A bull elk bugled so violently, the mountainside seemed to quake. Seconds later it bugled again, only closer. As I huddled by a well-used trail to a wallow, I realized THE BULL WAS COMING STRAIGHT FOR ME! With my nerves in a panic, I slide as low to the ground as possible while resting against a small pine. In seconds, a huge 6X6 bull appeared along the trail and I readied for a point-blank frontal shot. Suddenly, the beast turned and drank from the stream below me. It stood perfectly broadside and I hastily estimated the distance at 60 yards, aimed over its back, and released. The bull raised its head and slowly walked away as I tried to reload. In hindsight, the bull was standing 30 yards away, not 60, and it should have been an easy shot. Oh, the agony.
What Price Success?
When I think of archery gear, I often think of that missed opportunity. This was a bull-of-a-lifetime and a rangefinding sight would have sealed the deal. It’s been three years since that shot in Wyoming and I’m still trying to draw another tag. Rangefinding sights are more expensive than pin models, yet how do you measure the cost of failure in dollars and cents? The Oracle X is not only accurate but very well built. This spring I flew one atop my TenPoint Viper 430 in a suitcase all the way to South Africa and, despite three airline transfers, had to adjust the sight just two clicks to return to dead-on.
How it Works
The Oracle X comes as an intact unit so all you have to do is put in the battery and attach it to the Picatinny rail of your bow. The rail mounts attach with sturdy screws that are tightened by two huge Allen wrenches. The scope has buttons on the top of the scope which can be used to sight it in and activate the rangefinding device. Since you can’t look through the scope and at the top of it at the same time, Burris uses a triggering button that communicates by Bluetooth to the scope. Attach the activation button by Velcro to your forend where it’s convenient and below the safety shield. When you sight a target, depress the button and the scope shows the distance in yards and automatically adjusts a red dot for that range.
Like most scopes, you sight in your scope using your hunting weight arrows and target points at 20 yards. Elevation adjustments are made to the mount while windage adjusts the reticle itself. Each has a tightening and loosening screw so that once your scope is sighted in, you can lock it into place. Next, you “True” the sight by shooting at longer ranges such as 40 or 50 yards. Follow the instructions supplied with the sight and you will soon have the scope shooting at 37 or 43 yards. I rarely shoot beyond 60 yards but the process works all the way back to 100 yards.
Adapting to the Deer Woods
Whitetail deer and trees seem to go together and one might ask, “How does the sight perform among trees?” I learned the answer on a deer hunt near the suburbs of Washington DC. I was sitting on the ground in the late morning when I heard a deer approach from behind me. Eventually, it passed through several small openings at 32 yards. I tracked the buck as it move and finally, it stopped with just its shoulder showing. This was a 1.5-year-old 6-point and the landowner only wanted older deer taken. I didn’t fill my tag, but the scope performed perfectly, and I’m hoping for a “do-over” this fall.
I topped a Wicked Ridge 400 fps crossbow with the Oracle X for a Florida hog hunt in 2022. This hog was hiding under a bush near a pond and I was able to sneak within 20 yards, place the tiny red dot precisely in the crease behind its shoulder, and release. The 150-grain Sevr Robusto killed the hog instantly and it literally rolled over and died. This is the kind of accuracy the red dot provides.
How Does It Hunt?
In my experience, the Oracle X “hunts” like any other scope. I don’t baby the optic and have used it on four different crossbows during my hunts. I was lucky enough to draw an “any-deer archery tag” this fall and hope to tag my first mule deer with a crossbow. For sure the range will be longer, but the ability to “point and shoot” quickly will save a precious second and allow my arrow to do its job. Check out videos and more information about the Oracle X at www.Burrisoptics.com