The Burris Oracle bow sight gives you instant yardage and reduces risks
September 10, 2019
Mike Reeber (2 articles)
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The Burris Oracle bow sight gives you instant yardage and reduces risks

I fondly remember a deer hunt that occurred 7 years ago when I was bow hunting a small tract of land not too far from my home. It was only a total of 15 acres, but it was located within a prime travel corridor where bucks made their way through daily. It was the rut, the weather was seriously raw and I was running on high-alert searching for a rut-crazed buck who was looking for love. As the morning welcomed grey skies and cool breezes, I broke out a set of rattling antlers and started to make some noise. In this region, rattling in a buck was hit or miss and was solely dependent on the land that you hunted.  This piece of land didn’t have a good buck to doe ratio, and lord knows that the neighboring properties weren’t doing any management of their own — that would have been too much to ask. But as a hunter, you always look for that slight advantage, that ace in the hole, and today it seemed like just maybe, rattling was it.

After a few minutes of clashing the antlers together, I noticed a solid buck moving out from the brush behind me. In true deer addict fashion, my heart rate went from 0-100 as he approached my location. As I started to get a better look at him, he was starting to turn broadside.  I told myself, “Once I get him to stop, he’s mine.” As he slowed his walk, I drew back my Mathews, made a short grunt and he stopped on a dime. At this point, I squeezed the trigger on my release and now all I could do was watch my arrow fly straight toward his engine room. Well, it was going straight toward his engine room until it started tailing off. My stomach sank as I realized this could have been an unethical shot. Thankfully, it hit the dirt right under his vitals. He trotted away and I never saw him again. What I thought was 40 yards, was really 50 yards and that was hard to swallow. I had a rangefinder in my vest pocket, but was so caught off guard by this buck that I didn’t have time to reach for it — an honestly sickening scenario that happens more often than some of us would like to admit.

There’s no doubt that bow hunting sights have advanced over the last number of years, however the critical element of an integrated range-finding has been missing. And even if you hunt with a rangefinder, that only gets you halfway to the end goal of hitting where you want on your target. A 47 yard range is only as good as your guess on where you need to float your 35 yard pin. Not exactly a confidence building scenario. But guessing distance and made-up pins are now a thing of the past with the Burris Optics Oracle

It may look similar to other sights, but it’s anything but your average bow sight. This is a serious piece of new age archery technology. With its super bright LED pins and digital yardage display, the Oracle is the coolest older cousin that your old bow sight will ever have. This is exactly the tool that bow hunters have been waiting for.

Burris Oracle Sight

Let’s be honest, the Oracle replaces much more than just carrying a rangefinder. It eliminates all of the movement associated with using a rangefinder, it reduces the need to float fixed pins and it allows for variable pin brightness dependent on your hunting conditions. That in itself is revolutionary. We have finally reached the future of bow hunting and it’s really impressive.

Inside the box

Right out of the box, the Oracle is fully assembled, with the exception of a few small details, like adding the provided battery to give it juice. Aside from the sight, inside of the box you’ll find everything you need — mounting screws, instruction manual, quick setup guide, laser and target — to quickly mount and zero in the Oracle. Trust me when I tell you that you’ve never been more excited to install a new bow sight.

The installation

Here in Austin, Archery Country is my go to place for all things bow related, and their team is always helpful when it comes to setting up a new piece of equipment. Jordan helped get my Oracle installed without any issues. After removing my old fixed pin, which almost seemed like something vintage from the 90’s, he checked the second and third axis on the Oracle and mounted it to my Mathews.

