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.

Recommended for You

For those of us heading into the elk woods with the hopes of a close encounter with a rutting bull, Field Tools

5 Must-Have Pieces of Gear for Any Elk Hunt

Zach Bowhay - September 23, 2016

For those of us heading into the elk woods with the hopes of a close encounter with a rutting...

From fixed to hybrid to mechanical, we've rounded up the best new broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. ATA Show

Best New Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

From fixed to hybrid to mechanical, we've rounded up the best new broadheads from the 2019 ATA...

Check out our top picks for the year's best new bowhunting packs! ATA Show

New Hunting Packs for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

Check out our top picks for the year's best new bowhunting packs!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Season Opener: Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Season Opener: Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg arrives at Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Kentucky to kick off the beginning of his hunting season.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 6: Great Start!

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 6: Great Start!

Guest hunter Christian Berg visits Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Kentucky and gets his deer-hunting season off to a great start with an amazing velvet buck.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 13: The Call of Cross Mountain

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 13: The Call of Cross Mountain

Team Bowhunter makes its annual pilgrimage to the elk-rich high country of Colorado's Cross Mountain Ranch.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

New year, new look at your whitetail ground How-To

Summer Scouting from Scratch

Tony J. Peterson

New year, new look at your whitetail ground

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves. Other Game

Tips for Bowhunting Predators

Joe Bell

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves.

See More Stories

More How-To

A micro project could enhance the action. How-To

Small Prescribed Burns for Your Treestand Locations

C.J. Winand

A micro project could enhance the action.

You can share the elk timber with dangerous bears if you're smart and prepared. How-To

Bear Aware: Elk Hunting in Grizzly Country

Ron Niziolek

You can share the elk timber with dangerous bears if you're smart and prepared.

The two key factors to recovering every arrow-shot deer are patience and practiced blood-trailing skills. Generally speaking, the more patient you are, the longer you wait before taking up the trail. How-To

Blood-Trailing Deer Guide for Bowhunters

James D. Moore - November 30, 2018

The two key factors to recovering every arrow-shot deer are patience and practiced...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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