Ask Dr. Dave: Does Cold Weather Affect Shot Placement?

Bow Tuning In Cold Weather

Chad U. from Illinois writes to ask about bow tuning in cold weather. “A friend of mine says that when the weather gets really cold it can affect my shot placement because my sight might be off a bit. Is that true?”

Dr. Dave Samuel
Dr. Dave Samuel

Good question. My answer is “maybe.” Here is what I believe can happen. You set up your sight in late summer before bow season when the weather is warm. Come November and December, it can get really cold, and that does have the possibility to change where the arrow hits.

I would never adjust my sight in really cold weather, but after shooting some arrows and noticing that at 30 yards, I’m now shooting 2 inches high or 2 inches low, I’d make a mental note and adjust when shooting at deer. Maybe there will be no difference when it gets really cold, but maybe there will be a slight difference. My best advice is to practice a bit when it is very cold and find out what you need to do.

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If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, manager of Guide Outdoors & Social Content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for more than 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for more than 31 years.




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