Skip to main content

Shoot Accurately in the Mountains

Shoot Accurately in the Mountains

In the western mountains, bowhunters just don't get very many shots on flat terrain. Shooting at steep angles is tough, because you can't just range the animal and shoot. You have to figure out where to aim.

Although it may not seem logical, you have to aim lower on both uphill and downhill shots than you would on flat ground at the same distance because your arrow doesn't drop as much at a given distance when it is going uphill or downhill. The rule of thumb is to aim for the horizontal distance to the target rather than the true distance.


Intuitively, this makes sense on downhill shots, because you're shooting the same direction as gravity is pulling your arrow. However, the principle is a little harder to grasp on the uphill shots. Nonetheless, that's how it works. So remember, anytime you shoot uphill or downhill, you have to aim low.


Now you can guess how many yards to cut, but that's just what it is -- a guess. The compass I always keep in my pocket has a little clinometer attached, and I use that to determine the angle to the target. I then consult a laminated chart I have made up to tell me how much yardage to cut from each angle and distance. Of course, these days you can buy an angle-compensated rangefinder that automatically makes these calculations for you.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Saddle Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Saddle Options

Most of these saddle options are offered in kit form with lineman and tree tether ropes plus carabiners, some with MOLLE-attached storage pouches for ropes, aider, drink and accessories.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing-Stick Attachment Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing-Stick Attachment Options

The array of ultra-strong, easy-to-use, light and quiet aftermarket stick attachment options has never been more creative and compelling. The noisier, heavier, harder-to-conveniently-wrap-on-your-sticks metal buckle and strap is anathema for today's mobile hunter.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now