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Downward Shooting

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Downward Shooting

Postby Swede » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 1]

Shooting sharply downward causes a lot of people problems. I hear of a lot of misses and a few spine shots that were meant for the lungs. The following are some of the things I have learned so you can be as accurate from a tree stand as from the ground:

When shooting, bend at the waist. Don't just drop your arm.
Look through the sights. For some reason some people look over their peep and don't realize it until it is too late.
Shoot based on horizontal distance and not slope distance.
Some people feel they need to get right next to the tree when shooting. Learn to use your whole stand platform so your shooting area is maximized. If you are hugging the tree you are very limited when shooting on your bow hand side. Have a good harness and tether and trust it.
Practice and assure yourself that you can hit where you intend.

If you are a gun hunter, probably none of this makes sense. In your case never mind. Just enjoy your view and read a good book while you wait. :D
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Re: Downward Shooting

Postby 7mmfan » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 2]

Back when I bow hunted a fair amount, I missed a couple of slam dunk shots because I didn't understand angled shooting. Mine were steep up and downhill shots, inside 20 yards. Both I shot right over the top of the animals. It wasn't until I quit bow hunting that I learned more about angles and trajectory and horizontal vs angled distances, etc...

The same information applies to rifle shooting, just on a much larger scale. Say you're shooting downhill at a 35 or 40 degree angle, such as from a cliff edge or high ridge lookout. The animal is 400 yards away per your range finder, meaning my 7 mag will drop about 21 inches. In my case, I'd adjust my turret for 400 and squeeeeeeeeeeezzzeeee the trigger. BANG! The animal would just stand there bewildered, offering me another chance to miss, or bound off into oblivion. Well, you guessed it Swede, I aimed on the actual distance, not horizontal distance. At a 40 degree slope, the horizontal distance is only about 260 yards. My bullet has only dropped about 2" below 0 at that point, so I shot right over that buggers back. If I could do rudimentary trigonometry in my head on the fly, I could have gotten much closer to horizontal distance and hit my target. The exact same principle applies to steep uphill shooting, like when you jump that big mule deer buck out of the sage brush and he bounds to the top of the ridge and stops to look back at you.
I hunt therefore I am. I fish therefore I lie.
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