the top reasons why most archery hunters will have a peep sight accompanying their bow sight selection.

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The Cons of a Peep Sight

While there are not many, there are a few cons that come along with implementing a peep sight set up. These cons are especially true for archery hunting situations and chasing white-tailed deer and less of an issue with those just enjoy competitive archery.

If there is one complaint that many love archery hunting will profess about peep sights, it is their ability to effectively shoot in low light situations. While peep sights allows for narrowing of the sight picture, to help increase accuracy, it can also greatly reduce the light gathering abilities and make it difficult to see your target when the light grows dim. This aspect of the peep sight has cost many archery hunters a white-tailed deer at one point or another.

An additional con that tends to ride along with the use of a peep sight is simply the dependence on the peep to shoot your bow at all. When your bow is sighted in with the use of the peep sight, you are then dependent upon the peep sight itself. Should something happen to the peep sight, you are literally dead in the water as it is extremely hard to be accurate at that point.

Are “No Peep” Systems that Answer?

While they are not necessarily new, no-peep systems are beginning to gain popularity among archery hunters and competitive archery goers alike. While these bow sights still require a solid anchor point (maybe more so than traditional peep sight set ups) these bow sights utilize a different method to ensure that your line of sight is in line with the placement of your pins.

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No-peep systems tend to eliminate, or at least reduce the opportunities for malfunctions. With no peep sight to contend with, there is no opportunity to find you out in the woods with a white-tailed deer well within range and now way of harvesting it. Additionally, when employing a no-peep bow sight, you greatly reduce the possibility of finding yourself well within legal shooting light but unable to see through your peep sight.

With all that said, no-peep systems still have their downsides. These systems can often be hard to get comfortable with, and while that is totally dependent upon the shooter, many who try them eventually find their way back to a peep sight method. Also, these systems can sometimes be bulky and even require additional components be added to your compound bow, in some cases.

At the end of the day, it is all about what system fits you the best. Do not be afraid to try a no-peep system. You may find that it is the best decision you ever made, however, do not be afraid to make the change back to the traditional peep sight method, if you find yourself unsatisfied with the results.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>