Re: Bipod Techinque
I prefer to shoot off my pack too, but as you know that does not always work. I elk hunt in southern NM and have the same problem you mentioned. Terrain, and brush make using a pack impossible in many places and prone bi-pod is a problem for the same reason.
I almost always carry a spotting scope and tripod (this is a heavy setup, especially when combined with a 16lb rifle...) I use a Bogen/Manfrotto tripod with a homemade rest that clips onto the tripod. I simply pop the scope off and snap on the rest. The legs will adjust (by spreading them out) for a prone shot all the way up to a standing shot. I have used this setup several times for some long shots over the years. I like to get set with my back against a tree or rock to further stabalize me if I am sitting, but that is not always possible.
If you try this, use only a professional type tripod such as a Bogen (read $200-$300). That will insure a stable platform. The cheap ones with plastic heads are not stable enough. The heads have slop, and the legs generally will not stand the weight of a LR rifle without flexing.
I still like to shoot off my pack when conditions allow, but this setup gives me the flexibility to adapt to terrain better.