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Old November 21, 2017, 06:54 PM   #1
dvdcrr
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How to get steady in the field.

On a spot and stock hunt, in hills and canyons where positions are highly variable, with tall grass that prevents prone, possibly even with a pack, and no rock out croppings to use, I cannot figure out what to do. Sitting Harris bipod? Other? has to be VERY portable, and enable shots out to 300 yd on large deer.

Thanks!
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Old November 21, 2017, 07:18 PM   #2
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I have been hunting in steep country since I was 8 years old. The trick is simply to practice shooting from off-hand and sitting. On steep ground the sitting position will be useful but it's not like the way you sit on flat ground. You always have one foot down hill and one up-hill unless you are shooting almost straight down the fall-line of the hill.

But I'd bet nearly half the game I have killed in my 53 years of hunting was shot off-hand. The best "trick" I can give you is to go to steep ground and take your rifle and a LOT of ammo and shoot every week if you can. Use of a 22 was good in the old days when ammo was 29 cents a box.
Noting you can buy is a substitute for practice and just learning to shoot off-hand.

When you get to a point you can break clay birds about 100% of the time at 150 yards you will find that deer and elk at 250 are EASY. Deer at 400 from sitting are pretty easy too. And becoming a good off-hand shot improves all your other positions too.
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:08 PM   #3
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I need recomendations on bipods and such.
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:10 PM   #4
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Just what Wyosmith says. PRACTICE off hand and all the rest falls into place. But..Practice is the key!!!!
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:26 PM   #5
dvdcrr
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I mean everybody is different and when the buck of a lifetime is 250 yd away, I (me not you) need to have a steady rest. So I was asking what the best aids are in that situation.

I appreciate your perspective on practice, I am asking about equipment for steadying in the field.
If no information on equipment is forthcoming here I will ask elsewhere. Thank you.
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:39 PM   #6
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I would suggest a timney trigger if you don't have a crisp trigger followed by some short of shooting sticks. Ive seen versions made out of PVC plumbing fixtures or high end ones. Personally I have a monopod from when I photographed college football and then I made a V shaped support for it.



I would also practice shooting off hand. But i've used many of nearby trees.
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:52 PM   #7
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I have one of these made by Stony Point. I couldn't find my exact set on line, but this is very similar. I've used it in the field a couple of times. A bi-pod that attaches to the rifle is just too cumbersome for me to carry. I have a BIL who uses a tri-pod. They are more steady, but once again starting to be a bit much to carry. The old time buffalo hunters and African hunters have been using shooting sticks for a long time. More should try them.

https://www.amazon.com/Primos-Pole-6...A3F332DZPCQLQ8

It does take practice learning how to use it. Spend time at the range with a 22 for cheap practice. I've shot as far as 600 yards with it and feel pretty good out to 500. I needed to do a bit better to feel comfortable at 600.

It telescopes down to fit inside, or at least strap onto a day pack. Or sometimes I use it as a walking stick.
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:59 PM   #8
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I go "old school" using crossed sticks seated. It's VERY steady especially if you pull the supported rifle back into your shoulder with the support hand and place the shooting elbow on your knee.
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Old November 21, 2017, 09:08 PM   #9
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I see lots of the TV hunting guys using a BOG POD...they make several versions ..2 leg..3 leg

I kinda prefer a good sling...if you practice with a good sling..off hand and sitting shots work out pretty well...

Some times I use a mono pod like shown...just more stuff to carry....

I killed a coyote one time at 320 yrds using a fence post for a rest....kinda a stationary mono pod....

Practice will make it easier for sure..so for me...good sling and practice works most of the time

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Old November 21, 2017, 09:13 PM   #10
dvdcrr
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I have a mono pod and really feel like there has to be an improvement. A fe ce post is buried 3 feet deep. my monopod is no where near as steady.
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Old November 21, 2017, 09:51 PM   #11
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The cross stick rest could work well for you sitting...I made a set out of some long table legs ...I think that what they are...bolted them together and rest the rifle in the square part of the leg..I think they are about 1" square at the top..about 10" or so...then turned down to a tapered round leg...put a bolt and wingnut through for a pivot...you can spread them out for different heights.....I got them at Lowes...I think they are oak....they work pretty well for sitting...they come in different lengths.... Think i put linseed oil on them to seal them...Be cheap way to see if that kind of rest will work out for your style of shooting....they are light and easy to carry...and like said ...you could carry them or strap them to a day pack

