When you’re out hunting in the wilderness, you may be required to shoot from a variety of positions. The game you are stalking will not always appear when you are in that optimum position that you practice in.
There are several positions you may find yourself shooting in. They include standing, kneeling, sitting (either cross-legged or with crossed ankles, leaving your knees up to use as a brace for your arms) and lying prone. None of these positions are natural shooting positions, so they will require practice to master them. Practice them all wherever it is convenient to do so.
You will find that some of these positions work best if you are using a target sling. This also needs practice to use it effectively. The target sling can be used as is, or as a hasty sling, where you wrap your supporting arm through the sling so it tightens across your chest. Using a hasty sling comes in handy with many of these positions. Practice using the sling in these positions until you can do it without a second thought.
Practice how to get into these positions as well. You may be stuck behind a small rock or bush, with a limited range of movement when you see your target. In order to get your shot, you may need to angle yourself into one of these positions quickly in order to take advantage of your opportunity. The ability to assume one of these positions on a moment’s notice may pay off handsomely when you suddenly find yourself at close range with a target that doesn’t know you’re there.
Another tip that will help you make your shot, but may cause you to attain unusual body positions is using a rest for your rifle. Become adept at finding natural rests anywhere you can find them quickly… it may be a rock, or a forked branch on a tree. Maybe it is a stump or only a mound of dirt… no matter what it is, it can help steady your rifle and your aim. Once you find a rest, you will need to quickly tuck yourself behind the object as best you can to attempt your shot.
When using a rest, never place your rifle barrel directly in contact with a solid object. Put something in between for cushioning. Use a rolled up shirt, a hat, a fanny pack, or in a pinch, your hand. This skill can be practiced anywhere, even in your living room with an unloaded rifle. See how quickly you can set your rest and position yourself behind your chosen object.
If you don’t mind carrying more supplies with you, try a bipod. Practice setting one up quickly and setting up for your shot. It is very different to shoot with a bipod attached. Be sure to check your scope’s zero when you attach a bipod as well. Do you see a theme with all of this? In order to be successful, practice! No skill is helpful if you are fumbling and trying to remember what to do. Practice year round even if you only hunt in the fall.
Scott Peters is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. For more informaton please see Nikon Monarch Rifle Scopes.