Uphill and Downhill shots without ARC rangefinder

BigAntlerGetter

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alright guys i have a question, if the animal is uphill from you do you aim low or high. and if he is downhill from you do you aim low or high. i remember reading an article by chuck adams one time about doing the equation to figure out your actual yardage but most shots with elk your not really gonna have the time to do that so what is a kinda easy rule of thumb to go by when shooting up hill and down hill???
 

ckleeves

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Aim low both ways. Gravity only affects a projectile (arrow or bullet) for whatever the actual horizontal distance is. I'm sure someone can explain it better. If you can borrow a arc rangefinder and go on a hike thru some steep terrain you can get a decent feel for it.

One thing you can do also with a non arc rangefinder is stand on a hill and range a tree downhill from you at its base and then range the top of it level across from you and you will get an idea of what the cut is. Not real scientific but it works ok lol.

If it's isn't a real steep cliff type scenario what has worked for my pretty well is to just shave 10% off the range. Just don't blame me if you miss lol!!!
 

bohntr

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White Mountains of Arizona
Aim low both ways. Gravity only affects a projectile (arrow or bullet) for whatever the actual horizontal distance is. I'm sure someone can explain it better. If you can borrow a arc rangefinder and go on a hike thru some steep terrain you can get a decent feel for it.

One thing you can do also with a non arc rangefinder is stand on a hill and range a tree downhill from you at its base and then range the top of it level across from you and you will get an idea of what the cut is. Not real scientific but it works ok lol.

If it's isn't a real steep cliff type scenario what has worked for my pretty well is to just shave 10% off the range. Just don't blame me if you miss lol!!!
This explains the "bottom line" answer.....you'll aim lower for both up/down hill shots.
 

JNDEER

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A (squared) + B (squared) = C (squared)

Do the math and what you will find is for longer steeper shots you should deduct between 8-12 yards (rough estimate). For shorter steeper shots it is only around 3-6 yards deductions from what the range finder says. The buck I killed this year, was not at an extreme steep angle, but it was not super close either. I deducted 10 yards from my shot and it hit perfect up and down from where I was aiming.
 

rhendrix

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I've found that even with an ARC I still am compensating 3-5 yards usually for a steep up or downhill shot.
 

DWarcher

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Flathead Valley
I'm sure there are some ARC rangefinders without accurate readings but from what I've experienced most are pretty right on. My guess is that some of those misses, especially on the steeper angles are coming from a breakdown in form.
Do yourself a favor and go out and pick up one of those rangefinders...if you don't, I guarantee at some point it will cost you a buck or a bull. I know from experience. :)
-Dave
 

Darin Cooper

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That's a picture of Dudley, but some guy named Darin Cooper actually wrote the article ;)

If you're going to get an angle compensating rangefinder, my current favorite is the Leupold TBR1000i. Optically it's superior to most others, has a great display and they finally figured out how to calculate the cuts correctly. Always had good luck with my Nikons as well, just not a big fan of the optics or new backlit display they are using.

Coop
 

Nick Muche

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Darin,

Do you really think that is the best one out there? Any idea on where to find one at a decent price?
 

Darin Cooper

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Darin,

Do you really think that is the best one out there? Any idea on where to find one at a decent price?
In my estimation it's the best available at any price right now. I got mine from Cabelas' and used a 10% off coupon they sent me. Make sure you get the TBR "i" model - I think there's a different one that's not as good. I believe it was $399. I can't vouch for how well it works in rifle modes, but I was able to range a cow elk out to 910 yards last week.

Use the bow mode for bowhunting. And set it on "last target" so it won't range grass and brush, but rather the animal behind. I think it will only give you cuts to 100 or 120 yards in bow mode, then it goes to line of sight but displays the angle. Not a big issue since most guys shouldn't be launching bombs at 100+, but still something I would consider a strange limitation.

Here's the numbers I have memorized for uphill/dowhill shooting in case you don't have access to a angle compensating rangefinder but can measure angle.

Percent of distance to cut, 5 degree increments from 10 degrees to 45 degrees.
2%, 5%, 7%, 11%, 16%, 20%, 25%, 30% Just in case you ever need them.
10*, 15*, 20*, 25*, 30*, 35*, 40*, 45* (* = degrees).

