When you're out in the field as a hunter, you'll often find yourself in situations where conventional shooting positions just won't cut it. Whether you're perched on a rocky outcrop, kneeling in the tall grass, or standing tall in sagebrush, it's crucial to know how to build rock-solid support for your rifle. In this guide, we'll explore how to do just that in seated, kneeling, and standing positions using tools like bipods, tripods, backpacks, tree limbs, shooting bags, and trekking poles.
Prone is the most stable position, because of all the support the ground gives to your body, the bipod, and rear bag. With practice and planning with the right gear, you can get nearly as stable as prone to easily make shots out to 700 yards.
The MAIN POINT of this article is to use whatever you can to fill as much space as you can to support your body parts and the rifle to get as much support as you can. For instance, bring the ground to your elbow with a backpack if you are seated.
1. Seated Position: The Bipod/Tripod's Advantage
Front Support: Tall Bipod or Tripod
The seated position offers stability and comfort for long-range shots. To build support, use a bipod attached to the rifle's forend. Extend the bipod legs to your desired height, ensuring a firm and level base. Keep your elbows on your knees to create a stable triangle and absorb recoil.
Rear Support: Backpack or Shooting Bag
To support the rear of your rifle, place a backpack or shooting bag under the stock. This elevates the rifle's buttstock, improving your shooting angle and overall stability.
2. Kneeling Position: Tripod and Trekking Poles
Front Support: Tripod
Kneeling provides a lower profile and better concealment. To stabilize your rifle, use a tripod with an ARCA clamp, tac-table, or V-yoke for firearms. Adjust the tripod's height roughly in line so that when you are in a relaxed position that it will hold your rifle against your shoulder and pointed at the target. Ensure it's steady on the terrain.
Rear Support: Trekking Poles, Backpack or Shooting Bag
For the rear, you have options. Trekking poles can be used by extending them and placing them under your rifle's stock, creating a makeshift monopod. Lean your arm and body against something like a backpack. Alternatively, use a shooting bag under your rear elbow for added support.
3. Standing Position: Nature's Support and Tripod
Front Support: Tree Limb or Tripod
When standing, Mother Nature provides an excellent front support option—lean against a sturdy tree limb or trunk to create a stable anchor for your rifle. The tripod or trekking pole can be rear support. Alternatively, use a tripod as front support like you would kneeling.
Rear Support: Shooting Bag or Trekking Poles
For the rear, employ a shooting bag or trekking poles. Shooting bags work well when positioned under your rifle's buttstock, while trekking poles can be extended and placed beneath your rear elbow for added stability.
Practice Makes Perfect
Building reliable rifle support in alternative shooting positions takes practice. Experiment with these methods on the range to find what works best for you. Try different heights, angles, and support options to become proficient in various field scenarios.
Remember, in hunting situations, things happen quickly. Being prepared to create solid support for your rifle, whether you're seated, kneeling, or standing, can make the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful shot.
So, gear up, head out, and master these alternative shooting positions. The wild awaits, and your precision shooting skills will shine in any situation.
Happy hunting, and may your shots always find their mark!