Hi Dave, I remember reading a magazine article years ago that said an arrow will climb and dive as it flies through the air and that each bow will cause an arrow to climb and dive differently. Therefore, to be an effective bow hunter one must be intimately familiar with one's own bow and practice shooting at different ranges so that the shooter can compensate for the climbing and diving arrow at different ranges. Is this true or is my memory playing tricks on me? Thank you.   C.M.

Sort of.  An arrow launched horizontally will always fall, not climb.  But let's consider how you set your sight pins for various shooting distances: assume that you have 5 pins for various distances. If you set a middle sight pin for 30 yards, for example, you will be aiming slightly up to account for the amount the arrow would have dropped. For the 20 yard pin, you will be aiming less upward, and even less upward for the 10 yard pin, because there would be much less drop for a 10 yard distance.  For 50 yards you will be aiming much higher.  So, even though you are always aiming somewhat up, it may seem that you are sometimes aiming higher and soimetimes aiming lower if you consider the 30 yards distance as being your normal aiming point.

Each bow is different, and the arrows also come in different weights and lengths, etc., so the distances between the sight pins will be different for different bows and arrows.

By the same token, if you have only one sight and you set it for 30 yards (or aim without using a sight), you will aim lower for closer distances and higher than that for farther distances (even though the arrow is always falling down as compared with the pointing direction of the arrow when it's still on the bow).

Hope this helps!



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Dave Nyce


I have been an NRA certified rifle, pistol, and shotgun instructor for over 15 years. I was on the Temple University archery team, and was a pistol team captain at a gun club in Pennsylvania for 5 years. I have built muzzle loader handguns and rifles. I have used all of these weapons for hunting. I hunt North American big game, small game, and waterfowl. I can answer questions on hunting safety, getting started as a hunter, equipment and techniques for various types of hunting.


NC certified CCW instructor (concealed carry of weapons). Endowment member of the NRA, Life member of: NC rifle & pistol assoc., National Trapper's Association, and Grass Roots NC.

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