These are for downhill shots - I typically use 2% less for uphill, so for 10 degrees uphill, 2% minus 2% for uphill = no cut, similarly 30 degrees uphill = 16% - 2% = 14% cut.

More examples... so if you're 60 yards away at 22 degrees downhill, call it a 10% cut, 10% of 60 = 6, so cut 6 yards and shoot it for 54. Another example... You're at 70 yards with a 20 degree uphill shot (7% is the number, subtract 2% for uphill, so you get 5% cut) 5% of 70 is 3.5 yards, shoot it for 66.5 yards. Takes some mental gymnastics, but has served me extremely well hunting and in competition.

Why only 45*?? 35 - 40 degrees is wicked steep - super rare to find yourself in anything steeper... Next time you think you have a 45 degree angle, measure it and I'm betting 9 out of 10 times you're under 45. Pretty sure 60 degrees is a 50% cut, but you better have a buddy hold onto your belt because you're shooting off a cliff.

Had a buddy send me a text from the mountain the other day, "I'm at 80 yards with a 40 degree downhill shot - What do I cut???

A quick reply of 20 yards would have got him his bull, but I was hunting. Luckily he got a closer opportunity and nailed a beauty they rough scored at 380ish.

Coop
 
Last edited:

Darin Cooper

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Sorry Darin, I was really refering to the chart!!
Just giving you a hard time TJ :)

The charts are really handy if you don't have an angle compensating rangefinder. I still would probably refer to the charts in a competition setting where 1/2 yard can be significant.

Coop
 

Nick Muche

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Thank you Darin, picked one up and got a decent deal I suppose, $352.99. Thanks for the help, been looking for the "perfect" rangefinder for a few months now...
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
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Nevada
In my estimation it's the best available at any price right now. I got mine from Cabelas' and used a 10% off coupon they sent me. Make sure you get the TBR "i" model - I think there's a different one that's not as good. I believe it was $399. I can't vouch for how well it works in rifle modes, but I was able to range a cow elk out to 910 yards last week.

Use the bow mode for bowhunting. And set it on "last target" so it won't range grass and brush, but rather the animal behind. I think it will only give you cuts to 100 or 120 yards in bow mode, then it goes to line of sight but displays the angle. Not a big issue since most guys shouldn't be launching bombs at 100+, but still something I would consider a strange limitation.

Here's the numbers I have memorized for uphill/dowhill shooting in case you don't have access to a angle compensating rangefinder but can measure angle.

Percent of distance to cut, 5 degree increments from 10 degrees to 45 degrees.
2%, 5%, 7%, 11%, 16%, 20%, 25%, 30% Just in case you ever need them.
10*, 15*, 20*, 25*, 30*, 35*, 40*, 45* (* = degrees).

These are for downhill shots - I typically use 2% less for uphill, so for 10 degrees uphill, 2% minus 2% for uphill = no cut, similarly 30 degrees uphill = 16% - 2% = 14% cut.

More examples... so if you're 60 yards away at 22 degrees downhill, call it a 10% cut, 10% of 60 = 6, so cut 6 yards and shoot it for 54. Another example... You're at 70 yards with a 20 degree uphill shot (7% is the number, subtract 2% for uphill, so you get 5% cut) 5% of 70 is 3.5 yards, shoot it for 66.5 yards. Takes some mental gymnastics, but has served me extremely well hunting and in competition.

Why only 45*?? 35 - 40 degrees is wicked steep - super rare to find yourself in anything steeper... Next time you think you have a 45 degree angle, measure it and I'm betting 9 out of 10 times you're under 45. Pretty sure 60 degrees is a 50% cut, but you better have a buddy hold onto your belt because you're shooting off a cliff.

Had a buddy send me a text from the mountain the other day, "I'm at 80 yards with a 40 degree downhill shot - What do I cut???

A quick reply of 20 yards would have got him his bull, but I was hunting. Luckily he got a closer opportunity and nailed a beauty they rough scored at 380ish.

Coop
Great post Darin!!
 
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