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Treestand bowsights: When you're shooting from the treetops, the swing is the thing.

TODAY'S TREESTAND BOWSIGHTS ARE MADE for those tense moments when your mind often is too scrambled to think clearly. Treestand sights -- pendulum sights -- take the guesswork out of aiming. Most have one pin or crosshair, and the angle of the bow automatically adjusts the pin or crosshair for distances from 5-25 yards in most cases and 0-30 yards in others. A few even work beyond that. Just aim and release, and you should be on target. These sights not only eliminate aiming confusion but can raise your confidence level.

My very first treestand sight was a Cobra Pendulum. From that sight my interest in the pendulum concept grew. One thing led to another, and I found myself acquiring all sorts of pendulum bowsights for field-testing. I wanted to know how the sights performed and how they compared regarding characteristics I deemed important in a sight, things like stability, adjustability, accuracy, sight window visibility, pendulum pin/crosshair visibility in low light, noise, consistency, price, and overall performance. Soon I set up a backyard range at heights of 10, 15, and 20 feet, and ranges of 5, 15, 25, and 35 yards. And, with my trusty 60-pound Mathews MQ-1, I set out to hunt Morrell Bionic Bucks.

To my pleasure, what I found was that all of the sights I tested enabled me to hit the Bionic Buck's 6-inch vital zone (a very small deer) at normal bowhunting ranges from 5-25 yards.

However, some were sturdier, made less noise, had brighter pins, or had better range than others. As a result, following is a partial list of recommended pendulum bowsights now available. Some I've personally tested, and in those cases I've shared my feelings. Others are sights I know are coming out this year but that I haven't tested.

Treestand sights have come a long way since their beginnings, and significant improvements have been made for quiet operation and accuracy. If you're a whitetail bowhunter and spend a lot of time in a treestand, take a dose look at these special sights.

* Cobra Manufacturing

Years ago, I fell in love with my first Cobra Pendulum sight. Cobra now has three new treestand bowsights -- the Viewmaster, Viewmaster Deluxe, and the Viewmaster Elite. The Viewmaster uses a rocker arm/pendulum suspended on ball bearings, promising consistent, smooth travel. The fiber-optic pin is all-metal. With CNC machined components, this quality sight is highly adjustable and features multiple gang and dovetail elevation and windage adjustments. A Posi-Stop Module and quick-detach knob is also standard. The Deluxe and Elite models have teardrop shaped pendulums, two fiber-optic pins, and vibration eliminator buttons. The Elite model includes micro adjustment for windage and elevation. Bright red and green fiberoptic pins are available. Without a doubt, Cobra makes high quality pendulum bowsights, and I give them especially high marks when it comes to sight window visibility and visibility in low-light conditions.

* Archer's Choice

The Archer's Choice Eliminator was among the early treestand models, but it is still one of the best. Made with a hard nylon housing, it performs well from the stand or on the ground. The pins have been improved, but the sight window isn't very large. However, the lighted crosshair pin is dynamite in low-light conditions.

The Eliminator II has the same body, but it uses a different crosshair pin for the pendulum, and it doesn't have a lighted bead. A top light is optional. On the vertical crosshair there are different color beads for ground shooting. I found the pendulum crosshair difficult to find in low-light conditions, unless it was painted with a fluorescent color.

Both sights are very quiet and are available in black or camo finish with beads or crosshair pins. Adjustability isn't easy. A dovetail bracket is optional. The pendulum cannot be locked down. You'll find these sights affordably priced.

* Advanced Archery

The Whitetail Combo is crafted from aircraft aluminum, and it proved to be very rugged. It features smooth, quiet movement, and I found it to be accurate from 030 yards. The pendulum crosshair isn't very visible, and unless painted with fluorescent paint it could be confused with the other crosshairs for ground shooting. The sight also comes with beads and an optional top light. It has a dovetail bracket. The Whitetail Combo is a solid sight.

I especially like this sight for its stable build and accuracy.

* Keller Manufacturing

The Keller Pendulum Bow Sight was one of the earliest on the market, but it remains a very tough, very good treestand sight, even if it lacks the latest glitz. Primarily made out of black anodized aluminum, the sight has a steel housing for an optional LED top light for the KryptoNight pin; although I found the pin to be quite visible without the light. The sight locks down for longer shots as well as for ground shooting. I found it to be accurate from 0-30 yards. Other nice features of the Keller sight are a soft-mount kit to eliminate unwanted vibration and an offset mounting bracket and quiver bracket. I also like this sight for stability and accuracy.

* Savage Systems

This company offers a number of good pendulum sights. The Feather Weight Pendulum comes in black or camo colors, with your choice of brass, fiber-optic, or Night Hawk tritium pins. The sight window is large and easy to see through, and adjustments are easy to make. The moving parts have a barely noticeable vibration. New for this year, the Pendulum Max features a machined aluminum mount and frame, and either smoke polycarbonate or metal pin guards. Fiber-optic pins come in yellow, red, or green, and the Dually Pin has twin aimpoints. Also new for this year, Savage has introduced the FiberGlo pin that reportedly stores ultraviolet energy for low-light conditions. Savage sights give excellent visibility. Savage also makes a Camo Sight Cover to protect the sight during travel.

* Predator Products

The Predator IV is made out of polycarbonate with a glow guard for locating and centering the pin in low-light conditions. The optional LED light doesn't shine directly on the pin, and it doesn't block out the target, as do some top-lit lights. The Tru-Glo fiber-optic pin is quite visible. The Predator IV adjusts for bow speed, treestand height, and shortrange shots. This is an accurate sight offering excellent visibility.

* G&B Specialties

The Eagle Eye Delux is a very solid sight that has many good features, such as a micro adjustable fiber-optic pin, smooth ball bearings, a vertical wire with six beads for ground shooting, and an optional light. Simple to tune, I found the Eagle Eye to be accurate from 0-30 yards plus. This is a rugged sight that I felt was a strong overall performer, though it's a little on the expensive side.

* Scout Mountain

Another sight with a large window, the Hybrid Spike Pendulum Sight is fully adjustable for poundage and stand height. The sight features the Spike Millennium guard and a patent-pending, ultra-bright .039 pendulum pin (neon yellow). I found this sight to be accurate from 5-30 yards, and I gave the Scout Mountain Equipment folks high marks for building a stable, consistent, accurate sight.

* Impact Archery

This Tree Top sight is designed with a double-wrapped fiber-optic pin. This sight has a clear polycarbonate guard with a built-in Lite-Guard light, machined aluminum construction, and a quiet pendulum, which rides on double-shield ball bearings. It also has a maximum-minimum pendulum travel adjustment system and is reasonably priced. I found this sight to be a good overall performer.

THE ABOVE COMPARISONS are based on my personal findings. Distances and accuracy are measurable and don't lie; however, other characteristics, such as ease of adjustment, noise level, and consistency, admittedly involve personal judgment and preference. You may try one of these sights and have a different opinion. The important point is that pendulum bowsights do work, and bowhunters who spend most of their time in a treestand should give these amazing sights a very close look.

The author is a dedicated bowhunter from St-Laurent, Quebec.
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Author:Vary, Stephen L.
Publication:Bowhunter
Date:May 15, 2002
Words:1334
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