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Range Estimation


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#1 Whitetiger

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:57 PM

I was out hunting a public park (with my bow instead of rifle in wmu 5c) on saturday. I was driving around looking for signs that the deer had crossed the only road thru the park so I can cut a trail in the snow and saw a hawk land in a tree ahead. I parked and decided to follow the sign. Im glad I did (thanks again). I found in an area I've never had time to scout great active sign. 1/3 of the way up in billy goat country was a small gulley that was filled with tracks that had come down from uptop the mountain. While I decided to set up my stool & wait it out there for awhile I look uphill to see a deer moving right to left. The time was 1:10pm and yes I actually checked my watch. My wife says its to cold for the deer to move with out being pushed by hunters & I keep telling her they'll move during the day when its warmer. It would have been a nice broadside shot if I could have used my shotgun. I was trying to range it but some annoying branches kept getting in the way at times. I was hoping the "doe" would come round and down to my gulley. It stopped to look around and here it was a 4 point buck! He's a young one. His ears hid his rack from me. Good thing I didnt try what I was trying to guess was 40 yards? I later moved on up to the hill to scout. he'd been running a narrow shelf (4' wide) and a 100 yards uphill was what appeared to be the top but was more of a saddle. Here runneth a deer highway. In 5" of snow, a heavily worn path with scat all over. I'll be there on saturday (the last day of the season here). The young buck was the only deer I'd seen. I only stayed for 4 hours since my hand was going numb from holding my bow in 7* weather.

This situation raises several questions.

When hunting in steep terrain, how does one accurately range an animal. I usually try to get a straight line to a tree & then see how many fiit between me & the target if theres nothing closer to the target thats level with me. This was a steep uphill shot. Do people tend to miss low on uphill shots or high?

I shoot a pse "beast". Its an entry level bow & is starting (lol) to age. In cold weather, how can I insulate my hands better? Are wooden grips warmer then the plastic that came with the bow? Does anyone have experience using sims insulator strips on their bows? sims insulator strip

p.s. Im still kicking myself for not taking the camera with me.

Edited by Whitetiger, 19 January 2009 - 10:01 PM.


#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:49 AM

My recallection is that the actual distance whether shooting uphill or downhill is shorter than the measured distance so you will shoot high on either shot.
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#3 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:51 AM

I have a range finder that does the calculation on angled shots and it's always a few yards less to the POI. You will miss over its back if you ranged it at a straight line. Without using something to help calculate for the angle I'd recommend holding low.

Wood grips on bows are just as cold as any thing else in my opinion. I use those glomitts for warmth and add a chemical pack to help. I also use a thumb stlye release that I can get to without having problems with a wrist strap hanging up on gloves.

Good luck on Saturday!
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#4 Spirithawk

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:53 PM

Jason and I use to make a game of guessing the yardage to any particular point and seeing who could guess closest. We did so in all kinds of lighting conditions and all kinds of terain. You'd be surprised, that with practice, just how close you can judge the range. Quite often we'd guess it right on the money. It's a skill that can prove mighty handy. You don't always have the use of a range finder.




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