Going Peep-less with an IQ Bowsight
In the time I spent working in a bow shop over the last two years I got to talk to hundreds of different people about all things bows and bow hunting. The constant influx of different ideas from the people I talked to always had me wanting to change my own bow set up in one way or another, but the one accessory that really caught my attention was IQ Bow sights.
IQ's claim to fame is their "retina lock" technology, which is that little green bubble with the dot in the middle at the top of the sight. The idea behind the retina lock is that it will keep you from deviating from your exact anchor point, and keep you from unknowingly torquing your bow one way or another, a flaw that a regular level would not catch. A peep sight and the IQ retina lock are two ways to create consistency in your sight picture, but you don't need them both! After shooting with both for a while, I decided to ditch the peep. Shooting peep-less isn't for everyone, but if you are wanting to make the switch, here some things you should know.
WHY GET RID OF YOUR PEEP?
The decision to get rid of my peep was one I was very ready to make. Everyone has had problems with a peep sight, like when a bad serving job or a string that's not quite broken in caused a bad case of peep twist, I'm not sure there is anything more aggravating than drawing on a deer only to have your peep sight turn completely sideways. Another pain with peeps is when the tube on an attached peep sight suddenly decides to pop off and smack you right in the face when your at full draw.
Getting rid of those issues was a sigh of relief, but after switching I noticed some other valuable benefits, one of which is not having your sight picture darken up as early. Having no peep lets the ultimate amount of light into your sight picture, so when dusk is creeping in on a hunt your sight stays nice and clear for a few extra minutes, which could make or break a hunt.
Not having a peep sight to look through also helped me in another way that I didn't expect, it made acquiring the correct pin much easier! A little less clutter in the sight picture makes it easier for me to pick out which pin is which, an advantage I wish I had last year when a faulty pin selection sent my arrow right over a does back at 35 yards. Its these small details that can make a very big difference.
THE SET UP
Setting up a peep-less system is a lot less complicated than it seems. It is a very simple, easy set up, but it will take some getting used to.
To set up, you find your anchor point, and adjust the dot in the retina lock so that it sits perfectly in the center of the green background. Since the retina lock is "sighted in" at your anchor point, it will already be lined up when you come to full draw, you just need to peek up at it before you release to make sure you aren't torquing the bow one way or another. Not only does this alert you do any deviation in your form, but it also gives an accurate reference point just like a peep.
Having a consistent anchor point is important with or without a peep, but when shooting peep-less, any deviation in your anchor point is amplified! Lining up the retina lock without having your anchor point down to a tee isn't easy, and in a hunting situation it could cost you a shot opportunity. An easy fix to this is installing a kisser button, which I did after switching. I've never used a kisser button, even after I first got rid of my peep sight. After some frustrating practice sessions I decided a kisser was the way to go, and it made a world of difference!
Once your anchor point is dead on, and your retina lock system is lined up, its time to practice practice practice! Building your new shot process may take some time, but with enough practice it becomes second nature. Everyone has a different shot process, but I'll give you mine as an example.
When I come to full draw and feel the kisser button touch the corner of my mouth, the first thing I do is check the retina lock to make sure I am anchored in the right spot, I'm not worried if I'm torqued right or left at this point, I'm just making sure that my reference point is on. If the retina lock is totally black, or if I don't see the black dot anywhere in the retina lock, I know I need to adjust. Again, with practice this part becomes completely second nature and really does not take up any time in my shot process.
Once I see that my reference point is on (I clearly see the black dot in the retina rock), I immediately focus on putting my pin right where I want it to be, weather its a dot on a target or a particular spot behind a deer's shoulder.
Now that I am on target, I shift my focus to the traditional level on the bottom of my sight. If my bow is leaned in ether direction I adjust my bow arm so I am perfectly level. Once that is dead on my focus goes back to the retina lock at the top of the sight, if the black dot is slightly off center in any direction then I know I am torquing the bow, this can be fixed with a quick adjustment of my grip on the bow handle.
The most common causes of bow torque come from an over correction of another problem. One problem I struggled with was I gripped the bow handle. A firm grip cants my bow slightly to the left (I'm right handed), to correct this I went with a more open handed approach while gripping my bow. I still find that sometimes I seem to push my hand into the handle a little too hard, which will put pressure on ether side of the grip, causing a cant to the left or right. This is one thing that causes shots to stray off to the left or right.
The retina lock allows me to quickly see which way the bow is canted, and adjust it. This process takes a fraction of a second and makes a huge difference in accuracy.
After I correct any cant to the left or right, I go back to my pin and then let the arrow fly.
That was a very drawn out description of a process that takes 1-2 seconds in a real shooting situation. When you first switch it may take longer, but the more you practice the easier it becomes to see your most common errors. Once these errors are identified and you begin working to eliminate them, all these things will become second nature and take less and less time.
To hear more about subjects like this, tune in to the Southern Outdoorsmen Podcast. Avalable on Itunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Iheart Radio, Google play, or our own website under the "podcast" tab. Episodes every Monday, with bi-weekly episodes on current deer and turkey activity in the South during the spring and fall!