How to Accurately Shoot Extreme Archery Angles

Archery Tips | How to Shoot Extreme Angles

Archers spend hours of practice working on shot technique and form. Days, weeks, and months are spent striving to develop repeated accuracy. While in practice this can be achieved, real-world scenarios can cause archers to throw form out the window. One such scenario is when an archer is forced to shoot an extreme angle. Whether it’s in a tournament or while bow hunting in the field, you need to know how to approach shooting these tough angles correctly. These archery tips should tell you how to do just that!

When you are shooting at an angle, the most important thing to remember is to keep your proper form. This is true for every different scenario. Tough tournament courses in rugged terrain can throw even the best archers off. Hunting scenarios such as an elevated whitetail stand, down a steep incline on a fall elk hunt, or uphill at sheep are uncontrollable shot opportunities that will happen. There is no way to avoid these tough shots, so the best thing for you to do is learn how to correctly keep your form and shoot these tough angles.

The correct process of shooting tough angles can be broken down into a two-step process.

Step 1: Starting with correct form

When shooting extreme angles the bow should be drawn back level using the same correct form that is used in practice. The bow is drawn level and the anchor point locked in.



Step 2: Bending at the waist

Once you have drawn level and have the correct anchor you need to acquire your target. This is where the problems normally start. Most archers will skip the first step, drawing uphill or downhill immediately without first achieving the proper form. This will usually shorten their draw which will affect the shot. To correctly acquire the target when shooting extreme angles, the shooter should bend at the waist after the draw is completed. The technique of bending at the waist after the bow is drawn and the shooter is locked in allows a target to be acquired either uphill or downhill without negatively affecting accuracy.


Many coveted hunts take place in the rugged country that requires shooting at steep angles. A shot opportunity at a bighorn or desert sheep, mule deer, mountain goat, and even a big bull elk are often not presented on level ground. Rugged terrain and country often present these shots. Using these archery tips when presented with this situation will ensure that you use correct form when conditions and terrain present an uphill or downhill shot.

Learning how to shoot up and downhill is a critical skill for any archer to have. By bending at the waist and holding the correct form after a level draw cycle, shooting on steep angles can be completed accurately. Following the archery tips in this blog will allow you to shoot with the correct form throughout the entire shot regardless of the angle.

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Why You Might Consider Using a Back Tension Release

Back Tension Release | The Pros and Cons of Archery Releases

Being an effective and accurate archer is more complex than you might expect at first glance. From the size and weight of the arrows that you shoot, the anchor point, and your form and follow through, everything must work together in unison to achieve consistent accuracy. Understanding not only how your bow operates, but also how your accessories and gear can impact your accuracy, is a big part of being a stable archer. Whether you are simply focused on bow hunting, or are engulfed in the world of competitive archery, there is a wide selection of bow releases available on the market today. From thumb trigger releases to caliper style releases, there is no doubt that all have their positives and negatives. Back tension releases are becoming more and more popular with both the bow hunting and competition communities.

Back tension bow releases certainly have their benefits in contrast to other styles of bow releases, and here are a few archery tips and that can help you decide if a back tension bow release is right for you.

“No Go” or “Gone”

Caliper and thumb button style bow releases are certainly popular among both the competition and archery hunting communities. Both are effective bow releases, and can certainly help you get the job done. However, one drawback that both of these releases have is the opportunity for the user to “punch” the trigger. Punching the trigger is a term that simply means that there is no real ability to apply gradual pressure to the trigger mechanism on the release. I like to explain this style of release as “no go” or “gone”.

What I mean by that is there is no middle or gradual slope to get to the actual point of release. Imagine the operation of this style of release as jumping straight off a cliff to get to the bottom of it. There is no gradual slope, no parachute, you just have to jump. That “jump” can cause the user to “punch” the trigger as soon as the pin has settled on the target. This can often lead to inaccurate shot placement which is a negative on both the range and in the woods.

The back tension bow release allows the shooter to apply gradual and steady back pressure once the pin as settled on its mark. The ability to calmly “squeeze” the trigger can help improve accuracy and can even serve to calm and relax a shooter, which can also help to improve accuracy.

It Rubs Off

It is true that not everyone who shoots competitively will use the same bow release for both hunting and competition. That is completely understandable. That said, if you find yourself looking for a new way to increase your accuracy at the range, then consider moving towards a back tension bow release. The simple reason is that using a back tension bow release can help improve your mechanics and timing when it comes to shooting your bow. Even if you move back to a caliper release for the hunting season, shooting a back tension bow release during the off-season can help you understand what that “perfect shot” feels like.

If you are looking for a way to improve as an archer, consider giving a back tension bow release a shot. I firmly believe that it will help you become a more confident and accurate shooter on the range and in the woods!

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