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Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by bankbum, Jul 30, 2014.
What does everyone use for a rest while in the steep terrain of the back country?
Snipepod. It's way better than shooting sticks and is extremely versatile. It can function as a bipod (not as good as a dedicate bipod but still pretty decent). In my mind it's the best $130 you can spend for a backcountry rest.
I use any means I can to get a solid rest and prefer to shoot prone when possible. I keep a bipod on my rifle and use it quite often. When calling coyotes I prefer to use shooting sticks but I feel that I my shoot distance is limited more than a prone shot. I also carry trekking poles which I can use as a shooting rest if I need a taller rest in steep terrain or high brush. I think it is important, when possible, to select your shooting and glossing location ahead of time for long range shooting so these things can be worked out in advance.
I have an old set of Stony Point shooting sticks that I started with, but my gimpy back led me to using trekking poles for any backcountry adventures (the stability issue is important with my back), and it only took one outing to realize I could use the poles in place of the shooting sticks for a more solid support. I simply loop the wrist straps over the opposite pole's handle (instant cradle, conforms the rifle forearm) and with a little practice I can go from walking along to shooting position rather quickly. I also have a greater range of height adjustment to adapt to the situation. Sitting, kneeling or almost standing (sort of a "combat" crouch height), all are do-able with the poles. A small rear bag for prone over pack or bipod and I'm all set.
A bipod and if I need it my tripod with my rear bag sitting on the head
When I am unable to use a bipod, the Primos (formerly Stoney Point) Magnum shooting sticks.
At the LRH Group shooting class this weekend in WY with Non-Typical Outfitters, we will be shooting MOSTLY off of methods other than bipods since often in the mountains a bipod just won't work.
Been my experience. Either the angle of the terrain or the height of the brush makes a bipod little more than unuseable weight in my experience. In the rare case I can get in a true prone position, usually shooting off the rim of a canyon, my backpack over the rocks is what I use. Even when shooting down off a rim it seems difficult to get a bipod properly set. 95% of the time I'm shooting off Sroeny Point shooting stick tripod with a tag along arm.
I use a stick (literally, a stick I pick up in the forest) when I'm walking around. Great for shots in the forest as well as when I'm glassing with binocs.
For medium to long shots I like to get prone and use my backpack under my rifle as a rest. Not always possible, but if I can't get solid I won't take the shot. I have set my rifle in a pine tree to shoot a bull at about 330 yards... just happened to work out great.
off the backpack or crossed trekking sticks
WALKING STICKS BIPOD
I always use my backpacking walking sticks and have devised a fast strap crossover setup for use as a bipod.
No sense in carrying extra gear so I multi-purpose the walking sticks. They have three telescoping sections for adjustment. Great for "sidehill shooting".
I keep a short bipod attached to the rifle. But, I'm always prepared to use the spotting scope tripod, trekking poles, backpack etc... to create the most solid rest possible. In steep terrain you need to be quite creative sometimes.
I ended up buying stoney point shooting sticks. They were Cheap but I didn't see to much advantage spending $100 vs the $30 (sale price).
This is a long range hunting site so we had all better be trying to find maximum shooting stability whenever possible in order to be ethical hunters.
Probably a much higher percentage of hunters on this site use some form of support sticks for stability than you'll find among other hunters.
Lately military snipers have taken to carrying tripods. This is a bit extreme, weight-wise, unless your hunting is on relatively flat ground. Lugging a tripod around at 8,000+ feet does not sound like fun. But using dual purpose hiking/shooting sticks makes a lot of sense.
Hiking/shooting sticks means that when you have a very expensive shooting rig on your back you need those sticks to keep a fall from damaging a scoped rifle and ruining an expensive rig and expensive hunt. Plus using your arms to assist your legs on uphill hikes just makes sense. And on long or steep downhills hiking sticks save your knees - especially for my class of hunters known as geezers.
Finally hiking poles on steam crossings gives you four "legs" for stability, keeping you, your pack and your rifle dry.
I have carried a monopod in the past, but don't think it is stable enough for a longer shot than 300 yards. I plan to experiment with using my hiking poles as an improvised set of shooting sticks.