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Thread: Where do you aim from a tree stand? High or low?

  1. #1
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    Where do you aim from a tree stand? High or low?

    Say you are 20 ft. up in a tree and have about a 25 or 30 yd shot at a big buck. Do you aim up high at the spine area or down low at the heart and chest cavity? Do you put the pin right in the lung area? Thanks.

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  2. #2
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    If the Deer is completely relaxed with no idea something is wrong I go direct for the double lung shot. If it is at all nervous I will aim a little low in case it tries to jump the string.

  3. #3
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    I have never shot from a treestand, but I am fixing to use one this year. I hope someone can answer this as well, but this is how I understand it just from using math (Pythagorean Theorem).

    If you know you have a 25 or 30 yard shot from the base of the tree, you use the same pin that you would use if you were on the ground.

    If you rangefind from the vantage of your treestand, that is approximately 7 yards up, and you get a 30 yard reading, you are actually loose about 1 yard, so I would think you would use the same pin.

    Of course, this doesn't factor in string jump or duck.

    However, why then would they have pendulum sights if there isn't that much difference.

    One of you experienced tree dwellers please advise. This may be a case of too much book learnin' for me.
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  4. #4
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    Aim the same as you would off the ground. Pendulums are for those of us who are lousy at judging distance. I missed deer after deer years ago with fixed pins and finally went to a pendulem sight, I have not missed but one deer since and I missed it by thing it was too far for the pendulum and used a fixed pin instead. Shot over it's back

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  6. #6
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    I aim a little low , the deer here in NC are very jumping thanks to the great law that allows people to run deer with dogs , wish they would outlaw that JMO
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  7. #7
    I aim for the exit hole. Which usually midway up on the side of the animal facing you, depending on the terrain.

  8. #8
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    aim

    i always aim dead on just like on the ground but if he comes in closer always be your own pendelum and bend at the waist..also good advise as stated above aim for the exit hole....were that arrows gonna exit is were you wanna aim...
    Last edited by dodgetech; July 9th, 2005 at 11:26 AM. Reason: added

  9. #9
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    Good advice. I've not shot a bow from a tree stand but with the season coming up I might have the oppurtunity to so. Anyway, I was hoping that "right on" would be the best advice. I watch the archery hunting shows on OLN and the Outdoor Channel and it seems everytime the arrow is released the deer does the squat thing and takes off, usually too late. Saw one the other day and the guy had a Luminock on his arrow and it was super. Looked like a flashlight going toward that deer. When he got out of the tree and went for the deer you could see that light sticking up about 100 yds away. Out of sight!
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  10. #10
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    I always aim for the lowest possible spot in the vitals. When the deer does "jump the string" (i.e. squatting before take off), then the arrow hits perfectly. In the rare instance, the deer doesn't jump the string, I still have a nice shot.

    I heavily recommend shooting a bunch of arrows at a target from your treestand at the height you will be hunting before the season starts. This will make you comfortable with the operation of the stand, how you move your equipment up and down, how you situate yourself and equipment in the stand and how to shoot from your stand.
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  11. #11
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    The problem I have had holding low on a relaxed deer is that I hit low as the deer did not drop at all. I ended up with a one lung passthrough due to the sharp downward angle and the deer not dropping. It made for the hardest tracking job and the longest drag ever for me.

  12. #12
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    When rangefinding from a treestand the distance from the base of your tree to the animal is normally a yard or 2 closer than what your range finder is telling you. The rangefinder is measuring the hypotenuse of a triangle. It is usually longer than your base of tree to target distance unless your target is extremely uphill from your vantage point. The farhter downhill your subject stands from your tree the more distance you need to subtract from that rangefinder reading. A way to get around this bogus reading is to range a tree at the same level as your eye. This will subtact the extra yardage you get when ranging down to your target.

    Aiming low ( 1" or 2) is good advice even when deer seem to be relaxed. I have seen relaxed feeding deer go down at the release of the shot. When a deer is alert it gets very tricky. Here shot distance is a key factor.

    An animal that is 15 yards or closer will have less time to duck your arrow. At 20-30 they can move down a considerable distance before that arrow arrives.

    On the other hand wind conditions and the noise level of the woods are also key factors. An alert animal at longer distances may not react to the sound of your shot as would an animal in close proximity, that could hear it better.

    Shots aimed for the middle of the lungs will most often hit high. Better to aim a little low on all shots. Yea shooting arrows at whitetails is tricky.

