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The Uphill Shot Archery


 The Uphill Shot Archery

For the bowhunter this shot can be a little tricky. Estimating shooting distance and proper arrow drop when shooting at an uphill animal in steep terrain can throw even the veteran bowhunter off a bit. The trick here is to not employ actual straight distance to the animal as your measurement of hold over, but to calculate approximate ground level distance (see graphic below). Often times the shooter will compensate with too much hold over on uphill shots using actual line of sight distance to animal instead of level distance, which will ultimately end up with the released arrow hitting too high. On the graphic below as an example, the proper hold over for the animal at the uphill angle represented is 25 yards, even though the actual distance to the animal is 40 yards. A 25 yard hold over compensating for arrow drop is much less than a 40 yard hold over compensating for arrow drop.



With some of the important dynamics of uphill bow shooting stated, because the vitals of the under belly are nicely exposed, the uphill shot does usually allow for a fairly open kill-zone with plenty of prime kill-zone. If you are on a real hunt, make sure to take a shot at the prime kill-zone at this angle only when the animal is at a complete stop or very slowly creeping forward. The shoulder bone (scapula) and leg bone (humerus) are at play here, and when the animal is traveling the shoulder and the leg bones moving forward and back can confuse the shooter regarding the exact prime kill-zone area and make for a marginal shooting opportunity. When in doubt at this angle go for the much larger secondary kill-zone which is easily discerned and with more room for error.