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When judging distance from a tree stand, use the horizontal distance, not the greater diagonal distance. In this diagram, you should aim for 12 yards, not 13 yards. Range finders are available that calculate the horizontal distance when hunting from an elevated stand.

Judging distance from a tree stand: a = 12 yards horizontal distance to the target, b = 5 yards height in tree stand, c = 13 yards along line of shot

To calculate the horizontal distance “a” from a tree stand to a target, with “b” being the height of your tree stand and “c” being the diagonal distance to a target (you can establish this number using a range finder), use this simple formula:

a equals the square root of c squared minus b squared

For example, if the tree stand is 5 yards above the ground and the diagonal distance to your target is 13 yards, then the horizontal distance is calculated as follows:

a equals the square root of thirteen squared minus five squared, equals the square root of one hundred sixty-nine minus twenty-five, equals the square root of one hundred forty-four, equals twelve
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