How to Pick the Right Peep Sight for Bowhunting Whitetails

How to Pick the Right Peep Sight for Bowhunting Whitetails

The devil is in the details. It’s a played-out statement, but true. This goes for a lot of aspects of life and certainly applies to bowhunting whitetails. We tend to reasonably focus on the big-picture stuff, like where and when we should hunt, but the heavy lift of actually filling tags tends to boil down to the minutiae.

One of the details that get almost no love in bowhunting circles is peep sight choice. This is partially due to the reality that modern peep sights all pretty much look the same while hanging on the rack of your local pro shop. Once installed, they all pretty much function the same, too.

Until they don’t.

A peep sight that doesn’t come back square to your eye is a liability. As is a peep sight with an aperture that is just a bit too small. This will keep light from hitting your pupil when you need it most—like 10 minutes before shooting light ends, and a good buck pokes his nose out of the woods to survey the soybeans before he steps out to munch some greenery.

The good news is that peep sights are relatively cheap and easy to install. If you practice correctly throughout the summer, in varying conditions like random distances and lighting, you’ll recognize whether your peep sight is working with you. Or, against you.

The best way to think about this is to acknowledge the difference between the conditions we tend to target shoot in (bright sunlight, calm, no stress) and the conditions in which we shoot deer (low light, often windy or rainy, high adrenaline). The peep sight you can aim with during practice sessions without a problem is not necessarily the one that will help you settle your pin and make a good shot while actually hunting.

For example, it might seem like no big deal to have a slightly misaligned peep when you’re shooting at a target in your backyard. That same issue during a quickly evolving encounter with a buck in the woods is a different story and not one that is likely to end as well for you as it does for the deer.

The good news about this little bowhunting detail is that it’s easy to address in the off-season. Shoot your buddy’s bow, or head to the pro shop and try out some different peep options. If you can, shoot through a range of peeps with varying apertures and pay attention to whether you center your entire sight ring, the inner diameter of the sight ring, or even an individual pin.

Through a little trial and error, you’ll find the one that works for you at the pro shop. Then, take it outside and put it to the test in varying conditions. That’ll show you whether you’ve made the right call, or maybe need a different option.

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