Shooting Sticks

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Graham Hunter, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Veteran

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    So here are my questions. I am trying to understand and learn about shooting off sticks. One article says to put one of the legs straight forward and the other says to put it straight back. Forward makes more sense to me. Also some articles say use your hand as a rest and not the V of the sticks. Lots of videos show the shooter using the V. I am using a Bog Pod right now and do not find it stable as the tripod is at the bottom and does not provide much support. Might try and build my own more Africa style. 3 weeks to Buffalo hunt!
     

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    So in my experience the biggest things to do right are as follows:

    1. Keep your feet square, not one behind the other. You're trying to make a double tripod. First is the sticks and the second is your feet and the point where the rifle meets sticks. This will maximize your stability. This isn't optional or "whatever works for you." It's physics.
    2. I personally put one stick forward. I find it easier to adjust the stick height quickly by grabbing and moving the back leg with my off hand. Whatever works for you on this one though.
    3. Just make sure the barrel itself doesn't touch the sticks, stock or hand is fine and a personal preference. I let my stock rest on the sticks and grave the sticks themselves for any caliber up to and including my .375 h&h. Above that I hold onto the rifle. Again, whatever works for you.
    Type of stick, wooden or plastic, padded or not, is also a personal preference. I like the wooden ones best, and not the plastic with the platform rest. Just my preference and no right or wrong.

    Above all else, practice practice practice. Good luck on your hunt!
     
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  3. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    One more thing. The sticks should be "loaded." Meaning press forward and put a little weight into them for added stability for yourself, the rifle, and the sticks. It doesn't take much force, just a little bit.
     

  4. David Johnston

    David Johnston AH Senior Member

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    Good advice from Royal.....and practice standing, sitting, kneeling, shooting downhill, uphill. You will need to be comfortable with all positions. Hope the hunt goes well!
     
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  5. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Veteran

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    Thanks guys. I have the rest mastered it's just these stupid sticks. I think it just might be the Big Pod is not very steady.
     

  6. akeate

    akeate AH Veteran

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    I second something that was posted somewhere else. Watch your right elbow. Don't let it fly away. Tuck it away.
     
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  7. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I agree with Royal. Put a little weight down on the sticks to keep the rifle from jumping. It will give you much more stability this way.
     

  8. Therack

    Therack AH Veteran

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    I practiced with a bog pod tripod and found that it worked fine. Follow Royals advice about the proper stance, it makes a difference. My first 3 range sessions learning to shoot off the sticks was a disappointment. By the sixth range session I was shooting great, it took me time to get comfortable. Practice, practice and more practice.
     
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  9. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Veteran

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    Maybe you have the new model. Mine only has the tripod on the last 14 inches.
     

  10. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Yes- practice, practice, practice. I don't know if there is one best way to stand or to hold when shooting off sticks. I just experimented until it all worked. The thing I think I noticed most when my hold started feeling right was when I quit "fighting" to keep the sights (cross hairs) steady. I started letting gravity hold the fore end of the rifle down in the crotch of the sticks then relaxed my stance behind the rifle to where my body was steady. Once mastered, it all becomes automatic with the sticks potentially providing a very steady rest. My "standard" for a steady hold is not having the cross hairs leave the vitals of an impala (or impala sized animal) at about 225 yards.
     

  11. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Veteran

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    So now I am down to 1/2" vertical spread but about 4" horizontal spread. This is at 100yds. Think I will buy a Bog Pod red leg tripod. Can't find any 6 ft. material for shooting sticks.
     
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  12. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Veteran

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    I would certainly practice shooting off sticks, preferably the ones you are going to be using when hunting. Some rifles I have won't even hit paper just resting inside the V but keep your hand on the forearm and they are fine. Keeping your hand on the forearm adds a bit of instability though which will get worse with distance. I'm comfortable out to 200 yards that way.

    Good luck
     

  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Have you tried shooting off sticks with low recoiling rifles i.e. 22 LR or 17 HMR? I use the sticks to steady my hand while I hang onto the rifle. I tried pulling the gun down hard into the v with my hand in front of the sticks. That didn't work, it seemed to pre-load the sticks making the rifle move more when it was fired. When I use the sticks to steady my hand while grasping the rifle firmly I was able to make good shots off the sticks. It is a "practice" thing. Shooting off sticks is simple and effective once you get the hang of it.
     

  14. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    Yeah, it isn't pulling down or putting weight on the sticks, not straight down anyway. It's "loading" by pushing forward, not down. Just like when using a bipod from the prone position. You're creating stability by forward tension, not forced gravity.
     

  15. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Veteran

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    So today I had my wife pick up a set of Bog Pod Red Legged Devil tripod shooting sticks. Built just like the African shooting sticks. Shooting with these is way different than my other piece of junk. I am comfortable and accurate with these. Thanks for all the help guys! Look out Mr. Buff!!!
     
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  16. Jimbob

    Jimbob AH Enthusiast

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    May I suggest trying quad sticks? Can be used as regular sticks if needs be but are solid as a rock if used as a front a rear rest.
    Brilliant set up. These aren't mine but same design:
     
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  17. Roan

    Roan AH Enthusiast

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    Those work like a BOMB!

    Took a wildebeest at 250 meters just behind the ear off a quad stick a week ago.
     

  18. Jimbob

    Jimbob AH Enthusiast

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    Yeah they're brilliant. Just as confident off those as I am off a bipod at all normal hunting ranges.
     

  19. Shootist43

    Shootist43 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Graham, I'm glad to "see" that you got the hang of it. Shooting sticks present a problem for all new users. I doubt I'll be taking a set on my next Whitetail hunt but in Africa where someone else carries them they work just great.
     

  20. davetexas

    davetexas AH Member

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    Darn. I've been keeping my feet on in front of the other. Guess I need to retrain myself.
     
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