Accuracy in archery shooting can be thought to have two types of modes. You are either stationary, or you are mobile. Mobile archery is more of an ancient tradition used in speed shooting, horseback riding and combat. I learned about this when Lars Anderson came out with an entertaining and informational video. If you are shooting at a herd of animals with a rudimentary hand-made bow, and arrows that are not uniform, you can pretty much give up on deadly accuracy from 50+ meters away, or however close a herd would allow you to get. You will practice speed shooting from the ground into one spot of the herd, or riding a horse shooting multiple arrows concentrating on one animal (a form of hunting I would feel most excited about).
Mobile archery is a skill that is not easily measured, so it is not as popular in competitions because a clear winner cannot be determined. So stationary archery becomes more popular because of it. Neither is archery used in combat anymore. Technology has advanced.
For some reason, I have always felt drawn to archery over shooting bullets. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe because it was something I could do as a kid. Maybe the paintball generation will be different! One aspect I like about it now, is that I can carry a bow without a license. I have mixed feelings about the bow being less accurate than a rifle. A rifle is the best tool for the job, in that sense.
I have shot in the past as a kid, using a rudimentary bow and arrows I made myself. I would have hit a bird flying overhead ~7 meters above me, but it dodged the arrow last second. It was a weak bow so the arrow didn't fly very fast. A nimble bird could easily dodge it. I felt robbed of what would have been an obvious hit. However, mobile archery is quite a thrill. You have to use a different part of the brain for mobile archery, than stationary archery, but the skills overlap.
I have also practiced archery with a walmart special compound bow, shooting at a target. It's more boring, but I still like it quite a bit. Since moving away from suburbia and large back yards, I have not practiced at all, except when I go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas at my parent's place.
Stationary aim in archery is about consistency in shooting position. Not only do you have to aim, you have to be a solid immobile base for the arrow to launch from, and you have to have the exact same posture every time. Unlike in mobile archery, you take your time.
I set the back of the arrow on the same point of the string every time, up against a nocking point, and the front on a plastic tab that protrudes from the riser. I pull the string back with the same three fingers every time, and set my right hand on the same position on my face every time. Having my head turned the same way every time, I line up my eyesight with the string, a needle sight that protrudes from the riser, and the center of the target. Then I let go of the string at that moment by relaxing my hand. My eyeball and the needle sight create a vector, and aligning the point on the string with that vector ensures the bow is aimed along with it.
If you have strength and good form, your precision can become very good very fast. You are only limited by the imperfections of the medium. Your head position, and the position of your hand on your face should be the same every time you shoot, however, there will be a large variation every time, compared to the position of the arrow against the nocking point of the bow string. You may be pulling the string a little more or a little less every time, so there is room for improvement here. Improving things like this is what I consider modern archery to be about. One such device to improve upon this, is the clicker
Which leads to the reason I was motivated to write this article. The plastic tab on my bow, the one that holds the arrow (aka arrow rest), finally fell apart after 20+ years, and I started looking for a replacement for it. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. There are so many different types of arrow rests, and aiming devices. I am in the midst of finding something that is precise but not overly cumbersome. Something I can take on a hunt.
In regards to an arrow rest, the fall-away rests seem to have gotten popular. However, they require another string attached to the main bow string, and I don't know if I'm willing to put up with that and the added complexity. The downside of a containment rest like the whisker biscuit is that it damages the fletchings. 3 point containment arrow rests hold the arrow less firmly in place than the whisker biscuit, and they can still damage helical fletchings. I'm willing to try out a 3 point containment rest at first, since it is much cheaper than the fall-away rests.
For a sight, I have been looking at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ODJguWNA4 ← Tactical Archery Systems Sabo Sight
I've narrowed it down to either the RASP1, or a combination of the Sabo sight, with the EZV markings. However, Sabo seems to have gone under, due to its high price and poor build quality. Their website is down as of early 2016.
I don't like having multiple pins for different distances, because I can't judge how far something is out in the field. The RASP1 figures that out for me, and even figures out adjustment for differences in elevation!
The cool thing about the Sabo sight, is that the red dots show the impact on the target, regardless of what angle you are holding the bow! This is due to the parallax-free lens. I'm not sure how beneficial this is for bow shooting, since in order to have good form in stationary shooting, your line of sight should be aligned with the arrow's imaginary straight line trajectory to the target. On the plus side, it doesn't require a peep sight on the bow string, because you can align the top red dot with a marker on the glass, in order to know that you are correctly aligned.
A peep sight is a donut hole that is threaded into the bow string, that you look through in close proximity to your eyeball. One downside of using a peep sight, is that it hides from you changes in the way you hold the bow (like using a death grip), that can affect the arrow flight path.
I like the above for the unobstructed field of view, and the option for 2X magnification. Obviously, it doesn't automatically adjust the sight for distance and elevation, like the RASP1.
Magnification combined with red dot sight: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/06/foghorn/gear-review-lucid-variable-2-5x-red-dot-magnifier
You could have a different red dot light up depending on the distance and elevation. Or maybe have two dots light up: for example, if the target was at 33 meters, the 30 meter light would be brighter than the 40 meter light. I don't know if I would trust a single projector that can move the red dot on the glass, but that would be even better.
As a no-peep solution, the Sabo design uses a marker for the top red dot (aka closest distance aiming pin). Aiming at a target that is further away, you still align the marker with the top dot, but aim with one of the lower dots. If you used a Hind Sight Center Point, which you would mount between you and the red dot glass, then you would have a no-peep design that only requires you to look at a very small zone when your aim is on target, even if you are not shooting at the pin-or-red-dot set for the closest distance.
The Hind Sight Center Point claims 2x magnification. I'm not an expert on optics, and am a little confused on how a single lens can act as a telescope. Optics was never intuitive for me, so bare with me as I try to figure out if the magnification is just a marketing scam.
Here is one with magnification, which appears to have room for two lenses?