Every fall, while at full draw on an animal, I’d would ask myself the question “do I aim high or low?” Up and down hill shots can be real stress producers. This doesn’t need to be a stress producer. You’ve worked long and hard to get to draw on an animal, now is not the time to be questioning yourself.

So, how do you aim? Tthe short version is: judge the horizontal, not the straight line, distance and aim using a distance slightly less. How much less? It depends. The lesser the angle, the closer to the horizontal distance you’ll need to use.

Using the Chart
AimingWhen aiming up or down hill there are several things to consider.

One is the horizontal distance to the target. This is the from the archer to the target as if they were on the same plane. In the example, the horizontal distance it 20 yards. The straight line distance is actually 28 yards. I pick a tree near the target and draw an imaginary line straight up to a point at eye level. This is the distance I judge. In the example: 20 yards.

The second thing to consider is the angle at which you’re shooting. In our example, the angle is 45 degrees.

Check the chart on the right. Follow the 20 yard line from the left to the 45 degree line. They intersect at 14.1 yards. According to the chart you’ll want to aim as if the shot is 14.1 yards.

Check here for information on using a level with your site or understanding 3rd axis site adjustments.

Angle
(up or down)
Horizontal
Distance in yards

(NOT Straight Line
Distance)
10° 15° 20° 25° 30° 35° 40° 45°
5 yards 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.3 4.1 3.8 3.5
10 yards 9.8 9.7 9.4 9.1 8.7 8.2 7.7 7.1
15 yards 14.8 14.5 14.1 13.6 13.0 12.3 11.5 10.6
20 yards 19.7 19.3 18.8 18.1 17.3 16.4 15.3 14.1
25 yards 24.6 24.1 23.5 22.7 21.7 20.5 19.2 17.7
30 yards 29.5 29.0 28.2 27.2 26.0 24.6 23.0 21.2
35 yards 34.5 33.8 32.9 31.7 30.3 28.7 26.8 24.7
40 yards 39.4 38.6 37.6 36.3 34.6 32.8 30.6 28.3
45 yards 44.3 43.5 42.3 40.8 39.0 36.9 34.5 31.8
50 yards 49.2 48.3 47.0 45.3 43.3 41.0 38.3 35.4
55 yards 54.2 53.1 51.7 49.8 47.6 45.1 42.1 38.9
60 yards 59.1 58.0 56.4 54.4 52.0 49.1 46.0 42.4
65 yards 64.0 62.8 61.1 58.9 56.3 53.2 49.8 46.0
70 yards 68.9 67.6 65.8 63.4 60.6 57.3 53.6 49.5
75 yards 73.9 72.4 70.5 68.0 65.0 61.4 57.5 53.0
80 yards 78.8 77.3 75.2 72.5 69.3 65.5 61.3 56.6
Roger Medley
Roger is a former Colorado State Archery Champion, a speaker, a published author, executive director of High Country Ministries and a bi-vocational Pastor. Roger can routinely be found around the country sharing hunting secrets at seminars and workshops.
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