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Uphill,downhill, Estimating Distances

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#1 McBruce



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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:00 PM

Rather then place this down in a thread I thought we would start a new thread.
This is in reference to two questions.

1) when shooting uphill or down hill do you hold high or low.
2) is there a way to help estimate distances.

hope this helps out.

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distance between AB =40 yards
distance between AC= 30 yards
distance between CB= 50 yards.

If you are standing at B and see your deer at C and put a range finder on him, it will tell you , you have a 50 yard shot to make.

However the actual distance the arrow is traveling horizontally is the distance from AB or 40 yards.

If you place your 50 yard pin on the deer you will end up shooting high.

Same thing works for down hill... if you are standing at C and the deer is located at B, your range finder will still tell you it is a 50 yard shot when the distance the arrow is traveling horizontally is 40 yards.

You can apply the same thing to shooting out of a stand. Now, these distances are just examples.
Unless you are Alan, you won't put your tree stand 30 yards up in the air.
The closer you are to the target, the less it is going to matter. the spacing between a 10-20-30 yard pin is very minimal compared to a 40-50-60 yard pins

The farther the arrow goes the greater the drop ( simple ballistics )
so if your deer is with in 30 yards you might end up 2 inches high or so. Now if its a long shot you might end up 8 inches high. ( that is enough to miss the kill zone )
If you want a cheat sheet. you can make yourself a tape to put on your riser.
On your riser place a piece of masking tape , directly across from your sight.

At the bottom pin, place a black horizontal line.
The average deer from the top of its back to the bottom of its chest is going to be between 18-22 inches.
Cut yourself a measuring stick out of 2x2 or anything scrap between 18-22 inches, and stand it up right next to your target, then go back to 20 yards
Useing colored sharpies mark the same as your pin colors
20 is red, start with a red sharpie,
30 is green
40 is yellow and so on

Still at 20 yards pull back on draw and look through your peep. line up the black line with the bottom of the measuring stick
Have someone move the tip of a marker starting at the black line upward until the tip of the marker lines up with the top of the stick. Mark this point and make a horizontal line.
Now move back to 30 yards and use a marker the same color as your 30 yard pin and repeat.

Do this for all pin colors and distances on your site.
You will see that the distance between the black line and the 20 yard pin is the farthest and the black line and a 50 yard pin is the shortest. When you are out hunting...pull up on draw and put that black line on the bottom of the chest of your deer, what color line is nearest to his back...that is the pin you use .

Then as Rowdy said, if you are shooting up hill or down hill, depending on the shot distance. either hold low, or drop one pin.(depending on the distance of the shot )
This works great if you are doing spot and stalk and don't have time to get a range on the animal with a range finder.

Edited by McBruce, 21 January 2009 - 12:05 PM.

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#2 Leo


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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

I'll try and simplify a little.

If the incline or decline is less than 30 degrees (meaning it's half as high up as it is away), just use the appropriate yardage pin and aim about 1 to 2 inches low from the spot you want to hit.

If it's a grade of greater than 30 degrees, as long as the distance is less than 35yards and it's a deer size animal, use the appropriate yardage pin and aim for the very bottom of the vitals.

Practice from a treestand with broadheads to get a real feel for this.
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#3 Ironranger


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Posted 23 January 2009 - 09:09 PM

Thanx for the diagrams/perspective on that Bruce. I really need to practice more uphill and downhill as well to get ready for next fall in the rockies.

#4 Whitetiger


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

Thanks for the info.

#5 RobertR


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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:05 AM

It's all great info Bruce :clap:

Nothing compares to practice and most of the time you don't have time to whip out an instrument to calculate the angle to know how many yards to drop for the horizontal.
My archery program will give an idea of how many yards to drop for a given yardage and angle.
With my set up and if I were shooting 30 yards uphill and a 30 degree angle my horizontal distance would be 26 yards so I could drop 4 yards. My miss distance at the slant range of 30 yards would be A 1.6 inch miss distance and at the horizontal range of 26 yards it would be .2 inch miss distance and for my target angle of 30 degrees my adjusted range would be 26.3 yards. This program works excellent if your a target shooter and use a sight tape but in the real hunting world practice is the best.
Shooting downhill is the eaiest to calculat if you have trees to range the horizontal.
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#6 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:42 PM

Bruce great help lesson, but really the best help and it's fast are the new compensating range finders, they work. My example of this is the buck I shot at Wilderness lodge was at 60 yards and down hill at a very steep angle. More than 30 degrees and the range finder gave it as a 55 yards shot. I moved down the hill in closer to 33 yards and it still gave the shot at 30 yards and I placed my 30 yards pin on the spot and the arrow hit the spot perfectly.

Technology I recommend in this case does help.
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