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Top 5 Best Bow Sights for Elk Hunting • (2022 Reviews & Guide)

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Like all important elk hunting gear, choosing the best bow sight for elk hunting comes down to your preference. Our job is to lead you to the best match for your preferences, and for this reason, we added a little bit of everything in our guide to help you land on the right archery sight for you. We previously wrote an article explaining how to choose the best bow for elk hunting that included our top picks, and this article is the perfect companion to that one.

When narrowing down the top brands to choose just five, we made sure to pick the top brand in each class. Below, you’ll find our top digital sight pick, single-pin, 2-pin, 3-pin, and 5-pin options that are all perfect for an elk hunt. By choosing the correct model to match your bow and preferences, you’ll extend your range and increase your accuracy between the optimal 40 to 60 yards. Additionally, you might even want to consider a digital sight to go a smidge beyond 60.

The following list includes the considerations we made when choosing our top picks:

  • Brand Trustworthiness
  • Pin Size/# of Pins
  • Durability
  • Accuracy
  • Weight
  • Fixed Pins vs Adjustable

Now that we’re on the page, let’s get started with the reviews.

Elk Hunting Bow Sight Reviews

In each of the following reviews, you’ll pick up the highlights of each model along with important features to consider. Plus, we added some key pros & cons to consider before making your final choice.

#1) Garmin Xero A1i Auto-Ranging Digital Bow Sight

As far as digital bow sights go, Garmin’s A1i is the best available. We know, we know, this model certainly isn’t for everyone, but we felt compelled to add it because those who love it (like us), absolutely adore the features it offers. The most challenging part about choosing this model is the learning curve. Oftentimes, new owners complain about it not working before they figure out how to use it. Couple that with the fact that the instructions aren’t great, and there’s a lot of frustration.

Now, on the bright side, once you get it dialed in and figure out how to use it, you’ll extend your distance beyond 60 yards. However, it’s also important to weigh the ethics of shooting big game from beyond 60 yards before choosing this model. Why else might you want to choose this sight other than to extend your range?

First, you get an unobstructed view of your target since there are no pins. Second, this is a digital sight and rangefinder in one which completely cuts out any guesswork. Third, the A1i allows you to customize your configurations to single-pin, multi-pin, and manual pin. Fourth, the long 1-year battery life on a single set of batteries is a luxury.

Note: You must be aware of your state’s hunting laws before choosing this model since some jurisdictions restrict digital bow sights for hunting. At the time of this writing, there are 8 states that prohibit the use of digital sights including Montana, Idaho, and the Dakotas. The good news is Colorado is not on the list, though, Garmin specifically states that it’s your responsibility to know your state’s laws.

Pros

  • Completely customizable pin setup
  • Built-in rangefinder, no more guessing
  • Dual-color LED pins
  • Unobstructed view with no physical pins in your way
  • Extend your range
  • Enhance your accuracy when standing on uneven ground, kneeling, or in any awkward positions
  • Great customer service
  • Comes backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Not legal in all states
  • Requires a learning curve, and the directions aren’t the best
  • Not the most durable

#2) Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL Double Pin Bow Sight

In the double pin bow sight department, it doesn’t get better than the Fast Eddie or Fast Eddie XL. Loved by both seasoned elk hunters and newcomers, this is a great sight if you’re on the fence about trying a 2-pin model or want to replace an inferior competitor. Of the models in this guide, the Fast Eddie is one of the most durable, which is the first advantage of choosing it over a digital sight or most other brands.

Next, the double pin arrangement gives you a clearer field of view since there are no pins sticking out from the side. When comparing the Fast Eddie standard version to the XL, it’s important to note the difference in weight. Comparatively, the XL weighs about 5 ounces more, so be sure to consider that spec if you want to keep your sight weight down.

Regarding features, the latest XL model is available in .010 or .019, and it sports a 6″ dovetail bar, quick-release yardage knob, tool-less horizontal & vertical adjustments, and a micro-adjustable 2nd & 3rd axis. Finally, it’s built to last with solid 6061 aluminum.

Pros

  • Silent and toolless operation
  • Improved yardage dial on the latest model
  • No pins entering from the side (unobstructed view)
  • Single and multi-pin configurations
  • Maximum durability
  • Micro-adjustable 2nd and 3rd axis

Cons

  • The XL is too heavy for some
  • Sight in can be tricky for first-time users

#3) Black Gold Ascent Verdict 3 Pin Sight

The best 3-pin bow sight for elk hunting goes to Montana Black Gold. Our favorite models are the Ascent Verdict and Mountain Lite with a slight edge going to the Ascent. With a 3-pin model, you have the advantage of setting it to 30-40-50 which is the sweet spot for elk hunting. Plus, with some practice, you’ll be able to consistently hit 60 without dialing the sight.

