Monday, August 18, 2008

Make that shot count

© By Othmar Vohringer

On Saturday a bowhunter from Ohio sent me an email in which he asks. "Where would you zero in on a deer? My stand is 15 feet high in a tree.” This is not much to go by to give a sound recommendation

There are two variables to consider, besides stand height, in estimating the aim point. How far from the stand is the deer? How fast is the bow you’re shooting?

Regardless of stand height and distance of the deer from the stand, I always recommend aiming low. There are two reasons for that suggestion. Shots that are taken from any height always impact higher than the same shot taken form the same level as the target. Second, if the deer jumps the string the impact will be higher again. It is a fact that most deer missed from treestands are missed high. Go figure.

How low you have to aim depends entirely on the speed of your bow and the distance from the target. The best way to learn where you have to aim is to practice with your bow from various stand height and target distances. Once you have established the difference you either can adjust your sight pins accordingly, or do as I do and commit the aim point to memory.

Here is a chart that I made up from data gathered from my treestand shooting practice. Mine is a moderate speed bow and as I said earlier, the impact varies with the speed of the bow and weight of the arrows.

Here is where I genearlly aim from my average stand height of 15ft and the deer at 15 to 25 yards from the stand.

And here is a chart of what my practise arrow(*) imapcts look like with the same point of aim but different stand heights. (Click image for larger view.)

(*) After an angry email from a non-hunter I might mention that “practice” arrows are not shot at life animals, as the email writer assumed from my post. It puzzels me how some people even would assume that hunters use life practice targets. All the shooting practice with the bow and establishing arrow flight pattern (trajectory) is done on targets and so called 3-D targets. 3-D targets a life sized targets resembling a deer or other game animal.

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Anonymous said...

Great post, I like the illustrations.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you Rick. I made these graphics to use on my seminars for illustration.

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