Tips & Tactics

The Mystery of Treestand Shots

The Mystery of Treestand Shots

By Ken Piper

Today’s bows take the fudge out of the fudge factor of elevated shots.

Hang around any bow shop long enough and eventually you will hear two shooters arguing over whether or not shooting from an elevated position causes you to shoot high. The answer to that question is, of course, Yes and No.

There are several reasons archers shoot high, but assuming the shooter bends at the waist and has proper form, the main culprit is that gravity only works on the arrow for the distance from the tree to the deer, regardless of the distance from the shooter to the deer.  In other words, if you’re 30 feet up a tree (10 yards) and take a shot at a deer one yard from your tree, you are essentially taking a one-yard shot, even though your rangefinder would say it’s 10 yards.

The fear of shooting high from an elevated position largely was formed when one or two yards made a difference in impact point. Today’s bows are so fast, however, that many shooters are able to use just one pin for distances of 0-25 yards, thus negating most of the effects of an elevated shot.

Despite that amazing speed, deer still react to sound faster than an arrow can get there and will most likely be in the process of crouching to flee as the arrow arrives. This causes many shots to hit high and should not be blamed on shooting from an elevated position.

It does take practice to maintain proper form when shooting from a treestand, however. Practice from similar heights/conditions from which you expect to hunt. Get to know your equipment and get comfortable shooting at all angles.

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