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up drafts and misses

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Unread 11-26-2011, 06:40 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,517
Re: up drafts and misses

One of the most important things I learned in Shawn Carlock's Defensive Edge Long Range Shooting Class last summer was how to identify updrafts that can affect your vertical POI.

I still have this image in my head of a Christmas tree with arms, and the arms are slowly waving up and down, up and down. You see, a tree sways side to side when there is a cross wind. The same tree sways up and down when there is an updraft. Quantifying the change in POI is really tough, though. Now that I understand the basics of updrafts, I'd have to spend a LOT of time out west in canyons to really learn how to do that.

Hey, that sounds like another great excuse for another trip out west. Yippee!

I'll be publishing a review of his class next month. When you consider how much time, effort and $ we all spend on this terribly addicting sport called Long Range Hunting -- you owe it to yourself to take a long range shooting/hunting class to make yourself able to reach the next level in your abilities.

That would be a great Christmas present to yourself.
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Last edited by Len Backus; 11-26-2011 at 07:13 AM.
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Unread 11-26-2011, 07:02 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 2,123
Re: up drafts and misses

This type of scenario is even tougher to prctice for us flatlanders.
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Unread 11-26-2011, 02:23 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: NW Montana
Posts: 213
Re: up drafts and misses

I am blessed in that forest service land is just a mile away but finding the canyons where these conditons play out is a little further.
The idea of a shooting school sounds like fun so long as I don't embarrass myself too badly.

Thanks RDM for your story, I don't feel like I'm the only one to have this problem. I sat in hunting camp trying to figure out what went wrong, and only when I got home was I starting to put pieces together.

I really appreciate having a place like longrangehunting.com to ask questions knowing I'll get help from people who know.
Thanks guys.
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Unread 11-27-2011, 01:44 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,891
Re: up drafts and misses

405 Win,

If you review the "Reading The Wind" article I wrote there is some solid info in it about wind over terrain features. This kind of shooting is a key component of long range canyon shooting and being able to read it and correct it is what really puts you a step up. Simply put, when you practice in these conditions and have a miss (usually high) look for the wind direction and terrain feature that is causing the lift or sometimes drop. Once you see these wind/terrain features working in concert togehter you will start to notice them before you shoot and start correcting for them. Unfortunatly this is one of those areas that just takes time and practice to learn. I rarely shoot in good conditions anymore to practice, take a good windy day and go see how these features effect your bullets flight.
Shawn Carlock

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Unread 11-27-2011, 07:53 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088
Re: up drafts and misses

If you watch the birds flying you will see some of them use these natural escalators to gain altitude.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 11-27-2011, 08:40 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 420
Re: up drafts and misses

Around here that's all we have to shoot over. Sometimes the wind will push a bullet right back on target and any wind correction will be the wrong thing to do. Measuring the wind from where a guy is shooting from is pretty much the easiest way to guarantee a miss. Avoid using flat land tactics and skills because they absolutely will not work in Hillbilly country. There is a place here in Oregon called Big k I havent seen it with my own eyes yet but it is my understanding that their instructors specialize in this type of shooting. There is so much difference between flatlander shooting an ravine shooting that unless you live in an area that thats all their is, you will never be able to pick it up without instruction because all the tools of learning are missing!
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Unread 06-08-2014, 10:49 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 31
Re: up drafts and misses

We just began learning of this in WVa with long range varmint hunting and gong shooting over a canyon. At 1100 yards my 300 RUM should have Needed 21.25 MOA up and 1.5 of wind based on the wind at the shooting position. That put me 1-2 MOA high and the actual wind correction needed was 3-4 MOA. It's incredibly challenging shooting across those hollows. I kept going back to my ballistics program to try to figure out why the elevation was off and where the error was. There was no error. There was an imperceptible (but significant) vertical wind across that hollow and it changed by the second.
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