Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear
Shortly after reaching the tent camp, Robb had us out in the field checking zeros on our rifles. Then he began a two hour instructional session on what I am starting to call "practical field positions for effectively killing big game". Last October during the LRH Group Elk Hunt I was quite impressed with Robb's own shooting skills and his ability to teach the practical aspects of shooting in the mountains.

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear

We long range hunters head out west envisioning the perfect prone position setup where we have all the time in the world to dope the wind and set our drops on the scope. Well it doesn't always work out that way and most of us need to become more proficient at quickly adapting when Mister Big Boy presents himself. Making do with steep downhill, seated shooting positions utilizing shooting sticks when a more solid prone position is just not available will mean more animals put onto the ground.

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear

During our training session we shot cross-canyon from 250 yards out to about 500 yards from a seated position using shooting sticks. This is very difficult to do off level ground but when hunting conditions force you to shoot seated on a down-slope with your feet below your butt, it is actually easier to do than when on level ground. Robb also spent time demonstrating a technique involving resting or leaning the shooting shoulder or arm back into the slope.

These techniques can make a huge improvement in the ability to take a steady shot. When you can start making 3/4 MOA shots in this position you are going to see your confidence grow exponentially. And you are going to kill more animals.

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear

Another time the drill was: you come carefully to the top of a rocky ridge, spot a bear, prepare and take the shot as quickly as you can.

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear

We were shooting at a drop away steel target that would reset itself. I remember Robb being impressed with the extra oomph coming out of my 7mm Dakota. I shoot a 180 grain Berger at about 3100 feet per second. The others were shooting milder cartridges.

My 8,000 Foot Wyoming Black Bear

I have just a couple hundred rounds through this new rifle. It features a lighter stock that is becoming the standard for my Long Range Rifles, LLC weapons. This one is the Manners EH-1 stock which has a slightly higher comb which lines up nicely with rifle scopes to provide a better cheek weld. I am also using one of my new, available fluted barrels. So all in all, a significantly lighter rifle than I had been offering.

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