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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek has a chance to fill his buck tag on a mixed bag hunt in Texas.

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

Danny Farris and Doyle Worbington of J&D Outfitters are hunting turkeys in Colorado.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider.

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

2021 Sights: Aim small, miss small with these new, game-changing accessories.New Bow Sights for 2021 ATA Show

New Bow Sights for 2021

Tony J. Peterson - January 06, 2021

2021 Sights: Aim small, miss small with these new, game-changing accessories.

A recent study examines what does look for when choosing a mate.Does Antler Size Really Matter To Does? Whitetail

Does Antler Size Really Matter To Does?

C.J. Winand

A recent study examines what does look for when choosing a mate.

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.New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows ATA Show

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Staff - January 20, 2021

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for...

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.Best New Saddles for Tree Saddle Hunting Treestands & Blinds

Best New Saddles for Tree Saddle Hunting

Bowhunter Staff - January 02, 2021

Most of these saddle options are offered in kit form with lineman and tree tether ropes plus...

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Blood-trailing game after dark is made easier with the right tools.Tips for Successful Nighttime Blood-Trailing How-To

Tips for Successful Nighttime Blood-Trailing

Curt Wells

Blood-trailing game after dark is made easier with the right tools.

Bowhunting whitetails on the open plains can provide several unique challenges.How to Hunt Whitetails in Open Country How-To

How to Hunt Whitetails in Open Country

Joe Blake

Bowhunting whitetails on the open plains can provide several unique challenges.

Map out killer stand locations using map-based tools. How to Find Public Land Hunting Spots with Apps How-To

How to Find Public Land Hunting Spots with Apps

Darron McDougal - October 30, 2019

Map out killer stand locations using map-based tools.

Don't let the wind ruin your next shot. Follow these steps for improved shooting performance. Bowhunting Accuracy in High Winds How-To

Bowhunting Accuracy in High Winds

Joe Bell

Don't let the wind ruin your next shot. Follow these steps for improved shooting performance.

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

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.

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