Home Forums Campfire Forum Shooting tips on sloped terrain

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    • Metropolitantrout
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      Post count: 6

      I’ve Been really happy with my recurve shooting this season EXCEPT when I’m standing on sloped terrain.  By sloped I mean terrain that cants to the left or the right if you’re looking at the target (not up or down). My arrows consistently land left or right of the target by 4-6″.

      One target is 20 yards out and the terrain I’m standing on slopes down so that my toes are pointing downhill and I’m leaning back slightly to get my torso level.  On those shots I consistently miss right.

      I should add that I’m a righty and draw with my right hand.  I shoot both instinctively and gap.  The problem lies with both styles of aiming.

      Practice helps but I’m hoping for advice on what specifically I need to adjust when shooting on canted ground.

      Thanks! MT

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 970

      MT

      Interesting question.

      If I am understanding you correctly. You are standing  on the side of the hill  slopes higher one side than the other ( depending on which way your facing ), and you are shooting along the contour ? I dont think I have ever shot game in that scenario-  my range is not set up for that. But it could be and I think I will set up a tgt like you’ve described and try shooting it in the next couple days.

      I am not a shooting coach; but it sounds like you are getting into a contorted shooting stance ( feet pointing away ie down or up slope)? What style of shooting stance are you using ( standard / body Rt angle to tgt) ? I  (shoot open so what follows- )would try to keep my normal shooting stance with my legs acting as levelers( ie legs being wherever they have to be to keep me on the hill but my body still ( especially upper body ) mostly ( 45* +-)facing the tgt (and continue good form and release ). What we would call in rifle shooting- maintaining your natural body alignment.

      Maybe some of the other members have run into this and have some ideas. I’ll try to set this up and shoot it a bit . Got me curious —

      Scout aka Ray

       

    • Metropolitantrout
      Member
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      Post count: 6

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks for your response. Yes, your understanding of the terrain I’m shooting on is correct. It’s the hillside above a creek in a small canyon so the entire area (from the creek up) is sloped so for any shot parallel to the creek, your feet are on sloped terrain.  For some targets, I’ve leveled the earth where I stand and the shots are very predictable but if I move away from that leveled patch, shots become less accurate.  Elevation is fine but windage is off.

      My shooting style is as you described, standard with my shoulder pointing to the target.  I bring the tip of the arrow’s index feather to the tip of my nose, index finger to a tooth, achieve full draw length with a clicker, pause and release.

      I also think you’re right about a “contorted body position” which I think affects my sight picture.  It’s frustrating because when I align the arrow with my target on flat terrain it flies predictably if all things are well executed.  On sloped terrain everything appears the same but the arrow flies right or left.

      I try to use my legs as levelers as you suggest and I feel pretty steady but something is amiss.

      I appreciate your ideas and possibly giving it a try.  Cheers, Jerry

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2342

      Archery Anatomy by Ray Axford  is a book that describes the mechanics of target form through words and fantastic pictures.   Every archer who is serious about understanding how they shoot – whether tournament form or a more natural swing style – should read this book and keep it handy for reference.

      In his book Axford shows how the muscles and bones work together to allow us to make a good shot.  He shows how important the angle of the hips relative to the target is.  By angling the hips correctly for each situation, The spine can remain straight, and the arms, head, hands, eyes, bow, and arrow can all be kept at the same angle, thus allowing the archer to have consistent form and to shoot accurately.

      It’s along the same line as when old timers admonish us to “bend at the waist” when shooting down from a tree-stand.  But instead of bending at the waist, its better to keep the spine straight and swing the hips around as required to get the right angle.  And by understanding the mechanical principles involved, you can generalize the solution to up, down, sideways, whatever.

      I shoot with a natural swing-draw style (at least I try 😡 ) and learning how my hip position affects my shot  has really helped me to be more comfortable taking any ol’ shot that comes along.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 970

      Thanks Steve for the excellent info. As you mentioned Axfords book is a great study of the biomechanics of Archery. Worth having in any archers bookshelf.

      Jerry

      I think if you try adjusting your hip position ( as Steve mentioned) on this slope tgt problem you may solve the issue. What sighting method are you using ( I am instinctive – mostly haha) ? It kinda sounded like the way you view the tgt on this sloping terrain is throwing you off?

      Scout aka Ray

    • Metropolitantrout
      Member
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      Post count: 6

      Thanks Stephen, I’ll check that out.  Jerry

    • Metropolitantrout
      Member
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      Post count: 6

      The short answer to how I aim is instinctive out to 20 yards but gap beyond that.  Even when I shoot instinctively I line up the shot using gap with one eye open, then I  do my best to hold steady, open the other eye and aim instinctively.  Jerry

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 970

      Jerry

      How far are these slope tgts? Maybe they’re confusing your sighting eye do to the way it looks if near 20yds ? It is probably mostly hip / form —.

       

      Scout aka Ray

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 194

      Jerry;

      A club in So. Cal. that I used to belong to (Valley West Archers) had several targets such as you describe.

      Rule of thumb was ‘Cant into the hillside’.   Doesn’t take too much & might help.

    • Metropolitantrout
      Member
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      Post count: 6

      Got after those sloped shots today.  Bending at the hips until I felt stable helped.  Canting into the hillside works great when my feet were pointed uphill.  Thanks!

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 970

      Jerry

      Outstanding ! Glad we could be of help. One of the things I’ve learned over the years ( at least for me). I have to to practice a lot- shooting the positions I use in the field- to be successful.

      Scout aka Ray

       

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