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  13. #13
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    Thumbs up

    I aim dead on my "spot" using my pendulum sight
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    I always aim for the lowest possible spot in the vitals. When the deer does "jump the string" (i.e. squatting before take off), then the arrow hits perfectly. In the rare instance, the deer doesn't jump the string, I still have a nice shot.

    I heavily recommend shooting a bunch of arrows at a target from your treestand at the height you will be hunting before the season starts. This will make you comfortable with the operation of the stand, how you move your equipment up and down, how you situate yourself and equipment in the stand and how to shoot from your stand.
    Hopefully my stand will get here this week so I can take it to the range. I finally settled on one so that I would have ample time to practice before season. My range has about 50+ acres with 3d trails and targets, and 3 seperate clearings with oaks and regular targets so I can practice with my stand. Its a great place for $50 per year.
    Last edited by Snood Slapper; July 9th, 2005 at 03:07 PM.
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  15. #15
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    I aim for both lungs if at all possible.

    Most high hits are from not bending at the waist when making the shot.

    The MAIN thing to remember shooting from a treestand is TO BEND AT THE WAIST.

  16. #16
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    I aim dead on but at very close distances you want to aim lower.
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    I heavily recommend shooting a bunch of arrows at a target from your treestand at the height you will be hunting before the season starts.

    Excellent advise.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rembrandt
    Say you are 20 ft. up in a tree and have about a 25 or 30 yd shot at a big buck. Do you aim up high at the spine area or down low at the heart and chest cavity? Do you put the pin right in the lung area? Thanks.
    First, I'm assuming that you are using a fixed pin sight. If you use a pendulum sight you won't have to worry about anything except aiming at the lower 1/3 of the chest cavity. Heart or double lung is the way to go. Now after saying that for the pendulum lets look at fixed pins. I've been hunting for many years and have used both fixed pins and pendulums. The very first thing you have to consider with fixed pins is paralax error. Your arrow does not travel the same path that you look at when you shoot a bow. When you look through your peep and align your sights your line of view is several inches higher than your arrow flight. Your arrow flight (trajectory) meets your line of sight at the point where your sight pin is sighted in for. Your line of sight will match each of your sight pins for each distance. The reason I bring this up is that if you sight your bow in for 20 yards---- up too 20 yards your arrow will hit high but will be right on at 20 yards. Depending on the speed of your bow it could be 4 inches high at 10 yards. Now, why is that important? If you're 20 feet high in a tree and a deer is at 10 yards and you aim at the lung area you will hit high. If the deer is at 20 yards you will hit right on. Now lets go on to the other problem of the deer being 3D. I mean--- at ground level the target lung/heart area of a deer may be 12 inches in depth. However, if you're at 20 feet high in a tree and looking down at the deer from 20 feet high the target area can be reduced to 4 inches because of the acute angle looking down. Example---- if you have a bow sight in at 20 yards-- you are 20 feet high--- a deer at 10 yards--- if you have a 4 inch target and your arrow goes 4 iches high because of paralax error-- you just got a bad shot or a miss. Bottom line is that you only have to worry about this if the deer is a lesser distance than you have your bow sighted in for. If the deer is at the distance your pin is set for you won't have this problem. If the deer is a distance shorter than what your bow is sighted in for you'd better aim "LOW". Now add the last element to the problem--- deer don't stand still. A deer can drop a full body depth in .3 of a second. They are just like me and you when they start to jump and run they squat first. When you and I jump we squat firsts also---- The deer just do it really fast. Thats the reason you should aim at the lower 1/3 of the deers chest. Anyway, thats my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by stehawk; July 9th, 2005 at 04:02 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry/NJ
    I aim dead on my "spot" using my pendulum sight

