IT WAS TOO DARK TO SEE THROUGH THE PEEP SIGHT ON MY BOW
Late one September evening last season, I watched the 10-point I’d been hunting ease through the timber toward my stand. By the time he was 20 yards away, I had eight minutes of legal light left— but it was too dark to see through my peep sight when I drew. We might practice shooting from long range, while seated, and from treestands, but few of us practice shooting in the low light whitetails prefer. To be clear, I’m not talking about Hail Mary arrows in the dark—but if a big buck is standing in bow range and it’s legal to shoot him, don’t you want every advantage? Try this. Take a Look: Large-aperture peep sights might give up some long-range precision, but they allow for maximum visibility in low light. That’s what a whitetail hunter wants. As you’re positioning your peep before the season, draw your bow and close your eyes. When you open, you should be staring right through it, at your pins. If you have to move your head at all to see it, keep tweaking its placement—and don’t serve it in until it’s perfect. This way, you can skyline the peep aperture, hit your secondary anchor point (see below), and take the shot, confident you’re lined up, even if the peep itself is tough to see. Double Anchor: In good light, a peep sight makes shooting easier. But many bowhunters are too dependent on them. It’s perfectly possible to shoot good groups without a peep, especially inside 30 yards. I prefer to establish a couple of consistent anchor points (a kisser button on the string helps) that become instinctive. Practice Late: Wait until 15 minutes after sunset to begin your evening practice. Move your target out of the open front lawn and into the woods. As it gets darker, check your peep against the skylight and keep on shooting until it’s too dark to see the target. That’s usually about 30 minutes after sunset. Another benefit of this drill is that it trains your eye to pick out detail on a dark target. What about that 10-point I mentioned? I did just this: raised my bow up to find my peep in the skylight. Then I lowered it slowly, and hit my secondary anchor point. I put my fiber-optic pin, which I could see clearly, behind the buck’s shoulder, which I could also see. I released the arrow and listened to that buck fall dead 75 yards away. —W.B.