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Old October 10, 2013, 11:56 AM   #1
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Antelope hunt: to bipod or not to bipod

So, as expected, the floods have closed my deer areas this fall. I only have December antelope hunting to look forward to.
So, as a first time antelope hunter, my question is this:
Do I just go with my normal method and use my day pack as my base for shooting prone or should I buy a bipod?

Personally, I'm a less-is-better guy, and I don't see the beauty of a bipod.

I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
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Old October 10, 2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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Personally, I'm a less-is-better guy, and I don't see the beauty of a bipod.
You answered your own question. I too am a less-is-better type, or as I like to put it: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). My day pack has done a very good job for me over the years.
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Old October 10, 2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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No need for a bi-pod. They just get in the way, in my opinion.
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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I agree with Allen. Using a day pack is as good as a bipod for prone. I dont run bipods, I cant stand them.
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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The nature of antelope hunting is you will see animals 1000,1200,1500 yds away.

Watch them .Learn about antelope.Enjoy!They are social,and,they do move over the course of the day.

The ones you can see,consider as seed.Decoys.Stalk if you want,or be patient.Use low ground to get closer.

But don't run them off.Be patient.

After opening morning,the herds will be scattered,bucks will be running around gathering does,bucks down in the peck order will pick up a few does,small groups will see larger groups,there will be movement if they feel safe enough.

What is a problem is the guys in the pickup that say"Hey,there is some,lets get them!" and they jump in the pickup and drive ,figuring the antelope will stand there as they jump out and blaze away.

Those morons run all the antelope off 5 sections of land in a half day,and,without seed antelope,no decoys,hmmm,the antelope notice its not safe over there.They will be gone for days.

If you make a clean shot at a reasonable range,dress it and leave,they seem to recover fairly soon,but,if someone makes a bad shot and the animal must be followed up on...That makes a drama ,and its no fun.

Know something about wind.A rough rule of thumb for a 30-06 class rifle,10 mph wind at 90 deg subtract one from the range in hundreds(400 becomes 300),and that will give you an idea of the MOA correction.So,9 in at 400.

But,don't count on that rule,study charts for your load.

I used a copy of a 1903A4 to get my buck last weekend.It has a 2.5 x scope on it with a 4 moa post .

Standing up,I put on my sling,and rested over a gate post.He was 297 yds.

I hit good for elevation,but would have preferred 2 or 3 in further forward .I hit the 5th rib nearside,second rib farside.

Bipod or not,shoot when you are sure.

Antelope hunting,for some folks,becomes "poke and hope" just because they see an animal.

Get the hide off quick,get them cooled out and refrigerated ASAP.Don't spill the bladder.Antelope are fine eating.Take a couple cups of stew meat size trimmings from the shoulder area,shake them in flour,and just brown them in butter,Garlic or Lawry's if you like.Thats it.Just try it,soon after you shoot it.

I don't know you,maybe ypu did not need the long post,but,you said it was your first antelope.I don't know how many I've taken,but I've hunted them 45 years.
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Old October 10, 2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Find a nice piece of scrub or sagebrush to hide behind, bring a nice big piece of white cloth (3x3 or so) and wave it when they look in your direction - it is amazing how close they come - a friend uses this method and he bow hunts them - they come leisurely strutting towards him and then.......zap, hunt is over.....
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Old October 10, 2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Personally I would not want the added weight of a bipod. I always did a lot of practice from the sitting position with a tight military 2" sling. Resting over a backpack or fence post is better.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  ¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
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Old October 10, 2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Either will work. I use a bipod as it gives you the option of shooting prone or from the sitting position. That said, you already don't see the need for one, and they aren't required equipment, so I'd suggest going without and using a pack, log or fence post.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
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Old October 11, 2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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I'd go with shooting sticks. They're lighter, packable, and most importantly, not attached to the gun. Also, you may consider a monopod. What I mean by monopod, though is a walking stick with an attached fork at the top. You can use them for shooting standing and sitting easily. If you decide to drop to prone, use your pack. The walking stick will help you with all the walking you'll probably be doing. And, though I don't know what it's like where you hunt, they can be a good way to get a rattler out of the way.
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Old October 11, 2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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thanks for the replies.
thanks HiBC, that's a whole lot to think about!
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
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Old October 12, 2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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I hunt antelope in the flats, where shooting prone, even with a day pack as a rest, is a rare option or pure fantasy. If you want a rest, it has to be tall enough to get over the sagebrush and grass.

Since I'm a spot-and-stalk kind of guy, I like to sneak in and set up ahead of the antelope. Generally, that means sitting or kneeling in the brush, and holding the rifle at the ready or near-ready for 5, 10, or even 45 minutes. But, holding the rifle for so long can be fatiguing. That fatigue caused me to pull a shot a few years back. (Still a good kill shot, just not exactly what I wanted.)

So... I bought a bipod two seasons ago, and have found it to be a useful tool. It saves my arms, but lets me keep the rifle nearly perfectly on-target for extended periods of time. And, the dead-steady rest makes my preferred shot (head shots) more attainable, so long as the wind is playing nicely.

Plus, it keeps the rifle out of the dirt, once I start the dirty work (field dressing).

And, as an unexpected bonus.....
I'm more comfortable and less fidgety, resulting in less movement, which has allowed the antelope to come in even closer before I take the shot.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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Old October 12, 2013, 03:46 PM   #12
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I have found that a bi-pod hangs up on stuff when not in use ..... and in situations where there is time to use it, there is time to use a pair of shooting sticks .....

An M-1907 shooting sling is nearly as steady, and faster to use, and does not hang up on stuff, or affect the handling of the gun .....
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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Old October 12, 2013, 05:47 PM   #13
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I just finished a hunt with a friend using a Montana Decoy moo cow decoy.
Our goats are very skittish. will move if they see you @ 1000yds. We crossed an opening at 600 yds. walking behind the decoy with 2 of us. They never even looked at us. We used a hill to get within 200 yds. & crested the hill walking behind the cow. Normally they would bust you if you did your best crawl. My pal sat down & got in the shooting sticks. The "cow" took a step to the right & that was it. They never gave us a second look. Of course check local laws but this really worked well for us.
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Old October 13, 2013, 08:31 AM   #14
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Being an old High Power shooter I like slings.

On all my hunting rifles I replaced the sling keepers with 1 1/4 inch keepers and use M1907 style leather slings.

Its faster then extending bipods and for me anyway, I can shoot better slinging up.

It works prone, setting, and kneeling.

Bipods are always hanging up on something.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old October 13, 2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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I prefer my backpack.

Bipods IME add some cant and inaccuracy. Not sure exactly why I had such accuracy issues, but I did.

Also, I love my TI Cuff Sling. Check it out. It is quick and solid.

Last edited by Nathan; October 13, 2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old October 13, 2013, 10:33 AM   #16
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Nope, no bipods for me.
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Old October 14, 2013, 11:32 AM   #17
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I stopped using bipods as I noticed that point of impact changes depending on weather you rest your rifle on the bipod or not. On some rifles the difference was minor but on others it was big difference (one rifle was 2" low left when I didn't use the bipod). Now I just use my back pack or if I need something taller I carry a modified camera tripod. I can use it standing up by extending all legs and hanging my back pack on the center to stabilize it.
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