    I guess we both cheat---- don't we!! I'm now on my second Keller pendulum.
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  20. #20
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    Your arrow does not travel the same path that you look at when you shoot a bow. When you look through your peep and align your sights your line of view is several inches higher than your arrow flight. Your arrow flight (trajectory) meets your line of sight at the point where your sight pin is sighted in for.
    Yes but your arrow crosses your line of sight twice. The arrow starts out traveling beneath your line of sight and depending on your setup will cross for the 1st time somewhere between 6-10 yards. After the 1st cross the arrow is now traveling above your line of sight and usually peaks at about 15-16 yards, where it it will then start to drop and meet your line of sight for the 2nd time at 20 yards. (using 20 yard pin) If you were to shoot your bow at an object 3-4 yards away you would have to aim high to hit your mark.
    Depending on the speed of your bow it could be 4 inches high at 10 yards. Now, why is that important? If you're 20 feet high in a tree and a deer is at 10 yards and you aim at the lung area you will hit high.
    Most bows shoot very close to dead on at 10 yards. Mine is dead on at 9, but all are dead on where the line of sight and line of flight cross for the first time. Usually between 6-10.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyhunter
    Yes but your arrow crosses your line of sight twice. The arrow starts out traveling beneath your line of sight and depending on your setup will cross for the 1st time somewhere between 6-10 yards. After the 1st cross the arrow is now traveling above your line of sight and usually peaks at about 15-16 yards, where it it will then start to drop and meet your line of sight for the 2nd time at 20 yards. (using 20 yard pin) If you were to shoot your bow at an object 3-4 yards away you would have to aim high to hit your mark. Most bows shoot very close to dead on at 10 yards. Mine is dead on at 9, but all are dead on where the line of sight and line of flight cross for the first time. Usually between 6-10.

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    Yeah--- all of what you say about trajectory is true. I shot expert every year for the 20 years I was in the USMC. I probably assumed too much when I thought the sight pin and the arrow hit the mark the first time it went through the line of sight. Anyway, my bad if I'm wrong but I know one thing for sure---- if you're in an elevated position and the deer is close--- you'd better aim low. Oh yeah, I do like you picture.
    Last edited by stehawk; July 9th, 2005 at 05:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stehawk
    Yeah--- all of what you say about trajectory is true. I shot expert every year for the 20 years I was in the USMC. I probably assumed too much when I thought the sight pin and the arrow hit the mark the first time it went through the line of sight. Anyway, my bad if I'm wrong but I know one thing for sure---- if you're in an elevated position and the deer is close--- you'd better aim low. Oh yeah, I do like you picture.
    As you can see from my previous posts i agree with you on aiming low on almost all shots; some lower than others.

    In your 10 yard shot from a treestand, yes the tendancy is to shoot high like you said, but more from shooting from above your target than from your bow shooting high at that distance.

    All in all I agree with your posts and your point of aiming low.

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  23. #23
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    Most of the deer I've taken from a tree stand average 12 yard shots. You'd better aim low at that angle. At 20 - 30 yards, I'd aim at the heart, or better yet, the bottom 3rd of the deer's chest. If he/she reacts to the noise of the shot, you'll still get a nice double lung hit.

    I also suggest you get out there and practice from a tree stand with your broadheads of choice.

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    WIllie above gave you the answer. Aim just as if shooting from the ground. "BUT" bend at the waist. That is where most shooters go wrong and that is the science behind the pendulum sights. As you bend your shooting arm and anchor down to shoot from a tree stand, the angle between you eye and peep and sight pin changes. Thus you end up shooting high or low. Draw, bend at the waist to keep those angles the same as if you were on the ground and you will hit dead on. Try this and you will see.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by obiwankabaldi
    WIllie above gave you the answer. Aim just as if shooting from the ground. "BUT" bend at the waist. That is where most shooters go wrong and that is the science behind the pendulum sights. As you bend your shooting arm and anchor down to shoot from a tree stand, the angle between you eye and peep and sight pin changes. Thus you end up shooting high or low. Draw, bend at the waist to keep those angles the same as if you were on the ground and you will hit dead on. Try this and you will see.

    You're right that bending at the waist helps but thats only talking about shooting form. You use the same form whether you use a fixed pin or a pendulum sight. It does not take into account that the depth of the target has decreased and it doesnt' take into account that the animal moves(squats down)-- it doesn't take into account the trajectory of your arrow--- bottom line is that you'd better aim low----- your aim point should at least be at the bottom 1/3 of the deers chest. I know alot of peole may disagee but at very close range (5-15 yards) I aim at the bottom of the deers chest ( 6 o'clock) and get middle of the chest double lung hits. At 20 ft high and the deer at 10 yards your double lung target area depth is only about 4 inches. If you aim at the center and hit 2 inches high or low-- you have a marginal hit. You may find the deer but you'll have to do some trailing. The vast majority of hunters shoot high at close range and the higher up you are the more you tend to shoot high. I don't care what everyone else does---- I aim low.
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