Just some thoughts

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Old November 21, 2017, 10:20 PM   #12
johnwilliamson062
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If you are carrying a pack don't be afraid to use that.
If you are going to use some sort of detachable monopod/bipod I highly recommend one that doubles as walking sticks.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:19 PM   #13
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There are various bags with a shoulder strap.Gas mask bags,engineer bags,etc. Like a "possibles bag" .
Sitting,it can go under an elbow on your thigh.It will swing up over a rock or log. Pretty useful.

I made a custom rucksack board/frame thing.I used a sheet of 3/16 Noryl or PVC or Kydex or?
Heat gun,I shaped it some.Hole saws,jig saw I lightened it,made it strap-handy. Gave it some degree of flex.
I was somewhat inspired by the Coleman plastic pack frames.
I attached GI Jungle Rucksack shoulder straps with the quick release .
Any day pack or other bag can be attached.I set the pack up camo,so it can be a small concealment aid.But can put a mesh orange vest on it

I made the top to bottom height useful for a rest sitting the thing upright in front of me when sitting.

I pop theQD shoulder strap as I drop to sitting.The packswings around in front of me.
Its a good back support leaning against a tree.

Its not the greatest for packing a quarter,but its better than nothing.It will make the first trip. A real packframe can be in the truck
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:26 PM   #14
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And this is why I think the art of rifle shooting is dying. People spend all their time shooting from a bench and never learn to really shoot.

A sling is the answer. Shooting sticks are not the answer. Sitting, kneeling, sling-supported offhand are the proper answer, and using a sling is the proper technique. Prone only works if you have an unobstructed view of the target, which is rare in most of the areas I have hunted. Improvised field rests are also a good technique.
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Old November 22, 2017, 12:08 AM   #15
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I'm with Scorch here. I get caught up in gadgets to help me shoot better, when shooting better is a skill. I try and get off the bench and shoot off-hand and kneeling as much as I can. Even going through odd shooting positions at the 50 yard range with a .22 will help a shooter better sync up his biological movements with a rifle.
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Old November 22, 2017, 01:00 AM   #16
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Marksmanship is the critical component. That is simply good and true advice. But if you are shooting at LR or XLR the human body is simply not stable enough. I can shoot standing or sitting further than most, and I play PRS and tactical steel matches, so improvised shooting positions are the name of the game. That said, a good tripod (mine is 40lb capacity) with legs that will splay and a Hog Saddle (or Pig Saddle) is about the only way to get near bench stability just about anywhere.

Shooting sticks and monopods can be helpful, which is why they’re so prevalent in big game hunting, but reaching out to doped distances where you’re dialing big numbers they’re not stable enough to take ethical shots (or hit fractions of a minute targets) which is why those shots are not typically done.

Again, that is not to say I don’t completely agree with all the posts about improving ones marksmanship first and foremost, but I compete with some truly amazing shooters who use everything and anything to gain the advantage of more stability, and the OP has a point that often in the real world you can’t get low. The closer to the earth you are the better the position. There is a reason lots of TS and PRS matches don’t allow tripods and saddles. It’s because on many stages they offer huge advantage.

Rigging tripods for shooting has been around in the the sniper and swat communities for many years. With light but strong carbon fiber models like those made by Manfrotto and Slick they’ve become more practical to carry in the field. A good rig can cost upwards of $800, which is a new rifle, so you sort of have to really have a need.