On the bow, the Oracle really stands out amongst the crowd and is jam packed with just about every feature that a hunter could think of. Visually, it gives you the initial impression that it could weigh down your setup, but it doesn’t. Seventeen ounces of aircraft grade aluminum is all that the Oracle weighs, so it’s as strong as it is lightweight. Another thing that caught my attention right off the bat was the fact that it doesn’t have any glass in front of the pin. It’s completely open. In my experience, having one more layer between your sight and your target is only one more opportunity for an error to happen. With glass, you have to worry about scratches, glare or even having it break. The Oracle completely removes that possibility from ever happening. Clarity is paramount and Burris kept that in mind when they designed this sight. This design is extremely well thought out with the serious bow hunter in mind.

Burris Oracle rangefinding bow sight installation

Sighting in

After the initial installation, we checked the peep and I took the new rig to the range to get all sighted in. The first step in this process is much like any other bow sight; it’s a manual adjustment using an allen key. First, we got the new setup zeroed for 20 yards. After a dozen or so arrows and a few adjustments, the bow was right in the center. Now, the next step is where things get really awesome. Inside of the box is a small laser that needs to be screwed into the front of the sight. After this is complete and the laser is turned on, walk downrange and pin up the reflective target from Burris. As you can see, this isn’t your average archery target. It’s a highly reflective target which is only used to zero in the range finding function of your new sight. Though this next part of zeroing in the rangefinder can be done on your own, we found it easiest to use two people to quickly adjust the laser. After a few draw cycles, we had the laser adjusted so that it ensures the range finder is always ranging exactly what your sight is pointed at. This is critical.

At this point in the process the Oracle is ready to proceed to the next step, everything beyond 20 yards. I stepped back to 31 yards as suggested in the Oracle manual and initiated set-up mode. By hitting the rangefinder button on your bow, the sight will now give you a suggested point of aim, however it might not be exactly correct just yet. After taking a few shots you will see if you need to shift the suggested pin up or down with the easy-to-use push buttons. After taking a few shots and hitting the bulls eye you can confirm this setting and move onto your last yardage. For my last yardage, I moved back to 42 yards. My shot was close to being on bulls eye but not where I needed it to be, so I made a couple of adjustments until the arrows were hitting exactly where I wanted. After confirming this yardage adjustment, the Oracle was fully set up and ready for all distances. Considering all of the features that the Oracle has within it, setup is seriously a breeze.

Goodbye risk

When compared to a standard fixed pin bow sight, the Oracle is far superior, but not just because of the rangefinder and exact yardage pins. Unlike a traditional fixed pin sight where you worry about bumping the pins, the digital pins can never be unintentionally moved. They’re set and nothing is going to shift. For those hunting out of an elevated position, the sight has an inclinometer to give you exactly the yardage and pin that you need. Speaking of pins, the variable pin brightness is a complete game changer and you no longer have to rely on fiber-optics to see your pin during low light conditions. Best of all, the Oracle will always show you your 20 yard pin and has the ability to display all 20 pins should you ever want it to. 

After the first 200 arrows I will tell you that the Oracle is everything that Burris said it would be and then some. My confidence level in shooting longer yardages has drastically increased because I know I’ll have the exact pin I need when my target gives me a clear shot. Hoping that your aiming high enough is no longer a risk.


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Mike Reeber

Mike Reeber

Mike Reeber's passion for the outdoors started over two decades ago in the hardwoods of northern New York state. At age 8, he began hunting Whitetail's and turkey every chance that he could. Not long after harvesting his first deer, he took up an interest in archery and spent most of his time bow hunting during the fall season from then on. Mike's obsession with bow hunting has stayed with him to this day and he enjoys every opportunity to keep engaged within the bow hunting community. Whether he's gearing up for his next bow hunt, fine tuning his groups during the summer or trying out a new broadheads, Mike's always thinking about something bow hunting related. When he's not out chasing Whitetail or Axis, you can probably find Mike calling in strutting gobblers during the springtime, thinning out the coyote population or enjoying a sunny day in the dove fields. He also enjoys preparing wild game in the kitchen and loves sharing his creative culinary twists on classic game recipes. Keep up with his latest adventures on his Twitter @NE_Bowhunter or Instagram @MikeReeber.

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