The ability to skip dialing comes in handy when a bull is approaching, and you don’t have time or the frame of mind to adjust your sight. We all know that those high-tension moments force an elk hunter to think on his feet, and they can make or break the success of your elk hunt.

The next advantage of a three-pin sight is less clutter in your field of view compared to choosing a 5 to 7-pin model. Although, this goes back to your preference because there are very proficient elk hunters who still prefer 5 to 7-pin sights. As for the quality of Black Gold products, we feel as though they deliver some of the best quality for the money. All in all, Black Gold sights and elk hunting go hand in hand.

Pros

  • Set the pins to 30-40-50 for elk hunting
  • Lightweight at about a 1/2 lb
  • High-performance PhotoChromatic Technology prevents pin halo in bright light
  • SkyCoil automatically enhances brightness in low-light conditions
  • 3rd axis adjustability on the latest Verdict models
  • Excellent durability
  • Easier to set up for most people than our first two picks

Cons

  • More cluttered than you might prefer

#4) HHA Optimizer Lite Ultra Single-Pin Bow Sight

For fans of a single-pin moveable sight, the HHA Optimizer Ultra is the first place to look. For elk hunting, models DS-5519 and DS-5019 are our top picks. With this single-pin model, you’re able to rapidly dial in your sight down to the yard. For this reason, if you’re someone who’s able to make adjustments on the fly, you’re more likely to appreciate this model than someone who doesn’t want to fiddle with adjustments when a bull elk closes in from 40 to 20 yards in a hurry.

To dial it in, simply sight in from 20 and 60 yards to match one of the pre-printed sight tapes to your setup. Once you finish, you’re ready to go from 20 to 80 yards down to the yard using the gear-driven wheel. The combination of range, ease of setup, and the clear field of view are what have made the HHA single pin one of the best bow sights for elk hunting for well over a decade now.

The final features that landed this model in our guide are the rheostat for brightness control, convenient tool-free windage & elevation adjustments, smooth machined brass gears, and its fairly lightweight at 10.4 ounces. Lastly, it comes backed by a 100% lifetime warranty by one of the most reputable archery brands.

Pros

  • Mostly unobstructed view
  • 20 to 80-yard accuracy down to the yard
  • Easy to calibrate
  • Includes pre-printed sight tapes
  • Lightweight and not bulky
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The need to adjust yardage while elk are on the move
  • You may find the pin to be too bright

#5) Trophy Ridge React Pro 5 Pin Bow Sight

Our final pick is our top 5 pin bow sight for elk hunting by none other than Trophy Ridge. Versatility is a key to choosing this sight since it’s available in both Left Hand and Right Hand along with .010 or .019 pins. Right off the bat, you have options to match your preferences, though, we would like to see customizable pin sizes to mix and match .010 and .019 pins for optimal distances.

Outside of that boundary, this is a great model for hunters who don’t want to have to make adjustments on the fly and are okay with a partially obstructed field of view. Unlike the HHA single pin above, there’s no need to worry about spending the time to accurately hit 20 to 40 yards without making adjustments. With the React Pro, once you calibrate it, you’re ready to hit 20 to 60 yards in 10-yard increments.

When calibrating it, the React Technology automatically adjusts pins 3 through 5 once you set pins 1 and 2. Additionally, third axis adjustment improves accuracy from various angles. One final highlight of the React Pro is that it’s one of the lightest sights in our guide at 9.5 oz.

Pros

  • Pins adjust simultaneously after manually setting pins 1 and 2
  • Third axis adjustment
  • Available in left and right hand along with multiple pin sizes
  • Good lighting configuration for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions
  • Easy mounting and leveling
  • Lightweight at 9.5 oz

Cons

  • The most obstructed view of the models in our guide
  • Not as durable as other brands featured here

Bottom Line

When selecting the best bow sight for elk hunting, there will always be pros & cons. It’s up to you to decide which cons don’t matter to you and which pros matter most to you. If you’re someone who’s accustomed to using a 5 to 7-pin sight, then making the switch to a single-pin or double-pin sight will most likely feel awkward at first. Having said that, we know experienced hunters who are glad to have switched to a single pin for a clearer field of view.

Multi-pin models are great for beginners who want to eliminate some of the guesswork and the need to make adjustments on the fly. Not everyone has the ability to adjust a single pin sight while an aggressive bull elk is approaching. However, with enough practice, it’s possible to shoot accurately between 20 to 40 yards using a single pin model without making adjustments. The key is to make sure you’re comfortable with your sight at the optimal distances before going on your first elk hunt with it.

Finally, if you choose a digital sight such as the Garmin Xero, always remember to consider your state’s laws, the learning curve, and the upfront cost of owning one.

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