This is what you’re asking for though. I use mine in competition, but two years ago I used it in a ground blind in Kansas and shot a deer at a great distance. Without it I would not have taken the shot. I think it’s a waste of money unless you compete seriously or you are a professional, but that’s the only truly portable rest I know of that will get you close to the stability of shooting off a rest on a range. It’s no Sinclaire bench rest, but it’s way, way, way more stable than anything that’s been discussed.
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Old November 22, 2017, 05:26 AM   #17
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I use 3 legged Trigger Stix from Primos sometimes but when hunting live critters, theres no tellin what position my shot will be made from.
This year I took my buck in the prone position, which I have always liked for the steadyness of the rifle.
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Old November 22, 2017, 08:02 AM   #18
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My crossed sticks are 3' sections of finger sized bamboo joined by 4-5 wraps of either boot lace or surgical tubing. Cost nearly nothing and if lost, mostly biodegradable. Bog pods and the like are expensive, noisy, and don't work any better. I've tried the metal 3 leg supports and found them unhandy and never the right height w/o fiddling.
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Old November 22, 2017, 08:54 AM   #19
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I am a big fan of using Primos Trigger sticks. The deploy quickly in the field. I have made a couple of modifications to make them easier to carry (I tied on a sling and use a releasable zip tie to hold the legs together, replacing the rubber strap that comes with the sticks). In a pinch, they can be used as a monopod.

I like the Gen II version over the newer Gen III version and I own both. The main reason is that I also use my sticks as a camera tripod for the obligatory trophy pics. With the Gen II version, you just unscrew the yoke and you can screw on your camera. With the Gen III version, you have to carry around a special adapter.
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Old November 22, 2017, 10:46 AM   #20
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I use Cabales brand adjustable shooting sticks. Legs collapse with locks similar to what a camera tripod uses. They work great.
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Old November 22, 2017, 11:07 AM   #21
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https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...ing-positions/

http://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/201...ing-positions/

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...ing-positions/

These articles above are good overviews.

I found nothing to show positions for shooting on very steep ground, but they are adaptations of the standard positions in the articles above.

When I am on a steep slope (which I find myself on a LOT) I sit and move my body until my natural point of aim is as close as I can get it. I am right handed, so a shot from the fall line to the left is more challenging for me then a shot to the right side of the fall line, but both ways are still pretty good.

Sitting with my left foot down hill and my right foot up hill brings my right knee under the right shooting arm or elbow and helps to steady the rifle.

Sitting with my right foot down hill and my left foot uphill will bring my left knee under the left elbow and that also helps steady the rifle. It's almost the same dynamic as a kneeling position on flat ground.

Practice these 2 ways of shooting and in a short time it becomes natural and fast. Not as fast as off-hand, but steadier.
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Old November 22, 2017, 01:38 PM   #22
dvdcrr
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At my best I coukd hit a 8x10 plate at 200 yds about 70% from kneeling. Now that would be about 40%. So I am a recreational hunter, not obsessed, with 2 kids and a wife who works and I am 40. Now if you think I am going to suddenly have extra time to go on a shooting sabbatical and turn into Jack O'Connor so I can go on my once a year hunt, then please step in and run all the other aspects of my life as well. Short of that, lets get real and start talking about the equipment that turns a 40 % guy into a 80% guy with about three trips to the range. Like my pickup hood does, but something easier to carry. Thank you.
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Old November 22, 2017, 01:49 PM   #23
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Ok, realistic. With the shooting sticks I described (Cabelas brand that are like the Primos stick but without the trigger adjust), I watched my old hunting buddy sit down on a rickety old patio chair and proceed to put 5 shots into a fist sized group at right at 400 yds (exact amount was unknown but that we as far as the cow pasture went) using a factory stock Weatherby Vanguard purchased from Walmart. That's plenty good in my book. I use mine for both my rifle and my crossbow. If I'm walking around (spot and stalk), I'll have them already adjusted out to the right length for a kneeling shot.
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Old November 22, 2017, 02:26 PM   #24
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An easy, cheap solution is go to local hardware store, Lowe's, Home Depot or Wal-Mart, get 2, 1/2" dowel rods. Then find rubber Orings. Find the size that fits snuggly over the 2 speaks what standing up straight. Buy at least 6 but only use as many as you feel absolutely needed. You will figure this out when shooting at the range.

Now you have easily adjustable shooting sticks from ground level to about 30 inches high. The Orings easily slide up and down the rods but when spread out the are solid. Less than $10 spent.

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Old November 22, 2017, 08:26 PM   #25
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I hunt in Wyoming on occasion and for me, the best option is a Harris bipod. Using it, I've killed out to 300 yards.

Otherwise, backpack, free hand or bracing the gun on your knee works for closer shots for me.

On whitetail at home in Kentucky, free hand or a knee works perfectly.
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