4 replies [Last post]
crowsfoot's picture
Joined: 09/04/2010
Posts: 137
shooting sticks

While in the military I learned all kinds of shooting positions. And am a pretty good shooter,but one day I finally bought a shooting stick to try out. Boy was I amazed at how nice and steady it made my shot.I am extremely glad that I have now.I got the two legged stick and it gives me a solid shooting base. Even at the shooting range I prefer it over the bench.This is one item I can't do without on my next hunting trip.  

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
If you think that they are

If you think that they are better than shooting off of a bench then you have never learned how to shoot off of a bench.  In my book they are one more thing to have to pack that isn't needed if you learned how to shoot in various posistions and there is uaually always something to rest your rifle on out in the field.  The only time that I even consider using a shooting stick is when I am pistol hunting and the shot is 100 yards+.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
One thing I like about them

One thing I like about them is that they can be used as walking sticks if you are in rough country.

Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382
Better to have them & not need them

This is a good topic - thought I'd drag it back out.  Kinda agree with Critter in that it's not a great idea to get dependent on shooting aids to make up for bad shooting form or mechanics.  Sometimes you just forget that the shot isn't that difficult & the sticks really are not needed. 

A friend got hooked on using shooting sticks.  Being a frugal type of guy (I'm pretty sure he could sqeeze a penny & get change) he make some with a couple of wooden dowels, a small bolt & some electrical tape.  They weren't collapsible but seemed to work well for sitting shots.  To carry, he just slid them in his belt.  After hunting hard for a week we jumped a decent mule deer that stopped at around 50 yards.  I had a chokecherry bush in front of me & he was clear so he took the shot - almost.  He fumbled around getting the sticks out of his belt, then messed around trying to coordinate sitting-setting upsticks-mounting rifle-adjusting height-etc.  The buck gave him almost a minute to screw around then bolted off.  Last we saw he was 500 yards out and headed for a different county.  Before I could say anything caustic (tough to do cuz I was laughing) he admitted he should have just shot offhand or from a quick sitting position; the shot just wasn't that hard.  He still carrys sticks (some adjustable ones) in his day pack but he doesn't obsess over using them anymore. 

I've been carrying collapseable Steady Sticks for several seasons.  My day pack has a side pocket just the right size to keep them in.  They've come in very handy for a couple of antelope and a bull elk when the only option was using sagebrush (really bad idea in windy conditions) for support or using the sitting position.  Sitting & using sticks is very steady with practice especially when supporting the trigger hand elbow on your knee.  Just don't get addicted to using them.  Strong shooting mechanics is critical as is being aware of what mother nature has to offer in the way of shooting supports - stumps, boulders, tree trunks - you get the idea. They also come in handy steading binoculars when glassing hard from one place for a long time.

CVC's picture
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3579
Hal, I think you summed it up

Hal, I think you summed it up pretty good.  I like shooting sticks, but I practice without them from various positions.  My favorite position is the prone position using my backpack for support.  I can get as steady as if I was shooting from the bench at the range, but terrain doesn't always allow it.

Sometimes I need to be in a sitting position to get the height to shoot over brush in the way.  My general routine is to shoot my rifle off the bench with a nice steady rest to take out the human factor to the degree I can.  Once I know my rifle is sighted in then I practice shooting for hunting situations. 

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