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Adjusting for changes in elevation. (Shooting Tip).

AT HIGH ELEVATIONS the air is thinner and gravity loses a small percentage of its pull. Every projectile slows down more gradually and takes a flatter line. While baseball's power hitters love the thin air of Denver's Coors Field, and professional golfers enjoy 10-percent more distance at Castle Pines just south of the city, this phenomenon is not a bowhunter's friend. Sure, elevation flattens trajectory, reducing the effects of misjudged shot distances, but all too often the knowledge comes as a surprise at just the wrong time. If you hunt more than 2,000 feet above the elevation where your bow was sighted in, you will begin to notice that your arrows impact higher than normal. This can be a serious problem, especially for Eastern bowhunters heading for the timberline out West.

The difference can be significant -- several inches for arrows fletched with vanes and even more for arrows decked with feathers. Left unchecked, such a built-in accuracy bias can produce an outright miss, or worse.

Of course, the real remedy for the problem is first understanding that it exists. After that, the physical solution is simple. Because the gap between sight pins is affected, you can't simply gang-adjust your entire sight head upward to account for the flatter trajectory. And resetting every pin individually is problematic in most hunting camps.

Instead, focus on one of your longest pin settings. Let's assume that is 40

or 50 yards. Set out a target at that distance and shoot until you are comfortable that you are executing good shots. Then simply turn your limb bolts out (reducing draw weight) in small increments until you are hitting dead-on at this range. Make sure to turn both bolts an equal amount in order to preserve the original tiller setting.

After making these adjustments, move up and check your shorter-yardage pins just to be sure everything is still tracking. Your 20-yard impact point may be slightly below the intended target, but the difference will be so small that it is insignificant.

Not only is elevation an important consideration when preparing yourself physically for the mountain hunt of a lifetime, it must also be considered when preparing your bow. Adjusting your draw weight is a step that can make a big difference in the outcome of the hunt.
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Author:Ulmer, Randy
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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