To scope or not to scope that is the question.

To scope or not to scope that is the question.


When you enter a competition it can be a little different than when you are shoscopeson shoting lineoting at your club. You manage to get your tent up, bow is all together and at that point you look for your target only to see a mountain of scopes on the shooting line. You ask yourself “Will I have any room to stand?”

But before we fight our way through to the shooting line let’s look at the pros and cons of using a scope in competition.

Depending on the cost of the scope (which can range from £50 to £1,500), the scope will be able to illuminate the boss you are shooting on, and depending on the quality of the lens, could pick out your nocks and fletchings at your longest distance. If you are lucky you might be able to get a steal on EBay and save yourself a small packet.

Being able to check the arrow positions on the target throughout the end you are shooting can be a bonus when weather is let’s say unpredictable. Adjustments to aiming can be taken into account to keep the arrows in the gold…

But is that enough to have this equipment with you? Let’s have a look at some of the issues that can follow the use of a scope:-

The cost of the scope can be an issue. If you are lucky enough to get a good deal then it can ease the pain, however to get a good quality scope to see what you are shooting at will cost a bit.

One of the biggest issues with a scope on the shooting line is that the archer is obsessed in looking for every arrow they shoot. To the point where the archer Spotting Scopewill be looking for the arrow in some cases before its hit the target. This has long term effects with the archers form as they are moving before the arrow has hit the target, and that the archer will be relying on where the last arrow has landed on the target. The result is that the archer then starts to move the sight after every arrow to chase the last shot. This means the archer is concentrating more on the end result rather than on shooting a strong shot.

Weather can play a big part with using a scope. Water on the lens from rain can cause an unclear image. Being able to keep all of your equipment dry is important, but to keep your lens clear of rubbish, fingerprints, and especially water should be at the top of your priority list.

Wind can be just as destructive. If you are going to use a scope on the shooting line make sure you peg the tripod down so your scope doesn’t blow over. As you will see from the image they are not the sturdiest designs in the world. You will have paid a lot of money for your scope and to see it on its side is bad enough, however if you take out 2 or 3 othScope on tripoder scopes when yours falls over, it could turn into a very expense day!!!

So to wrap up here are a couple of things to think about when you are looking into using a scope:-

  • Make sure the scope is in your budget.       If it’s too expensive, look into binoculars they are cheaper and they can’t get blown over on the shooting line!!
  • Use the scope on the shooting line for sighters and get as close to the centre of the target as you can. Then remove the scope and concentrate on strong positive shots. You can have a look at the end once you have shot them. You know whether you have made a good shot or not.
  • If you leave your scope on the shooting line PEG IT DOWN!!!!
  • Try not to look and chase every arrow, feel the good shots instead.

If you have some thoughts on this please do drop us a line at and title your email “To scope or not to scope that is the question.” and some of the replies will be posted on line. Please let me know your thoughts.

Shoot em strong and see you on the shooting line soon.

Author Archives: Dave Leader

Dave has been in and out of the sport for the best part of 40 years. Shooting with his family from 8 years old, Dave has seen many changes to the sport throughout the years. Dave mainly shoots Recurve, but has a secret passion for Compound.

Now having owned Aim4sport since August 2012, Dave has worked through his coaching and coaching training levels and has been an AGB Senior Coach since 2018 and AGB Coach Developer since 2016.

Still enjoys the opportunity to shoot and still have aspirations, however, time is the main issue :p