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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Northern Berks County, PA
Re: Crossbow In A Tree Stand
The issue has nothing to do with velocity. As the previous post said, it's about distance. You can easily illustrate this. Draw a triangle, make one corner be 90 degrees, with one line horizontal and the other vertical. Now connect the ends. The horizontal line is the ground, the vertical one is the tree or stand. The hypotenuse, or connecting line, is the straight line distance from your stand to a target on the ground.
Which line is longer, the horizontal line, or the angled line? In most cases, it'll be the angled line (the hypotenuse).
THAT is the distance your rangefinder will report when just getting linear distance from the RF to a target.
The horizontal distance is the span over which gravity acts on the projectile. It's shorter than the straight line distance. This means that if the angle is significant, it can dramatically alter how you aim because the target is significantly closer to you in horizontal distance than your RF is showing in linear distance. End result, you aim lower than the straight line distance would indicate you should.
I no longer have an angle-compensating RF, but when I did, I found VERY few situations where it made a difference of more than 1-2 yards between the straight line distance and the angle-compensated distance. The way I check it now is to range, if possible, a spot on a tree approx. the same height as I am, but that is out at the spot where my target would be. So, if I want to know where 30 yards is from my stand I zap tree trunks about the same height as I'm at and find a tree that's at 30, and that's my mark. Make sense?
End result------ angle of the shot is a factor for all projectiles, but at archery distances, unless you're shooting on a steep angle, it doesn't make as much of a difference as some think it might.
Where you have a distinct advantage with a crossbow when shooting at an angle is that you don't have to worry about how you hold the bow. With a compound, you need to be careful to bend at the waist and keep your arms/shoulders/upper body oriented as it would be if not angled. Otherwise, it can change your anchor, and the end result is people tend to shoot over a target when shooting on a downward angle because they lower just their bow arm to get on the target, which messes up their form and such. You don't have that concern with a crossbow.