Does Shooting Downhill Affect Arrow? [Know In Details]




I and some of my friends went hunting in a downhill with our archery master. We shot arrows, but they didn’t hit the target exactly like a flat ground.

As I was new to archery shooting downhill. So, I asked the master- Does shooting downhill affect the arrow?

He said that:

Does Shooting Downhill Affect Arrow.

Shooting Downhill Affect Arrow

Yes, it affects the trajectory of the arrow. Gravity is the main factor that accelerates the flight of the arrow when shooting downhill. It is important to target the horizontal distance rather than the line of sight distance. Aim slightly lower when shooting a bow downhill.

So where do you aim when shooting downhill with a bow?  If you are excited to know more, let’s dive into shooting downhill affect arrow-

Salient Highlights

  • Yes, shooting downhill affects the trajectory of the arrow.
  • Shooting downhill makes it difficult to aim at the target.
  • Shooting a flexible spine arrow downhill reduces the tail wagging fluctuation and helps to improve the arrow’s accuracy.

Does Shooting Downhill Affect Arrow?

Yes, if you shoot your arrow downhill, it affects arrow flight. Gravity only functions perpendicular to the earth’s surface. This is very important to note while aiming downhill. 

Does Shooting Downhill Affect Arrow

Thus, gravity only affects an arrow during the portion of the arrow path that it takes parallel to the earth, or specifically, the horizontal portion.

When you shoot downhill, a portion of the arrow trajectory takes less time to reach the target than flat ground when you shoot. Because gravity partially accelerates the arrow’s speed toward the target. 

So, do you aim low shooting downhill with a bow?

Therefore, when downhill, you will want to aim slightly lower to hit your target. This is because you want to shoot for the horizontal distance rather than the line of sight distance.

Archery Angle Compensation Chart

Archery angle compensation is a crucial aspect of shooting accurately at different angles. Here is a chart for your easy understanding:


Pros And Cons Of Shooting Arrow Downhill

When you Shoot an arrow downhill, some advantages and challenges should arise. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros And Cons Of Shooting Arrow Downhill



  • Requires Practice: Shooting downhill is different from shooting on level ground and needs practice to get right.
  • Instability: Does slope matter in archery? Shooting with your feet on a downhill slope can feel insecure.
  • Form Alteration: It can be challenging to maintain proper form when shooting downhill1.
  • Sight Adjustment: Can you sight in a bow on a hill? Yes. But, you need to adjust your aim for the horizontal distance, which can be tricky.

Can The Choice Of Arrow Type And Spine Have An Impact On Shooting Downhill, And If So, How?

Yes, the choice of arrow type and spine have an impact on shooting downhill. But I don’t know how, right? Let’s see!

Arrow Spine

Does arrow spine affect accuracy? You know that the arrow spine is the measure of the stiffness of an arrow. Spine rating plays a crucial role in accuracy. 

If the arrow is not stiff enough or if the group of stiffness varies, it can lead to an erratic flight of the arrow.

For example, The arrow that is underpinned will veer right, while an arrow that is too stiff favors slightly right.

Arrow Type

Suppose you are using a recurve bow, and you have two types of arrows: a stiff spine arrow and a flexible spine arrow. Let’s see now:

  • Stiff Spine Arrow: Do you want to shoot a stiff spine arrow downhill? Before shooting, you should know that it doesn’t flex enough on release.  As a result, the arrow moves down the range. This lack of flexibility may cause fluctuations that wag the tail. Therefore, this can lead to a decrease in the accuracy of your shoot.
  • Flexible Spine Arrow: Are you thinking of shooting a flexible spine arrow downhill? Don’t worry! It will flex more on release.  As a result, it reduces the tail-wagging fluctuations. Therefore, it helps to improve the accuracy of your shot.

You wanna know about shooting downhill with a crossbow? It also greatly affects the trajectory of the arrow. So, you should aim low for the true distance and hit the target precisely.

How To Calculate The Adjustment Of The Arrow While Shooting Downhill?

To calculate the adjustment of the arrow while shooting downhill, I am explaining here step by step :

How To Calculate The Adjustment Of The Arrow While Shooting Downhill
  • Measure The Angle: First, you have to measure the angle of the slope. You can measure it by using a mobile app or scope-mounted gadget.
  • Clean The Horizontal Distance: It is the true distance to your target due to downhill angle compensation. Instead of aiming for the line-of-sight distance, you should target the horizontal distance.
  • Calculate The Ballistic Distance(TBR): It is the distance from you to the target. For example, if your range finder reads 862 yard pin and the angle is 50 degree angle(cosine 0.64), multiply 862 yards by 0.64, and you get a shoot-to-distance of 552 yards shot.
  • Adjust The Angle: Once you have measured the angle, calculate how much that angle will affect your arrow point of impact. 

For instance, 

On a 30-degree slope, Take out 10% of the target distance. The drop component of a 270-yard shot would then be present in a 300-yard shot.

Remember that this measurement can vary depending on the wind effect, arrow speed, and bowstring tension.

If your dominant hand is your left hand, you should shoot a bow and arrow with your left hand.

Challenges And Troubleshooting For Archers When Shooting Downhill

Challenges Troubleshooting
Difficult to aim at the targetWork on your form and make up for shooting downhill during practice.With time, bending only at the waist will come naturally to you.
Maintaining the proper formUnderstand the actual distance to your target after accounting for the angle. Instead of focusing on the line-of-sight distance, aim for the horizontal distance. Try to aim slightly lower to hit the target properly.
Arrow drop or adjusting the gravityGive concern to the arrow travel and understand the arrow flight.Take into account the arrow drop and adjust as needed.
Parallax at closer rangesPractice at a shorte distance range at downhill more and more and adjust the sight if needed.

What Role Does Gravity Play In Arrow Flight When Shooting Downhill?

Gravity plays a very important role in arrow flight when shooting downhill. You know that gravity only acts perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. 

So, when shooting an arrow downhill, it only acts on gravity for the distance that it travels to the Earth, or rather only the horizontal distance.

What Role Does Gravity Play In Arrow Flight When Shooting Downhill

This means that you should aim for the horizontal distance rather than the line-of-sight distance when shooting at an angle, whether it be uphill or downhill. Because the actual distance to the target is always more or equal to the horizontal distance. 

So, if you are shooting at a steep angles, you need to adjust your aim so that the distance you use on your bow sight matches the horizontal distance to the target.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Should You Aim High Or Low From Treestand?

If you shoot from a treestand, you should aim at low. Because, from treestand, the target is often closer than it appears. As a result, it can go over the target if  you aim at high.

Do You Aim High Or Low When Shooting Downhill With A Bow?

When shooting downhill with a bow, you should aim low because this is needed to compensate for the actual distance and hit the target properly.

How Does Angle Affect Arrow Flight?

The arrow can spin along the long axis of the arrow shaft depending on the degree of angle or helical at which the fletching is installed. Arrows shot at downward extreme angles will hit high if they are not properly aimed and corrected.

Final Thoughts

In the end, does shooting downhill affect arrow? Yes, it greatly affects the trajectory of the arrow. It is also difficult to aim at the target properly. So, you need to practice and work on your form and make up for shooting downhill. I hope you got your answer, and that’s all for today! Stay with archery magic for more info like this!

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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